“But if you make a vow, and making it systematically destroys you, it’s ok to break it. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed”
I found this lovely statement in a piece on Elephant Journal called “5 Things I Learned From My Good Marriage (and 2 I Learned From my Bad One)” by Erica Leibrandt…and it was exactly what I needed to hear.
One of the hardest things lately, now that I’ve sort of come to terms with the fact that the man I fell in love with is essentially gone, is accepting that because I chose to end my marriage I have not failed; I am not a bad person. And it doesn’t matter how many times I say that to myself, or how much I think I have accepted it, when it comes down to it I am worried that other people will think those things about me…so I realize that I really haven’t accepted anything.
I have been married for exactly 13 months today, and separated for 2…and it seems like a lifetime ago that both of those things happened.
I’ve heard women in support groups say things like “15 years of my life wasted!” Or “I can’t believe after 20 years it’s all gone!” And while I understand that that must be incredibly hard for them to experience, I am not down playing that, it’s also REALLY hard to chose to walk away after only 1 year. I’ve heard it, I’ve seen it in people’s eyes, the “you know marriage takes work right?” and the “what? Did you have your first big fight?” thoughts… how am I supposed to answer that? “Yes, I know it takes work, but…”? Tell them the truth about my reasons for doing this? It is very important to me that I not become that woman who spends her time after a break up doing everything she can to smear her ex’s character, I’m not that kind of person. Yet, the truth doesn’t look so good for him.
So instead I just assure people that I really do have good reasons, that I’m really not that immature, and remind myself that it doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, just that I’m a person who doesn’t want to be destroyed…