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I Have To Adjust With A Cheating Husband, Because He Lets Me Work...

( words)
*For representational purpose only.
When I got married, like a typical small-town middle-class girl, I knew it was forever. And trust me, when you read every bit of this, you will know I tried so hard to make it last. But that’s the catch,

I was the only one trying, and why try so hard in the first place? He cheated during courtship and post-engagement and did not stop after marriage. 
I have been married to this man for ten years and have known him for 19 years and one kid later. What I got was the responsibility of running a house, some social relationships, and raising a kid alone. Is that what I signed up for? 

But do you know what I was told? He was supportive of my career.
“Why don’t you look at the entire picture instead of just thinking about how I cheated on you?” “I respect your parents." “Yes, I slept with XYZ and ABC, but it didn’t mean anything." “I don’t tell you things because you then have questions." 
So basically, this is the price I had to pay for a supportive husband who respects my parents. I should learn to adjust and live with a disloyal husband because he lets me work. Not to mention, he failed to share responsibilities—physically, emotionally, and financially. 

How can I forget the flak I faced from the fraternity he was a part of, men and women alike?

A lot of women refused to look me in the eye, talk to me, or acknowledge my presence. They would conduct sessions and lectures on how a career should be secondary for a woman, and a husband should be primary. This happened right from the point that I was a newlywed up to the point when he was holding an appointment. 

According to them, you could only be a full-time mother and wife unless, of course, your dad was someone influential. Your dad and husband’s position in the fraternity would ensure respect. 
In a regular story, I wouldn’t care a damn, but in a situation where your husband can’t stop sleeping around with women, you tend to question your own self-worth, and all these things start to affect you. They all assumed that I was a "career-oriented woman." As if having a career or passion is a question about your character! 

Irrespective of my side of the story, they had no right to treat me like that.

I was expected to return to work immediately after my daughter was born. I was always told how good I was at my work and how valuable the money I contributed was. This was his way of supporting me. All that time, I wanted to take a break, take a step back, and just be, but I couldn't because what we learned was not to talk about equality but to walk it.

I know you are thinking, If I were educated, financially independent, and self-sustaining, why would I stay put for ten years? Right?
I asked myself that question over and over again. My parents are extremely supportive, and my friends are the most amazing bunch of women who do everything in their power to support me in every way possible. And yet, I could not bring myself to the point where I stepped up and made a decision. 

It was fearful at some level. I cannot define that fear since it was internal, not coming externally from “what will people say and think." I lost my best friend; I lost the man who made me laugh all the time, and I wasn’t ready to accept it. It took me ten years to realise that he never belonged to us. 
It took ten years of my life to realise I was living a lie every minute of every day while working so hard. I chose not to file an official complaint or ask him for a large sum of money because my life here has to have nothing that needs me to interact with him. 

He took away several pieces of me over these years, and I am a very different person now than I was 19 years ago. But what he couldn’t take away is my love for life, my hope, my sincerity, and my kindness. 

I don’t walk around angry or disappointed. I walk tall because I live every day with the utmost dignity and respect. I do fall apart and have my share of bad days, but I have the most amazing group of women who lift me up. 
A chapter closes forever, but nothing erases the memory because I lived it, I loved, I lost, I forgave, and I learned so much.

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