The other day, a chump sent me this letter of her “It’s Not Okay” list. I thought this would be a useful exercise. What will you never do again? What are your deal breakers?
— Chump Lady
After two decades of loving my husband to the best of my ability and having our wonderful children, I have decided to leave. Even in the mess that is my marriage, I feel horrific sadness because, well, he’s not “all evil.” He has a genuinely good side to him. But that side is just not enough to make up for the damage he has wrought–nor is it enough for him to undergo the hard work of changing his character to prevent further destructively selfish behaviors.
Logic tells me I’m doing the right thing for me and my kids. Thus, I’m sticking with logic (I need my brain to guide me through is!). But, because of the sadness, moments of doubt crop up. When this happens, I refer to my “It’s not okay” list. It helps to keep me grounded in my logic.
You and your followers have been immensely helpful on my road to accepting reality for what it is. I’m not sure if it will be of use, but if so, I hope my list will inspire others in doubt to create their own “It’s not okay” list.
It is not okay to know my husband’s “type” of woman (who isn’t me).
It is not okay to have to say to him over the years: “How could you do ________ to me if you love me?”
It is not okay for him to blame me for his destructive choices.
It is not okay to disrespect me or our kids under any circumstances.
It is not okay that he acts single—effectively leading a double life—when he walks out the door.
It is not okay that he purposefully took me around his APs when I was oblivious to his affairs.
It is not okay that he flirted with other women in front of our children.
It is not okay that he has been verbally / emotionally abusive to me and our kids, whether it is sporadic or not.
It is not okay that he has lied about himself, his intentions, and his feelings throughout our whole marriage.
It is not okay that he bashed my successes.
It is not okay that he was irresponsible financially.
It is not okay that he used guilt as a weapon against me and our kids.
It is not okay that he holds a double-standard.
It is not okay that he blames me when life gets difficult.
It is not okay that he cries his eyes out—swearing he will change—every time he is caught doing something hurtful to me and our kids only to turn around and do the same thing again (whether 1 day later or 5 years later).
It is not okay that his apologies are followed by accusations.
It is not okay that he can coldly watch me nearly hyperventilate in tears.
It is not okay that he made me feel as if I had to choose between him and our children—and to feel like a horrible wife when I chose our children.
It is not okay that he expects to be pampered when ill, but he acts as it is an inconvenience when I (or our kids) are sick.
It is not okay that he acts like his family is a burden.
It is not okay that he refused to leave when I begged him to.
It is not okay that I begged.
It is not okay that I allowed myself to be a doormat.
It is not okay that I taught my kids (by implication) how to be a doormat.
It is not okay to hate myself.
It is not okay to blame myself for his voluntary, destructive actions.
It is not okay to overlook that I tried everything in my power to help him and our marriage.
It is not okay to allow myself to be disrespected and devalued.
It is not okay to give far more in a relationship than is returned.
Looking forward to meeting you at meh,