I’m happily married again. Not that I pursued that state of being after failed attempts, but by God’s grace (another story for another blog). I have been in the ranks of the divorced. The dreaded, grieving, relieved, cynical, outside-looking-in-group. I get it. I get how you can wake up excited that the pressures of married life are absent. Being tied up to another human being, looking out for their happiness and marching to the beat of their drum can get mightily lopsided and soooo many times not in our favor!
Talk about unequally yoked! The neediness, the noise; the sapping of energy! The sheer relief of the absence of this can put a cloud under your feet and make you feel 10 pounds lighter: insert cloud…walk on air. Going through your day as things unfurl; you tackle each task, elated that you are hitting them out of the park. I can do this. I can actually do this myself, thank you very much. Then evening eventually comes and you are the sole adult and parent at the dinner table. Exit cloud…enter hard, cold earth. Where’s the relief now? Where’s the cloud when I stay up so late that I will fall into bed exhausted and not think about the cold sheets and the lonely pillow so much? Where’s the extra body to fuel the car that’s yet empty again? I get it. I really get it. The toilet is broke and the hardware store clerk asks you if you need help finding what you need. Of course, I need help! If I wasn’t so alone, I would have help and now obviously, I need help!
Where’s the joy of alone time when holidays come and the sunset is so beautiful? Where’s the relief from the noise and the neediness now? A little noise would be welcome in the empty house at night and a little neediness would be quite thoughtful when my kids are with their friends and I’m here and they’re there. A second income would be very nice too, I think as I scrape the bottom of the barrel so many times that I’m through the bottom and scraping the floor underneath.
What kind of person can go from cloud 8 to the underside of 0 in a few hours time? A divorced person, that’s what kind. Its easy to think how great I am when the pressure to be someone else is gone, but how keenly I remember my own brokenness when I’m all that’s left. I don’t ever voluntarily take a good, hard look at my own inadequacies; I just get an unwelcome glimpse of them when there’s no one else to study and to figure out where the blame should “rightly” go. I could be talking about spouses or I could be talking about years. It’s a brand new one, and the past one didn’t sit so well.
Someone once said we judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions. Wow. We are so easy on ourselves because we truly know what we intended to do. The promises we intended to keep. The intentions of our hearts may be pure but the end result of our actions can sure smell pretty impure.
Today, may we give our spouse some slack—they may only be acting like we did last week. Give your ex some forgiveness. Whether they deserve it or not is immaterial—do it for yourself. Admit your lack, communicate your need, embrace your qualities, celebrate your successes, share your failure (it will be half as bad), make a friend, surround yourself with goodness, laugh out loud, accept God’s everlasting and unconditional love, be thankful for what you do have and what you don’t have. Don’t rail on others, and when others rail on you, conserve your energy and say a prayer for them instead.
God bless the broken for they can’t bless themselves.