Deal With It


I flew to San Francisco yesterday to visit my close friend who just got married and went to Ireland with me.  It’s nice seeing her settled in her new life and happy with a man who thinks the world of her.  The last time I was here we had both just turned 40 and pretty much thought our lives were over having been dumped by our husbands after long marriages.  Single moms raising teenagers was not the picture we had in our heads.  I sat with her over dinner last night and we laughed and talked about how this man, her new husband, was what she had always wanted but didn’t know was possible to have.  She’s always been guarded and when she started dating him she gushed.  I’ve known her since I was 6 years old and I’ve never seen her gush over a guy.  It took her over forty years to find him.

I’m a fan of marriage.  I think being married is great.  But not when the other person does not want to be in that marriage.  When someone quits trying to meet your needs as a wife or husband and basically tells you they will never change their mind…well…frankly…that is no marriage at all.

If someone is genuinely trying and it’s hard…I say don’t give up.  There are a lot of things we learn to deal with in life.  Even my friend who just got married admits things are not perfect.

She is a clutter freak and he leaves things around the house.  He is a laundry freak and has to wash clothes as soon as they’re dirty.  There are things each of them are adjusting to living together in this new marriage.  But infidelity is not one of them.

We just need to deal with it sometimes.

If you marry a person who has a different sleep schedule than you, different cleaning habits, different eating habits…those things are fairly trivial and compromise can be reached.  Deal with it.

If you marry a person who does something that bothers you a great deal like telling racist jokes, or treats a friend badly, or does something you think is unethical.  Those things are more serious but they are not grounds for divorce.  Especially biblically speaking.  And you need to deal with them.

But if your spouse, the person who promised to love you, throws that love in your face and looks outside of the marriage for comfort, companionship, and sex…that is not something you should have to deal with.  Those are grounds for dismissal.  Especially if that spouse has no plans on ending their behavior.

In that case there is something else you need to deal with.  Feelings of rejection, of not being good enough, hurt, pain, anguish, depression.  And why?  Because the person who was supposed to LOVE you hurt you instead.  So you have to deal with all that negativity and there is absolutely no way around it.  Their selfishness requires you to rake through crap – and lots of it –  to get to the other side of the pain.  It’s not fair, but since marriage includes two people – what they do affects you greatly.

Another of my close friends lives up in the bay area too and he texted me some terrible news that he got that day that his wife of 15 years or so wanted an open marriage and if he didn’t agree to it that she wanted separation.  My heart broke for him.  He has three young children.  I’ve watched him struggle in his marriage for years trying to connect with his wife, being a great dad and a great husband.  I know he will not walk away from his marriage lightly.  I know he doesn’t want his kids to have to deal with it…no…that is not something they should have to deal with.

But I just have to think about how living in a marriage like that would affect a person long-term.  I know because I did it for a year and half before I realized my ex meant what he said.  At the end of the struggle I at least knew I had done everything to save the marriage.  But if at that point I would have just let him have his way without making him leave, and going through with the divorce….I would have become even more  bitter, angry, sullen, depressed, and jaded.  And had I stayed somewhere after I already knew it was over and allowed myself to become imbittered by it that would not have been a good example to my children either.  And it would have been an even worse thing for my kids to have to deal with.

Sometimes it’s really scary what is put in front of us because we don’t want it, and we don’t think any good can come from it.  But if you deal with it head on it leaves much less residual trauma.

And sometimes you end up living a life you didn’t think was possible.  Better.  Brighter.  Full of love and hope and friendship.  And you look back and think.  It sucked.  Big time. But it was probably the best thing that could have happened to me because it got me to where I am today.

Don’t lose heart.

2 responses to “Deal With It

  1. I havent checked in here for a while as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess Ill add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it friend 🙂

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