Monday, May 17, 2010

Arguing the counterpoint


May 17, 2010

She received an email this morning from her mother, who was finally beginning to grasp that the problems in daughter's marriage did not amount to a simple lover's quarrel to get past and return to submission. It would bother her for the rest of the day and although she was accustomed to her mother perpetually disagreeing with her choices and arguing for the sake of engaged relevance, it left her weakened.

They'd spent just a few hours together over the weekend and seemed to have undone all the good, the growth, the resolution in such a short time. The reasons to stay that she'd heard in her mother's opinion, did leave her worried. Was this something she shouldn't walk away from because obligation overrides joy?

"This is not just a relationship, it is a marriage, vows were taken and witnessed." she had been reminded

Was it more important than happiness? What would make her happy? She had to remind herself repeatedly that the marriage her parents shared was not one she would choose for her own life. The fighting, the disrespect, the public bickering, and most of all the anger was just not something she was willing to live with for the rest of her life. She also did not want to become the unkind mother, her own mother had been. They were her parents but not role models and this - she needed to repeat to herself.

But as her mother had suggested fearfully that this choice would lead to inevitable loneliness, she was again afraid. Did she really think there was a chance another man wouldn't be equally as selfish, hurtful, and unavailable? Was she delusional to think that there was a chance for "happy" and what, with all the unhappy she had balanced in her life, could happy possibly look like? Who would want to care for her, who would be there for her? Her mother doubted there would ever be anyone remotely better. Was together sad better than strong alone?

"Perhaps you think marriage is not for you? I would think you would have a very lonely life without a committed partner/husband." her mother had written that morning.

Learning that her mother was going from "very sad to mad to bewildered." and was praying for her, reminded her that as always - she was allowing this to become about about someone else. Most events and decisions in her life had been about someone else and this was the first time she'd embarked on learning how to make something entirely about her. What were the "things" worth working out? After living unhappily for so long, she was finally feeling strong again. She believed that leaving now, although the hardest thing she could do was right, and honest, and that she was strong enough to get through it.

Her mother had again crushed her confidence and resolve in decisions by simply arguing the counterpoint.

"Anyone can get a divorce, it takes strength and stamina to be married and stay married."

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