So…this is the post where I’ll likely offend a bunch of people. You see, I do not believe divorce is never an option, but I do hope it’s the last option, after ALL is said and done. I know, because I know and love many people who have traveled through divorce, that both sides must work together, and, if that is not the case, there isn’t anything one can do to change the other person. God’s in that business, and, unfortunately, some people have become deaf and numb to God’s voice and direction. Scripture even reads that God gives us over to our hardened hearts. And Christians who judge other Christians for getting divorces should probably read some of Jesus’ words in Matthew regarding divorce…
I’ll probably offend all the He-Man Woman Haters who think if their woman would just shut up, submit and serve a hot fresh meal each night their lives would resemble some sort of scene out of a movie. And, I’ll definitely offend all the women who think guys are all the same…lazy, spoiled husbands who just want to be cleaned up after and have sex all the time. And then, of course, there’s everyone else in between.
I don’t think I’m perfect. I do think, however, that in marriage a lot of work is required for both parties. Humbling, selfless work. And, truly, some just aren’t cut out for it.
The truth is, the divorce rate is 50% for many reasons. If you are actually to a point where you have to pay a service to facilitate an affair, which, by the way, if you think about it, is quite pathetic, really. I mean, shouldn’t the fact that you have to pay someone to have an affair with you be quite telling that: one, you are desperate; two, you suck at meeting people face to face; three you are seeking intimacy or companionship with someone other than your spouse; and four, you are really just prostituting yourself by signing up for the service in the first place. Gee, how original. Justified prostitution? Really?! No. It’s just plain old prostitution and by signing up, you are prostituting yourself…because you did pay a “money-back guaranteed” flat rate, right?
I can’t help it, but the picture that keeps coming to my mind is of a woman continually kicking her husband in the balls. She kicks and kicks and wonders why he can’t just get up and fulfill every whim of hers, all the while he’s hunched over, trying to regain his bearings, let alone keep from puking.
I don’t have balls but I imagine if I were continuously kicked in them I would quickly seek protection from the kicker. I’d likely look for a “cup” if you will. Some women wonder why their guys are disengaged, distant, avoiding contact/communication/intimacy with them. Have your man’s balls even recovered from the last time you kicked them?
Now, I don’t imagine that wives are literally walking around, kicking their husband’s in the balls, but it’s important to ask ourselves, as wives, the question of “Why did I fall in love with him in the first place?”
“But he’s got a lot of room for improvement…” Duh…but did you fall in love with him for that reason…to rescue him or fix him? OBVIOUSLY he has room for improvement. WE ALL DO.
And then there’s the guys. Not all of them, mind you, but the ones where the picture comes to mind of a guy in control with a leash on his lady, or a leash on life. The picture of a man fearful, yes, fearful, of losing control. Maybe his career isn’t exactly what he’d dreamed or he believed a societal lie that getting married meant giving up his “manhood” or “freedom”. He puts in the long hours to provide for his woman, who now is mostly conditioned to her posh American lifestyle, he sees that and is happy she has “stuff” but she has now allowed “stuff” to fill the parts of her heart that he once filled because, of course, those parts of his heart are filled with more work to continue the lifestyle. And so now, he loves his job more than his wife, not intentionally, but because his job pays him, rewards him, and his wife just keeps kicking him in the balls. More. More. More. But what she really wanted from him when she married him, in most cases, was for him to love her which translates: time and togetherness. Now their lives are filled with stuff, and lots of it, but the desire for more will never be satisfied with more because it can only be satisfied with each other…the reason they sought one another out in the first place.
I’m having difficulty articulating my heart and thoughts here…and there are many more running through my head for this series…believe me.
I know this post seems like I am siding with men. I am not. That picture just kept coming to my head. I’m a middle child so hopelessly always trying to find the middle ground…the common place where peace can be made. I know it is not possible in all cases. There are terribly abusive situations, extremes where people are dying, quite literally, because abuse, torment and neglect have taken residency. By definition: marital unfaithfulness. Yes, there is a reason for everything…but my heart in writing these posts is not to justify why we react and respond and treat others as we do, but instead for each of us to pause for a minute and take responsibility for our own crap, as well as assess our situations and see if they are indeed abusive, and, God forbid, if we are the abusers.
- “What part, both positive and negative, am I playing in our marriage?”
- “What responsibility can I take for our current marital state?”
- “If this literally is all his/her fault, have I done all I can to help?”
- “If my spouse is seeking an affair, why is she/he seeking a relationship outside of our own?” (What is our own lacking…)
- And, again, back to the heart of the matter, “Why did I fall in love with this person in the first place?”
(More to come when I am not cranky and mad at a 1-lb ball of fur who woke me up at 4:20 a.m.)
Adrienne! Once again, you articulate my heart. These posts are brilliant and I hope and pray that many many men and women are reading. Bless you, sister! Hoep you get some rest!
this sums it up well, i think: “God did not create us to get the cosmic, infinite joy of mutual love and glorification, but to share it. We were made to join in the dance. We were designed, then not just for belief in God in some general way, nor for a vague kind of inspiration or spirituality. We were made to center our lives upon him, to make the purpose and passion of our lives knowing, serving, delighting, and resembling him. This growth in happiness will go on eternally, increasing unimaginably. (1 Corinthians 2:7-10)”
-Rev. Tim Keller, “The Reason For God”
I’ve recently been in a couple situations where I “chose” to accept the responsibility for my “less that acceptable / desirable” actions… It’s a very tough, but necessary thing. Thanks for your words – they were confirming of my recent thoughts – words that I needed to hear at this time.