Okay…controversial title; I know. Many will disagree with me on this and that is okay. Some may say I am trying to rationalize a bad decision I have made, and maybe I am. Feel free to weigh in on the issue by commenting. I’d love to discuss and see other people’s perspectives on the issue!
As with many sins committed, I feel like the intention behind it can sometimes be more telling than the sin itself.
For instance, if you go into a marriage with the safety net of “ah…well, it’s just a piece of paper. If something happens, we will just get divorced and go our separate ways,” then I think that is a sin. If you are truly giving your all into your marriage and despite your best efforts, it is still crumbling, or if your spouse is abusive or neglectful, then I feel that you have every right to leave.
I grew up in a divorced household. My mother has been married 3+ times, my father has been married 2+ times, my grandmother has been married 3+ times, and the list goes on. From a young age, I was determined to break that cycle. I did not want that for my life. Divorce was never an option in my mind. It was messy. It caused hurt. It was not for me.
When I was 15 years old, I went to work with my step-dad who owned his own company, like I did every Summer. While there, I met one of his new employees and developed a crush. That crush led to a flame. Then we began dating. Then before I knew it, we were engaged. Several months into the engagement, at the crazily young age of 17, I found out I was pregnant. With both of us coming from Southern Christian homes, this of course sped up our engagement. We got married 6 months before our daughter, Isabella was born and the marriage was flawed from the beginning. Despite the fact that my new husband was 22 years old, he still lived at home (looking back…that should have been a red flag, but when you are a teenager in love, hormones take over and you overlook things you shouldn’t). Once we were married and living on our own, he went a little wild. He began watching porn (lots of porn), chatting with women in online chat-rooms, joining weird websites seeking out companionship (even though I had not gone anywhere), etc. When confronted, he said he felt trapped and forced into the marriage because of the pregnancy (despite the fact that we were engaged before we got pregnant).
Several months into the marriage, he applied and got hired on to his dream job-law enforcement. He became a deputy sheriff. To say this job changed him was an understatement. The things he witnessed hardened him, took away his joy, and took him away from his family for huge chunks of time.
I want you to know I am not saying the whole marriage collapsing was his fault either. With the constant cheating on his part, I emotionally shut down. We both went through the motions of marriage and were “happy” in public, but at home, we were two strangers living under the same roof. We became roommates instead of spouses and I’m not sure you can come back from that.
Because I was young, did not want to be left alone, did not want to be another teenage pregnancy statistic, and was fighting desperately for a marriage that honestly was not worth fighting for, I talked my husband into having another baby. In my mind, I thought this would be the glue that held our marriage together. Well, as you can probably imagine, that did not work as planned. Our beautiful baby boy, Nolyn, was born in June 2010. And honestly, for a few months, we were happy. We were closer than ever. Then…I was blindsided.
One night, when Nolyn was 11 months old, he came home from work and I heard those dreaded words “we need to talk.” I could tell by his tone and the look on his face that it was something serious. I sat down on the couch and he stood beside me. He said that this was no longer working for him and that he has been seeing another woman and was in love with her. I sat there listening dumbfounded. He said he was sorry and that he would be packing up his things and leaving shortly. I did not cry. I did not ask why. Honestly, I felt a little numb to it all. It had been a long time coming, but in the heat of the moment, you still do not expect it to be happening. He left with all of his things 3 days later and moved in with the woman that I later found out he had been seeing for over a year.
After he moved out, the kids and I never saw him anymore. The new woman he was with decided that his children were “a tie to” me and she did not like that we would still have contact. This went on for nearly 4 years.
Four years go by and I finally meet this AMAZING man. I fall hard for him and his 2 girls. He is, without a doubt, the man God placed on this earth for me. He loves me SO much. He loves my children as if they were his own. We are now married. We are now having a child together. We are both TRULY happy. Happier than I’ve ever been. But without all of the things that happened in my past, I would have never gone down the path to meeting him.
He, too, was married, experienced infidelity, and had the marriage crumble. He was hurt and lost and lonely. He felt the same emotions I did. His ex-spouse was moving along with their new love interest as if nothing had happened, while he went through the divorce alone. Although our stories are different, they are very much the same. We were meant to be together, but we had to go through what we went through to get to where we are now. Now we had something to bond over. Something that tied us together emotionally. I am BEYOND blessed to have this man in my, and my children’s, lives and to call him “mine.”
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.”
I truly have this kind of marriage. The kind of marriage where he puts my needs above his own. Where he works to support and provide for our blended family. And as messy as things can tend to get with blended families, we make it work well.
Not only did we bring God back into each other’s lives, we brought our children into the church, our two youngest girls got saved during Vacation Bible School earlier this month and were baptized last week, we have a new life joining our family in a little over 2 months, and we are all thriving, happy, and healthy.
Also, upon Louis’ infiltration into our family, the kids’ dad slowly crept back into their lives. I think seeing someone step into his role stepped on his toes and made him “man-up.” He still does not take as much interest in his childrens’ lives as I would like, but he’s making baby steps. The fact that he is in their lives at all now is a miracle and it is all thanks to God’s plan and the new man he placed in our lives.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “When God closes one door, He will open another door”?
Louis is my other door. He renewed my purposed. He helped me to not feel alone. He inspired me to do better. He has pushed me to do what I thought I could not do. We have pushed each other back into church. He has given my children the father-figure they had been longing for. He has given me the gift of another child (and thank goodness it is a boy for Nolyn’s sake-he has to fight off 3 girls at our house as it stands now).
For the first time in a long time, I have my joy back. I am immeasurably happy!