As it started expanding he started spending less time at home. I knew there were women out in the world that felt like me. But there was nothing in my life that could justify the lack of love and joy I was missing in my marriage. I loved my girls with every part of my being, but I truly needed the comfort of his presence to help make my family feel whole.
After some time I started realizing the very thing I told myself in the beginning that I would not allow to happen, had begun to take place. I’d always been the faithful wife available to him and the girls at any time. So you can only imagine the pain I felt when I had come to find out that he had been involved in countless affairs. After I learned of him having an ongoing affair with his secretary for the last ten years, I knew I had to make a change.
She was fifteen years younger than him. And he wore what they had as if it was a badge of honor. I had starting picking up on the times when they’d been together. He would come home and be extremely nice to me. There were even times when I would accept the fact that he had been with her. Mostly because of the way he would later treat me when he came around. It would be just as the way it was when we first married.
It’s a complicated thing for a faithful wife to stick to her vowels when her dignity is being challenged by another woman’s lack of restraint. It is particularly even more painful when it is a younger one who truly doesn’t understand the weight of her own actions. For women approaching my age, the playing field dictates our level of focus when it comes to considering our options.
We have the experience, but no longer the strength. We have the spiritual fortitude and wisdom to endure what is required of self-preservation. Our hearts may mend, yet it can only bare no more than what the soul can withstand.
We are from a generation that once downplayed the assertiveness that I see in younger women today. They don’t understand. There is a process to becoming a woman of substance, and truth. The dignity that I possess was not passed unto me, or born out of pride … it is earned.”
“But why didn’t you just leave him? Why didn’t you just walk away and start a new life, maybe with someone else?” I asked.
With a look of sincerity lingering in her eyes, she reached for her cigarette case and pulled one from its contents. As she raised it to her lips, Dominic quietly reached over and grabbed her lighter and proceeded to ignite a flame.
“You see … I told you that you weren’t like the other ones, you’re considerate.” She whispered as she took a pull then exhaled.
“Now. Let me ask you a question before I answer hers,” she asked of him, as she glanced over at me, before returning her eyes back onto him.
“Sure. Go right ahead,” he quietly replied.
“Lets say we approach this from a man’s point of view,” she teased.
“Okay. Go right ahead,” he repeated.
“Lets say one day you went to the doctor. And he told you that you have a heart that is broken … for the most part, in bad shape. And you would soon need another one, or you will quickly die. But then he says to you, ‘take these pills … they will help make you feel normal until another heart comes along that you can use.’
Now like I said, it was right toward the end of the sixth year of our marriage that things started changing for the worst. The next few years I started feeling like I was slowly dying inside. But it was only my heart going bad. Each time when he would come home after being with her he would treat me with love and affection.
It had gotten to a point when I started looking forward to him seeing her, only to await his return. That had become my medicine. His form of happiness became my drug. Now tell me, would you throw that away … especially if you’re a fifty-three year-old woman with no guarantees of an adequate replacement.
And who is to say if what you’re expecting to get, will actually work out. You see handsome, it is easy for a man to rationalize and provide an excuse for what he is not getting at home. And what he should be entitled to get somewhere else. But it is we women who make of the home environment. We are the anchors of the family. What we say and do is a reflection of what our families project to the world. And the world expects that of us.
But then, when you see someone on the news speaking about something that has gone wrong as a result of a broken family, it is usually those abandoned mothers in stressed out situations who feel criticized the most. It’s funny, you men consider yourselves to have control over things. But you can only control what you understand. And even that which you don’t understand, you sometimes try to reside over with impending judgment.
But as for the small number of you who do possess that level of consideration that result in loving and lasting ways of compromising, you are the ones who become contributors of what long, committed, and faithful marriages are made of. I’m talking about a man who searches inside of himself to find his purpose in the lives of his wife and family.
My husband tried, but unfortunately he died the same person he was when we first met. In the beginning it was love that changed him for the sake of becoming involved with me. And then when Danielle was born it shifted to her. First he showed kindness. And out of that came tenderness, followed by consideration. But then toward the end, the focus shifted back to him. His heart once again returned to the love he had for himself.
We are who we are. And the emotions we endure in a marriage, for the most part, become of what shapes us. Resulting from what we possess in our hearts, some of us go through life hurting more than others. While on the other hand, there are those who can cause pain without any remorse. You’re either one or the other.
And yet people say when it comes to marriage, it is a question of give and take. In my own opinion that is nothing more than a cliché. I personally think it would be less complicated if everyone stayed true to his or her own given vowels and gave emotionally based on those principles. A truly loving heart should be accommodating, and in no way obligated.’”