It’s never easy to understand why a woman chooses to remain in an abusive relationship. Why a woman chooses to keep enduring, hoping that he will change and even if he doesn’t, choosing to keep managing the situation.
It’s never an easy decision to make. Choosing to walk away from a relationship especially one that has lasted long enough to produce children. It’s never easy to say I’m done. I can’t take this anymore, when you have invested a decade or more of your life, living with another human being.
As I have often argued, choosing to stay or to leave are legitimate personal decisions. Because we are not God, we cannot tell whether a relationship that seems to have wilted and dried can turn around and begin to blossom like fresh roses.
For those who choose to stay, there are legitimate concerns. For starters, breaking up is the easy part. Yes, you know he was wrong for you. If you remain with him, you’d probably be dead. Why, living with him has been not living. All your friends support you move and have been there for you. Now that you are out, what next?
No one ever warned you how lonely the nights would get. How a pillow and duvet are no replacement for a warm body. Except of course you are ready to either jump into the next relationship that comes your way or you are willing to explore multiple one night stands.
No one ever warned you how bad you would feel when at the end of every event you attend, when everyone begins to go home with their partners you would have to make your way home alone because it’s still a little awkward for you to be seen with another guy so soon.
No one ever told you how heartbroken you would be when you scroll through your phone looking for that one person to talk to but you have to consider if it will be too late to call because they just may be with their own partner.
No one ever told you how hard it will be, when your income has dwindled so and you still get to take care of your kids and you. And before you make each purchase you have to look at the bigger budgetary picture.
No one ever told you how heartrending it would be when you hear a song you both used to love and all you feel like doing is running back into his arms but you end up crying into your pillow instead.
No one ever told you that there is a possibility that you will never have a happily ever after. That you may end up alone, never ever getting someone else to call your own. Because single ladies are still having a hard time and here you are burdened with four children.
No one ever told you how much you will miss getting sex on demand. That you just may end up with just your fingers, hairbrush, dildo or some other sex toy.
No one ever prepared you for the difficulties of single parenthood. That there would be times when you would wish you never had to be the only one in charge of the kids and their unending drama.
No one ever told you how out of place you would feel being single again having to answer all the awkward questions, not knowing what you will say that will be turned to gossip.
No one ever told you how awkward it would be becoming so self conscious in the midst of your married friends who suddenly seem to be keeping their husband’s away from you because you look like a cougar on a prowl.
No one ever told you of the awkwardness of being forced to date younger guys and all the drama that comes with it because the alternative just might be dating a widower or a fellow divorcee.
No one ever told you, because they loved you so much so that all they wanted was to secure your life and then wish everything positive upon your life.
And you can survive. You can move on. Break the clutches of loneliness and depression, one day at a time. Accepting that it is okay to cry when you are overwhelmed.
Accepting that it is okay to ask for help. Accepting that it is okay to make another mistake in love, knowing that it will hurt each time but loving all the same.
Accepting that you can never go it alone, you need to make friends even if they are going to end up leaving.
Breaking up may be the easy part, but it is the toughest of the easiest parts. The rest depends on your positive attitude. Choosing to count your blessings each day. Reminding yourself that being alive is better than sex on demand that feeling alive is better than not finding another man.
And I know I have said this before but I’m going to say it again. It’s okay to cry. And who says you can’t have a happily ever after alone…did you ever read that the Fairy God Mother had a Fairy God Father? But just watch her dishing out happily ever afters with joy. Inspired yet?
N.B: This piece is primarily written with those who left an abusive marriage in mind.