There were many walks with a really good friend making a decision on whether or not she wanted to (or maybe could is a better word) stay in her marriage. I vividly remember those power walks. More from the adrenaline of the emotions than wanting to exercise, we would set out around our neighborhood. She would vent and in between me gasping for breath (she was in WAY better shape than me) I would offer words of wisdom. HAHAHA, ya, words of wisdom (cause you know I had sooooo much experience in this area). She would ask my opinion and my advice was always the same… Do what is right for you. Do what you feel is the best thing for you.
She was really struggling to figure out what was best for her. Ok, maybe the struggle was more about how she was going to go about living that decision than the decision itself. I think that she knew the answer, the scary part was the doing. I can say this because each and every time we ventured out on one of these walks my thought was always the same…. Deb, you are such a HYPOCRITE!
Here I was walking along telling her to do what was right for her and I was living with the same demons she was. Do I stay in this marriage that no longer serves me? Do I continue to tell myself that if I just work a little harder at it, it’ll work out? Do I continue to stay because my kids need 2 parents under the same roof even though it was not a happy place to be? Do I continue to make up excuses to sleep on the couch because I didn’t want to be in the same bed? (I could probably right a book on great excuses to not sleep in the same bed as your significant other. Watch for that coming out in paperback soon).
In my defence (yes, we always have a really REALLY good excuse) I hadn’t worked in over 14 years. I was a Mom & housewife. How would I support myself and my kids? Could I really do this to my kids? I mean, wasn’t a 2 parent home, no matter how much tension there was, better than 2 houses? Don’t get me wrong, there were still a lot of good times, but the tension I was feeling was starting to outweigh those. I didn’t realise yet, just how much that tension was effecting my kids. I would find that out down the road. Was I the only one in this relationship that could see things were not good? Couldn’t my husband also see this? Maybe he did but in all honesty, I was past caring what he thought. Harsh I know. And besides, blaming him for all of this wasn’t going to solve a damn thing.
So as the walks went on, I did something crazy. I started listening to the words coming out of my mouth. I mean, if I was saying them, they had to hold some validity. Right??? Do what is best for me? Kind of a crazy idea. Do what I think is best. Hmmmmm, so what did I think was best? I tossed that thought around many nights as I feel asleep on the couch (at this point, the excuses were the easy part. I didn’t even have to think of them anymore). So as I lay there trying to fall asleep, the answers would come to me. Slowly. Maybe I could do this. Maybe I did have the strength to do what was right for me. Maybe my kids would not suffer as much as I though. Maybe, just maybe I knew the right answer.
Now, did I have it in me to actually go through with this? Well, that answer was about to be proven. And as the glass shattered from the TV stand and the words I Am Done were rolling off my tongue I guess I was about to find out.
As for my friend…. Well she got her strength sooner than me. Her announcement at the Shitty Wives Club meeting showed me that. So Karen, thank you for being the Shittiest Wife that night. You gave me strength to do what was right for me.