Writing the word “faith” at the top of your blog kind of makes you a target when it comes to topics like this. DIVORCE? I know what some of you are thinking… “Where dey do dat at?”
Well, (insert handclap emojis) Right. Over. Here.
I’d be lying if I said my ex-husband and I didn’t talk about divorce all the time, anyway. By talk, I don’t mean we sat down over coffee, with our knees curled back on the couch, and discussed the idea civilly.
Of course not!
“Divorce” came out in hate-filled, shouting matches in our two-bedroom apartment. Spit flew (unintentionally). Doors were slammed (intentionally). A woman was dragged, pushed and restrained (does this really need an explanation?). It was a weapon; an incessant threat made ever since the first night of what was supposed to be our forever.
“Divorce” was also my yielding response when there were no more tears to be cried and my head ached of confusion and betrayal. So, let’s just say the word wasn’t exactly taboo.
What’s clear is — now that all the documents have been signed and we’ve parted ways — the two of us were all talk. We felt free to bash each other and throw out ultimatums but forbidden from driving our grown, adult selves down to the courthouse for the papers. Why?
I can only speak for myself and say that I truly believed God was going to strike me dead if I EVER seriously took steps to leave. Okay, maybe he wouldn’t really hurt me, but I just knew, deep in my heart, he’d cut me off and never answer another prayer.
That is the furthest thing from the truth.
One year later, I’m proof that God forgives…even for that dirty d-word, divorce. I already know some will disagree. If so, answer this: Where do we get off as Christians putting God’s forgiveness in an imaginary box meant to only open and excuse the white lies we tell or an occasional encounter with our longtime vice? That’s all He can look past? That’s all he can wipe clean? Lies.
1 John 1: 9 (ERV) says, “But if we confess our sins, God will forgive us. We can trust God to do this. He always does what is right. He will make us clean from all the wrong things we have done.”
So, there you have it folks. If you’re in a toxic, abusive, unstable relationship and you’re ONLY holding on because you feel you have to, or else….trust me, you can let go. There’s redemption after the release.
Again, listen to the words I used — toxicity, abuse, instability — I’m clearly not advocating for you to end a perfectly healthy marriage because he wants a home-cooked meal every night and you suddenly hate cooking or she wants to shop every week and you’re trying to save for a house. Forgive me, but those really are first-world problems.
We’ve got men (and women) putting their hands on their spouse anytime they disagree, controlling every cent that flows through the doors of their home and tearing down the most confident, vibrant people one cynical criticism at a time. Ma’am (or sir), you don’t have to stay. That’s a choice.
Will it be painful? Of course. Will you cry? Yes, if you actually have a heart. Embarrassment? Umm, that’s kind of inevitable. You’re going from one person to two. Diamond to bare finger. Newsflash, people will notice. Does it get better? Yes.
Since the divorce, I’ve stopped crying, stopped seething every time someone or something reminded me of the failed relationship and started learning from my mistakes.
Yes, my mistakes.
One of the first signs of post-divorce maturity is being able to look in the mirror and see the flaws in yourself. Not the thinning hair from all the stress or the wide hips from the children you bore, but the deeper issues you don’t want anyone to know — like your passivity, your desperation for love and your addiction to affection.
Even if you never did any physical harm to the other person, it’s likely you still made errors.
I closed my eyes and ignored red flags, I didn’t speak up when I was uncomfortable and I repeatedly enabled bad behavior. What do I look like playing victim to circumstances I helped to create?
Sometimes, admitting my failures made me furious but it also made me hyper-aware of patterns. Why be hyper-aware? So you don’t make the same mistakes again. Marriage two is inevitable, but I’ll be damned if I get to number three.