“You should be on guard, then, for your life, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”Malachi 2:15
Like too many Catholic husbands and marriages today, I have been faced with the possibility of divorce in my almost 30 year marriage. Fortunately, my wife and I worked through this devistating period of our lives – truly by the grace and mercy of God! But not without the feelings, anger, emotions, and all the ‘stuff’ that comes with it. It is always a constant work in progress, for a lifetime.
As I talk with other Catholic men about marriage and divorce in our time, it is evident to me that marriage is under attack in our culture, if not our world – especially with people of Faith!
The number of weddings – between a man and a woman – is down, people are cohabitating more often than not, and Satan is using every means possible to confuse our thinking and distract what we truly believe. And the holidays – Thanksgiving through New Year’s – is widely known as a time when divorce has most impact on our lives and relationships, direct or indirect.
While divorce removes some pressures, it creates a host of others, says Dr. Gary Chapman in his book ‘The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional’. If you are considering divorce, only a small percentage of divorced individuals claim to have found greater happiness in a second or third marriage. “The grass being greener on the other side of the fence is a myth”, he says.
Divorce should be the last possible alternative, because far too many couples opt for divorce too soon and at too great a price. It should first be preceded by every effort at reconciling differences, dealing with issues, and solving problems. When couples seek and find proper help, many have reconciled.
Guys have Hope!
With the right information and proper support, you can be a positive change agent in your relationship. Follow God’s advice and guard your heart, remain faithful to your spouse and seek help. The path towards divorce is filled with more pain and difficulty, believe it or not. Healing takes time. God’s time.
One thing I decided to do in my experience with divorce is to change my perspective and change myself first. I didn’t know about it at the time, but this too is what Dr. Ray Guarendi says “You can’t change your spouse’s behavior and attitude. But you can change yours.” in his book ‘Marriage: Small Steps, Big Rewards’ . So I will share more on this in another blog post.
A Resource for Men
When I went through my divorce experience I found there was very little online about men and divorce, as much as there was for women. So I decided then to do something about it by writing more articles – and this is one of them. It just has been taking some time in listening to the Holy Spirit about how to go about it. So now, in due time, you can use the keyword ‘divorce’ in the search bar on this blog and have yourself a resource. God bless you!