Friday, June 27, 2008

What no one tells you about divorce and remarriage

When my first marriage failed, I received lots of advice. Most of it was about finances and parenting alone. Some of it was about surviving the pain of the divorce itself. But what no one told me, what no one suggested or warned me about was the hazards that would befall me if I ever got married again.

Perhaps that is because within the Church, there are those who believe that there is no right for a divorced Christian to remarry. Perhaps it is because the rate of divorce for second marriages is higher. Perhaps people secretly believed, as I did, that I could not find a man worth marrying. At any rate, I am stumbling upon lessons that I wish could have been imparted before I remarried. (I hate making mistakes...sigh)

I entered into my first marriage at the very tender age of 18. I took the commitment very seriously. I got married to him for life. To me, divorce was not an option. I believed that there was nothing that our love and God wouldn't get us through. I was right about the second part, just not the first. And we were not set evenly on the faith field. At times, neither of us was seeking God's will for our marriage.

After two years of separation, we divorced. It was traumatic, but I knew that God wanted me to be at peace. I knew that God wanted me to find healing. And in time I did.

In time, I found the kind of love and marriage that God had wanted for me from the beginning. I could not fairly compare the two marriages, so I won't. But what I am learning is that what happened in the first marriage continues to haunt me in the second. There is still a fear of abandonment, although highly irrational. It's there whether it's logical or not. When you go into a marriage with belief that it is forever, and then the marriage falls apart and ends, it is nearly impossible to face a second with the same belief that it will be forever. The ghosts in the closet will attempt to follow you and haunt you. They whisper, "Yeah, but remember how it happened last time...wasn't it alot like what you're feeling right can't honestly think he'll love you and stand beside you no matter what, especially after what you've already experienced." And you have to take a stand to ignore them.

So today, I am learning that healing is an ongoing process. I am learning that the scars from the first marriage can scab over and affect the new marriage. And I am flawed and so, so human. All I can do is go to Jesus, fall at his feet and ask Him to help me.

Father, I love my husband with all that I am. He loves me with the devotion that you have directed husbands to have for their wives. He loves me as Christ loves the church. And yet I have been wounded by past relationships. And because of this, I get afraid. I fear what is not present and real at this time because of what has happened in the past. In fact, I know that if I am honest, there is not an inkling of what has gone before present in my marriage. And I know that we both go to you when things get tough--on our own and together. We know and trust that you are the giver of all good things and the healer of all hurts. Heal me of the wounds that make my heart so cautious to let my husband really love me. Remove all doubt of his genuine-ness of heart so that I can be my best for him. Give us both the ability to be patient as we work through the myriad of challenges that a second marriage poses so that we can know and be absolutely sure that when our lives on earth on through, we will still be standing side by side, following you. In Jesus' name, AMEN.


Cheri said...

Praying for you today for complete healing from the past. Praying that the chains will fall at your feet for good. Praying that you remember God doesn't want us to remain in bondage.

Christina said...

I know how you feel because I have been divorced and am now married 12 years to a man that I know God has chosen for me. I am grateful for this and it takes time to get over the stuff from the first marriage, but you will and so will I.

Cheri said...

Just wanted you to know I'm praying for you. Hoping that everyone is adjusting well to the new life in the house!

Pink Heavenly Ministries said...

Hello Ceci,
Right there with you on the healing process. What we do not realize is the scars, those have been somthing that I too have struggled with lately. My prayer is that my own daughter & the teen girls that will be in my upcoming small group will never have to deal with this in life.
Praying for you and your family,

Psalm 121

p.s. I am so sorry I have not been in touch like I should have.
Thank you for blessing me today with your posting. (smile)