Each week we receive emails from men and women that read our blog faithfully. They too had a vision for their marriage. They dreamed of happily ever after. Some have kids. Some have a house with a white picket fence. All of them had the desire for a life that is drastically different than what they are living. Their questions are similar:
“What do I do when my husband doesn’t come back?”
“How do I move forward when my wife won’t go to counseling?”
“It’s great for you that you were able to put the pieces back together, but that isn’t my story.”
First, we love that this is a community for all people. Single. Married. Unhappily married. Remarried. Single again. This is a community for all of us. Secondly, we know not all stories turn our like our story. Redemption rarely looks the same; but it’s always available.
Here are some suggestions for those that weren’t able to put the pieces back together, and have divorced.
When your marriage comes to an end, it is very important to grive the loss of that marriage. Often we skip this step in healing because we associate grieving with weakness. But the end of a marriage is the death of a dream. It is okay to grieve it. In fact, in order for you to be healthy in all your relationships moving forward, you have to spend some time grieving the loss of that relationship.
2. Get Counseling
It is really important for you to find a counselor that will help you process your feelings and heal. Without this step, you will take a less than whole version of you into your next relationship/marriage. Unpacking what lead to your divorce helps set you up for the best possible relationship in the future. (Even if you are remarried, embracing these first two suggestions may be the best thing for your current marriage)
3. Live in Truth
A failed marriage doesn’t mean you are a failure. What causes us to be a failure is not learning from our mistakes. This is why grieving and counseling are so important. The truth of who you are and who you can be is not defined by your mistakes but by the God that redeems our mistakes.
4. Your Identity Isn’t Your Marital Status
God loves you single, divorced, remarried, separated. Your identity in Him isn’t dependent on your marital status. It will take a while, but as you begin to find your identity in Him, you will allow Him to use you, your story and your life.
Just because your marriage ended doesn’t mean your story has ended. God is still writing.
It is easy to tie a bow around our story and think the happy ending is only for those who have been restored. Restoration is for you. Redemption has less to do with your marriage as it does your heart.