“She’s in denial.” “She is just being stupid.” “If he’d done that to me, I wouldn’t stay.” “She needs to get out now.” “She’s a complete fool if she doesn’t leave him.”
But is she really?
Leaving someone, whether a spouse or significant other or simply a friend, is never an easy decision. To the outside world it may seem cut and dry. He cheated, leave him. She bankrupted you, dump her. That legal stigma will haunt you forever, just walk away. Just go. Don’t look back. Never look back.
Just because it looks horrific to the outside world, doesn’t mean someone can simply put a lid on their emotional ties to the relationship. Especially in a marriage, where both parties have taken vows. Just because one of them broke their vows does not mean the others are void or even have to be broken.
But by that point, do the vows really matter?
That is completely personal. To some, if half the vows are broken, the rest are null and void. Surely you can’t keep vows to someone who doesn’t respect you in the same way right? Not so much. People make mistakes. Some people make A LOT of mistakes. Some mistakes are horrible, while others are innocent. But all mistakes tend to be life changing. It’s up to us wether that change is for the better or worse.
“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” – William Bruce Cameron (source: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/26/everything-counts-einstein/)
For the cheated, the victim, the poor soul without the control…. What really counts? Is it the broken vows? The giant mistake? Or is it more?
Remember the late night talks. The tears that were cried over glasses of wine. The laughs at the waiter as he comes by for the fourth time that night to take your orders, and you haven’t even looked at the menus. The family vacations in your favorite spot. The yearly picture of your kid at the same door.
Remember the night he drove you to a lookout over the river, only to turn around and leave because of the drug deal going down in the parking lot, and ended up proposing in the bedroom of your first apartment. The time you pulled into the parking garage to find him leaned against the back of the car holding a giant bouquet for no reason.
Remember picking him up at the airport, him pretending he can’t hear you, then trying to catch you off guard as you run up behind him. Remember the walks down the river path with your children.
Remember the family picnics, the adventures, the dates, your love. Remember what it was like to be all consumed by it. Remember your wedding day and your vows to them.
Remember the fights, the screaming, the makeup sex. The times you didn’t fight at all. Remember what you fought about.
Remember the road trips. The good times. The bad ones. Don’t ever forget about the ugly ones.
You can bet she remembers. She remembers every kiss, every caress. She remembers every harsh word said, every insult thrown her way. She remembers every night their “smell” was slightly different. Every nagging thought that something was off. She remembers every single time they said I love you. Every moment spent just holding onto that peace, that hope. She remembers that love, that caring. She remembers every moment she fell in love all over again.
She’s not in denial. She knows all the risks. She knows the truth of staying and the benefit of going. She knows both roads will be hard. She knows which road suits her best. But she also knows that she loves him. And love doesn’t just die like that.
True love never dies. It’s seeing the worst parts of a person and choosing to love them anyway. It’s not about blindness, it’s not about denial. It’s about choosing your path, no matter the consequences or the label society gives you. It takes strength to leave, just as much as it takes to stay. To love is to be strong beyond all measure.
She is not in denial. She is in love. Her love is not blind, but it is all seeing and saying “I love you anyway”.