This week, I encountered several conversations about divorce. Some people who are married view divorce as ‘an easy way out’ or a ‘quick fix’ to a problem. I have to tell you as I heard and read these explanations of divorce, my heart ached.
Here’s why: you will not find a person who will cheer you on in marriage more than this single mom right here. I feel like part of my ministry is to encourage my married friends to stay married.
Divorce is the most intense pain I have ever known.
You suddenly don’t fit in anywhere.
Even the Christian community changes the way that they view you and your life…and your service.
Divorce is not a way out…it’s a way down.
It’s not an easy fix, but a hard brokenness.
I can look over the past two years of my life and provide you with journal entries that prove that divorce sent me reeling to the very bottom. You are forced to face life alone. To start all over and build a new life from the pieces that are left.
Every marriage needs a healing divorced person to encourage them to stay.
I was not prepared for the toll that divorce would take on me emotionally, mentally and physically. It was devastating. The shame that goes along with being a divorced person is enough to sideline even the strongest soul. I wish I would have had someone who had been through divorce to tell me what to expect and champion my marriage. But, for the most part, we suffered in silence, ashamed that we even found our lives at this place.
Maybe your marriage is just fine. Maybe you don’t ever think that you will find yourself uttering the word, ‘divorce.’
Neither did I.
But, if you ever find yourself entertaining the idea of divorce, I pray that God will remind you of this blog post. I pray you will add my email to your address book.
I pray that you will give me the opportunity to talk you down off the ledge of divorce back into a restored relationship. Because I couldn’t very well call myself your friend if I didn’t warn and try to protect you from the pain of divorce. Ask a person who is healing from divorce and I think they will agree…Leave a Comment
Amy Hunt says
Such Grace! He makes *beauty* out of the ashes of the dead, and even your heartache of a broken marriage. I can See how you’re able to encourage and speak Truth from your own Story-lived. There’s purpose even in *this*.
Dearest, Carol, I pray you rich blessings of Peace, Comfort and that your Daddy-O will envelope you in His arms of Grace and unconditional acceptance, and that you will See the purpose in even *this*…
Wow!…how I needed to read that now!….some of my divorce friends have incourage divorce…but I look back on their lives and I see they went thru great depression, their childrens live have been shattered & most of the children are not walking with the Lord. I want my son to live the life that God has planned for him!….thank u fo incouragin me to Hang In there….I just Know God Will work things out n my marriage of 14years….I almost gave up prayin for my marriage….now I will pray harder & longer….thank u 🙂
I’m praying for you!
I am facing my 2nd divorce. The first one wasn’t my choice but this one is. I dislike divorce very much but I’ve been left with no choice. Suffice it to say that I can no longer tolerate what my husband has put me through in the past and now he has totally abandoned me. I hate divorce but with the way things are now, I don’t know what else to do. Please pray for me and for my husband. He isn’t walking a christian path.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you and your family!!
I am praying for you, Sharon. Thanks for allowing me the privilege.
Beth Williams says
Thanks for your openness and candor about your life.
My husband was divorced and he went through such emotional pain and anguish for a year. He said it was the worst feeling in world!
Praying for you dear Carol!
a way down……divorce could and often is a way up. Think of those that have been in very hurtful and emotionally damaging marriages. Please consider those that had no other choice but divorce to find themselves and their children a way to a better life. Encourage those to be in a healthy relationship. All inclusive generalizations are hurtful; as a divorced mom, I would rather read words of encouragement, not the failure of my choice. No one gets married anticipating divorce. I certainly did not; but I also know that this ‘failure’ was the best thing for my well being and that of my children. I also feel the shame, sadness and the labels; but I also feel hope and I am handling it with grace.
I, in no way, am advocating staying if there is any type of abuse taking place. I am writing from the standpoint of divorce as just an easy way out of the challenge that ANY marriage faces. I don’t seek to generalize divorce. Everyone’s different. Every pain is unique. I am trying to encourage those who think divorce is a solution to the problems. I am sorry if I didn’t communicate that clearly.
Praying for you.
Diana Trautwein says
In my counseling and spiritual direction life, I have also encountered situations where divorce was a way up – and out. But it is ALWAYS a way down as well, just maybe not in exactly the way that Carol has so beautifully described. There is such pain involved, on all sides of a divorce. In the cases to which I refer, the pain came before the divorce itself and it was real and devastating. Divorce was not easy, but came at great personal cost. But the cost was counted worthy of the end result.
For Carol and many others like her (if I am reading between the lines correctly) divorce was not her choice, but it did become her life. That is incredibly painful as well, but in a different way from marriages where in reality, there is NO marriage – in the truest sense of that word – to salvage. And abuse comes in all forms – emotional desertion and refusal to see it/get help for it is devastating. In those cases, divorce can be – not always – but sometimes – it can be the way up to life and light and hope.
It takes prayer, discernment, counsel from others in the community of faith, and deep courage to walk that road. So kudos to you, June, for rising above the shame and the sadness and finding the grace – and the hope. And thank you, Carol, for sharing so beautifully a part of your own pain. When I was pastoring, I always counseled couples to stick it out, to make it work, to get help. But I also walked alongside those friends if it didn’t work and dissolution became the sorry reality of their marriage. May we all find the grace and wisdom needed to help one another on this interesting, sometimes painful journey called marriage. And telling the truth about how hard and painful ending it can be is a good place to start.
thank you for your words.
I appreciate them so very much.
you are beautiful.
Thank you, Christine. You will never know what your encouragement means.
So glad I ran across your blog this morning. I’ve never had to face this for myself so it is hard to understand my son’s emotions when dealing with this possibility. I hurt for him and have asked him to find wise counsel and seek help before making any major decisions. He hasn’t yet but I am still praying for both of them to find healing. There is a lot of anger and hurt between them, and they will need the help of someone. It’s hard to give advice when you haven’t walked that road. Thanks for your honesty and that they would need to seek the help of a “healed” person recovering from divorce or someone in a “restored” relationship.
I loved reading this today. I found myself almost divorced a year ago to my husband of 6 years. We had been separated for about 2 years prior to the ‘almost divorce’. I thank God everyday that I did not follow through on my plans for divorce and seeking to be with another man. The pain was unbearable during this time and I felt that I would be ok if I could get divorced and ‘start over’ with someone new. I WAS DECEIVED AND WRONG! I know that my husband and I have received a real miracle within our marriage, as it has been restored to even better than either of us could imagine. We know now, without a doubt, in good times and bad, that we are meant to be together, and that no matter what we are gonna be together. We have just renewed our marriage vows a month ago, and we couldn’t be happier. Divorce is not an easy way out, it is not a quick fix, it is devastating to the couple, the kids, the families involved, friends. We have decided to make it work no matter what, and I can tell you I have never been happier in my marriage, especially since I wasn’t ever really happy since the beginning. What a difference it makes when you both serve Jesus and want to do Gods will, we have truly experienced our own miracle.
Divorce or death compound into the same emotional hole…..grief,abandonment and yes;even rejection.How my heart cried in empathy…I can only empathise for everyones journey/season are as individual as fingerprints…God is wonderful like that!!I was divorced at age 25 and widowed (2nd marriage) at 37.Like yourself when I hear of complaint against one’s partner I defer to those glorious “little” moments that made up the picture of my life.The moments of laughter,the cup of coffee upon rising…or the hot milk with a note pinned to it after a long night shift reminding me that I am loved.I am now 50 and glory in the changes and restoration He is bringing forth when I totally relied upon Him…..He restores and He does have a plan…Jer29:11…I know….I am living it.God Bless You beautiful princess.
I am currently separated from my husband. He left me and our 2 precious children to pursue life with another woman he met at work. After 1 1/2 years he threatens divorce but has yet to file anything. I am praying for God to restore as I know He can. I do not believe divorce is the answer. I continually think, I know God has more in store for our marriage.
Please pray I will stand strong and resist temptations, and that our children would not suffer anymore than they already have.
Thank you for your post. 🙂
wow, it is good to hear your raw perspective. i just recently wrote a blog post about staying married and choosing, against all odds, to not get divorced. i had an overwhelming response from readers and on facebook. it seems this is a topic that is for now. thank you for sharing the reality of the pain that comes in divorce – i believe that is the very reason God hates divorce: He is completely aware of the heartache it causes. blessings. i believe you will be used to encourage couples in turmoil to press through.
my recent post: you do not have to get divorced
My sister is going through this right now. Her husband has chosen a life apart from her and her girls. He had threatened the same a year ago, and though it was the hardest time of her life it was the beginning of GOd allowing her the release of guilt for what was to come just the past couple of weeks. She wholeheartedly recommitted to her marriage, facing headon the difficult challenges that came with realizations of weakness in their marriage. She gave 100% of herself to healing the relationship with her husband who has now determined that it was too difficult from his end to continue the marriage any longer.
I have to admit that I was one who say divorce as a black and white thing once – now, I realize that just like any other result of sin in the world, things happen that are less than ideal. Thankfully, God is greater than those things. He is greater than my mistakes, or another’s willful rejection of Him. Whatever the reason – divorce is not the end of a relationship with God, and as Christians we of all people should encourage and bless those women (and men) with the grace that flows through us to those aching hearts. We are not in a place of judgement – we dont know of the heartache that have either lead up to this point, or fulling understand those that will follow for long time to come.
Thank you for reminding us of those things …God bless.
I went through my first divorce 11 years ago and cannot begin to tell you the devastation it had on the lives of my 2 young boys. We had a beautifully built home, grandparents across the country road, lots of land for the boys to play and the school 1/2 mile away. Being young and dumb and unable to work through our differences, we divorced. We shared custody with the boys, but not for long. My ex husband was so heartbroken by my leaving that he made up lies and spent $13,000.00 on an attorney and had primary placement of our boys. I was forced to work 2 jobs and my boys were exposed to words about me as a person that can NEVER be replaced. My ex husband remarried and so did I. I became a christian and started my new life with true meaning in my vows. My ex husband continued to haunt me and he and his wife also became “hooked on meth”. I became pregnant with my 3rd son when my eldest was in fourth grade and my middle was in 2nd and their behavior changed moreso for the worse. They were horrific when at my home, I could’nt get anyone to believe me until 2 years ago. I was able to get full temporary custody, but by this time the oldest boys were out of control by living with drug addicts and or “enabling paternal grandparents”. The damage that this ALL done to my 2nd marriage is nothing short of a nightmare. My 2nd husband became a functional alcoholic and began taking prescription meds for the stress, not to mention the financial mess we encountered from more attorneys, guardian ad litem, counseling, me going to part time to do this, etc etc. To sum up my new husband became VERY emotionally and VERBALLY abusive, all the pressure was still on me. As christians we have been to counseling 5 times, 5 different people, weekend seminars four times, we have done it all. Honestly, I would love to divorce him but I am petrified for fear of what it would do to my youngest child. To date my 15 year old is not in school, he has been arrested 3 times, in PTI and he does attend anger management. He is also allowed by grandparents to have his 16 year old girlfriend to spend the nite at their home in the same bed. My middle son is 13 and he was expelled from school in Feb. he does nothing except run all over grandparents and ride 4 wheelers all day. I am a complete mess and miserable. I have cried non stop for 9 years. I am miserable and terribly resentful. I pray, study the Lord’s word, seek him and now I have turned into a person that I don’t even like because I am staying married to a man that has changed to some degree, but too much has happened. I get such stressful headaches and have developed fibromyalgia from ALL of this. The only good thing is that ex husband and his wife are drug free now for the past 18 months. They have moved back onto his parents land and started a new life. We actually have gotten along great the past year. I mentioned our beautiful earlier, it appraised for 300,000.00 in 1998. He was on meth so bad that the home was actually “falling in” and he sold it after repairing it for $110,000.00. YES DIVORCE ALWAYS COST IF YOU ARE IN YOUR 1ST MARRIAGE WORK ON IT AS HARD AS POSSIBLE ASK THE LORD TO LEAD AND GUIDE. ONLY STAY IN AN ABUSIVE MARRIAGE IF YOU SEPARATE AND THE ABUSIVE PERSON GETS HELP AND REPENTS IF NOT GET OUT!!!
Amy M says
It’s refreshing to see someone who has the same view on divorce as I do. I, too, understand that there are cases where it can be beneficial, but a lot of the time it’s either a selfish decision, or a quick decision. I myself haven’t gotten divorced, but I was 12 when my parents got divorced and still, to this day, have a lot of areas that God is working on me in recovering from that trauma.
Recently I had a ‘friend’ who decided to move back to Michigan and divorce her husband. She also decided to cut off ties with anyone who’s still talking to him, I being one of them. I haven’t had any flashbacks to the time when I was 12, until now.
Glory to God that He revealed the places He had healed me, and I know He’ll be faithful to heal the rest of the area.
I understand Carol’s position completely. However, divorce is not something that you get to choose. I didn’t. My husband, Christian husband of 27 years came home and dropped the D bomb. That was 10 years ago, pain yes, impact on my kids, most definitely. But could I have changed any of it, no unforntunately. But when we are in our own personal “Gethsamane” I prayed like Jesus did, not my will but thine be done. I couldn’t make my husband change, he made a selfish decision. My life has been wrought with much adversity however my walk with Christ has deepened and I’m ever hopeful that my Lord will reward me according to His goodness and mercy. If a person is considering divorce and you can choose to get counseling and save your marriage DO IT! but for those of us who were robbed of our marriages God will restore what the locust has eaten, HE is the Redeemer of all things including being divorced. Thank you God for your amazing plans for each of your daughters, whether we are single, married, divorced, widowed or re-married (should the Lord bring a beautiful loving relationship again into ones life)!
Twila DuBois says
Thankyou so much for this site….a friend named Emily led me to you…..so encouraging….I feel very alone right now with this “new”walk in Grace that the Lord has opened my eyes to!!!!!!