Divorce: Who's to Blame When the Marriage Ends


How Could it Have Happened?

Not only had the knot become untied, but the ends were irreparably frayed. Finding an attorney was not the hard part. Facing the judge was not the hard part, as humiliating as that is. The hardest part of getting a divorce came after the gavel dropped-- facing the next morning and the morning after that and the morning after that. It was quite possibly the most painful thing I have ever endured thus far in life, including burying both my parents and all my grandparents. I did not believe in divorce. I did not want to be a divorcee. I wanted a solution to the chaos. I needed shelter from the storm. I needed peace. I needed a husband, "a caretaker of the vineyard." Half of me, the half that was him, was dying and willing to die, to literally lie down and let life go by day after day. Whether he took his own life, as he threatened, or just lay down and quit, either way death was taking hold. And I, for one, still had enough fight in me not to go down with the ship.

The breaking of the soul tie can be crushing and debilitating, especially if you still loved your spouse. One of the biggest indictments on my marriage came four months into the marriage counseling we took part in as a last ditch measure to save our family. Our counselor looked at us and with complete and total honesty said it was the saddest situation he had ever seen in his career. Indeed, it is sad when even your marriage counselor does not see a happy ending. And even then, not one counselor, but two, deemed it a lost cause. "You are going to have to live with it, or not. Your choice," one said to me. What a wakeup call. I was devastated. I was mortified. And yes, I was scared spitless.

I was weary from the struggle, the micro managing, the covering up, the holding it together. I was slowly but surely losing every ounce of self-respect, every speck of good sense, and every bit of faith I had. I took what some call the easy way out. But those who would judge will never understand. I took the only way out. To have stayed would have been destructive to three lives--three souls hung in the balance. I read every scripture I could find on the subject. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed for healing. I repented of all I knew to repent. But I could not live in peace with my spouse. Everything in me contradicted everything he was. We were no longer one. I had long been abandoned; there was nothing left to do but to bury the dead carcass of the twelve-year marriage.

Both to Blame

I will concede that two people who call themselves Christians should be able to avoid divorce, should want to avoid divorce, should strive to avoid it if they can. I will even concede that if and when it comes down to a split that sin is at the root, and not only sin, but lack of faith. Even if you have biblical grounds, and I felt that I did, it is not an easy choice we make. As Christians, we are to forgive, be long suffering, gentle, loving, meek, humble. We are to go the extra mile. We are to trust God to heal our marriages, save our spouses, and give us a long and prosperous life together. So I had to come to terms with my lack of faith. I had to repent of some things that were weighing me down. I had to get real with myself and my part in the chaos. That's a tough thing to do when someone has hurt you. Ultimately, I knew that I could forgive. It would take time. It would take healing. But I did not know if I could be strong enough for the both of us without succumbing to the darkness that invaded our home. I also had a young child to care for, to raise, to nurture in the admonition of Christ. Either choice I made had the potential to make or break this beautiful gift God had given us. The weight was heavy, the burden of the decision. It was a choice I had to make for the greater good. If I was wrong, then I ask God to be merciful.

In the Hands of a Merciful God

I pray each day that I find myself in the hands of a merciful God, that my former spouse finds himself there at the feet of Jesus as well. I pray for his health and happiness and well being. When the anger tends to surface, I try to pray, "Lord, don't let it consume me. Help me let it go." When he remarried, I went through a long stage of adjustment, of grieving. I just could not believe that he had picked up the pieces, found his way out of the black hole, and was actually living again. It was bittersweet. Hadn't I prayed for him find the will to live again? What did I want him to do, lie languishing in his depression and rot? This, the father of my child, the man I obviously fell in love with at some point--the man I was once one with, had somehow managed to put it behind him and move on while the mourning in me continued. I could let this destroy me, or I could be thankful that he had not died. For as long as there was breath in him, there was, indeed, hope for his soul. And mine as well. There is hope for our souls. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, though some would like to put that mantle on you. If you find yourself already there, it's done. Repent, and in the words of Christ, "Go and sin no more." If you are at the crossroads of making a decision, I pray that God will give you wisdom and strength and faith for the journey that lies ahead. He loves you. He wants you to live in peace and be an overcomer.

Comments 11 comments

Suzy 5 years ago

That was beautifully written! Thank you for being open and honest about a very painful subject!

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cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Thank you, Suzy.

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cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

One reader had trouble posting, so I have posted this for her. --The death of a marriage is definitely as painful as death itself..till death do us part I believe includes the death of the marriage. A Christian marriage is definitely painful as well as confusing because you are trying to follow the words of the Bible. It was especially painful to me because I had worked in the church all of our marriage which was 20 years and we shared the same friendships...Yet when I felt I had to leave the marriage and the church, these friends remained his friends and I was completely left out. These was indeed as painful as the divorce itself. I had no friends to turn to. People can be so judgemental when they are on the other side of the situation. Why can't they just continue to love you and support you no matter what the situation? I know it is hard to know what to say to someone that is going through a divorce but it only takes someone saying, "I still love you, & I'm still here for you." After 30 years, the pain is still as real today as it was then and I've never allowed myself to become that close to my church friends again. I hold no grudges and have forgiven, but a part of my heart died and that part of my life is gone forever. We should be so conscious to the feelings of someone going through this type of situation and be there for them. After all these years, the people that were my friends then I believe are my friends now, but just in a different situation and a different time. May I always let the Lord lead me to be kind and gentle to those that are going through the difficult times of a divorce. That is one of the most important times of your life when you need the love and prayers of not only your friends but especially your church friends. Signed: baw

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cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

Losing friends and even in-laws you have been close to is a very painful thing. And yes, we expect our church to be there for us in these times. I believe this is an area that a lot of churches fall down in because they do not know how or what to say. It's one of those areas that no one wants to talk about, and everyone usually has a side they are on. No one wins in a divorce. No one.

Ruth 5 years ago

Well done, Cindy! Bless you for allowing God to use you in this way to minister to hurting souls with a pain so deep that few understand. Many will be encouraged to pick up the pieces and give love another chance and place their trust in the only one who can heal their broken hearts.

Loomis Simms 5 years ago

This is so true - THANK YOU - What a blessing!!!

cgreen7090 profile image

cgreen7090 5 years ago from Tennessee Author

You're welcome. Thanks for reading.

Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

A great write with insights into what has become so prevalent. I read recently over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Thank you for sharing your experience.

LuxmiH profile image

LuxmiH 5 years ago from Fort Pierce, Florida

"Not only had the knot become untied, but the ends were irreparably frayed." What a brilliant opening. That's a grabber for sure!

What a heartfelt Hub. You shared your soul and connected with the Soul of every reader.

I was able to vicariously go on your journey without having to actually experience it in reality... although I have been divorced, for me it represented freedom from a physically abusive relationship. Therefore although my experience was different I could still empathise.

You are a terrific writer. I am so glad to be following you. Voted Up and beautiful.

DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 5 years ago

You have turned to your faith in God to see you through it all.The outcome was not what you believed or expected.But we never know God's plan.We see bits and pieces of it and we do the best we can.Picking up the pieces no matter how frayed to do what we have to do to survive and make a life for ourselves.As long as we believe in doing the right thing we can' be held responsible for someone elses actions or bad choices.We have to find goodness in life and with the miracles of life we also find the love and freedom we have always wanted.God bless a wonderful written hub.Rated up thanks for sharing and helping other people who face the same situation.

Janetta 22 months ago

So truthfully spoken as a woman facing divorce and believer of Jesus Christ I have struggled with this issue for 5 years and I kn that he understands my situation and my pain and will forgive my decision as I did not come to it lightly

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