Most of us have done it. We’ve stood by the side of someone we no longer loved. We muttered the words without the meaning. We stayed in a relationship that was dead; we pretended we could make it work through those last screaming arguments, went months without sex, got mad about the unmade bed and socks left on the floor.
We stay because we don’t want to be alone. We don’t want to join match.com or Tinder, and you’re probably slightly better than most of the guys there. We stay because we have a house and a checking account and a dog. We stay for the kids.
We stay because they said it wouldn’t work and we don’t want to prove them right. We stay because we’re scared. Loneliness is scary. Single parenting is scary. One paycheck is scary.
We stay because maybe we’re just being paranoid about those texts you keep getting in the middle of the night. We stay because you might get over it first and then we’ll have to watch you move on with your life. She’ll probably be prettier and smarter and better in bed.
We stay because our grandmothers told us to stick it out. They said taking vows was more important than anything else we’d ever do; more important than happiness. We stay because sometimes it’s tolerable. We stay because maybe there’s nothing better out there. We stay because maybe no one else will want us.