Considering divorce as an option is a strong indication that a marriage is in great jeopardy. I know that some people enter marriages with this possibility as an escape route. Unfortunately, I have coached couples where this outcome was discussed or used as a threat so often that it was almost normalized. I would hope that both previous scenarios are not the norm, as they were certainly not the case for our marriage.
We both agreed this would be our last marriage. Both of us were previously divorced from our college sweethearts. We had suffered the consequences of marrying before we were ready and to people we knew were wrong for us. This time would be different. We were adults and expereinced in relationships, and we knew what we wanted out of life and marriage. These are the narratives we used to convince ourselves that this would be, not our first, but our last and best love.
I was the one that introduced the possibility of divorce. Not before I had tried other remedies. Some were healthy, like prayer, individual coaching and suggesting couples therapy. I say suggested, because we did not see a counselor until after I was prepared to file for a divorce. Shamefully, I also made some poor choices like seeking support and affection from people outside of our marriage. It is hard for any couple or any party in a marriage to exhaust all resources available to them, but you can feel that way after an extended period. I had reached what I thought were my limits when I decided to file for the divorce.
It took another year before I would decide to file for divorce, and a half year after that before I actually submitted the paper work. During these periods the journal entries helped me to confront feelings and thoughts that I wanted to ignore. Reviewing the recordings sends me to an emotional place, even now, months after the marriage has ended. The point of sharing these entries is to show some of what I experienced while making the decision. In addition, hopefully, the conversations I had with myself will help someone facing a similar decision cope with the weight of the burden.
The end of my journey has already been revealed. We have a new and interesting friendship for the sake of our children, the ministries we share, and because we still like more than a few things about each other. A judge’s signature cannot unravel years of building a marriage. But, the fact remains that we are divorced. This does not have to be anyone else’s reality. If it helps, place your feet in the path that I left and see if you can make a different and better decision. Divorce Journal – The Opening