I’ve been reading an interesting blog lately, and got into a discussion with the writer about what being a good person is and what doing the right thing means. I’m not sure if it’s just my warped perception (which I know is quite different than most people’s) or if it’s hers, but I’m pretty sure we are on different sides of the same coin.
What does doing the right thing mean?
I’m going to use this as an example, but I don’t think staying in a relationship for the kids is the right thing. Considering many people do this, I guess for me the right thing would be to get out of the relationship so that I could rebuild a happier life for myself. I think it’s more important to show my kids that they never need to be stuck in a situation that makes them unhappy.
A good friend of mine from high school never saw her parents touch intimately or hug or even kiss. When she and her sister had graduated and moved out on their own, their parents got a divorce. A year after, the father, against the mother’s wishes, admitted that he was gay. Not only that, but both of them had know when they were getting married that he was gay. Talk about an insane mind fuck. He suffered from depression and alcoholism for the majority of her life.
I feel that you must ask yourself, would it not have been easier to face the truth about being gay, admit you made a mistake and from there try to live the life you were meant to live? Instead of forcing yourself to be someone you’re not for 25 years?
I know another woman who tried to stay together with her controlling husband for the kids. She was my mother’s best friend. She was so stuck in her situation that she wasn’t even allowed to go to the store to pick up a couple of groceries because he was in control of the finances. It got to the point where she was wetting the bed out of stress and anxiety. The kids were older, and she was hitting rock bottom, so she finally left. The first night she slept away from the house, she stopped wetting the bed. A 43-year old woman was wetting the bed from stress because she wanted to stay together for the kids. I don’t understand how that was the right thing.
She left, got her own place, dealt with the breakup and ended up meeting a wonderful man who she went on to marry.
What is the right thing? Personally, I feel that living a lie (being gay and forcing yourself into a straight marriage, staying with someone who makes you wet the bed) doesn’t do a damn thing for your children.
I don’t think that life should be that much of a struggle. If you’re struggling that much, perhaps you’re doing something wrong? These seem to be extenuating circumstances, and not everyone who is faced with a choice to leave is under this much strain, but I often wonder why people would choose the harder, more difficult path to accomplish what they perceive to be the right thing.
The summer I was pregnant with my third child, I left my husband. He was having anger issues and I felt like we (my daughters and I) were all walking on eggshells. It was stressful and there was a lot of resentment. He blew up at the slightest thing. There was no way I was going to live with that kind of stress, especially with it being a high risk pregnancy. So I packed us up and I took the kids to my mother’s.
I loved him, and it killed me to leave, but what choice did I have? I couldn’t stay with the stress levels the way they were. I was pregnant, and my health and the mental health of my children meant more to me than suffering through it. I told him he had anger issues and he needed to deal with them. He went to see a psychotherapist and started taking SSRI’s. He got his anger under control (it took a while) but I moved back. I think he realized that I wasn’t fucking around, and for my own self preservation I would remove myself from what I considered a harmful situation. He was never violent, he has never and would never hit me, but his anger was pretty terrifying.
Does that make me a bad person for leaving? Fuck no! I definitely believe in doing things for others, and taking care of others (I’m a mother of 3 after all!) but there’s no way I’m going to let myself get stuck in a situation where I’m unhappy as a direct result of someone else’s (especially my spouse’s) actions.
What does being a good person mean?
My fellow blogger, revelations from a forty-something female, answered with the following when I asked her what she defines as a good person:
‘As far as a ‘good’ person, I believe a good person is someone who, well, does the right thing. Follows the rules. A good person is kind, generous and helpful. A good person is patient and tries not to judge others. A good person is understanding and respectful of others. A good person is sincere and truthful. Bottom line is, I think a good person always thinks of others before they think of themselves. I try to be a good person, but I am not always successful.’
While I agree with most of what she’s written, I have to laugh at the part about a good person not judging others and following the rules. I say laugh only because I definitely judge people, and I most definitely do not follow the rules. In fact, I believe that rules were made to be broken, or at least stretched. However, I still consider myself a good person. Perhaps that’s just the hedonist in me?
Anyway, I’m really happy that I’ve started blogging, and started reading other blogs. It makes me think about things, and put things into perspective for myself. I love reading about they way other people think and the choices they make that are so vastly different from my own. We are all just wanderers on this road of life, vastly different, yet incredibly similar. We’re all just struggling to make sense of it all.