Please note: this piece contains mentions of abuse some readers may find upsetting.
Do I go or do I stay? Stick with what I know, even if it has some major disadvantages, or leave my husband, and my home, and my unhappiness behind me and step into a whole new realm of uncertainty? Stay as a battered wife or move in with the lover and take on the label of the breaker-up of his family?
I was at a turning point when I could look back and see some good times and some very bad ones; when I tried to look forwards I only saw questions.
This isn't a made-up story. I actually wrote a list of pros and cons to try and help me decide whether I should remain with the man I was married to, but no longer loved, or try and make a new life with a married man whom I did not even know very well yet, but was definitely in love with. I would not just be breaking up two marriages - he already had children; I had none. I would be homeless, we would have to find a new place to live, while working in an Islamic country where we would technically be breaking the law by living together.
There were more cons on my list than pros, but my gut said go for it anyway. And yes, reader, although it needed a divorce from Number One first, I did eventually marry Number Two. I didn't immediately leave the tears behind: there were more of those in the first uncertain year while everyone was coming to terms with the new life we had chosen.
But we're still spinning round together, and if marriage is like a vinyl disc then we've already made an LP. His grown-up kids, and even his ex-wife, are all perfectly ok with it now. I don't care what happened to my first husband. I've forgiven myself for marrying him even though part of me knew at the time it was the wrong thing to do. I've even forgiven myself for staying with him after the first time he hit me, and not speaking up after the next time, or the time after that.
Life's a big adventure, and Number One was a part of it, but I was a lot younger then. Now I'm older, wiser I hope, and certainly happier; and still having adventures, with Mr. Better Choice the Second Time Round.
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