It seems many couples have exchanged “till death do us part” for “till debt do us part.” When one bride was asked, “Do you take this man for richer or poorer,” she shouted, “For richer!”
Watching TV sitcoms you would think divorce and all its problems can be resolved in 30 humorous minutes. But real-life divorce is often painful and tragic, resulting in emotional scars that may never fully heal, and children become casualties.
As author Margaret Atwood said, “A divorce is like an amputation; you survive, but there is less of you.”
Rabbi M. Gary Neuman in his book “Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage,” said, “The second you decide to divorce, you are giving up control over your child. You are also giving up control over your finances, and perhaps even where you will live.
“You may resolve your issues in mediation, but maybe not. Ultimately, a stranger called a judge could be the one to tell you how often you will see your child and how much of your money you will keep. Unfortunately, that stranger doesn’t think exactly like you.”
Most people I know who divorced agree on these things: They regret getting divorced, wish they had tried harder and never fully got over the death of their marriage. Why do you suppose that is true for so many people?
Could it be couples often realize too late that divorce simply exchanges one set of problems for another? Everything from living arrangements to financial and social status changes, and rarely for the better. Even with a new mate they discover a whole new set of problems since no one is as wonderful as they seem when making a first impression.
According to divorce statistics, second and third marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. The theory is that people who haven’t succeeded the first time are more likely to repeat the same mistakes the second or third time around.
Could it be couples in trouble need to slow down and evaluate their roles in the possible demise of their marriage and ask what can they do to change things?
Neuman, who holds a master’s of science in mental health counseling, said, “If you have difficulties in your first marriage, it’s not all about your poor choice of a spouse. It’s about you. You fell in love with this person. You worked with this person to create whatever you have or don’t have.”
He concluded, “It’s better to get rid of the problem and keep your spouse than to get rid of your spouse and keep the problem.” Experts agree a relationship that weathers storms instead of pulling up stakes and calling it quits will more likely last and bring greater happiness than couples with a disposable disposition.
The only question a couple considering divorce have to ask themselves is, “Do I want to make this marriage work?” If both of you want to save your marriage, no matter how bad things appear, you can do it!
Having respect for Almighty God and His Word the Bible can become the most important ingredient in making a success of your marriage. How so? Keep in mind the Originator of marriage said at Malachi 2:16, “‘For I hate divorce!’ says the LORD.” — New King James Version.
If God hates divorce and you want to please Him, don’t you owe it to Him, to your spouse and even to yourself to do all you can to save your marriage and rekindle the love you both shared on your wedding day?
If both of you are willing to try, why not explain to your mate clearly, calmly and respectfully how you would like to see the marriage improve? When your mate is speaking, try to listen, feel their feelings and do not be defensive. Matthew 19:9 reveals the Scriptural grounds for divorce, but it doesn’t say an innocent mate must exercise this option.
As one illustration put it, imagine you have embarked on a long journey by car. It is certain that you will encounter problems along the way, including severe weather, traffic jams and roadblocks. On occasion, you may even get lost. What will you do?
Will you turn around and go back or will you find a way to overcome the obstacles and move forward? Well, on the day of your wedding, you embarked on a journey that was certain to bring its share of problems. The New English Bible of 1Corinthians 7:28 says, “Those who marry will have pain and grief.”
The question is not whether problems will arise, but how will you face them when they do? Can you find a way to overcome obstacles and move forward? Even if you feel your marriage has gone down the wrong road and is lost, can you get help?
Yes, marriages do break. People lose their way. But by seeking help, turning to God and applying His Word, your marriage may avoid becoming disposable.
*For a copy of The Little White Book of Light featuring more than 100 Wright Way columns, visit barnesandnoble.com, booksamillion.com and amazon.com.