Sasha, a very beautiful, caring and loving woman, was trying to adjust with the new home and new place they had just moved in. Things were settling in slowly and she was weaving the thoughts of future with her family in this place. The thought of how to convince her 6-year-old daughter to go to school that day was broken by the phone that was ringing on the table.

She reached for the phone and it was her husband’s cell phone beeping with messages from someone. She picked up the phone and glanced over the screen where the latest message was flashing. The words of the message felt like thunderbolt. Her heart was pounding fast and she couldn’t breathe. She wasn’t prepared for this. She was trembling and couldn’t believe her eyes.

It was an intimate romantic message from her husband’s cousin. Her husband was in love with his cousin. All this while she thought they were a brother and a sister and now all those scenes which she ignored as brother sister love came flashing in front of her. Sasha not only felt cheated but stupid and foolish.

She awoke from this chain of despairing thoughts by a gentle loving voice, “Mama”. She held on to Dia tightly while the child kept asking, “Mama what happened?” She wanted to tell the child that their world is tumbling and falling apart. She didn’t know what to do and how to confront her husband. After mustering her strength, she confronted him.  At first, he disagreed telling her that Himani is a family but later he confessed after a series of arguments. Sasha loved him too dearly and the thought of separation was unbearable to her. She was shattered but kept lying to herself that this nightmare will soon be over.

Slowly but steadily situation around them started changing. She spent hours alone and in silence. Misery was welling up inside her and it was becoming immense beyond all bounds. Her otherwise loving husband started finding faults with everything she did.  He criticized the way Sasha looked and dressed. He further demeaned her with constant comparison crushing her self-esteem. She felt defeated and trapped in this relation as she didn’t know whether to stay or leave. She felt worthless and lot of self-doubt arose. She started questioning herself.

Sasha entered a victim mode, she didn’t know what to do, she had left her job to be with her husband whose location kept changing every year. She had sacrificed her well paid career and made valuable contributions to his wellbeing and growth and now her opinions were worthless. Here she was on the crossroads of life not knowing which way to go. She slipped into depression, feeling her whole life was being ruined and there wasn’t much she could do about it. Revealing to his family further strained this relationship and they collectively blamed her, while the man got away with everything he did, and he became bolder with every passing day.

Grief can weigh heavily in such circumstances. She waited in silence for someone to talk to. She tried to uncover what she did wrong. She knew on a conscious level that it simply wasn’t her fault, but deep down she held on to the destructive belief that she was the problem, she was worthless.

Sometimes in life you get a wakeup call that hits too close, her wakeup call was the blood test report that revealed that she had a life-threatening disease.  That was the moment her husband choose to leave the house.

Feeling devastated she had to gather the pieces again as the wellbeing of little Dia depended on her wellbeing. She didn’t know where and how to start but she knew she must. She was looking for a miracle to heal her and some angel to pull her out of the layers of depression.  She felt her choices are either to stay trapped in a destructive marriage or to redefine herself. So, she decided to file for a divorce.

It had been three months now and Sasha’s mind had calmed down in her husband’s absence. One day she got a call from her daughter’s school, the teacher raised Dia’s mental health concern and its impact on Dia’s behavior at school.  Dia was becoming silent day by day. Otherwise happy and talkative Dia, now rarely spoke in the class and usually avoided making even casual conversation with her classmates or the teachers. Teacher asked, “Is there any problem at home that Dia is unable to accept?” Stunned by this revelation, Sasha came back home and thought about what she can do to help her child.  She knew Dia is missing her papa very much. But is Papa missing Dia too? She wondered. She had to revisit her options again, she didn’t want Dia to develop any kind of serious behavioral or emotional problems. What would she do? Stay for the child or leave for greater good.

To conclude I think Sasha needs time to heal and recover from the mental agony. She needs to seek support of friends and relatives she trusts.  Once she is emotionally settled, she must ask questions which have been lurking in her mind to assess the situation and what exactly is happening. She should be willing to accept the truth however painful it may sound.  Focusing on the facts and avoiding blame game is important, no matter how tempting it may sound to hurl insults and use abusive language, she should refrain from that, as it will get in way of understanding of the situation.

Most importantly she shouldn’t blame it on herself as she is not responsible for the choices her husband makes over time. His affair is not her fault and she shouldn’t blame herself. After assessing the whole situation, she needs to think with a calm mind and ask him if he can recommit to the relationship and end his affair, it also depends on if Sasha can forgive him. Here she might need the help of an independent counsellor.

In spite of all the above facts, Sasha needs to empower herself and be financially independent so that she doesn’t have to succumb to the relation because of financial reasons. She shouldnt have to sell herself out in this relationship and bear the treatment that she knows is unacceptable to her. She should know that she is worth much more.