I recently overheard a touching conversation between two middle-aged women. One of them, almost weeping, told of how she had grown tired and hopeless of her marriage. She loved him, she claimed, and besides, she had nowhere to go. Had she somewhere decent to go, she told her friend, she would have left the miserable marriage ages ago.
As expected, the friend sympathised with the distraught woman and encouraged her to hold on with the hope that things would, some day, turn out fine between the woman and her husband. After all, reasoned the friend, leaving the man would mean dumping a comfortable and respectable life for destitution.
“Once you jump ship, your rivals will quickly fill the vacancy. Many women would rather be in your place than remain single or live destitute. Hold on to him even if he does not love you; at least he is supporting you…”
Now, I am no expert in marriage issues, but I couldn’t help wondering if financial security should be the sole reason a woman or a man should find themselves clinging to a hopeless marriage that is filling them with more misery than joy.
I kept questioning if the woman was indeed in love with the husband or just the idea of being financially secure under his wings.
I imagined that perhaps there are hundreds or thousands of women, or even men, who relate to her desperate situation where a marriage’s life support machine turns out to be the wallet.
It is one thing to stay because you are hoping that things will change for the better, but holding on purely for financial security?
While some factors such as “for the sake of the children,” would make sense in some situations, I grapple to understand other motivating factors in the league of financial security such as preserving marital status for the sake of maintaining one’s social status.
Some people would rather die than part ways with marriage, no matter how taxing it proves to be emotionally, psychologically or physically.
Partners with such ideas put up with senseless abuse, and yet when confronted with the question of why they stick to their partner, many people choose to pitch the love cause, as it is the most sensible and upright of the reasons.
Disagreements are inevitable in relationships and partners do make mistakes; hence, every now and then it is understandable when somebody chooses to stay for the many things a partner does right other than leave the few they have done wrong. But what about in cases where the wrongs override the good?
With all the sensible arguments about perseverance in relationships and marriages, is holding on the best of ideas in hopeless cases, especially if the perseverance is motivated by factors such as maintaining financial security or social status?