Instantly Changed: The Divorce

Read parts one through three in this series here, here, and here.

h2hb1After more than 20 years of marriage, we divorced. That was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my entire life. We were in marriage counseling for years and years, and if Frank really wanted to change then he would have in that amount of time. Frank loved himself more than anything or anyone else. I couldn’t take any more of his lies, his unfaithfulness, or his abuse.

I have always felt bad for my kids––for the fact that I didn’t leave Frank sooner and that I was too scared to stand up for myself or for my kids. Whenever I would stand up to Frank, he would get so angry and I would cower to him. He would throw things, break things, and yell so loudly at me or the kids. My oldest child always got the brunt end of his anger for some reason. I felt like I had to keep the peace in my home. I was always catering to Frank so he wouldn’t get angry with the kids.

Frank also used the kids against me. He would lie and tell me they did bad things so that I would get mad at the kids. I stopped doing that when I realized that Frank was manipulating me. He was jealous of my children’s relationship with me.

I feel bad that my kids have come from a broken home, even though they were all grown when we got divorced. There is nothing I can do about that though, because it is reality. They didn’t want me to stay with him. They knew he would still be unfaithful to me. They knew he wasn’t good for me. But I know it is still hard for them, especially during the holidays. I think we all would like to skip right over them all together. My heart aches at times for the pain they have gone through. They are all adjusting well, but it still hurts me, even though the divorce was not my fault, but rather because of Frank’s unfaithfulness.

I remember that while I was married, I always prayed that Frank would be a faithful husband to me, that he would put God first in his life, because if he did then he would be the husband I needed him to be and be the father to my children that he should be.

There was one major problem with that. Frank only loved himself; he wanted to satisfy his own lusts. He put his needs and desires before anyone else’s. Even if I was the most beautiful woman on the earth, I wouldn’t have been enough for him. He wanted to have variety and I couldn’t fulfill that. I always tried to look my best for him. I put makeup on everyday and did my hair. I tried to be attractive to him. I didn’t get it for a long time that it didn’t matter how good I looked. Frank was a cheater. He wasn’t going to change.

h2hb2I had to learn to be “real.” I always had this false hope that everything would work out––that Frank would change. I couldn’t understand why my prayers regarding Frank were going unanswered. I was hurting…deeply…why wasn’t God hearing my pleas? Then one day, I read in the Bible that God gives people over to their debased minds (Romans 1:28). I knew then that I needed to pray for the truth to be revealed to me.

Almost immediately things started presenting themselves to me that showed me reality. My marriage counselor had always told me to “be real.” It was painful––very painful. I was given the answers slowly. God only revealed them to me as I could handle them. Little by little I started growing stronger and trusting in God completely. He had heard my prayers. I just needed to understand that I had to pray for the truth to reveal itself.

There were times that I was on my knees, kneeling in prayer and sobbing. I prayed for God to help me. I didn’t always know what to pray for. I felt so alone. One day, after Frank and I had separated, I was on my way home from church. I was alone, and I wanted so desperately to just die right then, even if it was by my own doing. I thought of my children. I couldn’t do that to them. Even though I was leaning so much on them at that time for support, I knew that they still needed me. Sometime in life, they would need me when I became strong again. I went into my bedroom and fell on the floor, too weak to hold myself up, and I wept harder than I ever had in my life. I just prayed out loud, “Oh God, help me!” I didn’t know what to pray for but I knew that God was the only one Who could help me.

God helped me to get through my divorce. The pain of divorce and of breaking up my children’s home, as they knew it, was devastating for me as well as for them. I am so thankful for my children. Quite frankly, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the strength to go through with the inevitable. Frank can’t hurt me emotionally anymore. I won’t allow him to. It is amazing how deeply I loved Frank and now, how numb I am. My dad always told me there is a fine line between love and hate. I don’t hate Frank. I don’t feel anything at all toward him. I’m just numb.

The pain of divorce doesn’t only affect the two people getting the divorce, but it also affects children, extended families, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ. People didn’t know how to treat me anymore, and I kind of became displaced. I was no longer invited to “couples” activities and I sat all by myself at church. I felt all alone.

Check back soon to read the conclusion of this series.


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