I am an early riser and go for my regular walks to set a positive mood for the day. Today when I stepped out the door, I heard the commotion at Melinda’s (my next door apartment neighbor) place.
She had moved in around three months ago, and lives with her monster sized dog.
I barely know her except the fact that she too is looking for a job just like me. In fact, we met a local career fair for the first time and recognized each other instantly. Like, good neighbors, we introduced ourselves and exchanged our phone numbers. Since then we occasionally exchange a smile and or wave at each other.
Melinda looked cheerful and jubilant when I met her at the apartment stairs while coming back.
I had merely uttered a pleasant ‘hello’ that she proudly announced that she is moving back to Kansas. I asked her in a rather surprised manner, have you got a job? She must have sensed the disappointment on my face.
She gleefully said that she is getting back with her ex-husband. She said she would be walking down the aisle again soon before this Christmas.
She went on telling how she separated a year ago from her husband due to his philandering. But now he is full of remorse, and she wants to give him another chance.
I could hardly contain my astonishment but didn’t want to sound too dramatic as well. While I was still struggling to find the right words, Melinda spiritedly left saying that a lot needs to be done in limited time for her intimate, small-scale wedding.
This brief encounter with Melinda refreshed the sad and painful memory of my aunt who died a couple of years ago in Delhi.
My uncle was a serial womanizer. Tired of her cheating husband and the constant humiliation, she quietly packed her bags and came to her parental house with her two little girls. Her parents were too ashamed to have their married daughter at their doorstep.
With no money in hand and no future possibility of a job with her meager qualifications, she had no option but to return to that hell. My uncle splurged his salary on other women and not even once showed any sign of remorse.
My aunt was too afraid to confront her husband directly. With no outside emotional, financial or legal support she chose to remain silent and bear it all. She managed to survive somehow on the charity of the relatives and few neighbors.
She lived and died a slow death in virtual penury.
Whether to exit or not to exit the marriage due to infidelity may be a personal choice. Of course, there are legal options and every woman at least should be aware of those options. Like I said earlier, exercising those options should be her choice. If both the partners are willing to work on their marriage by rediscovering trust, happiness, friendship, and bond, they can bring their marriage on track.
But it is critical for the women to understand and know the following:
- Work on power imbalance in your relationship. He is doing it may be because he knows he can get away with it.
- Stand on your own feet and be financially independent. Being financially secure, helps you take more balanced and clearer decisions.
- Don’t go and stand in front of the mirror. There is nothing wrong with you or your physical body.
- Don’t blame yourself for his cheating ways. Marriage is a mutual endeavor.
- You are not alone. You are not the only woman who is facing this turmoil. Many are silently suffering in a similar situation. They have their reasons for not coming out openly and admitting it. Respect them.
- It’s natural that your ego is bruised and you feel hurt. Give yourself time and space.
- Do confront your husband. He has to answer every question. Don’t feel intimidated by him.
- Don’t waste your time, money and energy by hiring detectives or making frantic calls to all his colleagues and friends.
- If possible, consult a therapist.
- You don’t have to share everything with your relatives/neighbors and colleagues. They may not have all the answers and sensitivity to understand it.