I recently was asked this question, “Given all the pain that you still experience, why do you stay?”
There are several things that go through my head when I answer this question to myself, and I do sometimes ask it of myself.
1. I stay because my husband is NOW a person with the qualities that I would want in a partner, lover and friend.
2. I stay because he is there to help me through this pain, and is more patient, kind, loving and supportive than I can imagine anyone else being as I deal with this trauma and depression.
3. I stay because I know I cannot love deeply again, until I learn to love myself. He is giving me the space, time and support in my efforts to learn how to do this. I am glad that he is by my side and will be there by my side when I learn to love again.
4. I stay because I have seen from friends, in person and on sites for the betrayed, that divorce does not actually take away the pain because the pain is with you. And, you cannot run away from yourself. But, let’s be clear divorce is the best option if the unfaithful spouse is not doing everything possible to make you safe. And, it is healthy option if you determine that you just cannot heal with the unfaithful spouse still in your day-to-day life (see below).
That is what comes to mind for me, when I ask myself that question. There may be other answers, more to it than that, but in this moment, this is what comes to mind for me.
And, here is what I know in terms of leaving the marriage:
1. I will not leave the marriage solely for the sake of punishing or instilling more consequences when he is doing ALL he can to make me safe and be a loving partner. If I leave, it will be to help me and our children, not to hurt him.
2. I will not leave the marriage in hopes of greener pastures with someone new. I have no desire to replace one partner with another. If I leave, I will leave as an independent woman who is focusing on healing and providing a safe and loving home for our children.
3. I will leave the marriage if he is unable to maintain providing safety to me and our children and healing in/of himself. Mindless controls this point.
4. I will leave the marriage if I am unable to heal with staying in the marriage. I control this point.
What I do know is that I want to heal within the marriage if it is possible to do so. I do know that I love the person my husband has become. And, I will think about point 4 in a mindful manner. I will consider all I can do to achieve healing within the marriage. And, that is as far as I can answer right now. This, to me, is what it means to let go of the outcome.