This month, I have been divorced for 5 years. Before that I was married for 5 years. I say that as a reference to you before you read any further. I don’t claim to know much of anything about having a successful relationship or tips on how to make a marriage work. However, as I said, I’ve lived half my adult life married and the other half single. So I have perspective on both. I’ve reached through the fence a few different times, thinking the grass was greener and turns out it’s not.
Here are my thoughts on this dilemma, today directed to the married folks….
For whatever reason, I’ve recently had conversations with several good friends (both guys and gals) about marriage and divorce. Not sure if it’s in the water or it’s something this storm is bringing in or what. But it’s a trend that disturbs me because of my personal experience with divorce.
As I said from the top, I have no advice that you can implement that will change your married life overnight. But what I can give you and what I describe to everyone I meet with about this topic is this.
Here is a picture of what your life will be like if you decide to get divorced…and specifically to those of you with children.
- Be prepared to rarely; if ever tuck your kids in at night.
- Have a lot of Kleenex the first 3 years. You will need them.
- Get your story ready to deliver to your kids when they ask you why you left their mother/father.
- Alone. Lonely. Defeated.
- Say good-bye to waking your kids up and dressing them for school every day.
- Get ready for most people to look at you differently.
- Depressed. Discouraged. Constantly.
- Get your profile pic ready for the dating site of your choice.
- Get prepared to watch other women…. “mother” your children, dress your girls, love what was your spouse.
- Embarrassed. Insecure. Distraught.
- Don’t forget how many kids you have, because every potential suitor will ask. Then walk away.
- Buy a football for the guy who will be teaching your boy how to throw it.
- If you do find someone, get ready to be asked to pick one. Them or your kids.
- Just be primed to say “it’s ok” when your kids call you the wrong name. Yes, I mean not mom or dad, but the other “persons” name.
- The “rings” will come off, the lawyers will control everything and you will be served papers. Publicly.
- Pick out which Christmas mornings you want to spend with your kids. You no longer get them all.
- The thought of love will be sickening, yet you’ll long to have it back. Many will search for it for years with other people.
- Failure. Desperation. Darkness.
I don’t share these intimate details in hopes of you inviting me to a pity party. In fact not all of these examples and emotions are from me. The list is more of a culmination of examples from my life and dozens of other divorced men and woman whom I’ve counseled. Friends who thought the grass was greener elsewhere. So why do I share? I share these specifics in hopes of slapping some of you across the face with the reality that will be your life if you break your vows. Five years after divorce I still deal with several of these issues and emotions on a weekly basis. Now, my life is what it is today and I believe God has grace that covers a multitude of sins. And that I am living proof that God does and can restore and make all things new. But it comes with a price, a very brutal and often times painful price that few people fully realize.
My message is this. Single or married. The grass is NOT greener elsewhere. You are where you are for a reason. Take charge of your marriage, claim your contentedness and grab some gratefulness for your situation.
Being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5
But most of all forgive and love. …. just like you have been forgiven and loved.