Victim of Well-Intentioned Divorcees

I’m pro-marriage.

I won’t condemn someone who chooses another path. I haven’t walked in their shoes.

What I do have a hard time with though are those who have, willingly or unwillingly,  taken the route of divorce and then turn around and tell me that’s what I should do.

I don’t rule out separation at some point but God hasn’t lined things up for me to do what could lead to that.

So the thinking is that if you are abused – leave. Jesus walked away from abuse so we can to. True. Jesus walked away from PHYSICAL abuse. And I agree. If you are being hit – get out NOW. It doesn’t mean divorce, but you need to be safe.

Jesus didn’t always walk away from verbal abuse. Sometimes he told a story to confound them. Sometimes he pointed out their sin and hypocrisy. Of course when you look at the end of his life he didn’t walk away from the physical or verbal abuse at all. He endured it.

I’ve also been told that IF I love my husband, I need to confront his sin. Tell him what’s wrong and confront it and draw a line in the sand and take the consequences. Well…. I’ve confronted my husband before and only was abused more for it (verbally). Others have also confronted him and pretty much have been blown off.  I pick my battles now, based on what’s best for me – not his eternal soul – since he’s made it clear I have no business even thinking about that.

God’s word does say to walk away from a person who is repeatedly unrepentant.  God also hates divorce and he has not made a way for me to separate. So I stay. As I do so, I hear well-meaning Christian people telling me I should leave.

I resent this. Isn’t this my life to live before God? Aren’t I supposed to be following HIM and His Holy Spirit (along with wise counsel? Not everyone tells me to leave!) So why does that mean your choice is also best for me?

Why does this bother me so much? Because they have freedom and I don’t? Well, I’ve seen the cost of that freedom and it doesn’t come cheap.  It bothers me because while I understand how well-intentioned those people are, they are in fact, re-victimizing me all over again. Now I’m not only a victim of my husband’s verbal/emotional abuse, but I’m getting it from people in the church. Just a different group than those who would be condemning me for leaving if I chose that path instead. I can’t win.

So that leaves me in a bit of a no-man’s land (hahaha! Except he’s still here!). I don’t always love my husband. I struggle to pray for him. I don’t always care that much about my marriage. In many ways I’m done. I’ve walked away emotionally and spiritually even though I physically share the same address.

Does that shock you?

I struggle with grace in my circumstances and it can cause me to spin my wheels in my own self-care when I feel that sense of “I’m not doing enough to save my marriage.” I’ve tried. Trust me. I have. For the sake of my own mental and spiritual health I can’t do it any more.

I will treat my husband with respect. I will submit where I can. I will model and try to teach my children to respect their dad even when his actions are anything but deserving of such. And I will try to move on to a full life in the midst of my difficult marriage.

So please, don’t put me down for staying. This is not an easy path to trod, but I do know what the choices are and the consequences and for now, under the authority of the Holy Spirit at work in my heart, this is the path I chose.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy at Affaircare
    May 27, 2013 @ 02:55:41

    I just wanted to say one thing, Lilly Grace–I support you. I am a Christian and I have been divorced due to my exH refusing to stop his affairs and leaving. According to the Bible, if my non-christian spouse chooses to leave, I let him go with peace, and I did. But having been through a divorce, one thing I can say is that I will NOT encourage another person to divorce. I would encourage them both to work on their own issues. I would encourage the one to work on their own issues even if the other will not. I would encourage them that the cost is too high. I would encourage them that God never promises us an easy, pain-free life or marriage! He tells us to respect our husbands, not “respect them if they are nice, loving men.”

    My only possible disagreement with you is regarding the idea of “consequences.” First, consequences are not “punishment.” They are different things. When King David had an affair with Bathsheba, he did honestly repent before the Lord. He was sorry for what he had done, but God LOVED David and still allowed David to experience the natural consequence of adultery–the child they conceived did die. Likewise, as parents, when a child does something wrong and is actually sorry for it, we forgive them but we also allow them to experience the natural consequence. For example, if they stole a candy bar, they go to the store owner, apologize, (here’s the consequence part) and return the candy OR pay for it double. If you love someone, you do not make up punishments for what they do, because that’s not your job, but you also do not clean up their mess or stand in the way so that they do not experience the natural consequence of their own choices. Helping someone avoid their consequences is not love! For example, if a spouse shops too much and their account is overdrawn, it is not loving to then pay their phone bill so their cell is not shut off. If the phone is shut off for a little while, they will learn that the cost of shopping too much is no phone! But if you step in, they won’t learn that lesson will they? God himself teaches the entire human race a huge lesson: The wages of sin is DEATH. He allows some to experience spiritual death because that is the consequence of choosing to not love HIM!

    Anyway, give it a thought and again, don’t think of punishments–that isn’t what I mean here. I just mean that when God tells us to be LOVING, a loving act is to treat your spouse with the respect that they are aware of their choices and can handle both the good and the bad costs of their choices.

    Reply

    • lillygracebrown
      Jun 05, 2013 @ 17:57:28

      THank you for posting. I don’t always see consequences as punishment, but I do think that as a result of choices I make I have to recognize that sometimes even making those good choices, healthy choices can have negative consequences when it comes to how my husband may choose to react. Hence, picking my battles wisely. If I am not ready to handle a possible negative reaction then I need to be careful. Maybe that makes me a coward? Sometimes I feel like I bide my time until God makes it no longer an option to avoid. We all walk our own path and I appreciate you respecting mine. Thank you! Lilly Grace

      Reply

  2. chely5150
    Apr 11, 2014 @ 15:09:30

    Hello – I have just read several of your posts and wanted to say that I respect the position you are taking. Although I am not an overly religious person, I appreciate your references to scripture. I too have chosen a different path than most (of what I’ve read) betrayed spouse. While i’m fully aware of husbands narcissism, and the EXTREME CHALLENGES that I face remaining in this marriage, after almost 20 years married, despite all the bad stuff, we (I) have had a decent life. Could it have been better? Absolutely, however because of the good stuff I simply cannot leave (at least for now), he has always been involved in kids lives, works hard to provide for us (reminds us frequently), and after years of emotional abuse and not understanding where it came from (what I did to deserve?) I am much better at dealing with it, oh he still tries but I simply don’t participate. By standing up for myself without losing control of my emotions (RAGE) has had a positive effect on relationship. I do realize that there are certain things that will probably never change and at that it will be up to me to decide if can continue to live with them. I really don’t want a divorce at all just a partner who is a partner, not acting like their God. I truly believe that if I did finally divorce him – he will have no problem executing a vindictive smear campaign. At any point he could also change his mind and leave as well. But I really don’t think he would ever do that for two reasons: 1) he absolutely would not want anyone to know him as a cheater-destroy the image of the outside world who loves him. 2) he would be required to share (financially) all that WE (he would say he) worked for. It wasn’t always hell, many times he treats me very well. Especially after deciding to stay together and work on marriage. But the floor could fall out or I could kick it out myself. Anyway thanks for offering a different opinion on the subject. I look forward to reading more. chely

    Reply

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