This is the question I have pondered over and over again the past few days. And I have decided to answer it in writing.
I am a person who spends WAAAAAAYYYYYYY too much time in her own head. I obsess over things, needlessly, so that I can have all the bases covered, every angle dissected and a plan formulated. I picked up this horrible habit a few years back, when a series of misfortunate events caused me to be unemployed, stressed out to the max and scared. Ever since then, I feel like I have to be prepared for everything that life decides to chuck at my head.
And then the bottom fell out 6 weeks ago, in a way I didn’t see coming. I was obsessing over moving and finding a house and a job, and now I could laugh at that. None of it mattered anyway.
When this happened with my husband, I discussed the living hell out of it because that is the “healthy” way to cope. I wanted to rush through all the stages of grief and get to the acceptance part, because I wanted to get out of this mental hell. I obsessed. I needed an answer and couldn’t come to one logically.
I could choose to leave him, therefore losing the relationship but also the further risk of this ever happening to me again at his hands. I could date, but never open up my heart to be whole again. I could be happy and find fulfillment in every other aspect of my life, of which I don’t have now…and forego the love and be protected.
I could choose to leave him and try to have relationships again. But did you know that you have more of a risk of being cheated on by someone new than someone who did cheat on you once? My odds are better staying with him in this scenario. Besides, I know he is “the one”, and no one could ever be more right for me, so I would be settling, should I choose to seek love elsewhere.
Or I could stay with him. I see this has shredded him up and spit him out. This is a man who I have seen cry so few times I could count on one hand in 14 years, and he has been leveled to the ground. He has broken down and sobbed several times a week. I have dissected the hell out of what happened, in order to make sure we know the reasons and causes, to make changes so it doesn’t happen again. The army trains soldiers to push emotion out of their head and deal with it later. Later hits sooner than expected sometimes, when compounded by the rest of life. Men are told to just get over things and not feel anything. To “just be strong”, yet this false sense of bravado is actually displaying weakness. It’s a failure to recognize that you can’t do it alone. Does he have PTSD? I don’t know. But has he mentally been affected by a near-death experience(s) while being deployed? Yes. And a failure to reconnect with his wife, due to the fact we have had one thing after another since before he even got back from Iraq. My husband is a far more sensitive person than I am. He is a good person. He is an excellent soldier. But he has broken. I don’t agree to submit myself to anymore pain from him. If he hurts me again, I am done. That much I know. But I also promised to love him through “better or worse”. This is his worst.
I am 32 years old. In those 32 years, I have been subjected to losing friends and family through deaths, rape, molestation, teen pregnancy, being broke, two deployments and raising two children largely alone, and now infidelity and betrayal. It’s the same stories that many people go through, and my life could still be worse. I still have it better than so many others. I may not even be halfway to my death yet, and experienced all those things. So, because I love my husband, I will give him a chance to be my bright spot in life, and not another pain to suffer through. I think we have more than most people do, and I think we can get through this mess and be stronger because of it.
In the meantime, I feel inspired to “stop and smell the roses”. To stop feeling comfortable in my relationship and my life, and get off my ass and do the rest of the things I wanted to accomplish. I sacrificed all my other dreams in order to be with my husband. And he became the only fulfillment I have in life. This has shook me to the core, and I realize how I need to take advantage of my time and start living in the moment, rather than always making a plan of how it will be better down the road.
Being able to laugh is a gift. It beats depression and stress and anxiety. It relieves your soul. I’ll never lose that, and so I know I will be okay. And because I am strong.
Something like this should kill you…it really should. But it doesn’t.