This post inspired by reading this relationship advice article from the Atlantic, “Should I Leave My Wife for Another Woman?” Feel free to read the comments on Facebook, too.
Ah, what a lovely story. Girl meets Boy. Boy is sorta into Girl.
Girl thinks, Well, he’s probably good enough and I guess I’ll love him more at some point. Boy marries Girl. Two years later, just before Girl has Baby, Boy talks to New Girl and thinks, OMG, she GETS me! I need to be with HER! I mean, that makes sense, right? (I can only assume that New Girl is equally enamored of Boy who says a few nice words to her and immediately leaves his wife and baby).
Because that’s what our culture teaches. That THIS might be an actual, normal situation. To get by with our current partner, and if we feel so much as the spark of a spark of something, well, guess that means we don’t really love the first person and better move on to the second.
I mean, being friends isn’t an option, right? Because that’s basically cheating to have an emotional connection with a woman who isn’t your wife. In for a penny, in for a pound.
And this story just keeps on happening.
One day, your husband tells you that he’s no longer in love with you. He’s unhappy in the marriage. This new woman, well, she gets him. In a way that you never have. And he simply cannot keep living this way. He has to live his own truth, you understand.
Understand that my heart hurts for you. I’m sorry this happened to you. Truly. I cannot imagine how it must feel. But also– dear God, I am tired of reading about women who married a guy who “was good enough and I figured I’d fall in love with him later.” I’m tired of couples who spend years living without any passion for each other– and then wonder why their marriage falls apart.
I am so tired of this story.
Why, time and time again, do I see videos about a husband leaving his wife for a younger woman? And girlfriends that leave their boyfriends for richer boyfriends? Of course the husband and girlfriends in these scenarios end up regretting their decisions, because, as we all know, life is fair.
By the way, no, I won’t steal your husband. However, if you’re going to accuse me, please be treating him well. Because I am the sort who will pick up a lovely piece of art from the trash and take it home– and if I don’t have the space for it, I won’t judge anyone else who grabs it. Value your prized possessions, or someone else will.
I mean, maybe there are just way too many abusive and neglectful relationships out there, that people just need to abandon relationships all the time. Except I have found it’s actually incredibly difficult to leave an abusive partner. I don’t think this is what is happening in these cases.
No, I don’t think these folk that easily walk in and out of relationships are doing so because they’ve been abused. I think many just walk intorelationships far too easily and without thinking, because too many of us are scared to be alone. So of course it’s easy to just leave.
Perhaps that needs to change.
So, dear dude who talked to a woman one time and is now potentially going to throw his life away for her,
Awesome. You know a woman is capable of talking to you, without thoughts of lust and second marriages, right? Maybe take a chill pill and just be friends with her, no?
Yes, dude, tell your wife that you are unhappy. Tell her what you are feeling. If you talk to your wife and you two cannot stand each other, than divorce. You can co-parent your child, even if you aren’t in bed with your wife every night, right?
But, also, maybe things aren’t so bad with your wife. If you and she actually had a decent conversation and tried to see if you could be good for each other, maybe it would turn out you both wanted to stay together.
And you, dear wife who somehow failed to realize anything was wrong with your marriage until it imploded,
What, you didn’t realize when he broke up with you that it was his and your friends and family that pressured him to get back with you? You never had one talk about why you broke up and why you got back together?
Maybe you did. But for everyone like you, there is another woman who broke up and got back together and never once talked about it. Just felt a false sense of victory and took that as “good enough.”
Pay attention to your marriage. If it means the world to you, than treat it like a priority, not an afterthought. Your wife (or spouse, for that matter, perhaps you are the husband in the wife’s position) is unhappy with you? Is this point in time really the first time you noticed something was wrong? You didn’t notice how he was never around in the evenings or on the weekends? How you never talked about anything?
At this point, why do you even care if he stays? What is he bringing to your life? You say you are unhappy because you have to do everything around the house and do all the childcare….so maybe don’t have that third baby with a man who doesn’t want to be around his kids or do anything with them?
And now you’re worried that he’s talkig to another woman and might leave you. Maybe you should be worried and trying to fight for him.Or maybe he’s just so insane that literally ONE evening of engaging talk with another human female is enough to make him consider dropping his whole life for her. Are you sure you want to stay married to that level of crazy?
I don’t have any solutions, but I wouldn’t mind changing the direction of our narrative that you must date a guy, any guy, to be happy.
Either spend the time and effort to make the relationship work, which means BOTH of you have to take active interest. Or let it go. Why spend all that effort on someone who isn’t even worth much to you? Nobody needs to be in a romantic relationship, much less one that doesn’t make you warm and tingly.
So, good luck with him and coworker who will jump into a relationship with him after one night of laughs and drinks (no matter that he’ll be a frazzled new dad with alimony payments). Yeah, sure, that’ll happen.
You? Go and enjoy yourself. Or at least, that’s what I would do.