I sat with a broken heart yesterday as a friend of mine’s former wife came out and said publicly that her husband left her and the kids. (Don’t worry you will never guess who this is, if you re at FBC it’s no one here, if you are at CG it isn’t anyone there either)
The reason it broke my heart is that statement isn’t true. The facts are that he had been traveling a lot for years and wasn’t around his family much at all. His work was his priority, and I am not telling you anything he wouldn’t tell you now or anything she wouldn’t have told you back then. This of course had major implications for his marriage, and when he finally saw the “light”, in a major effort to save his marriage and his family he stepped down from his 6 figure job to be at home. His desire was to repair the relationship with his kids and more importantly his wife. Immediately he went to counseling and brought the family with him. There were some major steps that he made to fix what was broken. There was no adultery involved on either side (hers or his), not even a hint of anything to that effect. However two mouths later she filed for divorce and asked him to leave the house. The reasons for her step away from everything he was trying to do was vague. A year later the divorce was final and they moved on with kids whose hearts were very broken by the whole ordeal.
Now you might say – “he did too little too late.” And to that I would say – it is never too late to save a marriage. And this one had amazing potential to being successful. He had been very open to his mistakes of putting his career over his family and took some radical steps to make that change. She however, (who I do feel for -the pain and the hurt of being pushed aside for years), allowed those feelings to over come her and prevent her form taking the steps she needed to take (counseling for her pain, counseling for how to repair the disconnect she had with him) to fix the problem, and the marriage. Though that bothered me, these recent proclamations publicly that he left her just doesn’t sit well with me.
So you will never know who I’m speaking of, and they do not really read this blog, so I’ve kept their identity wrapped in mysterious safety. So this isn’t me speaking to them… this is me speaking to you, whoever you are that is reading this blog today. And here are a few points I want to make with this true story in mind…
- Marriage is for better or for worse. Even if you did not say that to your spouse on your wedding day, it is still before God part of what marriage is. Now if you are in an abusive relationship you need to get away from him/her as quickly as possible. TODAY! If there has been adultery you are free to get a divorce (biblically) or you can stay with that person and work through the “worst”, it is up to you. But if you are just hurt through the normal course of being married through situations that didn’t work out like you wanted or you convinced yourself your spouse was out to get you, this is the bad stuff every marriage has to work through… so do the work.
- It takes two to make a marriage work. This means that even if you are so hurt you don’t want to take the steps that are needed to rectify it you need to take those steps anyway. (Remember hurt produces anger)
- At the end of the day, most divorces happen because of a fight for control. It is the pride that comes from the control factor that keeps a person from taking the steps that are needed to save the marriage. Consequently it is personal pride that is the source most of the pain – I didn’t get my way and I should have, who do they think they are anyway? Why do they always do what they want but I can’t? These statements are generally about control fueled by pride. Only hurt comes from this state of mind.
- If a marriage breaks a part it is because one or both of the people involved decided not to work on it.
- If you are making up an alternate reality to make yourself look good before others or so you will feel better on the inside (see the story above). You are just admitting your wrong and not the other persons and the people closest to you know that.
- I understand and feel for people who are going through a marriage mess (please reread #1). But please do not add lies, or your exaggerations to the problem. Though you may get the response you are looking for from your friends, you have just made the matter worse. And trust me the truth is really enough to cope with – without adding falsehoods to the mix just because of how you feel.
It takes TWO, not one, not 3, not your family or anyone else to fix marriage . The only people on earth that can fix your marriage is you and your spouse and you both have to move in the direction of each other. This means work to lay down the pain, the irritation in order to move to a better day.
Finally – if you are a believer – Christ is waiting on you to choose to lean on him and follow him to a better day for your marriage. But it takes both people (two if you will) in the marriage to put Him in the center of it.