No one ever gets married anticipating divorce. Just like many couples, my ex-husband and I planned to have a long, happy life TOGETHER. We both came from broke and broken homes. We used to say that we were going to break the cycle of crazy. But that did not happen.
After nearly two decades and three children, my knight's armor lost some of its shine. And I apparently did not do enough to keep him from falling off of his horse. Before I think I fully comprehended what had happened, I was alone with my children; he was with his pregnant girlfriend; and I felt devastated. And then angry. Very, very angry. I was angry with him. I was angry with myself. And I was angry with God.
The girlfriend was no surprise to me. I had known. And I did everything that most women in my position would have done. I tried to "save" my marriage. I wanted to figure out what went wrong so that I could fix it. I could not believe that my husband did not love me. I had been praying for God to somehow bring him back to me. I had prayed for God to help my husband find a way to love me again. Again? I actually still believed that a man who had shared such intimacy with another woman somehow loved me. Kinda crazy.
So when it all fell apart, I was angry at God for not answering my prayers. I did not even realize that I was angry right away... I was rather numb for the first year and a half. In fact, it took someone asking me about my walk with the Lord to allow me to break down and realize how much I blamed God for my failed marriage. It was during that little meltdown, which unfortunately just happened to be during a job interview, that I woke up--the numbness wore off, and I knew I had to get myself together.
When I started searching for answers, I found I had more questions. But the one article that I read that really stuck with me was an article from Focus on the Family. I cannot tell you the name of the article or who even said this, but the passage that stood out to me stated that God will not allow you to stay in a marriage that will continue to be damaging. In other words, if your spouse continues to have affairs or abuse you, God is not going to allow that to continue. The article went on to state that God does not want children raised in that type of atmosphere.
That was what I needed to read. I won't get into details about my divorce, but I will say that there was a pattern that clearly indicated the marriage was over. My knight in shining armor had fallen off his horse. It didn't matter how or why. He was down for the count. And I was determined to handle my situation with grace.
No matter what your situation, children do not need to see or hear how ugly adults can be to one another. Find a way to speak to each other with some decency and do all that you can to make sure your children are as protected from as much pain as possible.
I am not my grandmother, nor would she want me to be. Ladies, none of us are Grandma. We are not our mothers. Most of us are not the women of Proverbs 31. We are today’s women of faith: we have our bumps and bruises…our imperfections, but we are not broken. We pick ourselves up time and again, and with God-given grace we survive all life’s trials. We are SALT (Surviving All Life’s Trials).
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matthew 5:13). At one time, salt was a currency. Roman soldiers were paid with salt and those who weren’t “worth their salt” received little because they were not worthy of their full allotment. If salt loses its saltiness, it is worthless as stated in the book of Matthew. In ancient times, salt that lost its saltiness was mixed with gypsum and used to seal roofs. The word gypsum means “bitter.” The analogy, as explained by Jack Wellman in his article, “Why are Christians Called to be Salt and Light?” is that Christians who become bitter lose their saltiness and are not good for much more than repairing a leaky roof or to be “trampled underfoot by men.”
My grandmother died thirteen years ago. She was an amazing woman who had lived a life that had seen both World Wars and those that followed, women’s suffrage, the stock market crash and the Great Depression, the Civil Rights Movement, and so many changes in society. She lost her husband and remained alone for 23 years. I remember how heartbroken she was…even though I was young, I remember. But my grandmother was a woman of faith. She had to be. Her faith is what she clung to after her husband was gone. She had raised her children. She had five grandchildren and multiple great grandchildren, but the love of her life was gone. There was no starting over.
I remember sitting at her funeral service and listening to Pastor Mark talk about how she had just the right amount of salt. I didn’t fully understand. My grandmother had been a cook before she retired, and she was always taking food to the church for one event or another, but that wasn’t what Pastor Mark meant. My grandmother had just enough salt to add the right seasoning to her life and to others. She was not bitter. She was sad, but she did not let that sadness spoil the good she could still do with the rest of her life.
My grandmother would have been so disappointed to have seen my marriage end. She loved my ex-husband like she loved the rest of her grandchildren. She respected him and thought he was a good man. She would have been disappointed, but she would have told me to pick myself up and move on. She would have told me to be strong, and she might have even made some less-than-Christian comments.
But more than anything, Grandma would have told me to get over it. She would have told me I deserve better, and she would have been right. So this is me getting over it. I hope that something posted here might help other women who are also struggling.