For many years now, I have asked myself why I remain in this marriage with everything it has thrown in my path to make me question its validity, its purpose, or its benefit. On the worst of days I ask myself, “Is this it? How much longer are you going to tolerate this?”
Be prepared for a very unromantic, unheroic answer: I stay because I don’t know what the *right* thing to do is. I stay because I have not been *told* beyond a shadow of a doubt by God Himself that I should go. I doubt my ability to make the right choice from the seat I am in. When you are hurt, injured, angry or resentful, that is not the ground from which to move forward. Negative feelings and emotions cast a shadow on common sense that alter otherwise good choices. I believe on the worst day, I stay because I do not have that lightning bolt from heaven that is burning a message in the grass “leave this mess now” so, I stay. If the solemn decision to turn your back on a broken covenant is to be made, I want it to be made from the position of calm and rationality, not anger and pain. No good, solid decision is made that way for me. I have made so many bad decisions just that way in my past that I cannot bear making another bad decision like that now. One has to ask – “Could your next bad decision be that you stayed?” Possibly. But I believe that with plenty of prayer, the answer will present itself eventually, and when it does I will accept it and move forward without all the negative emotions that so often accompany these things.
On the very worst of days, I suppose I stay because I took my vows seriously, and I did that in front of God. I think honestly that I stay out of not wanting to displease God more than displease my spouse or kids, really. Without a definite answer from Him, I don’t feel I have what I need spiritually to leave. Furthermore, being already divorced once, it is terrifying to think I could make that kind of rash decision a second time. Looking back, I wish I had not thrown my first marriage away so quickly. Leaving is easy. Staying is hard. Knowing when to do either is nearly impossible for me at this point in time. We don’t divorce our children when they are combative, difficult, hateful, disrespectful, etc. Why then is it so much easier to consider divorcing our spouses? How is it that spouses are so disposable but children are not? Because we expect more from them? When the resentment sets in, it’s hard to see things clearly.
Marriage is designed to be a partnership that makes two people one person. One entity. When one person is keeping the entity afloat all alone, it is no longer a partnership. The disregard that a husband and wife have developed over the years is like a disease, and it will consume all involved if it is not dealt with and healed. I think about leaving every day, multiple times a day, but I cannot bring myself to leave. When it’s time to throw in the towel, I feel I will just *know* it and be confident that my heavenly Father is behind me.