I am not having a great day today. It’s okay–I know this happens and I also know that it will pass, but while I’m having this “not so great day” I’ve decided to acknowledge it. Today I found out that someone in my life whom I love is deathly ill and may not be on this earth for much longer. It’s a person in my ex-husband‘s family. I was related to and loved his family for a long time, and just because he made the choices he made didn’t mean that I stopped loving them or caring about people whom I considered “family.” Thank God we had the kind of divorce that was not filled with vitriol and spite. After it was final, we got together after the divorce–his parents and siblings and cousins and I–and we all decided to be stay in touch and be civil even if we were no longer related by blood.
But this shock–the sorrow of hearing that someone I love is going to die soon–reminds me all too painfully of the hidden costs of divorce. When you are having an affair, or when your spouse is having an affair or had one, it is all too tempting to think: “It would be so much better if we just divorced and started over. I could find someone who really LOVES me and I could finally be treated like I deserve. People get over it. I’m sure we could move on.” The thrill of meeting someone for the first time…feeling goosebumps again…falling in love…planning a wedding….it all sounds so NICE (and don’t get me wrong, it can be) compared to looking at yourself and changing, and compared to the hard work of reconciling!
But today is a forceful reminder for me that I want to pass on to you–a warning if you will. The outgoing ripples of destruction that are caused by a divorce keep going as long as you life. Today someone I love may well be leaving this earth, and I won’t be a recognized “mourner” because it is one of my ex-husband’s relatives…and I’m not his wife anymore. Tonight someone I love may pass away, and yet I don’t share this loss with the man I love–my Dear Hubby–because he does not even know her and never will. The older I get, the more I realize WHY God has the plan of marriage for us…because as life moves along and changes come, our life partner UNDERSTANDS they were there with us! … because as we age and our friends and family die, we have their memories and can share the grief in common! …because as we age and faithfully get through the changes together, we demonstrate an example of the faithfulness of God sticking with us when we don’t deserve fidelity!
So don’t fool yourself. The time and effort that it takes to look at your own issues, change to a more godly behavior, and rebuild the kind of marriage that obeys God IS SO WORTH IT. It can take a while and be really painful, but sometimes purification so that you reflect God’s image requires being put into the fire! Anyway, make no mistake: divorce is NOT a panacea. It makes MORE problems, and the ramifications go on and on for decades if not generations. Like today, as I say goodbye to a woman I love and have loved since I was young–my children’s grandmother.
- Dealing With Divorce (everydayhealth.com)
- Dr. Bonnie Explains What You Should Know, But Don’t, About Staving Off Divorce (prweb.com)
- My Best Friend’s Divorce Includes Me (ask.metafilter.com)