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Why Are You Standing?

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

What excuses are you using? Are you Standing because you do not know how to be anything but someone's husband or wife? Are you Standing because you are afraid of the alternative? Do you know who you are? Are you desperate? Are you afraid that without your spouse you will die?

The process of Standing will help you deal with these questions so that in the future you can re-evaluate your decision and purposes for Standing. In the beginning, it's okay to Stand because you don't know what else to do or because you can't afford divorce. It's okay to Stand and it's okay to change your mind someday.

Are you stuck in denial? Denial is a normal part of the process; if Bomb Drop was only a few months ago, I would expect that you might still be in denial; I am concerned here about those who are stuck within their denial rather than progressing through it. Some Stand while stuck in denial about the situation. This affects how they react to their spouse's antics and prevents them from listening to criticism with an open ear. Denial of your MLCer's state of mind and the situation is also a denial of any personal problems and thus a refusal to address your own issues and make changes. A Stander stuck in denial often has a permanent residence on the Doormat.

If you are not in denial and you want to continue Standing, then do it, if you want to stop and you feel you have learned and can take what you learned to develop new and healthy relationships, then do stop--but sometimes it is at that time that an MLCer begins to return--when he feels he's finally lost you for good.

Standing is not easy. It's not only the challenge of dealing with courts and an MLCer, but also dealing with all the people out there who think you are a fool and disrespecting yourself for wanting to be married to him after this. If that comes up, tell people that you'd rather have them disrespect you than disrespect yourself by going against your principles to earn their respect.

Forget about this temporary Monster, MLC may be a long journey, but it's still temporary when you put it up against your years together and the many more possibly ahead. I don't know that there is a single Stander who is Standing for the MLC Monster. There are those Standing for the Person he was. That too is dangerous, your MLCer will change. The core person may be there after the crisis, but with great changes. Believing that, when all you see is the Monster is called Faith.

Marital reconciliation is not won by fighting. In fighting there are sides working against each other. Standers give up the fight--the power struggle. Thus the MLCer has nothing with the spouse to fight against. Standing is about Passive Resistance.

People think that moving on means they are giving up and no longer Standing. No! Moving on is about having a life. Standing does not include putting your life on hold while your MLCer is away. Though Standing isn't Still, Being is. How can you reconcile this; what does it mean? Standing still is a stubborn refusal to grow, to change and to move forward within yourself and face your issues. Being still is a quiet within. Find those issues that you are to deal with and let the peace that already exists within you surface. Quiet your mind from your external and internal drama. Being still propels you to move forward--it is impossible to Be still and Stand still simultaneously. It's natural to feel as though you are not merely on unstable ground, but in an unstable world. Within Stillness is consistency as well as peace.

Accept the process of MLC and Let-Go. It doesn't matter how perfect you were before and how perfect you will be as a Stander. You may have smiled at just the right moments, been firm when you should, stayed strong etc. It matters that you have grown and been strong; Standing is not meant to stop the MLC and will not realize an immediate and miraculous cure. He must go all the way through his MLC. It is not your job to change his mind or convince him that your way is best. He needs to learn through experience rather than the parental trust me I know or do as I say route. As a Stander, your job is to Accept the process of MLC. That includes accepting that he is or will have an affair and that he will not work on your marital issues for a very long time and that they are likely to get worse before they get better. Standing builds a foundation for later. You can choose to use that foundation for your marriage when he wants to return, or you can continue to use it for your own stability and growth and choose to tell him No. Stand and be married--even when divorced conduct yourself as a married person if that is what you want to be. Give him space and patience and reassurance as is needed.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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