When You Lose Friends Because of Your Difficult Marriage

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Difficult marriages are often a journey of years, even decades, for the wife who chooses to stay. Initially she may not even realize it’s difficult. Marriage can be hard, can’t it? But when challenges become more defined and efforts at making the marriage better are rebuffed and blame is repeatedly placed on the wife–reality is hard to escape.

And it can be a devastating burden.

I’ve had to sever or at least limit my contact with some individuals who were not supportive of my struggle. Who recognized they really could not support me in my effort to stay. I have enough negativity and blame in my marriage. I don’t need it in my support system too.

Not that I don’t want truth tellers. I do. I need to know when I cross a line or sometime be gently reminded of certain truths that maybe I’ve forgotten in the dark cloud that can consume me.

I don’t have BFF’s though. In the middle of the night there is maybe one woman I would feel comfortable calling should I be that desperate. I have a friend who had to remind me that when I’m down, she wants to be there for me. I cried realizing that I had a deeper friendship in her than I realized. The fact is . . . I have to spread my pain out amongst a wider net of friendships and to differing degrees so as not to overwhelm one person with the weight I carry daily.

I wish I could say “God is enough.” But sometimes we just need Jesus with skin on.

And yet accepting the help can be hard to do. I don’t always believe I deserve to be treated well. And I’m used to being the one who serves and cares for others. To receive it is humbling and uncomfortable. But I’m learning that when it happens, I need to be grateful for the way God provides.

I wish I could give solace for the injuries and wounds left by others who don’t understand your journey, your struggles or your grief. Your dedication to stay married is only for one person and one person alone: Jesus. It is out of obedience to Him that I stay. Should He tell me to leave (separate) . . . then I need to obey.

The thought terrifies me but I have to remember, looking back at my life, that there have been decisions and choices I have made before that now I look  back and wonder how I did it.  I don’t remember any fear. I do remember some of the pain of those choices but mostly I look back in admiration that my obedience gave me the courage to follow through and do things my scardey-cat self would never consider.

Only God can do that when He leads us. It won’t be without struggle either way. But He sees and knows. 

And I am grateful.

Lilly Grace

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