Excuse me for a moment while I climb up on my soapbox here so you can hear me better. It's too bad I don't have a street corner to preach from as well, but this will do.
I want you to consider for a moment what you would do if the person you love more than anyone and committed yourself to tells you that they are taking their life in a direction that most definitely does not include you (or your children). Please put away what might be your immediate thought that it could not happen to you. It could. Anyone can fall. To my detriment, I did not give this idea enough respect.
Chances are that you would not do what you think you would. "I would have kicked him out right away" is what I have heard countless times from people who are slightly dubious about how I chose to handle my situation. Would you? Decide right now how far you are willing to go for that person who you at least pledged to love and cherish for life if not for eternity. I hope you never have to hear words that I did, but if you do, you need to know how humble you are willing to be and how much you believe in the power of forgiveness. It would be a lie if I said that asking him to leave was not an option I considered often and it would have felt better in the short run, but in the long run I would have wondered if I gave as much as I felt was due to my marriage. I don't have to wonder forever and I can look my children in the eye and know I gave them my best. I gave our family the only shot it had when he put us on this path. It did not work out in my favor in that he left anyway despite my best efforts, but wondering if I did the right thing is NOT going to be one of the things that keeps me up at night now or in the future. I believe it will haunt him forever.
Pride masqueraded as my friend a lot over the last few months, but anytime I gave into it, it turned its teeth on me. Humility on the other hand became my friend. There is nothing quite as humbling as having your husband earnestly try to assure you that you will "find love" someday. Humility reminded me that the man I was having painful conversations with was not the man I married, but a man who allowed other emotions to turn him into someone entirely new.
Decide now how hard you are willing to fight for your family, for the companion you swore to be with forever, for your own dreams. Decide now how much humble pie you are willing to eat for a chance to keep your kids lives from being broken by divorce. Decide now how you are going to choose to let a horrible experience shape you and your future. Decide now that you are going to be a person whose self worth will be defined by your ability to heal, to change and to offer forgiveness, rather than a desire to soothe your pride. True humility is strength.
For me, my actions were not about desperation. They were not about being afraid that I wouldn't find someone else or love anyone else. I know my own worth and he is missing out to not be able to see it. It was about being a Warrior Mama who would fight to the last breath for the well being of her family. It was about being a devoted partner who saw that her beloved companion was walking straight into a fire he couldn't even see. It was about going toe to toe with the adversary who wanted nothing more than for our family to be torn apart and for me to become weak too.
It was about fighting Hell itself.
I did not "win" in that sense. My little family is currently without a father in the home but I am winning in that I am still fighting for my family and will never stop. I have not and will not be dragged down by this. Every hard thing I do shows me what I am capable of. I may not have the greatest attitude every single day about the unfairness of my life now, and I have moments of depression and anger, but the goal remains the same; a happy family. I believe that I will be blessed with everything I need to make my home the safest place it can be for my kids. J has taken himself out of the realm of ny care but not my concern. I will never hesitate to throw him a rope if he wants one regardless of where I am in my life. My children will never hear me speak disparagingly about their father. It is crucial for me to feel my independence right now, but I will not let pride govern me or my actions in this, regardless of how temporarily soothing it would be to give into it.
Decide now how much your family and your spouse means to you and exactly what your limits are on "for better or for worse." I believe that if forgiveness was not an option for the human race, we would not have been given the capacity for it.
Decide now what kind of person you would be in a hard, humiliating situation. I know I am all the better for taking the hard road and I am not afraid to take that road again should I be presented with a choice.