Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Strong or Foolish?
My husband and I go to marriage counseling every Tuesday. We didn't go last week because our therapist was not in. Our left session ended on an interesting note. My husband said the only reason we are still together is because of my strength. He said he knew that there weren't a lot of women who would put up with his bullshit and still be able to keep our family together. The therapist nodded her head and I shook mine. I did not totally agree with what he said.
I don't see myself as strong because I stayed with a man who cheated on me and didn't always treat me the way he should have. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but strong is definitely not the word I would use. I felt very weak for a long time. I went back and forth wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Why couldn't I leave?
I am the example my daughters have of what a woman is suppose to be. What have I taught them? They witnessed a lot of arguments and felt the loss of their father not being around. I feel guilty because I should have gotten them out of that situation. Luckily, they are very strong young women. I really think their father's paternal senses kicked in just in the knick of time. I'm not sure what would have happened to them if they would have had to go any longer without him being the presence he should have been.
What did my sons learn from my experience? Will they think you can treat a woman any way you want and she'll still be with you? My husband seems to think our children had no idea what he was doing, or at least that's what he says. I'm not sure if that is his true feeling. I think it's a rationalization to make him feel better.
I know that I have strength. I've endured a lot in and out of my marriage. I do know that it took a lot to hold my family together and raise my children, basically, on my own. They are part of the reason I stayed. I wanted them to have a two parent home. The problem was, I was a married, single mother for a long time. Women raise children on their own all the time. The real single mothers are the strong ones. Sometimes I feel like a coward for staying in my relationship.
If it has not become obvious yet, I am very hard on myself. I'm the type of person who is always thinking and wondering. My mind is always going tick, tock, tick, tock, all damned day long. I get tired of it, but I can't help it. Before we started counseling, I spent every free moment thinking about my husband's infidelities. I was almost obsessed. It was pitiful. Looking back, I see what a mess I was. I feel strong now because I know I will never settle for anything less that what I know I deserve. If he cheats on me again, i'll be out so fast that he will be covered in my dust.
It's easy for him to say I was strong. Things worked out in his favor and I guess he's trying to compliment me and that's fine, but putting up with garbage doesn't make me strong. I was just a fool in love. All I could think about was my heart. I held on hoping the man I fell in love with would return. I didn't think about what was best for my children, or even myself. I have regrets, but I can't go back. The only thing I can do is make sure I don't revisit the mistakes of the past.
I am changing each and every day. I have put up with things in my marriage that I never would have put up with in any other circumstance. I don't let people take advantage of me and I always speak my mind. This was not true when it came to my marriage. It was like I turned into a marshmellow as soon as my husband was involved. Those days are certainly over. I let my needs and wants be known and definitely have left my doormat days behind. He has changed a lot as well.
No one knows what the future will bring. I can only say that I feel stronger than I have in a long time and my foolish days are over.