My mother called last night to tell me that one of my dearest cousins has finally filed for divorce.
I say finally, because this break up has been in the making for the past twenty five years.
What caused her to take the plunge?
Her youngest finally moved out of the house.
Are you kidding me?
It’s situations like these that make me question why people stay in loveless marriages.
In my cousin’s case, she stayed for the sake of the children.
You’d think she would have the sense to understand that most of the time, it’s better for kids to go through divorce, than to witness the lack of affection in their parents’ marriage.
For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.
But what do we do when being married is what’s making us poorer, sicker, and wishing we were dead?
Many men choose to stay married because “it’s cheaper to keep her.”
On the other hand, some women remain because the men they can’t stand, give them a lifestyle they can’t afford on their own.
And others stay because they’re too tired to start over.
When we add up the parts, I think it’s safe to conclude that everyone who stays has a motive or an excuse.
I want to leave him but …
I want to leave her but…
Yet the fact remains they stay.
They stay out of a sense of obligation, fear of the unknown, or simply because they don’t believe they have what it takes to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Ironically, what a lot of people don’t realize is that in remaining in a loveless marriage, their lives turn into the very hell they’re trying to avoid.
Exiting a relationship can be scary, especially when you’ve been with the person for a long time, but isn’t it better to face your fear than to stay with someone you’re indifferent to?
As spectators to such tragedies, we try to not be judgmental.
We try to believe the person when he or she says, “It’s just a phase. The love will return.”
You want to be supportive of those choosing stability over the unknown; of choosing to remain even if it’s making them hate themselves and the life they lead.
And for the most part, you sit back and say nothing. Do nothing.
I wish I could turn back the clock and tell my cousin, pack your things and leave.
Life is too short to spend with someone who doesn’t make you smile, laugh, and who gives you goosebumps every time you hear his voice.
You don’t have to stay with someone you don’t love for the sake of the children, or your financial situation, or to avoid disappointing your family.
Instead, you can choose to live life.
On your terms.
Alone or with someone who sets your world on fire.
Life is too short for you to wait for your children to get older, for you to save up money, or for a spouse to change and become who you want him or her to be.
Love doesn’t return.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Once the fat lady sings “love don’t live here anymore,” it’s time to call it quits and move on.
Move on to a life that makes you happy to be alive; to a life filled with hope and expectations.
Yes, that’s what I would tell her.
It’s what I would tell anyone who’s in a loveless marriage and doesn’t know what to do.
Would you remain in a loveless marriage?