Across the world, women trapped in suffocating, painful and lonely marriages are forced to remain where they are because of public censure and ridicule. Their own families would encourage them to stay put as ‘that’s the way it is’. Mothers, most especially, are notorious about keeping face and letting the wind blow the problems over our heads.
Only those who have the courage to face society with grim determination would make the life-altering decision of breaking free from miserable marriages. Only those who can defy their families of long-suffering traditions would breathe freedom from the confines of unbearable matrimony. Often times, women would rather just grit their teeth and close their eyes with defeat. They stay in the marriage. They stay even if they get beaten. They stay even when they are left to struggle with the day-to-day needs of the family while their husbands choose the easy life of vices and indolence. They stay with blind acceptance and meek acknowldgement that it was their choice of a marriage, their choice of a man.
Having gone through the sufferings of public criticism and endless gossip after walking away from my own marriage, realization dawns in a bitter-sweet manner. Life lessons are indeed tough to learn. But with these lessons come the discovery of personal strength and spiritual awareness.
I think it is a human attribute to be drawn to people who are suffering. There is a need, not to comfort, but to know that some lives are more miserable than ours. There is a desire to feel that we are more in control of our lives than others have over their own.
People would always think that they know better than the person inside the situation. They would offer ideas, concepts, analyses of what went wrong; whose fault it was; why it happened and what should be done.
Most women make the mistake of listening far too much about what other people think than acknowledging what they really feel about their situation. They fear for their image, their reputation. And so they live in fear in the marriage and outside of it.
Getting out of a marriage is not a sign of weakness. Far from it. There is much to be said about what we can take and more about what we want to avoid.
What is pride when there is unimaginable suffering inside? We can face anyone with heads held high, but we can not look at the reflection of our own eyes in the mirror.
Indeed, broken vows are far better than broken bones. We are only given one shot at life and we are not supposed to live it out in misery. Everyone deserves to be happy, married or not. We should not measure our happiness against the standards of the people around us. They could be far more clueless than we are.
I have altered the course of my life and the lives of my children. I can only plan too much of what challenges would come and how I will manage them. After all, nobody really knows what would happen next. All we can do is hope that we can get through these obstacles. I chose to have my life in my hands and wonder what tomorrow will bring, than hand over my life to someone else’s hands and still wonder what tomorrow will bring.
I made my decision to close the door on my marriage. I had my reasons and, I think, after all these years, my children are discovering for themselves what those reasons were.
I do not espouse divorce or separation. But I believe that we all have the capacity to be strong and to have that unwavering determination to make our own decisions about our lives. That we should not live in fear about the opinions and beliefs of those around us. We are unique in our own ways and we cannot be moulded in a manner to suit others.
We are capable of being strong. Against others. Against our own weaknesses. We need not cower about who we are and about what we want in life. To her are the spoils of the war.