Candid Chatter

Just Say It

Divorce August 11, 2008

Filed under: Life... The Way I See It — candidchatter @ 1:04 pm
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I am divorced. I have been free from that strange man for over 10 years now. It took about 4 or 5 years for me to fully forgive him and since I did that I have been completely free — emotionally as well as physically — from that weirdo. He was abusive. But not in the physical sense. He was a controller, manipulator, liar, deceiver, liar, liar, liar, liar, lair. You get me, I’m sure.

He used his intelligence to manipulate people. Me. His kids (they were his – we didn’t have children together). His co-workers. His ex-wife before I became his ex-wife too. His mom. His step dad. His boss. His “friends”. Everyone. Then if things didn’t go his way he became verbally abusive. He had a way of making people who liked him (and loved him) feel inadequate to be a part of his life: worthless, hopeless, stupid, useless. The even sicker thing is that I think he enjoyed it. I think it made him feel powerful.

When we first got together, as I’ve mentioned before, I was all in it for the risk and the cat & mouse chase. It was fun to me. I was running with the wrong crowd and my “friends” were intrigued by this attention that he was giving me. I was very young. He was not. I was easily manipulated and pressured. He knew it. I thought I was in control when all along it was him. I was like a puppet.

I never thought our relationship would go as far as marriage. When his wife found out about me I almost high-tailed it out of there. I think he knew what I was thinking so he turned it up a notch. He started buying me things, taking me to fun places, doting on me and I was just a kid (19 yrs old). I didn’t know he was a con artist. I fell for it. Like falling down a jagged flight of stairs and landing on concrete.

Then I found out that he was a raging closet alcoholic. Then he said he was a Vietnam vet. I felt sorry for him. I wanted to fix him. He allowed me to believe that I could. It became my mission.

One of my friends started to doubt his Vietnam story. I shrugged her off. Then one day he told me he had lied all that time about it. Hmm. I honestly think that was the first strong jab that made me wonder if I really wanted to remain in this relationship. By this time, we were already married.

He went to rehab for alcoholism about 3 or 4 times. He tried to commit suicide (or at least pretended he was trying) twice. He ran me ragged and tore my emotions to shreds in a very short period of time. I got so sick of it. So sick of it.

Then one day he quit drinking. Just like that. Life seemed to get better.

Over the next couple of years he got custody of all of his kids. Even his oldest daughter who had run away came back with two kids of her own. Life was improving. For him.

But I was tired. With the step-children came a whole new set of problems I wasn’t prepared for. I was all of 24 years old with 5 step-children and 2 step-grandchildren. All but 1 of the 7 kids lived with us. My ex had only been sober for a short time. I had just gone through hell and back and then I get thrown into a role I had no business being in — mom/grandma around the clock. I was suffocating.

I decided I was going to leave. I tried to position myself and his kids in such a way that my decision would have the least impact on them. I tried.

He finally had a really good job. He was doing well and for the first time since we got together he was not paying child support.

Then he lost his job. He smart-mouthed too many people and lied one too many times and his boss, who was his “friend”, fired him. A month later, I left. I was 25.

He got a new job and I got a lawyer.

I’ve never looked back. Not once.

I know divorce is frowned upon in certain circles.

I believe divorce is necessary in certain situations: abuse, repeat infidelity, abandonment, etc.
I don’t believe divorce should be an out when the relationship can be rescued: money problems, selfish ambition or desires, illness, etc.

What do you think?

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12 Responses to “Divorce”

  1. jalack Says:

    I am divorced, my wife cheated on me, there has been a lot of debate in my own mind if divorce is a sin or not. At one point I believed it not to be, then another I feel it is. Was my divorce justified? Yes, could I have stopped it from happening if I wanted to? No. Are there cases where you are justified for getting divorced? Yes, I don’t think God wants us to say in a relationship that is destructive. I’m glad that God got you out of a bad situation.

  2. candidchatter Says:

    Jason: He not only got me out, He flat moved me out of the state. The interesting thing is I wasn’t even a Christian then. God knew I would be someday and placed me in the most loving relationship I’ve ever known. My husband is a gentle spirit: kind, loving, tender, generous, affectionate, and much more. I am so blessed — just like you are with your new wife. God rescued me when He put Rich in my life.

    Heidi

  3. Ginger Bliss Says:

    It was my parents divorce when I was 15 that sent me into the loving arms of Jesus and many years later my mom also. I didn’t understand at the time why my mom left my dad after 19 years of marriage but now as an adult when I look back on it all I wondered why she stayed so long. I love my dad so much but he was a horrible horrible husband and he like your ex would make himself feel better by making my mom feel very small, it was downwright cruel and abusive. God has blessed her with a loving and attentive husband.

    I hate that you had to go through such a painful time, hats off to you for taking on an alcholic an ex-wife, Kids and grandkids, you are one determined woman. I love hearing stories of how people came to the Lord, I look forward to hearing yours.

  4. wbppsh7 Says:

    Yes, there is good reasons for divorce. Being a child-product of divorce it was something that I never wanted to do to myself or others involved. Then my grandparents divorced and I found out that I didn’t want to ever stay in a relationship for the children either – it is harsher for them and they are smarter than people give them credit for.

    Just recently, it was coming apparent that it might be the only remaining course of action for me and I guess ultimately that is how I feel about divorce, it is a last resort when nothing else helps or solves the issues. My hubby and I have worked out the most important of our issues and I’m hoping that we never get to the point that we were again, and if we do, I hope that I have the fortitude to work through it again, but at the same time I know where I have been and I know what I can do so….here’s to hopefully never finding out again and gaining more hope that things can remain as peaceful as possible. (B/c don’t get me wrong, I know that there are PLENTY of other obsticles out there). 🙂

  5. carey Says:

    You are a warrior Heidi…I am so proud of you. You’re so right you were so young.

    I too have been through divorce and would not change it for anything…I learned so much and came out stronger because of it.

    xoxo

  6. candidchatter Says:

    Carey: Am I allowed to use a cliche? Well, I’m gonna…
    “I’ve come a long way baby!!”

    Yay!!
    XO,
    Heidi

  7. tonyyork Says:

    The book of Hosea (God told him to remain married to his ever cheating wife) is a good one to consult on divorce and John Piper wrote a very good paper on it. You can find his response at desiringgod.com … you will have to search for the document once you are there.

    I think James McDonald did a wonderful job handling those very questions in his book “Lord, change my attitude before its too late.”

  8. Tony…some very easy answers from you…unless you have walked in these very difficult shoes, I’d hold off on the easy answers…life isn’t quiet as easy as a paper or book…

  9. candidchatter Says:

    Tony: Bible or scripture beating people when they are in the midst of a most trying time in their lives is not the way to comfort them. Not even a little bit. Try this… “I don’t understand what you’re going through or what you’ve been through, but I will be praying for you and your family”. Something like that works every single time. 😉

    Steve: Thank you! 😀

    Heidi

  10. tonyyork Says:

    My apologies then.. I thought the end of the article directed me to respond what I thought not what you wanted to hear.

    Steve: I never supplied any answers… I pointed in a direction where anyone could look if they were so inclined. You can choose to look into them if you like. If I had a personal understanding of the situation, I would have been more detailed in my response. I don’t, so I gave general information on divorce that I have studied while trying to help friends who were going through very painful situations.

    Heidi: I think you are too quick to accuse people of ‘bible beating’. I think you are a strong person so I am going to ask you what the book of James directs us to do when we see a person in need.

  11. candidchatter Says:

    Tony: It did. Your response hit a nerve in me and for that I apologize. It seemed insensitive esp in light of the fact that many, many, many people have been in situations with a spouse who wasn’t just unfaithful, but who was downright ‘shove it in your face’ about it. Some spouses don’t want to reconcile. Try as the innocent spouse might — it just won’t happen. Then what does one do when the guilty spouse files for divorce? Why drag on the pain and suffering?

    I have a friend in that exact situation right this very moment. I have another friend who has been betrayed by her husband yet he IS WILLING to reconcile. The first one will lose her husband, the 2nd one will not. There are 2 people involved in something like this, as you know.

    Abuse, in any form, is a completely different ball game altogether. Should a woman stay with her husband if he beats her up? What if he belittles her to the point that she feels worthless? How would that affect their children, if they have any? Wouldn’t it be better for the woman and her children to get out and get help?

    Showing Christ’s love is important. However, subjecting oneself to abusive behavior isn’t what Jesus would want from us. I don’t believe He would even ask that from us. God is love. He would respond in love. He would comfort and protect and guide. Right? Scripture is important, but when it is used to seemingly make a Christian look superior it is being abused. When used flippantly in a sensitive situation which calls for compassion and understanding, it turns people the exact opposite direction — away from Christ.

    I am guilty of bible beating too. Esp in the beginning of my faith walk with Christ. Just ask my family. But I’ve learned over the years that isn’t always the right thing to say or do. There is a time and a place for everything.

    Anyway – I read your response on Pete’s site and my heart breaks for you and your family. I’m not so sure I would have responded as you did. I’m just not sure. But it has been the right decision for you and your family and I applaud you for having the fortitude to stand firm in your beliefs during a horrible time in your life. It ain’t easy being Dad I’m sure. Your inclination is to protect your family. I’m sure you had to bite a lot of your tongue off during that ordeal. God Bless you and your wife and children, Tony. I wish you well.

    Heidi

  12. tonyyork Says:

    Heidi,

    You bring up several, very hard topics. Topics that I don’t have a personal answer for… but I have read and been challenged by people I trust with some form of answer that I think will help. James McDonald addresses, in a sensitive way, the subjects of verbal, emotional abuse and how a Christian can respond to them. My opinion is that he did a good job of handling the subject and that is the reason I suggested him.

    John Piper’s paper is a detailed break down of what the bible has to say on the subject of divorce. I believe that people jump to the conclusion that the bible is medicine that tastes bad, and therefore, not a pleasant remedy to present to people. I believe that the bible is beautiful in how it presents God’s love in both his direction for our lives and the very fact that He died for us. He wants us to have life in an abundant fashion. Are there hard truths in the bible? Sure – but they are truths that once looked at will be evident to the love that God has for us in being concerned about the direction for our lives. So, if I suggest the bible, I am not being flippant – I am pointing people to the greatest giver of Truth and Love that ever existed.

    Emotions and attitudes don’t come across very well in the written word so, I understand if someone may take another’s words in the wrong context. That is why dialogue is important and why I try to explore the nuances of the subject. I learn so much from people by doing that. Its also why I usually have to make long responses so that, hopefully, my true intent will come through.

    I hope to have future conversations with you on many subjects and my prayers are that people will turn to God in the midst of their struggles and find the greatest Comforter and Director in that turning.

    Peace


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