My mom told me last night that the reason she finally accepted and was OK with the fact that I am getting divorced is because as she reflected upon her own marriage, she realized that living miserably was not the way to live (yes, she said miserably, which shows how obviously miserable I was). She said that if she, herself, were completely happy with her life, she would’ve done all she could to talk me out of it. But knowing that we have only one short life to live, she realized that I deserve to live the way I want and to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, my mother is not miserable, but she did go through A LOT with my dad and his family (a very domineering mother and 5 sisters!). And I love my dad. He isn’t a bad guy at all. He really is the product of his (and the majority of Korean men) upbringing- a traditional Korean man- head of the house, do as I say, blah blah blah.
Having this conversation with my mom made me wonder, how many women in history have stayed in their marriages, a “miserable” one, because it was the “right thing to do,” or because they didn’t know any other way, or because they would be looked down upon, or they wouldn’t know how to support themselves and their children financially? To imagine exactly how many women lived this way- settling, enduring, keeping on strong faces, playing their roles- is saddening. These women lived in a time where divorce was so taboo that they felt forced to be in something their hearts weren’t in and where they were treated disrespectfully.
In present day, divorce is not AS taboo as it used to be for the Asian community, and yet women still choose to stay, settle, endure, and keep strong faces. I completely understand that sometimes it really is difficult (or dangerous, even) to leave. If I did not have the support of my parents, my kids and I would literally be out on the streets as my ex is not contributing financially.
Still, I feel that if you are not happy in your marriage and are in a circumstance where your partner is unwilling to compromise/work together to make the relationship turn for the better, life is too short to settle. Face your fears, make a plan, be an example you want your kids to follow. Would you want your kids to settle and live a miserable life? If the answer is no, show them. Show them what happy looks like because that is what they will strive for.