The courage to leave

Joey Garcia

I call V101.1 radio every Monday morning to try to talk to you in person but the phone lines are always too busy. I need your help because I am lost. After 13 years of marriage, I have recently learned that my husband is cheating on me. I believe it but he will not admit it. He says the person that told me is spreading rumors. I am not sure what to do about this. I am not completely happy in this marriage as it is, but I have always tried to make the best of it for the kids. Do I stay or do I go? The catch is that I financially cannot afford to live on my own. Please help!

If you’re unhappily married, it’s easy to believe that your husband is cheating. But your man may be right: Your friend could be telling stories. It’s also possible that your friend has the 411 and your husband is using an affair to end an unhappy marriage. Either way, you’re still sitting on a broken chair, right?

Staying together for the kids is unkind. It’s a way to pretend that sacrificing your life is worthwhile because it benefits your children. But, in this case, you are simply using your children so you can avoid facing your fear of not being able to afford to live on your own. So while the marriage may provide the basics of survival (shelter, food, water, clothing), staying in it teaches your children that marriage is a tension-filled, stressful hell without trust or genuine love. Is that what you want them to live?

Let’s talk about wealth. If you don’t have the cash to live on your own, then dig into your social currency. Do you have a friend who needs a roommate? Or if you plan to remain in your residence, can you find a roommate who pays bills reliably and has a personality you can live with? Send your request out through your social networks or try a posting on a reputable community Web site and trust that the right person will appear. Believing that you can’t manage financially is simply a way of refusing to see yourself as an adult.

I dated this guy about five times and we had sex. The problem is that he expected it every time after that. I did it once more but he seemed so desperate it was a turnoff. I made it clear that I’m not interested but he keeps calling me. What should I do?

Allow your “No, thanks” to have integrity. Just stick to it.

It’s not necessary to tell him that he is needy. Some people don’t know how to connect emotionally or intellectually and they attempt to fill the resultant inner emptiness with sex. It’s a temporary fix because sex alone cannot supply the intimacy that humans require. He may never figure this out but you don’t have to be stuck on that rollercoaster with him. Move on to a man who is capable of connecting fully with his mind, body and spirit.

Meditation of the week
“The biggest problems in the world are sex, money and power. We have to learn how to turn them into love,” said Sister Claire Graham, a Catholic nun and founder of Wellspring Women’s Center in Oak Park. When will you stop defining success in terms of sex, money and power and instead live as if loving fully was the great accomplishment?

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