Staying or going … or just rocking in place

Photo courtesy of Cindee Snider Re via https://flic.kr/p/Wpm7mD, some rights reserved.

Had the oddest epiphany this morning while listening to one of my favorite self-help YouTube channels:

Instead of the “should I stay or should I go” agonizing over my marriage, maybe I’m thinking about it the wrong way. Maybe I should be thinking instead:

  1. “What am I getting out of this marriage?”
  2. “Am I becoming a better person in this marriage?”
  3. “Is this relationship satisfying?”
  4. “Is it healthy?”
  5. “Is it joyful?”

My answers:

  • What I’m getting: An identity, security, the comfort of a shared history, the peace of knowing I didn’t choose to end this marriage and hurt my younger daughter’s heart. (Although that last one is a cheat — it’s really about what my daughter gets and only peripherally about me since I like NOT being a triple-divorcee.)
  • Becoming a better person: I feel like this marriage is tempering me, like glass in a high heat. I’m stronger. Not sure I need this much strength, though.
  • Satisfying: Not how I would characterize this marriage. It’s a mix of comfortably familiar and sad. I feel like I live with a beloved friend who broke my heart and who I do not — cannot — trust anymore. Even when he’s sweet to me, it hurts.
  • Marriage’s health: We aren’t healthy. He doesn’t listen to me. He has no desire to change, and he doesn’t believe I have changed. He just wants me to be happier, with him making no change whatsoever except for him (presumably) keeping his dick at home these days.
  • Joy: We have moments of laughter often. He’s pleasant to be around. But this doesn’t feel like joy.

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