What Saves A Marriage?

What could ever change the mind of a woman on a mission to divorce her husband? Well, I can share with you what changed it for me, and it was without a doubt only by the sheer miracle of God.

There I was, all set to go. I was done. In my mind it was, “Out with the old and in with the new.” Divorcing my husband was just something I thought I had to do. I had beat the idea up in my head so many times that I was worn out. All of my complaining, criticizing, and cynicism had taken a toll on everyone.

I had become so bitter trying to do everything that I was supposed to be doing for my family in my own strength, and was running on nothing more than the toxic thoughts of divorce. I had no faith, no hope, and no grace to endure the weight of my family. I was just about the most miserable woman on earth. Oh, how I tortured them so and didn’t even know it. It was an utter path of destruction. I was without a care or concern for my husband.

I really don’t know how he did it? It was literally two decades of misery between us. I’m not saying that he was all sunshine and roses, but he was most certainly not causing as many problems as I was, simply because my reactions to the problems between us were completely over the top! I was trying to solve the problems I was having, by choosing even bigger problems to escape from my reality. I did not like the woman that I had become, and it was the scariest thought that I had to keep running from!

When I look back, I realize that blaming my husband was nothing more than an escape from facing my own behaviors as a wife. Why in the world would I want to face that mess? I had no idea where I’d even begin. I had no answers other than to divorce him. How I ever managed to twist things so, is beyond me. The poor guy was NOT perfect, but was not at all who I made him out to be in my mind. I had gotten into this victim mentally somehow and I couldn’t escape from the self-pity.

It was the little petty things about him that snowballed in my mind to be major problems. Well, what else did I think was going to happen, when all I did was hyper focus on his faults all darn day? His faults weren’t any worse off than mine. It was hypocritical of me, but at the time, I was just an ungodly wife who hadn’t a clue what love really was.

It was all about ME, ME and more of ME. It was all about how I felt, what I thought was right, and what I thought was wrong. I was the Judge of it all! I’d stand with my hands on my hips and I’d stare him down, sneer at him, and shake my head in a continuous state of disapproval. Can you imagine this? There came a point where he wouldn’t even look in my direction because he knew he wasn’t admired by me anymore.

The shame that I tried to place on him was really just how I was feeling about myself on the inside. The way that I had behaved as a wife and a mother was not something I was proud of, and the longer I avoided the truth about who I had become, the worse things were between us. There was not one ounce of honesty left inside of me. There I was, blaming him for working too much, or complaining about something stupid like not drying the spoons right, while secretly wracking up credit card debts.

Do you see the difference? He was providing for our needs and paying all the bills, so that I could stay home with the children. Meanwhile, I was complaining there wasn’t enough money to do all of the worldly things that I wanted. None of it made any sense at all because my thinking was not based on God’s truth. It was purely selfish.

Of course there were far worse things that I did to destroy the marriage even further, but my laundry list is far too long for this short story. I believe what I have shared in a few sentences, gives a good example of how I was indeed the one creating much greater problems.

Well, then came that day where I packed my bags and was ready to go. I was leaving my husband and I didn’t know if I was ever coming back. He was not at all in agreement with divorce even after all of the destruction that I caused. He was firm that he did not want to leave that kind of a failure as his legacy behind. He saw a fighting chance for our marriage, even when I swore there wasn’t. Actually, at the time I hated him for that too… of course. There wasn’t anything he could do right in my eyes.

Not only was I leaving, but I was going as far away as I could get over 3,000 miles across the country. So, we threw all my stuff in my car and both drove across the country. Yes, I said both because he wouldn’t let me go without being absolutely sure that I was safe. For some reason, this trip began changing everything even though it was bitter sweet. I was just so lost and broken and he knew it. He couldn’t help but want to protect me until the end.

He took me to the most amazing places, everything from the penthouse hotels overlooking the city lights, to the most scenic resorts along the countryside. I mean this in some strange way turned into the most meaningful time together in our lives, and not just because of all of the beautiful things we saw and experienced, but because deep inside I knew that this man’s faithful, kind, and patient heart healed a piece of my soul. I knew this had to be the kind of love that only comes once in a lifetime. A man who fights for his wife, and gives it everything he’s got, even when she doesn’t is a true hero!

I didn’t even understand how anyone could love me anymore. I didn’t even understand where he found this unconditional love from, where he could still want to love me even though I hurt him so deeply, but because of it something profound changed inside of me on this trip. My heart softened by something more powerful than anything I knew of before. This was the turning point, where I surrendered my life to God, and in only a matter of months, I wanted nothing more than to love my husband … knowing without a doubt that we were meant to grow old together.

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