These days, I have been confronted with facts of people’s lives and realities that make me question my position on divorce. If you asked me 5 years ago about my views on marriage, separation and divorce, I would have, without batting an eyelid, concluded thus: (a) divorce is a no-no; (b) separation is understandable in exceptionally restricted and difficult circumstances.
Now, I still hate the idea of divorce but I no longer categorize it under “never!”. The conditions warranting it have been swapped with those on separation. I have seen women and indeed, men suffering in marriages that were clearly mistakes. They carry on suffering till they are either killed, they kill another or even kill themselves. Whilst it is true that nothing good comes easy, certain things are just not the will of God for our lives and there is no point viewing marriage as that journey of no return that leaves people in perpetual regret and pain for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, it is okay to retrace one’s steps, dust yourself and try again.
Now, the real question is “how do I know if I’m just in a difficult marriage that requires hardwork as opposed to a mistake in respect of which there is absolutely no remedy?” This is a super difficult question as even the rosiest of marriages has gone through terrible periods where one party or both questioned the marriage itself. Only those inside can answer this question to be honest.
I believe people should definitely try hard. Marriage is not easy. It is not a walk in the park all the time so bolting at the first sign of trouble is what the immature would do. Marriage is for people who understand that it was not created for them, it was created for God. These people keep running to God to help out. Sometimes, it appears as though God is silent but even in His silence, for me, I usually would know if I am totally off tangent on a particular request.
I am against throwing in the towel at every little altercation but if you are being molested, beaten up, emotionally battered, I think you should seriously consider separation from that person at least for a while till God lets you know what step to take next. I am 100% certain God doesn’t want you living in pain. He hates divorce but I’m sure He doesn’t want you miserable. The summary goes thus: enter marriage circumspectly, carefully and with the understanding that it can make or mar you. Ask God before saying yes or before asking. Don’t rush. Marriage at 36 that lasts for ever is better that that at 26 that does not stand the first couple of ebbs of emotion you went in with.
I personally no longer judge anyone who decides to move on from a marriage as I would have done a while ago. It is a difficult decision to come to but in order to avoid it, painstakingly seeking the face of God AND obeying His directives in the dating relationship usually helps. Don’t present God with your choice and ask Him to affix His stamp of approval on your choice. Seek Him and be prepared to walk away if the answer is “No, this is not the one for you. This one will ruin you”.
This response comes in different forms for different people. For me, it is this nagging, unshakeable lack of peace I experience when I envision a future with this individual. For you, it may be that your life just turns upside down and whatever you do just fails since you have been together. For another, it is a clear answer: the individual makes you unhappy and brings out sides of you you never knew existed. In my opinion, do not bother with such. For my good friend, Miso, if you are not being treated like royalty, that’s your cue that they are not the one for you. I’d add to her view: “if you find it difficult to treat that person like royalty, steer clear because marriage does not become easier. For some people, it does but please do not bank on it. In most cases, things get tougher for the first five years before you both begin to tolerate, then understand then finally accepting and loving your spouse just as they are.
Ask yourself this question before deciding to marry that person: if he/she remains just like this in marriage, will I be able to, not just cope, but be happy and thrive in this marriage?” Don’t deceive yourself. Don’t mortgage your future because of fear of what people will say about your broken relationship. Your happiness is key and not worth sacrificing for any reason.
I wish you all happiness in your homes, wisdom to navigate the storms and grace to handle tough situations appropriately and sorry, boldness and courage to walk away if staying on is detrimental to your sanity.
Do have a great day!