Divorce: What it is, What it isn’t, What it does (An Introduction)

Megan and I walked into our first pre-marriage counseling session having a little bit of an idea what to expect, but the very first question our pastor asked us caught us a little by surprise.

“Have either of your parents or grandparents been divorced,” he asked?Angry couple

“Yes. But but the ‘d-word’ just isn’t an option for us,” we replied.

“Ever?”

“Ever.”

That’s the foundation on which we began our marriage, and we continue to hold to it. And years later, we have met couple after couple who didn’t begin their marriage on that kind of foundation. Yes, some of them were extreme circumstances. Yes, some of them only agreed to divorce after doing their best to reconcile. And yes, their divorce was much more emotionally challenging than they ever thought it would be.

We’ve reached out to a number of our friends who have experienced divorce, asking them to help us out with this series.  It’s our hope that this series of posts will help those who have experienced divorce an opportunity to heal. It’s also our hope that this series of posts will help those who are considering divorce to reconsider, and to work toward reconciliation.

Three additional posts are forthcoming.

1. Divorce: What it is

2. Divorce: What it isn’t

3. Divorce: What it does

But before we get there, we’d like your help. While we’ve reached out to a number of friends to help us with this series, we’re looking for others who have experienced divorce as well.  If you would be willing, please take an opportunity to answer the following questions. Send your responses to us at the email address listed below by this time next week. We’ll then begin writing out the rest of the series.

Our sincerest thanks for anyone wishing to help.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Below are a number of questions we would love to hear your responses on.  We should note that those of you who do agree to answer the following questions, your answers may appear in one of our posts in the series.  However, we will be sure to change your name for the sake of the post, using a first name pseudonym instead.

Our desire in this exercise is not to bring up any feelings of guilt or shame, it is solely to be an aid to others who may be contemplating divorce.  Therefore, if you find the below questions painful and do not wish to respond, we understand.  Additionally, if you would like to help us out but have any questions or concerns prior to doing so, feel free to contact us at donotdisturbblog@gmail.com – Thank you again for your help.

Questions:

1. If you could pin it down to just one thing, what ultimately led to your divorce?

2. Did you ever see divorce as an easy way out?
–  If so, has your opinion changed in any way over the years?

3. Did you attempt to get marital counseling?
–  If not, why not?
–  If so, did you find it helpful?

4. How has your divorce impacted your relationship with God?

5. How has your divorce impacted your relationships with others (outside of your immediate family)?
– i.e. Were/Are you more or less likely to trust others?  Open up to them?  etc.

6. If you have children, how did your divorce impact them?  (Short term and long term)
How did it impact your relationship with them years later?  (i.e. Negative Result: My daughter did not give me permission to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.  Positive Result: My children continue to respect me as a parent and we communicate on a regular basis.)
If you could attempt to quantify it, how many people were affected by your divorce outside of your immediate family?

7. What has your divorce taught you about friendship and marriage?  (How important is it for a couple to be good/best friends in marriage?)

8. If you committed any wrongdoing that ultimately led to your divorce, did you confess this wrongdoing to others?  If so, what was the benefit in doing so?  If not, do you think confession could have helped save your marriage?

9. What, if anything, could you have done differently to save your marriage?

10. If you had just 2-3 minutes to offer advice to a couple considering divorce, what would you say?

One thought on “Divorce: What it is, What it isn’t, What it does (An Introduction)

  1. These are some heavy questions to include in a comment, but I’ll try to answer quickly:
    Questions:

    1. If you could pin it down to just one thing, what ultimately led to your divorce?
    Lying, Double-life, Another woman (again)

    2. Did you ever see divorce as an easy way out?
    No.
    – If so, has your opinion changed in any way over the years?
    Life IS much easier without the constant chaos in my home, there is much more peace.

    3. Did you attempt to get marital counseling?
    Yes
    – If not, why not?
    – If so, did you find it helpful?
    We participated in hundreds of hours of therapy. I found it helpful for each of us as individuals, but only as we applied what we learned could it help as a couple. In the areas of anger management and boundary setting, very helpful.

    4. How has your divorce impacted your relationship with God?
    Forced me to rely and trust more than ever before. Created a desire to keep Him at the center. I have more history of dependence on Him and trust Him like never before.

    5. How has your divorce impacted your relationships with others (outside of your immediate family)?
    Revealed true hands and feet of Christ, some judgement, loss of friends with whom ex-spouse and I had history. My former father in law passed away shortly after our divorce, and it was hurtful to not be included in his life celebration since he had been a close part of my own history for nearly twenty years.
    – i.e. Were/Are you more or less likely to trust others? Open up to them? etc.
    More likely to be authentic, less likely to believe everyone is telling the truth.

    6. If you have children, how did your divorce impact them? (Short term and long term)
    How did it impact your relationship with them years later? (i.e. Negative Result: My daughter did not give me permission to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Positive Result: My children continue to respect me as a parent and we communicate on a regular basis.)
    If you could attempt to quantify it, how many people were affected by your divorce outside of your immediate family?
    My children are still young. They deal with many loyalty conflicts and the confusion of two differing sets of values.

    7. What has your divorce taught you about friendship and marriage? (How important is it for a couple to be good/best friends in marriage?)
    Friendship is important, but even with my former spouse we had a friendship – honesty and respect were lacking.

    8. If you committed any wrongdoing that ultimately led to your divorce, did you confess this wrongdoing to others? If so, what was the benefit in doing so? If not, do you think confession could have helped save your marriage?
    We all have wrong-doings that contribute to a breakup and I try to be honest without revealing more than appropriate.

    9. What, if anything, could you have done differently to save your marriage?
    Nothing. I am confident that I did everything I knew to do.

    10. If you had just 2-3 minutes to offer advice to a couple considering divorce, what would you say?
    There is no easy way out and divorce does not separate you from a person…the relationship continues, but in a different way. you will have need to work together, but less influence and the challenges for children are greater than you can imagine.

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