“Love isn’t always the reason to stay. Sometimes love is the reason to leave.” – William Chapman
© 2013 William J Chapman.
Questions come and go but as is probably no surprise, a consistent question is “why don’t you leave”? I could write post after post about the why neither of us has made that choice just yet. It’s either interpreted as rationalizing, or not being the better person for leaving. Perhaps. The truth is, in our situation just walking away isn’t as easy as that. I’ve been accused of having no remorse or no regret. That’s simply not true.
Just because I don’t write about the crisis of conscience that flares up or the remorse for the hurt I’ve caused my dh in the exact same manner he sliced through my heart all of those years ago. Or the guilt that we’ve burdened ourselves with due to some incredibly honest and raw counseling sessions in which he has admitted that he still believes his own affairs all of those years ago are forgivable and that he doesn’t have remorse in that way he thinks I need. Or my own admission that while I’m ashamed and so sorry for the betrayal he didn’t deserve, I don’t know if I can or want to settle for the way we used to be. That I wonder if a life without dh would be as lonely as the life I have with dh sleeping a mere 8″ away from me.
Believe it or not, we love each other. We do. Have we ever been in love with one another at the same time? Probably not. DH recently admitted that he’s not sure that he’s ever been in love with me that way a person should be in love with a person. And I admitted that that after so many years of knowing that, feeling that, of being invisible and only seen as the co-parent, the reliable roommate that would always be the one who loved him in every which way, more, I made a choice. A deliberate choice, thinking it wouldn’t matter to him. And now, I have to reconcile my choices with what lays ahead for us. And DH has to do the same.
We didn’t make it to 25-years (next week) without love, determination and a shared sense of partnership in 80% of our shared life together. We are a united front when it comes to our children. For our oldest who will head off to college next fall, and our son with special needs, together we are unequivocally Mr. and Mrs. Brown. When it comes to our mutually demanding and stressful careers, we share the burden of balancing. There is no question that our children are tantamount regardless of where this journey takes us. The question becomes one of whether or not we see our love being able to withstand the burden of our baggage and choices, and grow into one that we both want and deserve? Or, is it the love that makes the right decision one in which to leave?