By Maria Dombaxi

Life isn’t exactly white or black. Sometimes it’s grey and other times its blue, life is complicated.

You can tell a woman to put her life in the back burner to make her marriage work, but how do you tell a woman to leave a man she gave up her life for, to start over?

I’ve always been independent; my mother has always told me to never give anything up for a man. Yet I’ve found myself in a situation where a woman I deeply appreciate is being disrespected by her husband. A woman, who is raising her husband’s family’s children and is being treated like a maid; like she has no family of her own, like she is the lowest animal on the food chain. Some could call her stupid, and blame her for her choices. We could ask her why she is still in this marriage. Why can’t she just leave? However, would you have the courage to admit to yourself that your choices have ruined your life? That everything you’ve done for the man you love has been in vain? Everyone has a choice, nothing is by force. If you don’t like it, then change it. Yet many people find themselves in situations they can’t change or have a hard time changing.

So what is this article about? Men disrespect women every day, there is nothing new about that. What I want to know is where do these women stand? Can we judge them for not leaving a man that mistreats them, not knowing what they have been through? Would you bring yourself to give up on something you’ve worked on for so long? Hope dies last but there’s no hope if you die first, right?

To be honest I’ve always found these women annoying, constantly complaining about their lives. I’ve never understood why they stick around, but now I’m coming to see that it’s not as easy as it seems. Maybe you have the courage to leave but do you imagine the amount of courage it takes to stay? To hope that things will change? To walk by faith and believe in the vows you uttered in front of hundreds of people and God? I will never understand these women; how many women do you know that have been cheated on, beaten, disrespected and still stay? What is wrong with them? What goes on in their heads to stand by regardless of all the pain and suffering? Is it self-hatred? I don’t think so. It’s impossible for you to hate yourself so much you would prefer to be completely stripped of all your good sense than leave. I could never begin to know the amount of pain they go through. At the end of the day, they’re the ones who are called idiots for staying when we’re the ones who are stupid for not trying to understand why they stay. What do you say to a woman who is ready to give up her life for her beloved man, to give up on the life she worked for? How do women who have been mistreated, pick up the pieces and move on without a deep wound? How do you expect such a woman to try again without constantly picking on her past scars?

It takes courage to stay but it takes faith in yourself and dignity to leave. These women who stay might be seen as ridiculous to you, but they think they’re doing the right thing by keeping their word. Can you really blame someone for that? The only person who can change your situation is yourself and it takes a lot of courage especially when you have lost yourself in the process.