I’ve gone back and forth about writing a blog about this because for the most part, people think I’m crazy and for good reasons.
Most the time when people divorce, it’s because the other person has done something grossly negligent or has ignored or hurt their spouse in some other form or fashion.
Yet what happens when a divorce ends on a bad note, but looking back you can see all the factors that led up to that? What do you do then?
For the last 3 years since my divorce, my x husband (and the father of my children) and I have been learning to build our trust and respect for each other once again.
I can say it hasn’t always been easy, but with any relationship, there is always time to learn and improve not only yourself but your relationship with others.
Ironically, we both see each other as new people.
Age, life, and wisdom itself stepped in when we were separated and truly matured us and worked on us while we were apart. Yet even in our seperation we still liked each other we just couldn’t get the relationship aspect of our relationship to flow.
Divorce for us was a reset of sorts.
While you can blame the other person for everything that went wrong, that approach neglects the fact that you showed up and played a part whether knowingly or unknowingly.
The more I wanted God to work on him and vindicate me, the more he began to show me that I also needed to be worked on and everything that I had viewed from my standpoint, I never asked God to show me what he could see from his.
As God began to work on me, he began to break down my x husbands character and how so many situations I had judged one way, were inaccurate and all about my perspective. While I am in no way condoning some things we did to each other when we both were hurt, I am admitting that the scales that were once tipping in my favor began to even out when the master judge settled the score.
As we have begun discussing retying the knot. Here are some things we have learned from our previous marriage that we are taking into our restored union.
- Marriage is more about laying down our needs for that of another- This is the biggest lesson I learned from spending time in my bible and with the Lord after our divorce. While so many scriptures point to loving one another as being the most important commandment in the bible, I never truly applied that to my marriage. When I begin to think about how Jesus loved me so much that he died for an imperfect me, I began to realize the great sacrifice love requires. Marriage is an opportunity for me to lay down my life to love and walk with another. It requires me to put down my needs and honor those of another. To make a commitment that wherever he lacks I will fill.
2. Family is great but we didn’t marry each others family- We both have families that have many opinions and truly want what’s best for us. Yet sometimes, mostly when conflict arises, it’s natural for families to be biased and provide opinions and suggestions that favor one party over the next. We have learned that working out our differences amongst ourselves is a lot easier than soliciting outside advice!
3. Communication IS key- We learned that even if a situation causes us the slightest annoyance, we should be able to talk about it or at least make the other person aware of what thoughts are going through our head. Now that we are more open, a lot of situations that could’ve been arguments are easily discussed and more times than not just a difference of perspective.
4. It takes more than love- When we first said ” I do” it felt like after that everything would just fall in place. However when life happened we were nowhere near prepared. 2 knee surgeries, family bickerings, issues conceiving, and then eventually a newborn baby took its toll on our marriage and really helped push us toward the finish line. What we learned from this is while love is great, it takes perseverance, courage, commitment, and a whole lot of prayer to truly help a union stay together!
5. Showing up each day for one another- This was a big one for us. We had to recognize that each day we had to make a conscious decision to stay together. We had to support, provide, listen, and comfort the other people on a daily basis and not just when we were in the mood. As stated in number 1, now that we were one, we had to lay down our comforts and wants some time to be there for what the other person needed.
6. We can only change ourselves- As a woman, my insecurities would sometimes find their way into our marriage. Was I still attractive? Was he looking at that girl? and so many other thoughts would flood me and cause my spouse great frustration. After I divorce, I begin to really show up for myself and recognize that I was worthy and didn’t need to compare or validate my worth based on other women. She had what she had and I had what I had and we both were worth it to someone! This approach also provided great results in our relationship. The more comfortable I became with myself the more he felt “safe” talking to me about different issues, struggles, and concerns he had. He didn’t have to guard what he said and worry about me taking it wrong.
The best part of recognizing all of this was receiving a text from him that said: ” How is my best friend doing today”. Throughout our marriage, we had focused so much on being “married” that we forgot to be each other’s friend first. For him to be vulnerable and even share those 2 simple words with me allowed me to know that he appreciated and valued our relationship. We were finally getting it right!
We don’t know what will come down the road but one thing I have truly lived by is “YOLO” (LOL_) we could have this all right and we could have it all wrong, yet choosing to love someone over and over again should always trump any feelings of making the wrong decision.
Disclaimer: MY experience is in no way a reflection of what someone else should deal or put up with. As stated above, when things got bad I did what was best for me and I left the marriage. Yet I hope my testimony shows that when God is in it, restoration can happen. Divorce is not an ending, it can still be a very beautiful beginning ❤