Archive for ‘Cheating’

May 29, 2011

Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem

by bye2mrwrong

Another blogger just wrote a post wondering why women stay with cheaters. I understand the question and in the past I would have asked the same. But by now I also understand the answer. I am not one of those women. I left. But the choice was not as simple as ABC. It wasn’t easy to leave, and it sure as hell wasn’t my first choice, or my second for that matter.

 There are a few simple and quite obvious answers to the question of staying such as the number of years you’ve been together with someone, the history you shared, the life you built. After 10, 20 or 30 years it’s not easy to just up and leave because of one “little” mistake. There’s also the other blatant reason for staying: the kids. When you’ve got one, two or even more kids together, wrong or right, sometimes people chose to stay for the kids’ sake.

But what if you haven’t been with someone for that long and you don’t have kids together? Why stay then with a cheater who causes only pain? The answer then is harder to explain because it’s one that no one really notices. It’s hidden beneath the surface, only obvious to the experienced eye: Self-esteem! Low self-esteem and even worse relationship contingent self-esteem ensures that we stay because we undervalue ourselves; we think we can’t get anything better, or maybe we don’t deserve anything better. We evaluate our self-worth solely based on the outcomes of our romantic interactions.

 I can’t pin down why some people have a low self-esteem or for how long. But I do know that emotionally abusive relationships only worsen the problem. Those relationships slowly, secretly but surely stomp on our (maybe already low) self-esteem; causing us to devalue our worth, and diminished our confidence.

Even when you’re in a disastrous relationship, the one that everyone can see is spiraling out of control like a train wreck waiting to happen, it’s harder to get out than what others may think. After committing to and investing time and energy into something, anything; your gut reaction is not to throw it away. Ending a relationship is kind of like admitting failure. It’s another thing you attempted to do that didn’t work out. That’s another blow to the self-esteem. And so in an attempt to protect your dignity, (and investment) you grip on to it as tight as you can and you “throw away good money after bad money“.

February 27, 2011

Wishful Thinking

by bye2mrwrong

It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all

The human brain is a wonderful organ. It’s verbal, logical analytical, intuitive, creative and emotional. But sometimes an overactive mind can start playing tricks on us. We find ourselves caught in the shoulda, woulda, coulda thoughts about a past we no longer have control of, reliving moments and events we should have long ago left behind. At other times we find ourselves caught in the realm of “what if”, daydreaming, imagining and fantasizing of an alternative future we could have only hoped for.

I’ve been pondering over the “what if” question for some time now. My husband’s affair as well as our separation has taught me so much and I have grown from it. But it makes me wonder: if I’ve grown, learned and matured from this experience then he must have too, right?! So what if now a wiser man and wiser women would meet again? Could they be happy together? Would they now withstand the tests laid down before them? What if we stayed? What if we tried?

There is something strangely passive and even abusive about the “what if” question. All of these ‘what ifs’ usually amount to nothing. Yet the thoughts come uninvited and always seem to hold such force on us; haunting us, spinning in our minds, weighing on our hearts.

One of the saddest things in a break-up is the imaginary future that you’ll never have with the person who you have now left behind. This inability to accept incompatibility or just the fact that we had grown apart as individuals is emotionally draining. But I know now that it is not him that I miss or love but the concept, the picture I had in my mind. So I realize that while some people think that it’s holding on that makes one strong; sometimes being strong means letting go.

February 17, 2011

Cheating the System

by bye2mrwrong

Today I got a second nationality. I stood in front of an audience including the mayor of this city and pledged my allegiance to this country. It was such a strange feeling. I’ve been here for 10 years. 10 years as foreigner. But today I am no longer that foreigner anymore. I am a proud and legal citizen of this country like everyone else.

I waited for this day for so long in anticipation; the day where I would have full rights in this country, the day where I would no longer be dependent on my husband to live here. And finally after immigration exams testing my society, language, and cultural knowledge, after filling many application forms, talking to countless officials, and paying hundreds of dollars, the day has come.

But expectations are a funny thing. There are no expectations without disappointments. And maybe this is the reason that today was not as happy a day as it should have been. I expected my husband to be there at my side as I got this notorious piece of paper. But it wasn’t my husband who was there with me. Instead it was a friend who came to support me, to take pictures of this glorious moment and to celebrate with me in this joyful ceremony.

And although a part of me was happy and even excited to a point where I did wipe away a tear or two; the other part of me felt a bit like a traitor. Maybe because this isn’t how I had hoped for it to be, or maybe because it no longer means to me what it did a few months ago. But somewhere deep in me I felt like I was cheating the system. After all, how ironic is it to get the nationality, the passport, the recognition now; right when I actually plan on leaving this country. Right when this country means nothing more to me, and all I want is to go back to mine.