On my last post, I recommended Mikalee Byerman as a must read. Her blog rocks.
This week, I’m going to warn you to stay away from one entirely. Yes, I realize that by giving said blogger any kind of credit, even though it’s negative, is giving her some sort of status in cyberspace. She’s getting the attention she apparently needs. I don’t care. This kind of thinking is out there and you, as a soon-to-be-divorced person need to know that you are ok, and this kind of thinking is wrong. Just WRONG.
You know, since going through my own shtuff in life, after thinking I had this perfect marriage, great health and parenting skills that would shame anyone, I have been truly humbled. I have also come to peace with the fact that people’s opinions, for the most part, can be valuable. I mean, I want people to consider my opinions valid to some degree, even if they don’t agree.
Then I read this blog due to Mikalee bringing it to my attention (don’t forget to come back here after you read it. There’s something like 530 comments under her blog, so don’t get too distracted):
You’re back? Good.
Then I thought, “Some people are completely off their rocker and should be censored by the government. Maybe even arrested for causing others to continue to allow violence and disrespect toward themselves.”
I mean, seriously. I also thought many other things, but in an effort to show some kind of restraint due to my filter standards (which are extremely low anyway) I will attempt to refrain from major deleted expletives or ripping this lady to shreds too much on this post.
And then I’ll open the floodgates to allow you to comment below. This lady needs to hear from the world, not just her followers on her blog (which are many, I’ve come to find out).
Essentially, according to this extremely wise woman, divorce is wrong… ALWAYS.
Can I tell you my own experience with this kind of thinking? I’m about to use some Christian-ese again (see my rant in my story entitled “Seriously” under the “Serious Reese Stories” section of our site). Please forgive me.
It goes something like this.
I tried to make my marriage stay together in every possible conceivable way after I found out Devon was gay. For a year and a half. I did some healthy things to attempt this, and some not so healthy ways. I compromised so many things that I can’t even remember some of them. The details about these you will be able to find in my book if I ever finish it.
As a side note, the working title is called “Leave It To My Beaver: Of course I Married a Gay Guy.” Funny, right? I think it’s funny, anyway, which is all that matters.
Anywho, after innumerous prayers, prayer circles, fasting, Bible Studies, counseling from lay-Christian counselors and even a professional one, I eventually came to the peaceful conclusion that it was okay for me to divorce Devon. He never really took the reigns and made that decision himself, even though he was no longer in our home and had accepted himself as a gay man. I don’t blame Devon for that. He really did love me and hated the hurt I was going through. I’m requesting that you don’t knock on Devon in the comments below. Thanks.
Psycho thinking? Maybe. But it was my personal process and I don’t have any regrets about it now.
When I made my decision, which was like this ray of light as an epiphany one day, my professional counselor agreed with me. My awesome Christian dad, who is the wisest man I’ve ever known, agreed as well.
The amount of peace that I felt regarding this decision was indescribable. I had finally arrived.
The people in my Christian circles who were supporting me? Not so much. I’m about to say it like it is from my perspective, and I’m sure that some people will be offended. That’s a risk I’m willing to take. Here’s the gist.
“I’ve decided to get a divorce.”
“What? How can this be? You’ve always said you’d do whatever it took to stay together! Surely your dad and your counselor don’t know about this. I doubt they’d agree.”
“Actually, they support my decision. It’s just time. I can’t try to make Devon do anything. He’s made his own decisions and I’m just torturing myself and the kids by fighting it. I need to move on.”
“Hello? Say something.”
I could tell the friend was trying to control her emotions. It was thinly veiled. “Emily, how can this be your decision? Are you sure you’ve even prayed about this? I mean, you didn’t even mention it to any of us.”
Well, of course I hadn’t. I knew this would be the reaction they’d have.
“Listen, I knew how you would feel about it. We’ve all known from day one that it just might come to this. It’s always been an option to consider at some point. It’s just time. And of course I’ve prayed about it. I’ve prayed with my face to the ground for hours about it.”
She became relentless. “How can this be? This isn’t want God wants for you! Devon said he isn’t cheating on you, therefore you don’t have a good reason to ask for one. God hates divorce!”
Yes, yes he does. But even God allowed for it in cases of infidelity.
Let’s just give Devon the benefit of the doubt here. Let’s just say he wasn’t with his current partner at the time. Which he was. They were living together. But let’s just say that neither of them were together sexually. It’s still adultery, ultimately, according to Biblical standards. I mean, come on. What am I supposed to think?
Again, please don’t knock on Devon or his husband. I’m really ok with how things have turned out.
I began my defensive rebuttal. I can be a very defensive person, which is usually considered a weak trait of mine. Not this time, though. “I’m well aware of that. But what he says is happening and what is likely really happening don’t match up. Why the heck would I try to stay married to someone who doesn’t want me? I can’t compete with that.”
She became incredulous. “Emily, you are going against God Himself. We cannot support you. If he hasn’t committed adultery, then you cannot divorce him! I think you just want an excuse to go out and sin yourself.”
Whoa. Yeah. Just WHOA. Go out and sin myself? Pah-leeze. I was faithful to the Nth degree. I didn’t even masturbate for 18 months.
I started to shake with rage. I couldn’t help it. “Go out and sin myself? What are you talking about? So now, with this decision of mine, I’m the scapegoat? Isn’t it Devon who caused all of this to happen in the first place? He won’t even talk to you guys, you believe his statements, yet I have been transparent, shared my own sins, cried on your shoulders, followed your advice… and now it’s my fault? Is that what you’re saying?”
Again, cricket, cricket. Then, “You’re going against God’s will.”
Oh boy. That was the last straw. “So, according to Scripture, if Devon was beating me, beating the kids, drinking himself to oblivion and feeding a porn addiction, I’m supposed to stay with him? Is that what you’re saying?”
“Of course not. Now you’re taking Scripture out of context.”
I was? “Wait, I’m just using the same reasoning you threw back in my face. You’re taking scripture out of context. Go ahead and think whatever you want. Believe Devon if you want to. Has your husband ever told you he was gay? How dare you presume that I want to ‘sin’ myself. You know that isn’t true.”
“Emily, I just don’t know what to say. This feels like death to me.”
And it didn’t feel like death to me?
You know what I think? I think these people just couldn’t fit this entire scenario into their perfect little box of Biblical thinking. I really couldn’t either, but it was happening to me, not her. And then, apparently, this whole divorce thing was going to be my fault. It was just easier to ostracize and blame me than having to change their own thinking.
Suffice it to say, most of those people refuse to speak with me now, even when I’ve reached out to them. I stopped trying. Some of them came around a few years later when I had cancer and was about to die in the hospital. While I know their hearts were in the right place, and some of them were even helpful, it just didn’t mean the same to me as when Devon was next to me holding my hand or when my best friend or boyfriend at the time sacrificed their time, emotions and work schedules to help me out in meaningful ways.
I hope I’m prepared for the potential fall-out of what I’ve shared. I hope there isn’t any, but I’m realistic. My story is my story, however, and I will admit that the conversation above was not recorded, but written as best as I could from my memory. I didn’t make it up, though. Really happened.
So, blogging lady who thinks divorce is wrong in any circumstance, bite me. You are one clueless woman.
And they lived happily ever after. The End.
P.S. Happy Independence Day, people. For more reasons than one, like my own independence, for starters.