To coorilate with our current series on divorce, Lauren Miller has written a piece about her experience with divorce.
“Going through the big D and don’t mean Dallas.”
This lyric was about the extent of first-hand knowledge I had on divorce growing up. I grew up pretty sheltered and divorce was never really on my radar. No one in my family had been divorced, aside from a great-grandparent for a really good reason and that was well before I was on the scene. Most of my friends were from two-parent homes, but for two friends who lived in single parent homes. It was all I knew, I lacked understanding of the divorce concept, and the impact it had.
I naively thought once you stood at the altar and exchanged vows it was just a forever thing. If I had been asked directly my thoughts on divorce I doubt I would have articulated out loud that I thought getting a divorce was a horrible thing and made you bad but deep down it is how I felt.
Growing up in a southern baptist church added to my uppity attitude concerning divorce.
It was as if divorce was the unpardonable sin. Shouldn’t you just stick it out because you are in covenant with someone? How bad could a marriage really be to warrant disregarding the promise you made to God and your spouse? Marriage wasn’t intended to make you happy but holy.
Okay, that last sentiment I don’t necessarily disagree with but not at the expense of your safety and sometimes even sanity.
My childhood perspective took a major turn after I got into a marriage and began to fully learn the complexities of relationships in general.
Life is messy, nothing is clear-cut and simple as I once thought. Now I see that there are times when divorce and if nothing else separation is NEEDED in some relationships. I have talked to older and wiser people about their marriages and how ugly they have gotten. I have watched a friend be in an abusive marriage where divorce was the best option. I have seen the benefit of separation and how it can truly save a marriage.
Although as years went on and I began to see the justification for divorce I want to be clear that I am not an advocate for divorce. I would never be one to quickly urge a divorce to anyone, I truly believe that marriage is something worth fighting for. I have fought like hell for my own. I have watched my parents successfully do the same. I believe that God designed and desires marriage to be a lasting covenant that can withstand the downfalls of life. In my eight years of marriage, I have learned that to build a marriage that will indeed last it takes an insane amount of effort.
If your end goal is to make it to your golden anniversary (50th) and beyond then you have to look at the whole picture and how you can work to get there.
No marriage makes it that far by chance, I can promise you that. Work on yourself first and foremost, even if your spouse doesn’t lift a finger find where you can improve. As you gain health for you it will seep into your marriage as well, I promise.
And if you are like I was in my younger days be kind to those around you who have chosen the divorce route. Encourage them towards self-healing and be willing to listen if they want to talk, you may learn something you didn’t know.