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I know a woman who is torn between leaving and staying in a marriage that has lasted for over 10 years. Strangely, there has been no significant conflict, no violence, no excessive disputes between them. There even has not been any third-party meddling in their relationship either. They have a lovely, obedient child and a beautiful home in the heart of a bustling city. Both of them have good jobs, and her income is good enough to cover all the expenses for their little family, while her husband’s income is saved and invested in various fields.

One could say this is the dream life of many young girls and middle-aged women. Abundance, prosperity, and happiness without a trace of contention ever in the house, making their parents on both sides happy and content. Her parents-in-law even treat her like their daughter. Despite her being married to their son for 12 years already, they still considered her as if it was her first day as their daughter-in-law. Their friends always admire the couple’s lifestyle and hope their spouses can be like hers.

Nevertheless, why did she want a divorce?

Is it because “one does not miss the water till the well runs dry?” Or is it because all of it was just a glorious cover that they built up for others to envy?

None of those were true. They are indeed a well-off and warm family, but they were not truly happy, my dear friend!

When one of her close friends heard her contemplating divorce, she was shocked, even patted her shoulder and asked, “Are you kidding me? Are you too comfortable to be sane? Oh my god, you have a financially stable husband, living a decent life, having a smart and beautiful daughter with supporting and loving grandparents. What more could you want? Do you know how many people envy you? You must be too comfortable that you are going crazy, right?”

Having glimpsed into the love story of the couple, I know that she grew up in a family where her father was very traditional, strictly adhering to customs and rituals. Being his daughter, she had to be even more deeply ingrained in these traditions. Her father would prohibit her from many activities. She never had a moment of freedom, and even her mother, due to the authoritarian upbringing imposed by the father, suffered immeasurable misery throughout her life. Therefore, when it was time for her to get married, she fell in love with a man, but her father vehemently opposed that. Perhaps because she was too young to make a decisive choice, or maybe their love was too new and not yet profound enough, she did not dare defy her father. In the end, she chose to marry her current husband – a man her father highly approved of, because he had a stable job, a family with good morals, and he was a good, obedient man.

For her, that marriage had no existence of love or any fluttering feelings. Nonetheless, they have been together for 12 long years, with the birth of their sweet daughter. Although they were well-matched in age, element sign, and things that are called horoscopes, feng shui, etc., and ever since they got married, their life steadily progressed and improved over the years, they were still not compatible!

Her husband is a man who always talked about work and never once thought about enjoying life with his wife and child. Even when they went for coffee as a family, all he talked about was work, clients, this event, that event, never once proactively saying he would take the whole family out, or suggesting a nice get-together meal. If she did not bring the topic up, he would never mention anything above. As his work was promoted, he got busier, stayed up later, met more clients, etc. Their intimate side in life was never fully satisfying for both of them anymore, especially after she gave birth.

Initially, she suspected her husband might have someone else, but after observing and considering, she knew that was highly unlikely to happen because her husband was not a person with extravagant needs. Their phones, computers, and iPads were all synchronised. He was completely a workaholic, so engrossed in work that there were only two things a day that could momentarily draw him away from his duties: showering and eating!

For 12 years, she has managed the household all by herself, even though she was not crazily in love with her husband. However she still fulfilled her duties, took care of their child, and supported her parents-in-law like her biological parents. Additionally, in all those years, her husband has never once had to take care of their child or clean the house. Perhaps, what was keeping them together was their daughter and the tacit acceptance they both harbour deep inside.

She had talked seriously with her husband several times to try and improve their marriage. She told him that they had enough money, and she wanted him to slow down, and enjoy life with her and their daughter. She wanted the three of them to do enjoyable things together, eat out, travel, and explore the world as a family, so their daughter could enjoy happy moments with her parents before she grows up. Nonetheless, never has it been as she hoped!

There are times when she asked him for both of them to separate temporarily, to let each other be, and to consider what the problem between them truly was. However, her husband refused that, even threatening her that if she and the daughter left him, he would go insane as he has already suffered from the excessive stress of work. Worried about her husband’s health and her daughter’s well-being, she decided to go along.

Once, I saw her sharing her story in a private group for women facing difficulties, and someone commented: “You are not living, you are just existing in this life because your marriage is so bland.” Someone else said that her way of enduring life then was “Living in stagnation!”

A person who seemed to have so many desirable favours, but in reality, she had nothing, not even the decisive power over her life. That was what her life looked like. She lived like a tasteless person, accepting the dullness of a three-member family just to always aim for the unattainable in life, for what she truly loved deep inside. Until one day, she suddenly met a male client – a foreigner. Foreigner, a distant client. However, after a few direct meetings, it seemed like something had awakened in her soul.

She felt… fluttered! A person who was over the other side of the world and far away from her, yet was able to ignite something within her that she had tried to bury deep inside. She had been “struggling” and rebelling against her emotions from within, even though she expressed nothing on the outside.

For 12 years, her husband had never paid attention to how she dressed, what she looked like, if there was a new hairstyle, if there were any pretty nail designs that she wanted, etc. However, the other person was different. Even though he knew she was married and still kept a distance, each word or gesture of concern made her unable to stop thinking about them.

She confided this to her mother, and her mother advised her, “Do what you believe is right and suits you best. Your happiness is what truly matters. I have not had a truly happy moment in decades, so I would not want you to repeat a life like mine. Even though my son-in-law treated us very well, if you did not feel peaceful or happy, just free both sides. Be brave in your choices and take full responsibility for what you decide!”

Despite suffering from her mixture of feelings about the new man she met, despite thinking for months about leaving or staying, that if she divorces, she still has the financial means to support her child and start life anew. However, you know, she still chose to stay in that marriage.

She was still “sane” enough to know that when emotions are influenced by external factors, they cannot be truly accurate. The appearance of that man was probably causing an “illusion” within her, but it was also like a resounding voice waking her up to the life she was facing every day. She had come to understand that the decision to divorce her husband should be because of being hopeless in fixing everything, because the marriage itself was not right, or solely because of the two of them, and not divorcing just because of the new “parties” that had appeared in their lives. These two things are unrelated, you can not just “use them as an excuse” to step out of the current marriage like that!

Honestly, I can not judge if what she had decided was right or wrong. Even though she tried very hard, there has not been any new result in those long, drawn-out 12 years. However, from her story, I have become even more profoundly aware of these perspectives:

First, the happiest person in the world is the one who has freedom. Freedom in both their mind and in their real life.

Second, when we are outsiders, we cannot truly understand what it is like for insiders. Everything we see is only what we can see. Therefore, it is best not to judge or assess others, because we do not live their lives, nor do we bear responsibility for anything they do.

Third, marriage is a serious matter. We cannot make others bear the consequences if regrettable repercussions happen. Therefore, marriage may occur late, and you might even make mistakes, but you are not allowed to make too many mistakes when it comes to marriage!

Fourth, sometimes the heart will have its accurate instructions that your alertness cannot meet! You can only feel and understand your heart when your mind is at peace. Keep listening to your heart, your feelings, and emotions to choose what is truly right for you, my dear friend!

I always hope you find happiness and peace!

Much love,
Truly Inspired

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Much love,

Truly Inspired.