My neighbor and I were talking about our perplexing positions in life. We are both in the same boat, contemplating divorce for a couple of years now with young children involved. She revealed to me that her husband had been physically abusive to her a few times throughout the marriage and that he continues to verbally assault her in front of her kids on an almost daily basis.
When I told her that I think my husband may be either cheating on me or planning on cheating on me, she said, "Oh, that's where I draw the line. If he cheats on me, I'm out of here."
This got me thinking about the different thresholds we all have as women. Before I was married I always assumed that my threshold would be "If I'm unhappy in my marriage, I'm out of here." After we were married and we had kids my threshold evolved into something like, "If he ever lays a hand on me in violence, or becomes verbally abusive, or cheats on me, then I'm out of here."
I would assume that most women in my position have similar thresholds, but talking to my neighbor (who has been married longer than I have), butapparently it's completely possible to have the threshold pushed further to "If he cheats on me I'm out of here, but everything else is just annoying."
Why do we allow the threshold to change?
It's almost as if we are numbed by situations as they come. My neighbor is pretty numb to her husband's verbal abuse. I'm pretty numb to the way my husband twists everything into being my fault, and I'm afraid I'm completely capable of becoming numb to worse things.
Why do we stand up for various causes and other people when we aren't even able to stand up for ourselves? I'm not even a passive person; I don't allow people to bully the folks I care about, and I don't get bullied into anything...except by my husband. What is it about marriage that makes me so passive? How much further can my threshold inch away from what I thought it once was?