Woman 1: I know my husband is cheating with HER.
Woman 2: How do you know?
Woman 1: I have proof. But there’s nothing I can do about it.
Woman 2: You certainly can. You can confront him and make him address it.
Woman 1: I could, but it’s no use. No one would want me at this age, so I just have to accept it.
Hearing this conversation conjured up a myriad of emotions for me. Sadness, anger, and heartbreak. Sadness because this woman’s self-esteem has obviously been damaged and severely bruised. I had to resist the urge of interrupting the conversation to give her encouragement and a hug. Anger that her husband would treat her this way. Heartbreak that she has obviously acquiesced to this type of treatment, and doesn’t think that she deserves better. Her conversation screamed that she had given up.
My thoughts immediately went into overdrive as I began to wonder if she had children or grandchildren of her own. Had she, by her own lack of self-worth, taught them the same message? Had they watched her being belittled or mistreated, and somehow assumed that’s the norm? Will their lesson become, “If grandmother or mom tolerated it, so should I?”
Such a brief conversation stirred up so many questions that I’ll never know the answers to. But what I do know is, we as women have to live a better example for the girls (and boys) in our lives. They are watching EVERYTHING we do, and are learning accordingly.
I am reminded of a quote by the amazing Dr. Maya Angelou: “When you learn teach, when you get give.” We must be careful what we are teaching and giving to the next generation.