Before I begin, I need you to know that I sought my husband's permission before I shared the information that I'm sharing in this post...
This passage talks about divorce. The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus, so they asked if he thought it was legal for a man to divorce his wife. Jesus pointed to what Moses commanded.
"They [the Pharisees] answered, 'Moses gave permission
to fill out a certificate of dismissal and divorce her.'
Jesus said, 'Moses wrote this command only as a concession
to your hardhearted ways. In the original creation,
God made male and female to be together. Because of this,
a man leaves father and mother, and in marriage
he becomes one flesh with a woman - no longer two individuals,
but forming a new unity. Because God created this organic union
of the two sexes, no one should desecrate
his art by cutting them apart.'"
Mark 10:4-9 (The Message)
This isn't going to be post about anyone who might be reading this. This is a post about me and my husband and our marriage to each other.
When we got married, we decided to ban the "D" word. If we didn't allow ourselves to use this word, we couldn't allow ourselves to ever get one of these. And it was great... for a time. Then some things happened that caused me to re-think our decision to ban the use of this word. My husband, who had over 15 yrs sober from alcohol, started to drink again. I honestly never thought we'd ever have to deal with this issue and didn't know how to handle it because I didn't know my husband when he was a drinker. He sobered up long before we even met. So, I was clueless as to what to expect. Was he a depressed drinker? Was he a black-out drinker? Was he a violent drinker. To say I was scared is an understatement.
At first, I stood by him. I tried to support him. But, oh! If I smelled alcohol on his breath, I would LOSE it. I'd get so scared and it would come out as anger. I'd guilt him. I'd shame him. I'd threaten him. "If I smell booze, you can sleep out in the camper!" But, nothing worked. He kept right on drinking. Then, I wizened up. I decided to throw the "D" word out there. I "knew" if I used that word, he would know just how serious I was. But, even that didn't work. I was stumped! All these years, all it took, was me raising my voice a little bit and he'd usually cave and do what I wanted. Why wasn't he caving now? What was "I" doing wrong? Why wasn't "I" enough? I even used our kids in my shaming attempts. Nothing worked.
I went to a couple Al-Anon meetings and, while they were really good, they reminded me too much of the cult I was in when I was a teen so I got triggered there quite a bit. It just got to be too much for me to go. But, I read their literature and I knew a lot of the principles because of my past experiences in life. I decided I needed to take care of myself and our kids and let my husband do what he needed to do. But, I also started to seriously think about divorce.
There. I said it. And I lived. The earth didn't cave in around me. And God didn't strike me dead for speaking the word out. I needed to think about it. Seriously think about it because if things continued down the path they were going - I was going to need to leave my husband. Oh, how that shattered my heart!
But, I just kept doing what I needed to do for me. I was already seeing a great Christian therapist, so I kept seeing her. I confided in friends. I stopped hounding my husband about his drinking. Quite frankly, I just didn't want to know anymore. I stopped sniffing as he walked by me to see if I could catch a whiff of anything. I just did what I needed to do for me and our kids.
It took my husband's boss talking to him and putting him on probation at work for him to start looking at quitting drinking. He's been dry for several months now. I am unable to say he's been "sober" because he's not going to meetings and he's not really allowing God in his life right now. However, I can say that he is trying to be a good husband and father. He's much more present than he was. He laughs more. He's not as angry all the time. Well, unless he thinks about a certain situation in his life, then the bitterness begins to set in and I start to worry about him taking another drink. But, I just keep putting him, and this situation, in God's hands. He's got it under control.
What my husband IS doing is wonderful! He is going to church again. He's attending a Bible Study with me every week. He's attending the Men's Breakfast at our church. He's meeting with the elders in the church and opening up to them so he has someone who can keep him accountable. He's seeing my therapist occasionally. He is doing his best and I am so very proud of him.
I'm getting glimpses of my old husband again, so I know he's still in there. And I have decided to, once again, remove the "D" word from my vocabulary. Do I believe there are times where a divorce is necessary. Yes, I do. But, I do not believe it is necessary for my marriage anymore and I pray it stays that way. God's desire isn't for marriages to end in divorce. But, if your marriage did or is, know that He still loves you and is still right by your side. He will get you through this, if you let him.