Standing on the edge…

It is probably normal for most people to take a moment to pause when they have reached the perceived midpoint of their life — to take stock of their situation and assess whether or not a change in direction is necessary or desired. We often hear about men and the “midlife crisis” syndrome. But what about women? Do we go through the same life evaluation assessment? Why don’t we hear more about the struggles that women go through during this phase of life?

As you can tell from the post title, I am figuratively standing on the edge of my own life assessment — feeling as though I could back away from the edge to the safety of the known, or take that leap of faith into the unknown. There is a lot to my story which I will share in subsequent posts, but for now I will tell you that I am very seriously contemplating the big D word.

I never would have pegged myself as someone who would seriously consider ending my marriage. My parents have been married for decades — not always happily — but together, nonetheless. I was very committed to the religious idea that a marriage is for life. And somewhere along the way I had picked up the idea that you stick in a marriage no matter how unfulfilling it is, because it’s your job to make the best of the situation.

There are many issues that I will completely skip over at the moment, but the crux of the matter is that my husband and I have been in a loveless marriage for years. I was okay with that. I thought that I could get along just fine, focusing on being fulfilled by bettering myself, taking care of the kids, developing friendships and trying to keep a positive attitude. Things could always be worse, right?

It’s within the context of the I’ll-settle-for-less attitude that I had put myself in real danger without even realizing it. When you stay in a loveless marriage, you leave yourself in the very real danger of meeting someone who will wake up those dormant feelings of love within you.

We all want to love and be loved in return. That is a completely normal human need. When you stay in a loveless relationship, that need is not being met. So what will you do if and when someone comes along who is able and willing to love you, the way you deserve to be loved? Now you have put yourself in a real conundrum and there is no easy solution. You realize that there is a better way to live and it’s difficult to stuff your heart back into the box where you had kept it locked away for so long.

So, here I stand on the precipice, absolutely terrified to take that leap. I know that it is the right thing to let go of my husband. It isn’t fair for either of us to be yoked to someone who does not even attempt to fill our need to feel loved. Then again, I have stuck with him for so long that it seems almost cruel to propose taking away the known and comfortable. Whether or not our daily reality is healthy, most of us take some comfort from the familiar routine.

I know what I want, but it is the scariest decision I’ve ever had to make. I know that people will be hurt — my husband and I, the children, relatives, friends. I also know that each of us deserves a partner who truly wants to be with us and share their love. How do you balance those two realities and which deserves more weight? This is a hotly contested subject and I am not asking for an answer. Just posing hypothetical questions to get us all thinking about the difficulty in making this type of decision.

This post is a bit of a ramble, but I wanted to get this blog started with the monumental problem that is weighing most heavily on me at this moment. There is a lot of unpacking that will occur throughout this process, but for now let’s start with the big picture overview.

Next time, I’d like to talk about my motivation for making this choice. Though there are many issues which have contributed to the breakdown of my marriage, they are not the real reason that it’s time to move on. We’ll look at that more in my next post.

Have a lovely day my dears,

L

Divorce is a step not to be taken lightly or without a lot of thought. It’s not a quick decision or an easy one. No one knows your experience like you do and no one has to live with that decision except you and your children, if you have kids. No one can tell you what’s right for you. That’s A LOT of pressure. From both personal and professional experience, I can tell you that this type of decision is excruciating. Anyone who tells you the choice is black and white is either lying to you or has never been in the position you are in now.

from The Empowered Woman’s Guide to Divorce by Jill Murray & Adam Dodge

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