I have been following an interesting thread on Facebook about women who left their partners and got a divorce.
It’s not to glorify divorce but to remove the stigma attached to women who leave unhappy marriages.
I read a lot of the stories with amazement at what people put up with and were willing to go through to keep a relationship, before they finally come to the realization that they are better off without their partners.
I read stories of women giving up their dignity, suffering several humiliations by the men they thought would love them back because of all that they had given.
I read of women who saw the handwriting on the wall but told themselves lies that the men would change, that they were largely misunderstood, that their backgrounds were responsible for their behavior, that they didn’t understand what it meant to be committed to another person.
I read of women who broke off friendships, refused to listen to those who loved them enough to tell them the truth, who fought with those who dared to “expose” his character and who shamefully vouched for their unworthy partner.
There werw.women who stayed with their men out of the fear of being alone, out of their need for love and acceptance, based on the dreams they had built in the past about how their relationships would be and out of embarrassment for how others would see them.
The stories have a common thread in that almost all the women knew deep within themselves that what they were experiencing was not love, that they were at best an appendage in the lives of their partners, someone to fulfill certain functions with but they kept quieting that small voice within them, hoping and agreeing with their partners who told them that the problem was with them and that they only had to try more, be more submissive, more understanding, more patient because the success of the marriage depended mainly on them.
It brought to the fore my fascination with a song sampled by Jennifer Hudson in the film “Dream girls”.
The song titled “And I am telling you” has the following refrain
“And I am telling you
I’m not going
You’re the best man I’ll ever know
There’s no way I can ever go
No, no, there’s no way
No, no, no, no way I’m living without you
I’m not living without you
I don’t wanna be free
And you, and you
You’re gonna love me”
I like the song a lot because of the range of the singer’s voice but it’s lyrics have always caused me to reflect as to why someone would stay in a relationship that the other party has expressly stated they are no longer interested in. How possible it is for anyone to insist that someone must love them back in return.
Can anyone force love? can you make someone love you (apart from jazzing the person, if that is even possible?)
Can you dictate to another how they must feel about you?
Is love not a choice and/or decision and can it be forced on someone?
Is it really possible to make someone who does not want to commit to a relationship with you, stay?
Why do we find it so hard to accept that a relationship is over?
Why should anyone stoop and beg for love?
Is that kind of love really worth it?
I am no psychiatrist neither will I sit in judgment over anyone but it’s my opiniin that a lot of people in this situation have deep seated emotional issues to enable them accept degrading behavior from their partners.
It is said that self-love is the foundation for regulating our relationships with other people and that if we don’t love and respect ourselves, we invite others to do the same.
I totally agree with this submission because if I value myself I would not allow anyone to disrespect me just because I love them. I would not allow them to treat me as trash or behave as if they were doing me a favor by allowing me into a part of their lives.
I wouldn’t allow them to talk to me anyhow and I will not be delighted to scurry for crumbs of affection that happen to drop from their tables. I would not allow them to use me and dump me, only to come back again when they need me.
I have thought a lot about why we run after unrequited love and apart from emotional issues I think some of us ( and it’s both a male and female thing ) have the misconception that there’s only one person for us in this world and that if he or she doesn’t love us back we will never find love.
This is a lie I believed in at first until I was better enlightened. The truth is that some people may be better suited for us than others but NO ONE person has been marked out for us. Apart from the attendant emotions, Love is basically a decision and you can choose and will fall in love with people that tick off majority of your boxes and they may be more than one person in that category.
I agree that Love can be irrational at times but it is possible to love someone and leave them. It is possible to know someone will always have a part of your heart yet find the strength to walk away from them because you know that staying with them will make you lose the essence of who you are.
I have always believed in giving my best to my relationships. I may not be as pretty as the other girl, nor be as brilliant or sexy but I am proud of who I am and I will never be a rag anyone can trample on, take advantage of, use and dump. I am of the firm belief that no one leaving me should take so much of me that I have nothing left.
Please don’t get me wrong, bad marriages can be restored. I know of couples who have divorced and remarried and are happier than they were in their first attempt. I know firsthand that love snuffed out can be revived. But I also know that it takes two people to build and sustain a real relationship and that a relationship where one person carries the burden of sustaining the relationship is a relationship in name only.
So please don’t stay in that dead relationship. Nothing screams “abuse me” more than someone who has no self-respect. If it is over and cannot be resuscitated then let it go, be happy for having loved and been loved if only for a while and not as long as you thought you would be. Leave the relationship with your head held high, your dignity intact and your spirit unbroken.
“It hurts to let go, but sometimes it hurts more to hold on.” ~Unknown