Monday, August 24, 2015

A Letter to my Daughters (if my Daughters were Anna Duggar)

Google Josh Duggar, or better yet, go read this post regarding his wife, Anna Duggar

But what I want to focus is the "breaking news" regarding statements by Anna Duggar's brother and his position regarding what she should do. He advocates leaving the marriage and less than stellar husband behind, while also noting their parents are advocating she stay in the marriage for religious or other personal reasons.

And I just want to take a moment to speak to my children, should they ever find themselves in a similar position in 20 years (hopefully not also being played out publicly for the entertainment of all the world), because they should not hear rants from their siblings bashing their spouse all over facebook if they stay or religious condemnations from their parents for so much as considering leaving. 

I have left a marriage. I have worked with many people who have left marriages for many different reasons and at many different stages of their lives. I have watched people who have stayed in marriages that were abusive, adulterous, neglectful, or even just lonely.

And let me tell you, making the decision to leave a marriage behind is not an easy one, and not one that should be taken lightly. On the same token, staying in a marriage when trust has been fundamentally broken or you are otherwise singularly unhappy is not something to be done without deep personal reflection.

You should not suffer in a terrible marriage, but especially if you have children, the road of a being a single parent is excruciatingly hard. 

Do not make these decisions out of anger or fear. Take space. Take time. Take yourself for who you are and what you need and what you want.

It is ok to say "I do not want this". 

I will listen to you talk. I will give you my perspective if you would like it. I will do my best to just shut up if you don't want it.

Above all else, I will love and support you no matter what. Did you hear that part? It's the important one. I am your mother and I love you. That does not change. I love you. I am here for you. I will support you in every way that I can. If finances have worked out alright over the years, you will even have a savings account I set up for exactly this situation. You should never have to stay because you think you cannot monetarily afford to leave.

This is your decision. This is your life. This will have a long lasting impact on you and who you are and where you go in your life. And I will be there to love you no matter what you decide or what road you will take.

Sometimes, all the roads are hard. Sometimes, all the options are crap. I'm sorry the world is like that. But don't forget the thing about roads is they keep going. They go up and down, and wind around all over the place. And you can't really tell where they will end up until you start walking. Sometimes you just have to keep going.

So my child, my dear sweet perfect girl who does not deserve this egregious situation, I am sorry you are here. Only you can decide what is right for your life, what you can live with, what you can forgive and what you cannot. Please remember I am here for you, and will not think less of you for your decision. It will be a decision that took great courage no matter what, and for that I will be proud of you.