During the 19 years of our marriage we’ve seen friends, family and loved ones end their marriages.
Divorce doesn’t just hurt the spouses. It hurts the kids. It hurts everyone who loves them.
I think of a particular couple we loved getting together with. I was a great match with her and my husband with him. Our kids got along and our visits were always full of laughter and fun.
Then there are those relatives that used to make family gatherings such a fun place to be. But they are no longer there, because they are not your relative anymore.
Divorces don’t just end marriages. They end families. They end friendships. That doesn’t just hurt, it kills.
Comparing Marriage Pain and Divorce Pain
I’ve lived in a pretty bad marriage. I wanted to leave. My hope for my marriage was gone.
I can’t say I understand how bad it is for everyone, not even close! But I do know the pain of a lonely, hard, empty marriage and the hope that an affair brought.
I’m glad God saved our marriage. I take no credit. I pressed into God and just did what He taught me to do. He saved our marriage.
Now, as I look around at loved ones I’ve seen go through divorce I’m acutely aware that God didn’t just save me from a divorce. That’s not the half of it!
He saved my kids, my husband’s brother and sisters, his parents, my family and all our friends from the death of close relationships. He also saved me a lot of pain.
Yes, there was pain in our marriage. A lot of it. But I’ve learned that there is a difference between the two pains.
Pain in a marriage is there to poke you and prod you into action. That pain is saying, “Love your man! Show him respect! Stick with it and make this marriage beautiful! Go to God and let Him transform this marriage!”
The pain of a divorce is another thing entirely. You are no longer loved by the one who promised to love you forever. Your dreams are done. You’ve become a statistic. The pain of a divorce is a pain of loss and death, an on-going, never-ending death.
Fight For Your Marriage
If you are considering a divorce today, I’d like to encourage you to fight for your marriage. It’s hard. It may feel impossible. But it will be worth it in the end.
Do it for yourself. Do it for your kids, your friends, your relatives.
Marriages Do Get Better
Here’s just a little piece of encouragement for those of you who may be starting to think a divorce would fix everything…
A University of Chicago study by Linda Waite reported that “unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married”.
In other words, getting a divorce probably won’t make things better.
In contrast, two out of three unhappily married spouses who avoid divorce or separation end up happily married five years later.
So stick with it and pray that God helps you be part of that two thirds!