Staying married while driving each other insane
I'm not talking about like fun-loving "insane." I'm talking about actually distressing "insane."
If you think about how much we feel the need to suffer in silence the agonies of marriage, it is truly horrific. We feel the need to present a happy unit while reserving our unmet needs and harrowing shame in closed containers like marriage counseling or simply in our own minds. The weight of our pain builds up in our bodies, which then later comes up in even more painful conditions and overwhelming life events.
For me, “just get a divorce” has been a recurring thought accompanied by the following thoughts:
Who says staying married is a superior option?
There are a lot of children that grow up fine in divorced families. The stigma is stupid.
Do I even love him? Is love supposed to be this hard? What even the fuck is love?
I can deal with all the shit my family’s gonna give me. I think.
No matter where you are in your marriage and how much you actually do love your spouse, you may have had similar thoughts.
In fact, you probably feel the most shame when you have these thoughts despite feeling like you have such an amazing life. This piece is about how I navigated these waters, and I offer some invitations for you to also consider in your journey.
Note: This piece is primarily for marriages where the distress and the joy are around 50-50. This is not for marriages that are completely dead and beyond chance of recuperation based on your perception of your own marriage, though you may still get some nuggets from this piece anyway. I might write more about dead marriages later.