Hi, reader. If you’re here right now, I hope my words give you some support and give you comfort knowing you’re not alone.
Just so you know, this isn’t one of those articles that’s going to tell you not to divorce your husband. I’m not going to give you things to try without telling you what happens if they don’t work. I know those posts mean well, but I also can guess where your heart is right now. How hard even considering divorce is. But you’re here, searching out advice, so you’re serious. And you just need someone who will be transparent with you. Someone who understands.
I Get It
I know how you’re feeling because I was there 4 years ago. I read article after article, post after post about all the things I could do to make my marriage better. To make it work. And I’m not discrediting those posts. But there are enough of them out there, so I want to just be real with you, right here, right now.
There’s a lot of good information out there. But none of it was going to put my marriage back together. I won’t say it didn’t help me. There were steps I needed to take to know that I did everything I could. But the actions I took didn’t change our situation. You know why? I couldn’t control another person. And neither can you. As I’m sure you already know, marriage requires investment from both people.
Now don’t get an image in your mind of me being the perfect wife. That’s not who I was.
I constantly reminded him of his shortcomings.
I said things I shouldn’t have in the heat of the moment.
I let my pride get in the way.
I became bitter and held on to every little ounce of pain his words and actions put me through.
And I used that pain as a weapon to make sure he was hurting too.
When It’s Just Too Late
But when I felt it all starting to slip away, I did try to fight for my marriage. I started to swallow the comments and keep them to myself. I tried to make sure the house was always neat and that I was doing all the “right” things a wife should do. I started sitting down and wanting to work through our issues. I talked to God. I started picking up my Bible. I did everything I could think of to make it better.
But it was too late.
I don’t know if the years of me being bitter from the hurt pushed him away or if there was just a lack of interest on his part. But I began to realize that nothing I could possibly say or do was going to resurrect my marriage.
As a last ditch effort, I laid down some rules. They were lines that couldn’t be crossed if we really wanted to reestablish trust and get our marriage back on track. But the lines were crossed.
So I chose divorce.
If you’re considering divorce, know that I’m not advocating for it. It’s not something to take lightly. In a marriage, you become one (even if you don’t feel like you are anymore). When I left him, it was like I was ripping myself in two. I had to relearn everything about who I was on my own. It’s excruciating. But in some cases, just to be honest, it’s worth it.
Steps to Take First when Considering Divorce
Of course, there are things you should try first. Even just for your own peace of mind.
- Take it to God. Lord knows I spent a lot of time asking Him for answers and for a change in our hearts.
- As painful as it can be, face the things you’ve done wrong. We all have our own responsibility because none of us are perfect. Even if his mistakes have been “worse.” I had to learn to control my emotions instead of letting them control me and do everything I could to stop our toxic behavior patterns (by crucifying them in me first).
- Get counseling. If both of you agree to go and are invested.
- Talk to your family and his. Lay it all out for everyone so that 1) they aren’t shocked if divorce does come and 2) you can get some support. Of course, don’t do this step until you’ve talked to him.
- Consider how the divorce will change life for your kids. Full disclosure: co-parenting can be ROUGH. Especially in the beginning. It is do-able, but it takes time. After all, there’s a lot of very human emotion on both sides.
- Like I did, when there’s nothing left to do, lay down some hard and fast rules. Nothing unreasonable. Just the things you would need in order for the relationship to continue and for the other person to show they’re still in this with you.
If you’ve done all you can do and the other person decides they don’t want the same thing as you, it’s time to walk away.
God’s Love Never Changes
And ya know what? You’ll also find that none of it was a surprise to God. He had a plan for your life before divorce and still has a plan after divorce. He’s not going to turn His back on you because you chose to walk away. Is it His design or His desire that marriage should be broken? No, of course not. But He knows better than anyone else the implications of free will. Love doesn’t (and can’t) control another person. Just like He never controls us but gives us a choice.
If you’re at the breaking point and feel like there’s no other way… If you’ve read all the articles, taken a good hard look at yourself, tried all the things and it’s not going anywhere (or even getting worse), know that He’s already prepared the way for you.
God had already hand-picked my new husband. He had seen the future that my kids and I would have. He knew the new babies that He was going to bless our family with. And He already had a call and a purpose ready for our family before it ever truly began.
So I guess what I want to say to you is this:
- Seek advice, but at the end of the day, you and God know your marriage better than anyone else.
- Marriage doesn’t have to look like this (and was never intended to).
- There is life after divorce.
- You can get through this.
- And God will never leave you or forsake you.
Until next time,
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