Tis the season…for divorce filings. Right after the holidays, people (roughly two-thirds women) will call a lawyer to “explore” how to free themselves from the misery of their marriage.
The first thing the “helpful and understanding” lawyer will do is give advice that is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what needs to happen: “don’t talk to your spouse about this.” Unfortunately, divide-and-conquer pays their bills, not reconciliation.
Please understand I’m not minimizing:
- your hurt
- all you’ve done “to make this work”
- how unloving or disrespectful your spouse is
- how unappreciative and unsupportive they are
- how many prayers have gone unanswered
- or….fill in the blank.
However, terminating any chance for constructive communication is NOT the answer. “But all we do is argue! We can’t talk without name calling, blame, and hurt.” That may be true, but get real help.
1) An organization called Focus on the Family‘s sole purpose is to strengthen families. For forty years they’ve had people you can talk to for free. Their number is 800-232-6459. They have a wealth of resources that can help marriages that are even tougher than yours, but more important, they provide a listening ear.
2) Find a couple that has been married for at least 30 years, treat them to coffee, and spill your guts. An outside and long-term perspective is crucial at this time. Very often you’ll find these couples have weathered storms similar or worse than yours.
3) Commit or recommit yourself to God. If you’ve never accepted Jesus as your Savior, listen to His words, ““Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”1 Jesus can help you.
If Jesus is your Savior, act on the words of Psalm 61 verse 2, “when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”2 That rock is Jesus Christ. With God all things are possible. That can include changing your heart and/or the heart of your spouse.
Lastly, if your parents are divorced, please look over the resources on our resource page. Learn how the collapse of your parents’ marriage is greatly affecting how you see yourself, your spouse, and your own marriage. Before you call the lawyer, commit that you will never do to your kids what your parents did to you!
This is the most important blog of the year to share, because the person who needs this information hasn’t told you. In fact they haven’t told anyone. So let’s work together to stop the next wave of divorces…and adult children of divorce.
1Matthew 11:28-30, The Message Bible
2King James Version
Divorce by Tony Guyton