Divorce. It has the finality of a decision made by any couple. This powerful decision can turn your world upside down and eventually take its toll on your kids. If you are thinking of getting it right now, think again, and think really hard.
I am physically separated from my husband. Do I want a divorce? Yes. But since there is no term for this in my country, since I am living in the Philippines, I have always dreamed of dissolving my marriage ever since the break-up. Why am I writing this? Is this some kind of a write-up that will encourage many others who are suffocated in their marriage? No. This article is meant to be an eye opener because I have counted years before finally giving up.
Since I am a Filipina, the best term for divorce here in my country is annulment. You will have to wait years to finally have it approved. The process is very lengthy because the Philippine family code aims to preserve marriages for the sake of our country’s reputation of being a predominantly Catholic nation.
What lead me to make this decision? Many factors. How long did it take for me to finally consider this? 3 long years. I was married for 6 years and had a messed up life since day one. Discovering about his alcoholism and tendency to be physically violent when drunk didn’t make me quit. His addiction to gambling and his habit of just partying all night with his friends didn’t make me quit loving him too. The very fact that his traditional Chinese upbringing (his usual and only reason) made me believe that he knows nothing but to behave that way. Even though I have Chinese blood too and knew that not every man in China was raised up according to what he was ‘claiming’ to be a common sight in their country, acceptance of his culture became a struggle I had to face with.
Was I a good wife? I was a faithful wife. I can never claim to be a good and even a responsible wife because no matter how hard I try, I had this uncontrollable rage – a fire that seems to grow every time my ex does something horribly offensive. I fight back. If there is one single thing that is good in me as a wife, it is that I ask for forgiveness for each error I made. How about him, did he ever do the same? Never.
If I was able to accept his culture, then what went wrong? Loneliness. Self-pity. Wanting to improve myself. Those were the most important factors to consider. I was lonely because his idea of spending quality time with me and our child was watching television for 3-hours inside the house while I watched a different program in our room. Before buying a car, he promised to spend time with us every Sunday afternoons, but all he did was to drop us to the mall and then, off with his friends, or to every woman he desires to be with. What’s worse is that he arrives home at 2 or 3 am, tired from gambling at the Casino and partying with his women. who wouldn’t feel self-pity with that kind of husband? Who wouldn’t want to improve the quality of life that you have with this kind of set-up?
One thing that made me last for six years was that there was still no concrete proof of his unfaithfulness. When it came, it hit me BIG TIME. He hooked up with my friends’ daughter. When my friends found out about it, they wanted to have my ex physically battered but they still respected our friendship and opted to inform me. It was I who just couldn’t take the whole mess and strangled their poor wretched adulterous daughter. Not that I smashed her into pieces or anything of that sort…I just pulled her hair really hard in front of her daddy. That was something that most wives would do. Some can even do worse than what I did. My anger was too insatiable at that time. But then, I have had enough. To be quite honest, if my ex hooked up with a total stranger, I could have forgiven him easily, because I wanted to prove him that I was going straight with being the ‘wife’ that will fit his so-called ‘Chinese’ standards. In all fairness, I was able to ‘fit those standards’ for 4 months. But him? He wont last a month ‘fitting in’ to my standards.
You see, in every aspect of my whole marriage life, compromise wasn’t a choice that both of us made. For both parts, the compromise was done by me. If there isn’t any marriage to preserve, then stop playing a masquerade. God will understand your situation and there are biblical basis for the dissolution of marriages, whether you call it divorce, annulment, legal separation or whatever other legal terms. The point is, if you are pulling each other down, there is no marriage at all.
Love is never enough. There is still love left in my heart for my ex, I know it because I still feel very hurt. The less pain I feel, the less love exists too. Did he ask for another chance? Not exactly. What he asked for was for us to see that there was nothing wrong with what he did because he denied the accusations, even after being caught red-handed.
If you are in a messed up marriage, don’t give up. You might be able to patch things up. But if your case is similar to mine, something that has gone way too off the hook, then it is time to give up. Freedom is a choice you can make. Don’t be in such a rush to be physically separated from your spouse. I have been through the many dark nights, and now, I have chosen to save whatever dignity I have left, for my son – the one single person who needs me the most.
Dignity preservation is my goal for getting a divorce. My goal might be far-fetched from now, but I will endure and persevere, just like what I did before. Assess yourself first and talk to those who know your situation best. Unfaithfulness, in any form, must never be tolerated. Preserve your dignity before it’s too late for you to pick yourself up. You have every right to be THE PERSON YOU HAVE ALWAYS ENVISIONED TO BE. Life is precious and we only live once, so be true to your heart. If other people judge you for your decision, they are the losers, not you. Don’t let other people, not even family members who will tell you to just ‘live through the pain’ rule over your decision. It is you who is directly affected. They are just outsiders, having a peep into your life. They might understand 50% of the situation, but will never do it fully.
A family is still a family even without a husband, or a wife. A family is being with people who are real to you and will never hide secrets from you. A family will not destroy you, but will lift you up. Those are the most important reasons why we want a family, to have a productive life, with your values preserved. Have that kind of family with or without your spouse. Live a joyful life free from bondage, you deserve it as much as I do.