I was talking to a good friend the other day. I was telling her how my first marriage ended. I told her that even though I was “physically” out of the relationship, a feat I accomplished by moving out of the household, I was still in the relationship because he and I would argue over the phone for hours at a time. He wanted me to come back and although I still loved him I knew I could never go back.
I wanted my marriage to last. I didn’t want to become a statistic. We were young when we married and we were immature. At the same time I felt trapped in the situation because my husband had been unfaithful. He was usually unemployed. He was verbally abusive. We had a toddler.
Deep inside I knew he was not an evil person, but rather someone who had been dealt a bad hand in life. I could understand why he did the things he did and I loved him in spite of his actions because I could empathize with him. He was my high school sweetheart. We were growing up together, learning together. I was torn up inside. I wanted him to change. I wanted him to be the man I imagined him to be. I could see his potential. I couldn’t live with him anymore.
So even though we were physically separated, we were bound together in an obsessive, emotional drama. This continued for several months. Me talking to him on the phone and seeing him occasionally in an attempt to help him “see the light” and change, and he doing what he could to persuade me he had changed while all the while not changing.
So I was relating to my friend what happened one day. He and I were on the phone arguing as usual and the voice of reason in my head said, “You don’t have to do this anymore, you can just hang up the phone and stop it now. Remember a person can’t fight alone.” It took a minute or two for this insight to sink and, but my silence was not uncommon and he droned on, never noticing I was no longer listening to him. When this clarity came I calmly said to him, “I am not going to do this with you anymore. I am going to hang-up the phone now and if you call me back I will do the same thing. I won’t talk to you anymore.” And I hung up. He did call back and I did not speak to him. That was the last time I engaged with him in anger and very soon he moved on.
My friend said, “Well that must have been easy for you because you didn’t love him anymore.” I said, “No I still loved him.” And she said, “Well then why did you leave him?”
I answered, “Because I loved myself more.”
Do you love yourself enough to listen to your inner voice when it tells you something is wrong?
Do you love yourself enough to get out of an unsatisfying relationship?