Wow there is so much that has been happening lately that I haven’t been sharing. I feel like it’s time to finally catch up on my life. Be warned, it will be long. So grab yourself a hot cup of tea or coffee, a nice snuggly blanket, and hunker down with me.
As some of you are well aware, things in my personal life have been pretty chaotic as of late. The last month or so has been a mess of emotions with the news from my husband that he wanted a divorce and then shortly thereafter the filing of the divorce papers. I had been going through the motions, trying to figure out all of my feelings and processing everything. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for what divorce really would mean for me…thinking of all the things that would be changing, all of the things I’d have to prepare for and figure out. The initial pain of the news and the reality of the situation left me in a sort of haze where I was simply just getting by and not able to really think outside of the moment or to start taking any proactive steps to plan and anticipate for the pending divorce and life of singleness. It just seemed to be all consuming and I was just trying to get my bearings.
I was still trying to make sense of everything…to try and really understand what happened in our marriage, what happened with Scott, what happened so that giving up became the only solution to our problems? None of it made sense to me. I tried to pick apart pieces, analyzing things from the past. There is so much that could have contributed, but none seemed to be enough of a reason for the dissolution of our marriage. The last thing that came to mind that I wanted to do was to meet with some elders at our church and have an open discussion with them and Scott about our situation. This idea was probably the last thing on my mind to even want to do. My connection with God, my faith, and religion of any kind had taken a serious blow in the last 6-8 months. I had been regular at church, regularly praying, regularly associating with members of my church, and then…I just started to stop. My attendance at church dwindled, my praying ceased, and I didn’t associate with people from my church anymore. For whatever reason, and I can’t quite pinpoint how it exactly happened or why, I lost all interest and desire.
Life got in the way. Life became more important. Life crowded out going to church, having a relationship with God, or having any desire to be friends with those from church. I decided I could make better use of my time than go to church. I decided that praying wasn’t worth my time. I felt like I lost my faith, so there was no reason for me to be a part of any of these things anymore. And so, I simply stopped.
I feel ashamed for my reasoning in returning to some sort of faith or thirsting for the connection with God again. After realizing that I was losing Scott, one person who I felt I would have forever in my life and could always count on to be there, I started to realize the reality of things. No matter who we have in our lives, no matter what connection they have to us, they will all leave us. Some will leave us by choice and some will be taken from us, but everyone will eventually leave us, in one form or another. When that reality hit me, I felt completely and utterly lost and alone. I also felt incredibly helpless and hopeless. As much as my parents were coming to my aid during this time of dealing with losing Scott, I realized that they, too, were getting older and they wouldn’t be there for me forever. Where would I go? To whom would I turn? I was craving some sort of permanence. To find something I could hold onto forever, to develop a connection that would never be broken, to find someone who would never leave me. Then I found that answer. God.
I knew that if I was able to maintain my faith, that no matter what came my way, I could always depend and rely upon God. Yet, it had been so long since I even thought about God or prayed or went to church, the idea of trying again seemed to be something that would require so much effort, effort that I felt I didn’t have in me. Yet, I decided I needed to do something. I started to try to pray again. Trust me, it was hard to get any thoughts to really come. I didn’t know what to say, really. But I knew I needed to try. I also had been talking with a friend from my church who encouraged me to come back and attend a discourse. I indicated just how uncomfortable and awkward I would feel returning there, after being absent for so many months, and especially since Scott and his mom still attended and I wouldn’t be sitting with him. After much discussion and thought, I knew I needed to go.
I knew I needed to go and I did not want to allow myself to be deterred by Scott being there. I knew it would be one of the most uncomfortable situations I would face, but it had to happen. I didn’t want him to get the better of me or scare me off from being there. So, I went. I planned it out so that I arrived after it started and left just before it ended so I could avoid any questions from anyone there. I did that the following Sunday, too. Aside from being overly anxious and nervous, and rather uncomfortable by it, it felt…right. It felt like I should be there, like I needed to be there. I didn’t look around when I was there, but I know that for sure on the second time I went, Scott was there. Yet I didn’t want to make eye contact with him, nor anyone else for that fact.
Later that following week, I decided I wanted to reach out to a couple of the elders in our congregation. I’m not really sure why or what I was hoping to accomplish, but I felt this need to do so. I think more than anything I wanted them to just hear about our situation. I wanted them to hear from both of us our take on the situation. I wanted Scott to get a chance to try and vocalize to them his feelings and thoughts about everything and to explain why it is he wanted a divorce. I guess I wanted him to have to answer to them, maybe in a way that I could understand, since all of his previous attempts to try and explain his reasoning to me made little sense to me. It’s like every thought and feeling he had was so fleeting and he was so unsure of every single thing he felt or believed. I was hoping maybe he could try and formulate his thoughts in a more coherent way to them. I guess I also assumed they figured I was the one who was choosing to give up on us, to walk out on the marriage. Scott was still attending church, still carrying himself around, and I was the one in hiding, seemingly ashamed. Regardless of the reasons, I asked two elders if they would mind meeting with us if Scott was agreeable. They of course obliged. Scott, too, agreed to meet with them. I’m not sure what his reasoning was on agreeing, really. But either way, the date was set. We were to meet Sunday, November 3 at 1:30 at our church, before our afternoon service would start.
The whole morning before I was so nervous. I wasn’t sure what to expect, or how things would go. I was really nervous to see Scott and to sit down with him face-to-face again and really talk to him. I knew it would be rough, but I knew it was something I just felt I had to do. So I geared myself up for our meeting and walked into it (saying a few prayers for courage and strength). It did NOT go at all how I was expecting…
The two elders we spoke with were so supportive and absolutely great. They gave us some good scriptural advice and suggestions and told us to think about marriage from God’s perspective and about the husband and wife both have to work together and to include God as part of our relationship and marriage as that three-fold cord. They asked Scott if he was 100% sure about his decision about pursuing a divorce and taking that path and he said…he wasn’t. He said it seemed like the most decisive action because he didn’t want to hurt me or disappoint me anymore by his inability to fully commit and give his all to our relationship. He said he wanted to try to be so perfect and to be what I needed of him. I told him simply that I just wanted to see his willingness to try and to give his all to making our marriage a success, that that is what meant the most to me. I told him it felt like he wasn’t willing to give his all to us and to our marriage.
They also gave us some points to think about. They advised that you can’t just throw in the towel when things get tough, but you need to learn to work together through those things. While we each have our own personal issues and demons, we can still work together and not let those things tear us apart. We have tools to use, God has made them available to us, and we need to make use of those tools.
After our meeting ended, I was getting ready to leave when Scott asked if I would mind talking with him alone for a few minutes. We talked about things that I wanted or needed from him in our marriage. He worries about his ability to give 100% fully to our marriage each day because of his sudden change in feelings and thoughts about things. (One day he can be 100% committed to trying and the next day he loses all his desire to try. But that is how he is with all things. His moods are very changeable.) I told him there will be days that will be better than others, but even on the bad days, I wanted him to cultivate the ability to realize that despite the negatives that come up, the end goal is to make our marriage work and be a success. I compared it to my recovery. There may be days that I do everything right and make huge strides toward recovery and I may also have bad days, where I seemingly make every wrong decision in regards to my recovery. Yet at the end of the day, I still have my end goal of wanting to be recovered. I’ll just pick myself back up and try again. I said that is what I wanted from him and the effort he puts forth into our relationship. That despite the bad days or good days, the end goal doesn’t change; that being the success of our marriage.
We talked about many, many things for quite a long period of time. We talked about how things would need to change and the resources we would need to use in order to work to repair the breaks in our marriage. Couples counseling was a must. But I also indicated that we needed to try something different this time around…including God in our marriage. This is something we never really did in the past before. We both had a sense of spirituality, yet never used it as a means of drawing us closer to one another, or closer to God as a couple. I said that right now we need all the help, strength and support we can get in order to make our marriage last and he agreed wholeheartedly. We were reminded that our marriage needs to consist of that three-fold cord, with God being that missing link.
At the end of our talk, we decided that we were going to try one last time before giving up for good. Scott told me how much he missed talking to me and how it caused him much pain to know he was hurting me like he was. He said he felt so bad about hurting me and knew the divorce was the wrong decision, but thought he was saving me the hurt. We’re going to stay living separate for now (since he’s been staying over at his mom’s house and I’ve been staying at the apartment) and go from there…taking things a step at a time, a day at a time.
That was last Sunday and SO much has happened since then. There will be so many more updates to come! So stay tuned… 😉