Question (from Facebook community): “It’s so hard to know…with all these cycles…is this something I can live with?”

I’m walking on some thin ice with this one. (Who am I kidding? I’m walking on thin ice with pretty much all of my posts lately.) One sweet woman wanted to know what she can live with, what she’s supposed to endure, what’s normal and what’s just plain wrong. And even if it’s wrong, is it “wrong enough” to warrant a leaving, an ending of a marriage?

In an effort to look for the positives in a really sad situation – being separated or divorced – the separated/divorced Facebook group that I moderate started a list of things that they could be grateful for now that they weren’t living their day-to-day lives with their spouses anymore. I want to share a few of their gratitudes with you.

No more walking on eggshells and being afraid.
    Not having to hide my journal or other personal papers when I leave the house.
I have access to all my money.
No more hiding my Bible.
I can use the water dispenser in the fridge without fear that a drip of water may accidentally hit the floor.
No more feeling like I am never good enough and never meeting someone else’s expectations.
I don’t have to try to decipher as many lies.
I don’t have to wonder constantly if the person I’m talking to is intoxicated.
I don’t need my anti-depressants or my anti-anxiety medication any more.
No more yelling, no more hitting, no more locking my bedroom door in fear.
I am safe.

This list should make your skin crawl.  This is how low the bar is for these women because of what their marriages were like.  They are grateful, literally grateful, that they don’t have to worry about water dripping on the floor for fear of what would happen if found out.  That they can leave their Bibles sitting out.  They now feel safe.  Safe. 

Can you imagine?  Seriously, can you actually imagine your marriage looking like this?

Okay, I must warn you…I’m feeling my righteous anger begin to well up inside of me. Because I am so sick of hearing about the walkaway-wife. I am so sick of hearing judgmental comments or feeling judgmental stares from people who have no idea. Like we all just got a little bored with our mates, or we kind of tried to make it work but we fell out of love so we’re moving on.

In two months, the two Facebook groups I’m moderating (one for women in difficult Christian marriages and one for Christian women who are separated or divorced) have grown to almost one hundred women combined. From what I can tell of each of these women, they all love God, they all tried (or are currently trying single-handedly) to save their marriages, and they have endured (or are currently enduring) being treated poorly – sometimes horribly – by the person who vowed to love them more than anyone else. 

I need to reel myself back in to the question at hand: Is this something I can live with?

My view is what we are capable of living with and what we should live with are two very different things.  My view is that a marriage should not be characterized by pain – emotional, spiritual, or physical.  My view is that if this sounds like you…if you feel like you can’t breathe when you’re with your spouse…you need to get help.  I will not say that you should divorce your spouse – I cannot say that for anyone – but I will say that those gratitudes above should be absolute givens, not the exception to the rule.  So if this is you, tell someone and get help.  There is still hope.|

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.


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