There is so much talk lately of divorce. I’ve even heard a Christian woman say that it is easier to divorce than to live with her husband anymore. That is heartbreaking. Anyone who thinks divorce is an easy way out had better think again. It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through and until you live through it then you can’t possibly know what hell it is like. I want to give you an open and honest view of what me and my family went through as a result of divorce and how God can change everything.
This is my story told from my point of view. It is raw and uncut. I didn’t hide any of my sordid feelings nor did I sugar coat anything. God can’t get the glory if the story is never told truthfully. Keep in mind that while I express my emotional point of view, it is not my desire for anyone to think ill of my former spouse or pass judgment. It has been years since our divorce and we have all changed and are a still on a journey towards complete wholeness with God. Things can change and things can get better. I pray no one else ever gets divorced because it is not an answer to any problem unless you are left with no other choice but if you already are divorced then it is my wish that you find hope and healing through these words…
Adultery, abuse, and neglect.
Those are just some of the reasons why my marriage failed. My former spouse, Mark, was a troubled man who took his anguish out on me. Then after the divorce was final it simply progressed. We didn’t speak without yelling and there was no such thing as compromise. In my mind, he was the worst father on the planet. He was quick to tell me that he wasn’t so fond of me either.
We spoke only when necessary and when we did it was with an attitude. Our children quickly became hurting little people who were caught in the middle of the battle of a lifetime. They loved me and they loved their dad but Mark and I? Well, to put it nicely, we greatly disliked each other. And yes, we had totally agreed to get along for the kids. That doesn’t always work in the beginning.
I put up with his girlfriends, his addictions and the things he did to me for so long that I no longer saw him as a human being. If he had fallen off the face of the earth I don’t think that it would have bothered me much except for the fact that my children would have been sad. I felt had had hurt me and our boys beyond what I was capable of forgiving. I was lost in a world of self-pity and self-righteousness.
But God intervened.
He used an unlikely person to make me see the error of my ways and I will point out that most of my ways at this point were in error. I didn’t know who I was or what I was supposed to do anymore. I felt like I had lost a part of me. The truth is, I had. Anyone who tells you divorce is easy or “no big deal” was never truly married. Divorce is painful for everyone. A couple of years after Mark and I parted ways God sent Ryan, who is now my husband, to speak the truth to me.
When Ryan and I started dating, I quickly saw that there was something different about him. It was something unique and genuine. He was kind and welcoming to everyone. The first time he met my boys’ father he smiled big, shook his hand, and said, “Hey Mark! It is so good to meet you!” I could not believe he had done that. I told him all the things that this man had done to me and our children and yet he greeted him like he was the president or something. I asked him why in the world he did that and he explained in a matter of fact sort of way that he respected Mark because he was the boys’ father and that we are all human and make mistakes. He said we all deserve love and respect regardless of our past and what we’re currently going through. He seemed so joyful and content with his actions. His perspective was something that I wanted. But I will be honest and say that it took me quite a while to get over what he had done. I took offense to it. I felt like he had condoned Mark’s actions by not holding a grudge against him.
I watched in months to come as Ryan interacted with my former spouse. When Mark called to talk to the boys and Ryan answered the phone, he would talk to him like he was happy to hear from him. When they met up face to face he was always greeted him with a handshake or even a hug at times. He did this whether he was upset with him or not. Then something unlikely happened. Mark called to apologize to me.
He was distraught over all of the things that he had put me and the boys through. He apologized over and over and promised to do better. He told me that no matter what we went through when we were married that he still cared for me and that he wanted us to try to be friends and work as a team to raise our boys. For the first time in a long time I believed him. I realized how self-centered and wrong I had been and I apologized to him and I too asked for forgiveness.
Ryan was in the car with me while the conversation took place and once I hung up the phone, we discussed it. I was in a bit of shock and was actually quite relieved. I wasn’t sure how to respond to Mark’s words but Ryan looked me in the eye and said, “you need to truly forgive him and start over.” At that moment I felt my heart begin to change. My perspective was changing and my actions would soon follow.