Thursday, September 17, 2020

Reeling from Shocking News

This past weekend, my husband and I were blindsided by the news that previously-very-close friends had divorced this month, after nearly 34 years of marriage.  While our friendship with this couple had changed in the last decade, there was a period of time when we were extremely close.  We spent Sunday afternoons and holidays together, evenings during the week; we even lived with them for a time when we were between houses.  Due to my Enneagram 9 inability to tolerate conflict, though, I backed away from the friendship for awhile, but in God's time, we were reconciled, and while not as close as we had been, a solid friendship has remained between us.  

Thus, when we learned that they had divorced, we were shocked beyond belief---I mean, this was a couple we thought had a strong marriage.  We were also grieved to our cores---not only because of the heartbreak to the party who was "left" and for the inevitable "splitting time" difficulties now looking at their adult children and young grandchildren, but even more, because they are Christians.  The leaving party professes the name of Christ and in the past had expressed sorrow at the rate of divorce within the church.  

I recognize that I don't know the full story, but from what I am able to tell, I'm pretty sure, the divorce did not come about because of adultery.  It seems like there had been "problems" and a "growing apart" for years and the one party just couldn't take it anymore, so they sought a divorce.

It is not my place to judge---only God knows the true circumstances behind their divorce. So judgment isn't the reason for this article.  Rather, I am so floored by this situation that it has served as a wake-up call for me in my own marriage.  Here are a few things I am pondering right now:



1.  There but for the grace of God, go I---Gary and I have weathered storms in our own 34-year marriage, and I think we are strong right now, but I don't want to ever think we are incapable of being destroyed like this.  The enemy of our souls prowls around like a hungry lion, seeking to devour Christian marriages.  If this devout couple can fall prey to his schemes, so, then, can Gary and I.

2.  I must guard my marriage and pray for it daily---If I'm not praying for my marriage, I am leaving it unprotected and ripe for the enemy of my soul to move in for the kill.

3.  I must make sure communication stays strong in my marriage---This is a hard one, as my husband isn't a huge talker anyhow, and by the end of his work day, he is often talked out and ready to just sit quietly in front of the TV for awhile.  But we will need to make the effort to share our hearts daily.

4.  I must show love to my husband in tangible ways---I say "I love you" several times a day, but words alone aren't enough.  I need to do better about speaking his love language (acts of service) and showing love in the way he best receives it.  I must also regularly let him know how thankful I am for him.

5.  I need to refrain from nagging---Thankfully, my nagging is pretty much a thing of the past.  Ever since I became content where I live, I haven't been badgering him every single day to move us someplace else.  I'm not the angry, bitter person I used to be.  Still, the more I look for the good in him and focus on that---even praising it---instead of pointing out only negative things, the more harmony there will be in our marriage.

I'm sure there are plenty of other ways to safeguard my marriage and build it up, but these are the things uppermost in my mind right now.


Linking up with:

  Faith on FireGrace & TruthHeart Encouragement, I Heart Verse,  InstaEncouragements Legacy Link-upLet's Have CoffeePurposeful FaithRecharge Wednesday,  Remember Me MondayTell His Story



16 comments:

  1. We we will be married for 32 years on New Years Eve, I might joke around and say things like "He is driving me nuts!" (and he does say that too) but all in all, folks always said we would never make it. I couldn't imagine my life with him, just saying. Is the marriage perfect? No. I am a very hard person to live with (and that is the truth).

    Makes me sad to hear of folks who have been married for a long time to divorce. I often wonder why etc. (Oh, I "get it", but perhaps I don't) Aren't I filled with contradiction.

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    1. Linda, so you are an 80's bride too!! I bet our hair was similarly "big."

      Sadly, it is becoming more and more common to hear of people divorcing after 25 or more years together. It used to be that those who made it through the first 10 were in smooth sailing. Makes me even more proud of my parents' long marriage---61 years this past May.

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  2. Ugh, sorry to hear about this news about your friends. :( I'm often caught offguard too when I hear of couples splitting that I didn't suspect. I appreciate your conclusion that we should use this as a wake-up call for our own marriages, to not take their health for granted. Thanks for sharing it this way. You got my attention!

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    1. Lisa, even my kids are reeling from this particular divorce. No one suspected they were not the happy couple they appeared to be.

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  3. Divorce is always sad and often times harder on those around the couple than on the couple themselves. I was divorced after 10 years of marriage and people were shocked when we announced it. BUT, I met Joe a year later and we are married going on 36 years now. Praise God. I think lack off communication is often times the culprit when things go wrong. You are right about keeping lines of communication open! Truth!

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    1. Terri, I so agree that divorce can be harder on people around the couple than the couple themselves. You kind of feel pulled between friends, like you are hurting one by being friends with the other. You and Joe are right there with Gary and me in the mid 30's of married life!

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  4. The end of a marriage is always upsetting to me. My bonus son is in the middle of a divorce and all the details keep me up at night. Good reminder not to take anything for granted - especially my gem of a husband.

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    1. Yes, Lauren, may we never take our gem husbands for granted! I'm so sorry that your dear son is going through the divorce pain right now. May the Lord hold him close!

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  5. Yes, no one truly knows what the reasons are, and one partner may very well have wanted it to keep going and the other not. So, only God knows what is going on in the human heart. Your list is a good one to keep close to you. Yes, the enemy is always there trying to destroy the joy we have, but if we are wise, we will know that God will make all things right again when someone wrongs us, and love always wins in the end. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's marriage. Pray for them as well, and they will need love and understanding right now more than ever.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Yes, Sheri, in this case, I do know that one party wanted to keep the marriage going, and the other did not. So sad!! I have seen God bring great healing in marriages, so I know he can, but, obviously, in this case, they either didn't trust that he would or they didn't want him to.

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  6. Oh my goodness, yes, I've had the same happen to me one day around ten years ago. A couple I had known for years, I corresponded with the wife, the mother of my old girlfriend in school...I opened up a letter from Mrs. G and found at they were divorced. It was shocking. My own mom and dad were divorced after 25 years of marriage. It's tough. I'm sure this must have been very shocking to you. It's hard to understand how what seemed to be such a strong marriage ended up growing that far apart isn't it?

    I liked your list of reminders. I too have been noticing things I really appreciate about my husband and I've been trying to go the second mile if my husband is working out in the heat I'll bring him a big glass of iced tea or I'll say, I need a hug! You can't walk passed me without giving me a hug! I need to do better on telling him that I appreciate him, but I do try to make a fuss when he fixes something for me or takes me out for lunch and even Dollar Tree! lol

    Love your blog, you're so sweet. Blessings and hugs! ~Amelia

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    1. Amelia, 10 or 12 years ago, I learned that my Florida pastor and his wife had split up after nearly 40 years of marriage. I was dumbfounded---still am, by the way. He was instrumental in me becoming a Christian, and he was a powerful preacher, but something changed in him, and he walked out of his longtime marriage. People tend to think the grass will be greener someplace else, but it seldom is. Those are great things you are doing to show appreciation to your husband!

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  7. We went through this same heart rending experience a few years ago with friends we loved and respected suddenly splitting up. It rocked our foundation in a good way, because we learned no one is safe from slippage and and we cannot afford to coast.

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    1. Absolutely, Michele, we "cannot afford to coast." We must be purposeful about protecting and building up our marriages, and like you, this shocking divorce, has brought that truth home to me.

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  8. It is always hard to hear of the end of a marriage. May we all use this post as a reminder to be faithful to pray for our marriages and to invest in one another every day. I am most grateful for my husband of 41 years; and while he may drive me nuts some days - he is the very best thing to ever happen to me. He keeps me real with God and others!

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    1. Joanne, our husbands definitely may drive us nuts some days, but I'm sure we drive them nuts too. We all have quirks and faults. Oh, may the Lord give us the ability to overlook the quirks and to love wholeheartedly.

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