Just like many other women in this world, I’ve gone through some pretty traumatic ordeals. I survived. Clearly, I survived. I sustained horrendous mental and emotional bruises and scars, some of which have healed, some of which are still open and very sore. Although I’ve gone through intensive counseling, a little more couldn’t hurt.
There was a time when I placed 100% of the blame for the hurt, pain, misery, heartache, headache and disappointment squarely on the shoulders of my ex. Everything that went wrong during our 20 years together was his fault, let me tell it. Was that true? Nah. Don’t get me wrong, I am not excusing him for any of the things he actually did do wrong – the deceit, the cheating, the outrageous verbal abuse, the beat-down quality mental/emotional abuse – they were all very real. He is to blame for those things. Many of the things he did and said were intentional and he has admitted as much. This, my friends. is where responsibility comes in.
While the short answer to the question of why I stayed is because I desperately wanted my marriage to work and was willing to stick it out, regardless of what came, the real answer is that I failed to take responsibility for my inner woman. All the while that I was taking emotional and mental punches for the sake of my marriage, the inner woman was being beat to a bloody pulp. She kept getting back up and placing herself right back in the line of fire. Don’t meet this with pity or the attitude that “it was her fault for staying” because trust me when I tell you, I gave as good as I took 99.9% of the time. As the old people of the south would say, “I was time enough for him”. I swapped words and actions on the daily. I always, ALWAYS had to have the last word. I didn’t care what lengths I had to go to in order to make that so, I made it happen. I was responsible for every single thing that I did. He had gone so far as to say I was to blame for one of his cheating incidents, and I was such an emotional wreck, I believed it. I’m writing a book and will describe the details of that ridiculous period as well as some of the others, but I will tell you that I swung back and swung back hard.
In the end, I stopped fighting with him. Over the years, I developed a numbness that allowed me to fend off the verbal attacks. I just didn’t feel anything regardless of what he said or did. I had come to expect whatever junk came my way. I was unable to feel even in areas outside of my marriage and thankfully, that part of my life began to mend itself last year. I am on the way to being whole again. It’s a process. It’s ongoing. I grateful to God for placing people in my path who are good for me. All things are falling into place.