Selling Divorce

For many severely conflicted couples, divorce seems to promise peace from the infighting, a fresh start, the hope of new love, and a kind of “reset button” for life. Many buy into the idea that ending a marriage is a viable way to solve relationship problems.

Besides, you reason, it will ultimately be better for all, and the kids will make it—kids are resilient.  And you won’t have to look for to find voices to side with you.  People who love you will give you a biased shoulder to cry on; they want you to feel loved and supported. But don’t be quick to listen to your personal fan club.  They are not objective; they are out to protect and rescue you. People like this will always urge you to divorce if they believe you are suffering emotionally in your marriage.


But divorce has been oversold. What most fail to acknowledge is the longstanding pain created by a divorce.  Contrary to popular belief, statistics show that after divorce children are not okay.  The ‘trickle-down effect” causes them emotional trauma that stays with them throughout life. Also, divorced people are less healthy and less happy, and have a higher risk of substance abuse.  Depression is three times greater in women who divorce than in those who do not.  And divorce severely lowers one’s standard of living.  In fact, if statistics are to be believed, the one sure way you can guarantee that you, your children, and your grandchildren will live at or below the poverty level for their entire lives is simply to get a divorce.

Never mind the religious implications, we should fight for our marriages because divorce sucks. And at the end of the day, it doesn’t eliminate the relational dysfunction evidenced in the marriage. Marriage problems are relationship problems, they are the result of how two people interact with each other. You may abandon a troubled marriage, but you will still bring the way you interact with others along with you.  You can run, but you cannot hide applies here.

And what of the pain you feel when you have to deal with your ex-spouse?  You  may think you’ll be free when you “ex” your spouse, but you will relive the pain and awkwardness of facing that ex at every holiday, every birthday, and every special occasion.  Even in divorce, spouses don’t disappear.

Author and counselor Michele Weiner Davis shares a letter she received from a client: “I’ve been divorced for twenty-three years.  I realized that my ex and I would be in touch weekly because of our kids, but I guess I thought that when my kids got older, he would just disappear from my life.  My grown daughter is about to give birth next wee and for the first time, I realized that my ex and I are going to be ‘the grandparents’ together. What was I thinking?  Spouses don’t disappear.”

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48 Responses to “Selling Divorce”

  1. Malcolm says:

    I was divorced – twice. Both were good decisions and enabled life to move on where it seemed to be stagnating. My second wife remains a loyal friend, though we now live in different countries.

  2. Angela says:

    While I am not an advocate for divorce; and I actually encourage my friends in struggling marriages to fight hard for it – I have to respectfully disagree with most of what you said.
    My ex-husband and I are both better off financially and emotionally than we were together. We, thankfully, did not have children, however I will argue that any child being raised in the unhappy home we had would not be “okay.” Yes, our divorce was caused by “relationship problems”. Duh. If it was simply money, sex, better communication or faith we could have figured out how to make it work. In our case, ending the marriage truly released each of us into lives where we’re more fully able to live out God’s desire for us rather than being mired down by a marriage that wasn’t working.

    • Rebecca says:

      Your comment about children shows how clueless you are. You stated you had no children and then went on to say that a child would not be okay in an unhappy home. While no one is okay in an unhappy home, your solution of “divorce” is very misguided. I am at a loss to imagine what actually caused your divorce, especially if you thrown in “God’s desire” but if you really think like you write, your processing about cause and effect needs some work.

      Adult Child of Divorce

      • John Tower says:

        You are quite correct Rebecca, although I might have tried to say it a little differently. I am also an Adult child of Divorce and find that our culture often times looks for ways to justify divorce because it’s “easier” that way. We are a broken people that needs to walk in love and not judgement. I am so thankful that Jesus died for all our sin and look for ways to reconcile everyone to that truth. Peace dear Daughter of the King!

  3. Julie says:

    No one (including God) said that marriage was easy or would never require work or challenge. If there is trouble, then it’s a wake-up call to do something about it – but some people get wrapped up in their own anger, self-rightousness, or resentment. Or try to fix it themselves or merely go to counseling to stew about the issues instead of how to fix themselves then their relationship. First and foremost what they really need is to fall on their knees and cry out to God to fix it and take control of them and their family. Sure, it is hard – really hard to have true unconditional love and forgiveness. I’ve been there. My husband and I divorced, then after years got remarried – it tears apart your heart and your kids. The only time I condone divorce is if there is habitual sin by the other spouse that doesnt seem to have a light at the end of the tunnel (such as addictions) and/or if someone is being abused (until the abuser seeks serious help, abuse only gets worse, unfortunately). Other times where there is just straight-up dysfunction and chaos, I agree with Mark that a temporary separation will normally throw the relationship into a wake-up call to do something about the mess.

  4. Joy Lewis says:

    The article on divorce is spot on. People think divorce will set them free of stress with their children’s other parent. But once you have children with someone you are never really divorced. We work with blended families in our ministry, Families By Design USA and see the continued heartache divorce brings; that you are never totally free from the person you married and had children with. The unfortunate thing is that when parents divorce, they teach their children the wrong way to resolve conflict and the “disease of divorce” is passed on to the next generation.

    • Rebecca says:

      I disagree with your statement “disease of divorce”. My parents divorced when I was a teen. Because God gives us free will, I have the right to choose to stay married or divorce. There is nothing forcing me to divorce and I am really tired of people telling me I will divorce since my parents divorced. Why on earth would I do something so stupid. I was a witness to the whole mess and realize that the decision to divorce caused a downward spiral in my parents lives. One is dead, the other is in self-inflicted poverty. I have been married for twenty-two years by the grace of God and if He is able to keep us–he is able to keep my marriage despite the decisions made by previous generations.

    • John Tower says:

      I think that regardless of whether or not a couple has children the emotional and spiritual fall-out is a very real fact of divorce. Divorce is not a disease it is a choice of our will, just as choosing to get married is. Commitment and taking responsibility for our actions is part of the equation for having a lifelong commitment to another person, Christ is I believe the most important part of that commitment.

  5. Malani says:

    My husband & I were separated for 5 years after 10 years of marriage and it was not until I fell in love with Jesus that I even considered reconciliation. The women in my small group prayed with me for years until God, in his infinite wisdom brought us back together. That was 10 years ago. It hasn’t been a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination but it has been worth it. Our marriage could never have been as strong as it is today without the struggles. Divorce is no longer in our vocabulary. Our daughters, friends and family have witnessed the power of faith, love and Gods grace in our lives as we surrendered to Him. It took a lot of pain to bring me to my knees but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There’s no more blame game, distrust, lies or deception. Just forgiveness, total trust and respect. The enemy has no foothold in this marriage any more. I look forward to continually growing and working on our relationship for the rest of our lives. It’s not to say that we would have been wrong to end it or that every couple should stay together but I’m sure glad I listened to God instead of the world or I would have missed out on the blessings He had in store for us.

    • Shelia says:

      Good Morning Melanhni,

      I am now where you were in those five years of separation. Mine is going on two years, but my spouse has served me with divorce papers. We are scheduled for mediation on July 12th, 2013. I whole heartedly agree with your comment on divorce. Therefore, I am soliciting your prayers as that lady faithfully prayed with you for God to fix, restore, our relationship/marriage with God, ourselves, and our families. Right now, my spouse is wrapped up in anger, resentment, adultery, and self-righteousness. Also, some very key members of both our families are encouraging us to go through with the divorce. However, I am praying differently for God to intervene and save our marriage and receive the Glory thereby showing God’s power to raise what is considered dead as well as confirming the power of faith, prayer, and miracles! I have already been divorced once from the father of my son, and I am very much aware of the ongoing trauma that divorce causes. I don’t want to go there anymore, and I desire that my spouse & I become an Impact Couple for God’s Glory because everyone has already counted us out. Asking for your prayers is an act of my faith in the power of God to please him and move him to answer my prayer of faith.
      In His Love

  6. Jennie says:

    Divorced because of abuse. Hardest thing to do but absolutely necessary for my survival and ultimately the survival of my children. I begged my ex to get help. Promised to stand by him in sickness and in health. He flat out refused. Then the abuse escalated exponentially. Ultimately had to get a protective order. I’m 38. Raising adopted, disabled kids alone. But I’m not being tormented anymore.

  7. Lisa says:

    Great post. We’ve been dealing with some friends going through a messy divorce who have a young child and all the friends involved except for my husband and I have been encouraging the divorce. It’s so sad when believers encourage divorce instead of encouraging a couple to get help which is what really should’ve happened with this couple. It’s sad that people want to just take an easy way out instead of working through their problems and having an even better relationship because of it. All you are doing is giving the enemy just what he wants when you divorce and that’s another dysfunctional family. He will do anything to pull you away from having a relationship with God. If he’s successful at that then he’s won. Let’s not let him win. No matter how hard the problems are face them and deal with them and make you marriage work.

    • Shelia says:

      Good Morning Lisa,

      I agree with your comment, and I am facing divorce as I speak. Therefore, I am asking for you and your husband’s prayers for God to heal save my marriage.

      God Bless

  8. anonymous says:

    The sad part is to stay with someone with recurring addiction of defiling the bed. U separate for six months and the habit continues until you are diagnosed of cancer of cervix bcos of STDs.life is still precious people for such crucifixion

  9. cindy says:

    Though I agree with what you said, They’re are some marriage relationships that can not be fixed. when you are dealing with a partner who is emotionally abusive and continually breaks every vow that was spoken between the both of you.. My kids will forever be scared from me staying in my marriage way longer then I should of.. They’re are some people who just chose not to change, even when they know they are wrong. You cant fix any one but yourself. If someone refuses to get help and change, its time to move on. It was time to stand up for myself and my children so I chose out for my own well being and my childrens.. I still have to deal with him but under my terms now and I have become a much stronger, healthier, happier individual….. <3

  10. Hannah says:

    Without going into too many details of our problems, I can say that they started before we were even married, and were partly caused by the bad choices I made based on my vulnerability, naivety and ignorance – being alone in the town I lived when I met my husband, with no friends or family, following a recent break-up from an abusive relationship. Of course I was tempted by the generosity of a ‘good Christian family’, and my heart would be easily open to receive Jesus. Now I can only thank God that He brought the wider family of my husband together in the business we ran and lived in together to make the situation impossible for it to continue. I can also thank God that through this experience I have not rejected Him but come to know Him and love Him better.

    I was visiting my own parents with the children, quite a distance away, when I got a phone call from my husband, once again condemning me for upsetting his very controlling mother – normally I would submit, but on this occasion I had challenged her for criticising my parenting. This was followed by a conversation with my father-in-law telling me I was sacked from the business; they didn’t want me working there anymore. This was later retracted and changed to ‘please hand over your workload when you become depressed’. Over recent years I had been labelled by the self-confessed expert mother-in-law that I had both ‘Bipolar Depression’ and ‘Aspergers Syndrome’ – neither of which I have been diagnosed with, though I dutifully had investigated. I have mild depression, understandably considering the stressful circumstances in which I’ve been living.

    My husband has never left the dependency he has on his mother to cleave with me. He is a ‘token’ Christian, but I was convinced by his mother, through her boasting of herself and her son, that he was a man I could fall in love with. New to Christianity, I believed this was God’s Will. I have never been truly in love with my husband, just patiently waiting for love to grow. He never proposed to me, but 3 months after we met and his mother had realised we had considered a potential future together, she organised a family trip to a jewellery quarter to choose me an engagement ring and was instrumental in organising a wedding with us.

    After the phone call I couldn’t bear to return to the marital home, that was partly shared with his parents, or work for the business, and instead returned to the town in a rented property using money my parents gave me, with the agreement that we would seek counselling. Soon after this my husband filed for divorce, without giving counselling a chance.

    I struggle with the concept of marriage being a covenant under God that is not meant to be broken. I am thankful that he chose to file for divorce rather than seek counselling. I wonder whether our marriage was founded on sin, and liken it more to a sinful adoption, where the husband is not able to ‘leave and cleave’, or to depend on his wife and to grow together in maturity and godly wisdom with her. I learnt from the bible that we should not submit to sin. Sin is what I believe I have submitted to in our marriage, and there has always been more than just the 2 of us. I have fear mother-in-law instead of God.

    Luke 17 on rebuke and forgiveness.
    Am I that person who requires perpetual forgiveness and rebuke? Am I the one tempting others to sin? Am I the one who rebukes without forgiving? Am I the one who has let everyone down? Lord forgive me if I am, and keep me from repeating my sinful ways. Can this really be true? Or have I just failed to submit fully to the egotistical needs of one person? Humility + fearing Man = oppression? Humility + fearing God only = salvation? If I slip from submissive ways and challenge the challenger, is it right that the challenger rebukes me further and displays exceptional emotional torment in response to me? Should this add to my own torment, or should I be thankful?

    Can God still restore this marriage? My answer should be yes – if both parties seek Jesus – but I cringe at the marriage promises I made, and feel totally let down by the alleged Christian man I married, who I have never seen read the Bible.

    My friends and family are rejoicing as they see their friend and daughter restored to the person they know and love, having stood quietly on the sideline for the last 8 years. I am trusting God and seeking Him before I make any decisions. Although it is not an easy transition, especially for my older son, I trust that God will protect us and guide us.

    I am moving back to my parents to make a fresh start, and have decided to submit to my husbands wishes to divorce, without disputing his pitiful offer for child maintenance. My church minister wants me to stay in the town where my husband lives for longer, to give my husband more time to choose Jesus. I can’t afford I and it would make life very hard not having the close support of my own family as I rebuild my career for the sake of the children.

    I look forward to the day when all this is behind me.

  11. Michael O'Connor says:

    I like the rhetorical argument that divorce has been oversold. That should speak to a lot of people. However, more than just considering the vastly destructive effects of divorce, it is good to sell the idea that conflict can lead to resolution and even become the vehicle of great blessings. Conflict and injury should drive us to a deeper relationship with God and a deeper dependence on him, his wisdom, and power. It then becomes a blessing instead of a curse.

  12. Nancy says:

    I always feel blessed to watch/listen/read all that Mark Gungor prepares for us. He is realistic and frank.

    I do have an observation that I would like to share concerning my own first marriage and divorce. If one of the spouses has a vice or many vices the covenant of marriage between God, man and wife has been broken…then divorce is an option. When divorced, continued prayer for God to heal your heart and for God to guard to not become bitter is a MUST!

    God bless those who stay in their marriage and God bless those who don’t have that option. Our God is so good!

  13. Liz says:

    I was in an abusive marriage for 5 years. Divorce (and much counseling) has made my life much much better. I’m assuming this article is for those who are not in an abusive marriage. Also, by God’s grace, we didn’t have kids, and yes, he disappeared. The process of the divorce was awful, but I have now been remarried to a healthy, loving, supportive man for 2 years and it is wonderful – I had no idea what a healthy marriage could even look like until I met my husband. I thank God every day.

  14. Linda says:

    My heart is breaking right now because I moved out of my house 3 days ago due to my give-a-damn finally being broken. I love my husband with everything I have but he commit adultery in a severely egregious way. I have known about it for 2 months and he wants me to just forgive him and move one without him really “giving it everything he’s got” to win back my trust. When you listen to him talk you quickly realize that he consistently blames others for his problems and doesn’t know how to take ownership of his own mistakes. Even our counselor diagnosed him with Narcissistic Personality Disorder. I want so badly to get my Prince Charming back but all I ever see anymore is the Toad.

    • Brian Goodell says:

      Hi, I just want to encourage you not to give up. If it’s your prince charming you want back, then don’t settle for anything less! I was my wife’s prince, turned into a frog, and when we split up, I got right with God, got therapy, and won back my bride. It can happen, but not if you give up. I know you’re hurt and disappointed, but we now have a marriage that is so much better than before and we almost threw it away. You can read my story at http://www.therestorationtour.com if you’d like

  15. larry says:

    thank you for speaking the truth. for some reason people forget they swore and promised “in sickness and in health”. funny how breaking their vows is not a sin. they are Christians, but for some reason the part of the bible where it says “i hate divorce” and “i allow it because of the hardness of your heart”, doesn’t apply to them. divorce is the latest and greatest tool of the enemy. 50% of the church gets divorced? what’s wrong with this picture?

  16. Brenda says:

    It sounds so easy to agree with you and I know that people give up too easily, but when a male absolutely refuses to fix their addictions and is violent and abusive, as happened to my daughter, I cannot imagine saying to her that she has to live with that for the rest of her life. He did an excellent job of hiding his problems until after the marriage, so I can’t say that she or anyone else should have seen this behavior coming. Abuse is a serious thing and women who remain with these types of men end up with more children who have to suffer the same horrible treatment and who learn to be abusers like their fathers. Your comments are for two people who are trying or would like to work things out. Unfortunately, an abusive spouse has little need to change, because he has worked out a life that is totally centered on himself.

  17. michael powers says:

    Everything in life is a choice. Divorce is an illusion of the “easy way out” in most cases. It saddens me to see so many in the church take this route and then justify it. My wife and I (mostly me) did everything we could to wreck our marriage. It came down to getting on our knees and giving it to God to fix us so that we could have a healthy relationship. We just celebrated our 26th year of marriage.

    There is hope in Jesus!

  18. Rebecca says:

    I am very, very sick of divorce and the problems it causes. I am tired of the excuses people make and think a lot of people just need to grow up. Nothing in life worth having is easy. My parents divorced when I was eighteen. My dad had moved out when I was sixteen. They continued to fight until the day he died last year. (I am forty-one.) I had to plan his funeral with a bunch of step brothers/sisters that I had little contact with since his remarriage happened when I was thirty. Mom remarried and is now out to divorce this new guy. My friends are divorcing left and right and to tell the truth I am a little pissed. I am tired of the loss that I incur from other people’s selfishness. My message to people who are about to divorce is this: I don’t give a crap if you’re not fulfilled. Grow up and be responsible to the people in your life. This isn’t all about you. It never was. You made a pledge. Now suck it up and keep it.
    (Of course: physical abuse is a special issue, but most people don’t have this reason.)

  19. Joanne says:

    When my husband and I got married (23 years ago) my mom said to “make sure he knows that we don’t divorce in this family!” Well, our pre-marriage pledge to each other was “together forever. We can make it suck, or we can make it great, but it will be together” Sometimes it does suck, but most of the time it is good-to-great. I think our simple promise has been the basis of or years together.

  20. jane says:

    My husband left me for a younger women. He didn’t talk to me about anything in our marriage that was bothering him. We were God loving people, home schooled our children. People love and respected us. It’s been five years and I’m still hurting. We were married for 24 yrs. I wish that I could of been more of what he wanted in a wife.He is now remarried and does the same things with his new wife that he did with me. It’s like nothing really different but just a new women. My two oldest girls don’t have anything to do with him. He doesn’t even know his grand kids. It’s so sad. My one daughter use to say that she wanted a marriage like ours. Not any more. I don’t understand why he didn’t tell me that he wasn’t happy. I would of gone to the moon for him. God help me to not to love him any more.

  21. Barb says:

    I fought for my marriage for four years after finding out that my husband had been unfaithful with multiple partners. After four years of fighting I finally gave in… He said he was never meant to marry and that he had made a mistake (17 yrs of mistake). He’s not sure why God allowed this, but God is still God. I hate that he blames God when he is choosing to be disobedient. I tell everyone that the divorce hasn’t changed anything. Yes, I’m actually better off financially because he is cut off and I was able to stop the ‘bleed’ of spending, but nothing else is different. He is still not a good role model to our son. He is still oblivious. I still pray for him and hope that one day God will turn his heart – but for now, it is what it is. I was not the perfect wife – I know it takes two, but it also takes two to want to look to God and make it work. I’ve learned you can’t walk that road for your spouse – no matter how much you want to.

  22. nota says:

    What most counselors do is to listen. Long time in Africa, the elders met with the couple with marriage trouble. They would listen to both and they would tell the person what they are doing wrong. If the man was wrong, he would be matched with a man who has been keeping family well and vice versa. Now the counselors want money and nothing else. Many marriages break because no one would want to face the couple and listen to them and help them. Every one runs to divorce. Christian men have also lost the ability to be the heads. They want to be respected yet, they do not know how to lead.

  23. nota says:

    The only Pastor who stands and tells someone what they need to hear so far has been pastor Ben in Toronto. He does not care whether you leave the church or you stop paying tithe. He will tell the couple the truth but nothing else. He educates one on the bible and applies it on what should be happening now. He keeps an open line for the couples to call him. How many people have the time to deal with peoples problems for free? Most pastors tell people to sit and think about it. How can one think about something so hurting? People need others to hold their hands up when they can not hold their own up. Lord send a little rain to help people paining in messy marriages.

  24. Reggie Greenleaf says:

    I agree totally and you put it very well. I am on my third marriage and if I knew then what I know now I may not have “lost” my first marriage. I love my present husband and when we got married 27 yrs. ago I told him that divorce was NOT AN OPTION. That it was never to be suggested or spoken of (lived in a second marriage where he constantly threatened divorce until I decided to take him up on it) ( We did eventually try to work it out but then he didn’t want to). I told my for live husband that if he did something that I couldn’t live with I would kick him out but would never grant a divorce. ;-) Although we have had some very rough patches and still have communication issues to work through, we have managed to “hang in there” and continue to work on our relationship. We just came out of a year of my mom with altz/dem living with us and once again we are alone together so now the serious work begins! God bless you for your practical and godly counsel that you provide for the body of Christ!

  25. Josh C. says:

    I’m saddened by the comments stating how much better off they are after divorce. I think it’s probably denial. And the idea that getting a divorce will lead into God’s Will for your life is dangerous. God is very clear about divorce. He hates divorce. If a couple finds themselves in an unhappy home, it’s their job to fix it and make it a happy one. And that requires *gasp* CHANGE. If you bow out and divorce, sorry, but you’ve abandoned your responsibility. Children deserve for their parents to be together, to have one father and one mother, and for those parents to make the relationship work. There’s no such thing as “it wasn’t meant to be” once marriage vows are exchanged. God expects us to honor those vows. And speaking of those, nowhere do they say, “As long as I’m happy.”

  26. Mary C says:

    Do NOT lump all divorces into the same category. Every one is different. I am tired of all these ‘experts’ and counselors assuming that we are all the same.

  27. David says:

    I absolutely agree: Divorce sucks. I watched my parents divorce when I was about 4 years old and again, a second marriage for my Mom when I was 10. My Father didn’t fair any better in the marriage department-divorcing once since Mom, although he has now been married for ten years, happily by all accounts. My older sister and I definitely were affected by the entire process. There were specific reasons why the marriages did NOT work. Now at age 45 and after 22 rocky years of a marriage that NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED, I find myself divorced. I have two children of my own and this is the hardest challenge I have ever faced. However, my marriage was the single-most worst decision I have ever made. We were young and foolish. We NEVER should have married !! I am a work-a-holic and she is a lazy as a Summer’s Day. We are complete OPPOSITES. I was saved on 12/18/2011. From that day forward I have seen the World with open, clear eyes. I allowed myself to be manipulated and I wasn’t the man I should have been for all those years. My family witnessed it yet somehow didn’t shake me to say ‘WAKE UP’. My Ex calls herself Catholic and openly mocks Christianity which to me is the most ludicrous thing (to date) that she has ever done. She used to do so in front of the kids. I want a different life for them. I want want a Christ Centered home. I want a loving family and a relationship that reflects love, honor, respect and most of all – a love of Jesus Christ. There is NO WAY I would ever have that with my ex wife. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that she is influenced by hatred and jealousy and the Enemy himself. Divorce as painful and as expensive as it was, is the best decision for my family and myself. My children saw arguing and childish behavior, disrespect and poor decisions that no child should ever have to witness. I needed to take them out of that environment. I would not recommend divorce as an easy way out. Just about everything in the Bible suggests to fight for repairing a broken marriage no matter what the struggle. And if a marriage is between two compatible people and there is love and respect, etc. then by all means, fight for it no matter what. I didn’t have that. And if I had the backbone to see things for what they were, I would have saved myself so much pain and misery. I am PRO MARRIAGE and I have my sights set on a wonderful future with someone that I love with all of my being. I want my children to have the very same thing. I want them to experience selflessness and the love of someone like minded. I want them to break the divorce cycle. I don’t want them to go through what I have gone through. The pain was too great but very necessary.

  28. Kari Marchant says:

    I believe that there are many personal problems that are incompatible with having a healthy relationship. Mark Gungor’s ideas on separation as a tool for asserting healthy boundaries are spot on. Saving a marriage may only be possible when you realize on an emotional level how much you have to lose.

    Upon separation I gave my ex-husband four reasonable things that he had to do to earn his way back. After one year of marriage and through the four years of separation he had done not one of them. These were basic elements of taking responsibility for one’s self, honesty, following the laws of the land, etc. I finished the divorce with a clear conscience and knowing better who I am.

    Before marrying this man I had little experience with passive-aggressive behavior, and no understanding of it. I wish I had waited several more months before getting married to him. We had only dated a year. The spiritual, financial and emotional damage from this bad marriage and divorce was significant even though it was short-term relationship, and we had no children together.

  29. Judy says:

    After six years of marriage and discovering that my mom was an alcoholic my dad made the choice to keep the marriage going for us three kids. Mom and dad made it twenty years (most of that time unhappily) until we kids were pretty much grown. The three of us are now in our early fifties and all of us have pretty successful first marriages. I think that dad made the loving choice that enabled the three of us to succeed in marriage.

  30. Steve says:

    Divorce Sucks and I want to keep my marriage rocking along!

    Friends of mine who have divorced seem to get into the same – yet different – situations years down the road. Of course they have changed a bit, but their relationship with the spouse is still alive albeit living in separate houses but they still argue.

    The kids? Do they get used to it? I don’t know. Of course, I grew up in a screwed up family and my parents were constantly at each other. They should have gotten divorced. And when they did and 69 my mom really improved. It was bad even at 30+ to have them divorce though cause the grand kids now had a tougher time to get together and the holidays seemed half baked with only one part of the family around.

    But a good marriage takes a lot of work and especially a desire to change. And I believe if one of the adults takes the lead and loves and motivates the other to make changes, 99% of the time the desire of both will be to make it work.

    It’s better together – but sometimes it is nice to have a break too!

  31. John Tower says:

    I recently wrote a post on my blog entitled “Reflections on When Parents Become Parent… 40 Years after the Divorce” My parents divorced when I was ten, the older I get the more aware I become of the debilitating effects of divorce on children. Thankfully in Christ there is healing but the ravages of sin still take their toll. Finding peace in the midst of the pain, as healing as it is, doesn’t erase the repercussions of doing what seems right in our own eyes.

  32. Ben Ortiz Sr. says:

    God hates divorce, we should too, if we fear the Lord, we should obey Him and do His will not ours. Stay married if at all possible, God will make it possible, if you are willing to fight for your marriage, amen. Love, Ben and Jane Ortiz

  33. Imprisoned in marriage says:

    20 years ago, I met my husband’s ex-wife the first day of our honeymoon (she was our waitress, on purpose on his part). I didn’t even know that he had an ex at that point until she told me to never marry him and run as fast as I could the other direction (while he has stepped away from the table to the restroom). Well I stayed married, now 20 years and 5 children later, I can’t take it anymore. I have put up with 29 girlfriends, 24 jobs, moving 6 times, and daily verbal and mental abuse towards me. Recently he has added physical abuse that that list… I’m done….. My parents were divorced and that is why I tried everything I could to stay… But at some point there is no other choice….

  34. Jacquie Benucci says:

    Oh boy thank you for this message Mark, this message is awesome something I have been trying to tell some friends of ours. If only people would get over themselves and work things out, marriage is so worth sorting stuff out and fighting for. I can speak with authority as my husband had an affair but I clearly heard God telling me to hold on to our marriage and He would work with me to bring it back to what He saw our marriage to be. And I can say it was very tough but I am sooooo very pleased and grateful that I fought for our marriage and today we have a wonderful marriage that the Lord has put back together and we are now 30years married :-) From someone who can vouch that nothing is impossible for our God, if we just give Him the chance. Jax

  35. KJSacramento says:

    I have a friend who tried to keep her marriage, was willing to try to forgive his philandering, but it didn’t work out. It would be so nice if you, Mark, would give her inspiration to get through it. You have a way about you that i believe many need more of – perhaps helping those whose marriage was ending remember the love and humor that can’t be lost, that Love is not solely dependent on marriage … empowering them as individuals to know happiness is within, God-given and can’t be taken from them…reminding people that the joy they shared in marriage was joy that came from what they gave, love they gave, something from within themselves that is not dependent on the other person, simply more memorable by having someone to give that love to.

  36. KJSacramento says:

    I have a friend who tried to keep her marriage, was willing to try to forgive his philandering, but it didn’t work out. I’ve seen many situations where leaving the marriage was the only sane choice. Staying in a bad marriage, especially an abusive one, can be more damaging than divorce, including the imprint if makes on children, setting them a bad foundation for their own future choices.

    It would be nicer if you, Mark, would give people inspiration to get through it. You have a way about you that I believe many need more of – perhaps helping those whose marriage is ending remember the love and humor that can’t be lost, that Love is not solely dependent on marriage … empowering them as individuals to know happiness is within, God-given and can’t be taken from them…reminding people that the joy they shared in marriage was joy that came from what they gave, love they gave, something from within themselves that is not dependent on the other person, simply made more memorable because they shared it.

    Support marriage, yes, but support divorce too.

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