This has to be taken from two perspectives and they will be laid out in the lines below. There are times we give so much into the marriage and probably don’t get much out of it. We look at what we are doing or not doing right. We also look at what we expect our spouses and what they are supposed to do. At some point we almost want to ask ourselves what we are still doing in the marriage.
Have you been in that situation where you are asking yourself what you are still doing in that marriage? Have others told you that you ought to be out of that marriage by now? Why are they saying that or what are the issues on ground?
While I strongly believe that marriage is for better for worse, I think I need to carefully stress that you can’t stay in an abusive marriage and keep saying that it is for better for worse. We all want things to work. We want our dreams, before the marriage, of having a blissful home to be fulfilled and will do almost anything to make that happen.
That is really good but when things turn out differently, as they sometimes do, we must have a reassessment. One of such situations of a compulsory reassessment is when you have any abusive spouse who, over time, has refused to change. You may want to stay away for a while and try to resolve things from a distance. This, I think, is very important because the other person has been inflicting physical injuries on you. You have to stay alive to work things out. If you refuse to stay away from someone who keeps hitting you, you may never be alive to work anything out.
In fact, there is a funny proverb in Nigeria that says, ‘he who knows how to fight and run will live to fight another day.’ That may sound cowardly but it just happens to be so applicable here.
Outside of a relationship that has gone abusive in anyway, you may be asking what you are still doing in the marriage because of the challenges in it. Sometimes it might be because the input in the relationship is one sided. Maybe you are paying the bills alone and now you are tired. It’s possible you are raising the kids alone and you are just fed up. You have also thought about your romantic relationship and it’s just practically non-existent. On a long list of negatives, you have checked everything so naturally, you will ask yourself what you are still doing in the relationship.
The first answer I can give to you, which will also be a reminder, is the fact that you signed up for a life-long relationship. The major condition for the termination of that relationship is ‘till death do us part.’ Many people don’t seem to realize the implication of this statement so they get carried away much more by the fantasies than the commitments and responsibilities. It’s only a few weeks into the marriage or a few months for others before they begin to realize what they just signed up for.
You may also be standing in there because you sincerely want things to work but don’t know what exactly you will have to do to make things work. I suggest you sit and have a chat. Rethink those things you used to do that got each other’s attention and those things you did that got you both excited. It’s important to also recognize that things can change. Overtime, people change and their likes can also change. The things they are passionate about can have a different turn because of their new responsibilities and you also have to be sensitive to that. You need to find out what the new passions are and probably what triggered the interest in them.
Your ‘staying on’ will only be worth the while if only you engage the person you are hanging on with. You don’t just stay on and hope things change. You are punishing yourself. You must stay on and engage for solutions. After a while, you will no longer be asking why you stayed on. You will be talking about the benefits of staying on.
Fola Daniel Adelesi
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