When it comes to marriage, we can sometimes be deceived into thinking that the grass outside of our marriage looks greener and more desirable.
However, the reality of leaving a marriage and going down the path of divorce is much more painful and devastating than we want to believe. Living on a single income, single parenting, kid’s going back & forth between two homes, strained relationships and feelings of grief, failure and shame are extremely difficult.
Media tells us that children are resilient. Do not be fooled, children of divorce do suffer damage and so do both spouses. Often, even if there has been a dysfunctional marriage relationship, a child still wants their mom and dad together. There is tremendous brokenness and shattered hearts that can last many years after divorce. Judith Wallerstein, researcher and author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce found that children of divorce are three times as likely to divorce or never marry.
Sadly, the divorce rate is even higher for those who remarry. This is a secret that the enemy likes to keep hidden. The truth about second marriages is they are 75% are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Let’s not forget we take ourselves, our history, sins and weaknesses with us where ever we go. Many couples divorce and remarry, without knowing the root cause of their difficulties in the first marriage. If one is not willing to take responsibility, mature and grow often unhealthy behaviors will repeat again in another failed marriage.
The Institute for American Values research study found that almost eight out of 10 couples who avoided divorce were happily married five years later. It is easy to become deceived by the ideology of Hollywood. “I want the same in love feelings that I use to have?” Loving feelings will come and go through the seasons and stages of Marriage. The honeymoon feelings will wear off and reality does set in with bills, children, work stressors, and life. Do not rely on these feelings to be indicators of love in your marriage. God hates the pain and brokenness of divorce and wants to restore our most precious relationships.
We are living in the age of the fractured family system. We need to have compassion for those who are going through or have experienced divorce. Many feel alone, and hopeless about finding love again. Many divorced parents do a wonderful job raising healthy bright, well-adjusted children. And there are many second marriages that do work. However, avoiding the pain and heartache of divorce is the preferred path to take if at all possible.
The greener grass is not usually greener across the way. The experience of a dependable and durable family bond and attachment is invaluable. Remember, often divorce is an illusion and deception from the enemy who is a roaring lion seeking to devour us. We encourage you to do everything you can to strengthen, repair and heal your marriage with the power of the Holy Spirit and help of others. As the song says, “Love the One your with” and enjoy the grass where you’re laying!
Terri Haley, MFT