As I go through life, there is one observation that astounds me more than anything else; women will put up with almost anything in order to stay in a relationship.
I won't say that I haven't done the same thing at times in my life. I've put up with cheating, ambiguous relationship definitions (various forms of friends with benefits) and mis-treatment all for the dregs of affection the man in question was willing to send my way. The "something is better than nothing" mentality coupled with the "I don't deserve better" school of thought has definitely been my downfall. I'm getting better at it, but I fully acknowledge I have a long way to go.
It's not just me that suffers from this affliction though. I am surrounded by women who do the exact same thing to varying degrees. I have a co-worker recounts almost daily the tales of her struggles with her boyfriend of 3 years. I thought the final straw was last weekend when he invited her to his birthday party, only to have him never show up. After 4 hours of waiting, she decides to leave and on her way out the door, she is confronted by a woman who turns out to be the mother of one of his two children who informs my co-worker that she has been dating the guy for nearly 4 years and they are living together. He has been cheating the ENTIRE TIME on them both. She claimed to be done with him and the drama, and even though I've heard it before, I truly believed she was going to move on. This morning she comes to work and tells me they are hanging out again! I couldn't even speak! There are only so many times you can tell your friends they are making bad choices before you just have to let them learn on their own.
I find this pattern all too common with women. I've know women who stay after being hit, stay after multiple infidelities, stay after too many "I'm sorrys". At what age do we learn that we need a man, even a crappy one, to be complete? Do men go around thinking their lives aren't whole if they don't have a wife? Why do we wait until the man decides he's had enough and breaks it off instead of standing up for ourselves and saying we deserve better and moving on?
I know I'm a hypocrite for writing this and for judging my co-worker. We all have our own breaking points and things we are willing to sacrifice for what we think is love. I know it's not black and white, but I also think it's not the many shades of grey we think it is. Love isn't bruises, cheating, indifference, cruelty or lying. Why do so many women, myself included, think it is?