There are so many reasons people decide not to leave a marriage or long-term relationship that doesn’t really work for them. Here I list some of my personal reasons that might resonate with you.
I chose to say “I Do” for the second time because I believed this was the last time, this man was marriage material, and that we would live a good life together.
Did I see some red flags? Sure I did, but they weren’t bad enough to say “I don’t”. I sure wish I had paid closer attention to that voice inside my head.
Here are three reasons I stayed when I should have left.
I was afraid of being alone.
I was worried this was the best I could get because my first husband left me. Surely, no one would want this co-dependent, second-hand woman. These are the terrible things I said to myself and believed.
I was 29 years old, no children (not wanting any), one cat, apartment manager, and a work-a-holic. What kind of woman am I to expect that the man of my dreams would present himself? Wait! The man of my dreams already left me for another woman. Obviously, there is now way I deserve another man who I would fully embrace and adore because I royally screwed up the first and the only chance of love I would ever come across in this lifetime.
Looking back now, I can’t believe how mean I was to myself but I truly believed all those nasty words. I believed that if I didn’t marry this man that was “good enough”, I would be alone until my death. That was a thought that terrified me and I believed it wholeheartedly.
So, I married this man to avoid being alone and having a life partner that would be suitable for a woman “like me.”
A woman that let the love of her life slip through her fingers, allowing another woman to capture his attention and heart.
A woman who felt inadequate in every way.
A woman who was questioning her, once solid, faith in Christianity.
A woman who was terrified to fully embrace love again.
A woman who sold everything and started over.
A woman who was too afraid to tell anyone who she really was. To be fair, she didn’t know who she truly was but it felt like she was disgusting and not worthy of love.
This was my mindset at the time and it was not at all a mindset for someone who should get married again. What I really needed was a full recovery and some trauma therapy.
I didn’t have a “good enough” reason to leave.
Unfortunately, the therapy came after I left this man. But, this marriage could not be saved in any capacity anyway. There I was, single again and feeling more worthless than the first divorce. My fear of being alone was once again a threat.
I felt that if this man wasn’t physically harming me or cheating on me, I had no right to divorce him. I mean, our marriage wasn’t that bad according to his mother. Yet, I was slowly dying inside from all the words used to put me down and make me less of a person.
We would be having a normal conversation and out of the blue he would say things like “Why would you say something so f-ing stupid!” or “I can’t believe how stupid you are!” After eight years of hearing that I was stupid, I started to believe it.
Thankfully, I started to believe I wasn’t stupid because I excelled at my job, I had friends who said I was amazing, and my family adored me. If I was truly stupid and worthless, I wouldn’t have all of those great things in my life. They wouldn’t constantly tell me that I am amazing and that they loved me if I wasn’t worthy of that.
I decided not to believe him any longer and then I was pissed! I’m talking, don’t-f-ing-say-that-to me-one-more-time, pissed! Everything changed in that moment and I decided that I DO deserve better, even if better is being alone. So, I left and never looked back.
I was afraid of what others would think.
My first divorce wasn’t my decision but not everyone knew that. I was worried about the stigma of being divorced twice. At the time, one divorce was standard but two divorces were not and I was so ashamed. I was 38 years old and had two divorces under my belt! Ugh!
I was worried about what my parents might think, what the people I may date in the future would think, what their family would think of me, what my friends would think, what anyone would think! It was weighing really heavily on my mind. It took eight years of constant verbal abuse until I didn’t care what ANYONE thought! I was so miserable and would have rather died than spend one more day with this man.
The decision wasn’t a hard one anymore and I felt like I was running for my life and in need of mental safety and much-needed therapy!
Please don’t do what I did and marry someone out of fear. After all, it affects not only you but everyone else in your family and their family. The people in your life know that you are worthy of love and that you are more than deserving of anything you truly desire. Being single is beautiful and prepares you for a love that will last as long as you want it to.
Just because a relationship comes to an end doesn’t mean it was a failure. It means you both have grown apart and/or decided to move on. We grow from so-called failed relationships and can be and do whatever we please with this life. Learn to embrace help and have a forever growth mindset that will help you enjoy and embrace every facet of your life.
You got this! I believe in you, just like I believe in myself!
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