Did you ever hear someone talking about their 25th or 30th wedding anniversary yet everyone knows they are in an unhappy marriage, and that the spouse has always cheated? People always talk about beautiful long-time marriages, which is great, but I think society is forgetting to talk about the other side of some long-term relationships where the spouses stay but live miserable lives and are afraid to leave.
I dislike when people say, “back in the day marriages lasted forever. Perhaps because women were taught “you made your bed now you lay in it”. I knew a lady that was with her partner for many years. When she was about 75 years old, she said; “I want my own apartment as I’m tired of being a slave to this man”. So, she finally left him, and guess what, society criticized her by saying “well she stayed that long I guess it wasn’t too bad” or questioned “why leave now”. It’s just crazy what people do to keep up with “what will the people say”.
Not to mention the ones that are scared of being alone, have low self-esteem and feel financially unstable. And we know that society loves to pressure women into marrying someone that is a good provider. I’m actually so proud of her for releasing the chains that kept her in a relationship that was making her so miserable. I’m happy that even though it took her many years, she finally broke free of the chains.
I used to think that only women from older generations stayed, but I still see this today. Yes, some well-educated women tolerate cheating husbands, some are mentally abused, shamed, and treated like live-in babysitters while their husbands are out there living their dream or double life.
But on the other hand, there are some men that are unhappy as well and decide to stay because they don’t want a stepfather for their kids, or just don’t want to pay child support. Some dislike coming home, so they work long hours in order not to deal with their wives and some even take jobs away from home all week.
At the end of the day, there are some people who rather die alone than feel trapped but yet there are others who fear being alone and rather die trapped. Crazy but true!! I happen to disagree; I can make my bed as many times as I need to, but I will not lay or stay next to someone who doesn’t love or want to be with me just to please society, my family, friends, or my religious beliefs.
So, when an elderly person or someone that has been married for a long time decides to divorce, don’t shame them as you don’t know what they have been through.
Rosa J. Parra
Founder & Editor, Palo Magazine