Monday, January 23, 2012

D is for Divorce and Devastation

So today, I was reading a Facebook post about the Today Show saying the phrase "Healthy Divorce" and how sad everyone was about the use of that phrase. I think that is a really sad phrase as well so I am making it the subject of my current rant. I need to say a couple of things before I rant...

I do not in any way condone infidelity or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone (married or not) that is mistreating you, I condone taking an exit and working towards a resolution. Sometimes this may mean reconciliation and sometimes this may mean legal separation, and others it may mean a divorce is necessary. This post not about those situations.

I decided before I ranted to get educated. Since Anthony and I live in the state of Indiana now, I went ahead and pulled up the laws on divorce in Indiana. This is what I found...

Dissolution of marriage shall be decreed upon a finding by a court of one (1) of the following grounds and no other ground:

No Fault:
(1) Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.

(1) The conviction of either of the parties, subsequent to the marriage, of a felony. (2) Impotence, existing at the time of the marriage. (3) Incurable insanity of either party for a period of at least two (2) years. (Indiana Code - Title 31 - Article 15 - Chapters: 2-3) (

So from what I am reading here, you can get divorced for ANY reason. Yes, it says something fancy like NO OTHER GROUNDS but let's be honest...can't we all say that we have an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage? Let me talk about marriage for a minute. I am a Marriage Family Therapist Intern, therefore....I guess I am sort of an expert (rolls eyes)

I am married and have been for almost 3.5 years. In that time, we have had a lot of heartbreak, pain, and even quite a few arguments. We are in no way perfect at doing this thing. We love each other with everything we have, however, I can see where we would have an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage if we were not diligent about caring for it and nurturing it. We have lost a child, a job, had to move out of our first home due to finances, and even moved 2,000 miles away from where we started so to say we just haven't had challenges yet would be completely bogus. We have had challenges and some of those landed us in the fetal position crying our eyes out and praying for God to save us from ourselves. AND HE DID.

Now, let me talk about divorce. In case you aren't aware of how Webster feels about it...

Divorce: The action or an instance of LEGALLY dissolving a marriage. (emphasis mine)

The thing I think that is really important to note here is that this definition leads us to the premise that divorce is a verb. If you are not English inclined, a verb is a part of speech that signifies an action. That means, we divorce....we did not get a divorce. I think that makes an even bigger point that it is a choice and a thing we indeed DO! I am not saying that there are not situations where people are served divorce papers and they did not want that for themselves but that is not the situation I am speaking of.

Another important note to the definition is that the dissolution of the marriage is LEGAL. That means isn't so. The Bible has this to say about divorce:

In Malachi 2:16, it states that God HATES divorce.

In Matthew 19:3-9 we actually get a glimpse of Jesus' thoughts on Divorce. It says this...

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"

Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

I know that some of you that are reading this have been through a divorce and probably have a million reasons that it was necessary and probably some of you even line up with the verses above. I understand that and have NO judgement. I am more concerned with people's thoughts and feelings on marriage and divorce as a whole. I am more concerned with the decision to marry than with the decision to divorce.

As a therapist, I like to address the beginning of any problem because that is where we can do work and make changes that create less problems in the future. I can assure you that God's grace is sufficient for you no matter what your marital status or marital past is. But, I think it is necessary to begin having a new idea on marriage and divorce when we become Christians and want to be Christ-followers. It is important to look at marriage realistically and not ideally.

I say a lot with clients as well as with friends that marriage is difficult when it is easy and I mean that. If we go in thinking that marriage is going to be a breeze because this person completes me or whatever such nonsense we see on movies...we are making a grave error. I completely feel that if that is how we go into a marriage this is the picture we create for our future...

If we go in with our minds right knowing that it will be a challenge. There will be hard times. There will be times we don't feel warm and fuzzy. There will be times that we want to walk out but we will do everything we can to keep it alive and well...we stand a higher chance of our lives having peace and happiness. If you do not feel like you can stand with this person through these things...please don't get married. Save yourself the pain, your partner the pain and most importantly any future or current children the severe devastation that is divorce... can disagree with me and we'll be friends, that is the kind of relationships I exist in. I can handle your differing opinion.

Thanks for reading...

1 comment:

Ashley said...

Love love love this!!!!!!!! My thoughts on marriage exactly!

I also love that you threw in the bible verse, as some would be skeptical to post that because you fear others reactions.

I like you, beleive there are certain circumstances when one should divorce. I however beleive marriage is forever. Perhaps that's why I have never been married:)

I have 80 year old patients come into my office and tell me about how they have been married for 60 years. I respect those people SO much. You just don't see that much today, I mean the way marriage "use" to be valued, and I wish we did.

Again, I in no way mean to offend anyone!! I too beleive there are certain circumstances that occur that one shall better themselves.

I think what Erica is trying to say is simple...... Think hard about it first:)...... Love reading your rants Erica, keep on ranting away:)!!