Monday, July 21, 2008

A Little Soul Searching Today

I suppose one of the biggest things I have learned going through my recent separation is a healthy dose of respect for others who have been there. I will admit in the past I have judged people for their decision to divorce. This comes from my very ingrained beliefs that divorce is wrong. It has taken me a long time to concede to the fact that in some cases it the best thing for everyone concerned.
One of the things that has helped me has been the admonition in the scriptures when, I believe it was Paul who said: "If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, live at peace with all men." Romans 12:18.
Now, friends, I realize he is not speaking in particular about marriage. But I do know that God wants us to live in peace. And that "If" right there is an important word. Also, "as much as it is up to you." There were many things gone wrong with my marriage. Some of them out of my control. I finally came to the realization that there were some things, though, that were up to me. No one else. No one else was in my marriage. No one else could make the call.
My mother was in a bad marriage for years. She stayed because she loved him. She stayed because she did not believe in divorce. She had grounds--both Biblical and otherwise. She took care of my father when he was ill and could not see for himself. She gave up her very life to sit with him 24/7. There are very few women who would stay in the mess that my dad created were they his wife. This is the example I grew up with. You didn't run when things got hard.
So it has not been an easy decision. Ultimately what made the decision for me was not one of convenience. It was not whether or not I loved him. It was not whether or not he provided for us (although survival did become an issue). It became a matter of my staying mentally and physically healthy to raise my child. It became a matter of ensuring my child had a roof over his head and at least one stable parent. But ultimately it became a matter of having some peace. As I have said repeatedly, you cannot make a good decision when you are mentally stressed to your limits. You cannot make good decisions when you have run for months and into the years on minimal sleep. And this is what I have been trying to get him to see. Neither of us were headed in a good direction. We were slowly but surely destroying each other. And allowing the Enemy to do so as well.
I tried every way imaginable to maintain peace. I went along with whatever he said. I did whatever he wanted. I did things I did not want to do. Things that went against my upbringing, my conscience, and my good sense. I tried it both ways. I tried to be passive. Things got worse. I tried to be aggressive. Things got worse. I got assertive and insisted on counseling. Things got 3 times worse. I tried to predict his responses to head them off. I covered for him to keep him happy. I tried to maintain his reputation in the community. I tried to get him medical help, psychiatric help, financial help. I worked hours upon hours to make sure the lights stayed on and there was food in the house. None of it was successful in maintaining peace. I struggled to keep him awake, balanced, and in church. Whatever he was needing out of life I could not give him.
I tried to do it all for him. But what it all boils down to is, I can't do it for him. Yes, we are married. Yes, in God's eyes we are one. But he will stand before God and give an account. And I will stand before God and give an account. Did I have a part in destroying this marriage? Yes. As I said, it takes two to make a marriage and two to have a split. I am not blameless. I am not perfect. God can change both of us. But I can't change him. I can only change me. And I'm not sure I can change me. I am going to have to let God.
All I know to say is pray for us. We need intercessory prayer. God is bigger than all of this. He knows the future. He knows us. He knows our getting up and our laying down. He formed us in our mothers' wombs. He can make all the difference. I may be cast down, but I am not destroyed. Nor forgotten.
Thanks for listening


Dawn said...

I am so glad you stopped by today - and am sorry I haven't been over to visit for such a long time! I was amazed at the topic of your post today, because my daughter, Kristen, has finally been able to get back to her blog, and changed the URL so that her soon-to-be ex cannot find her and stock her on her blog. Check her out:

It sounds like you have much in common! Blessings!

Bethany Pledge said...

My prayers are with you. <3