I don’t really know why this has been so heavy on my heart to share, but I’m assuming there is someone out there who needs to hear it.
So here goes nothing…
I have a friend who is going through a divorce.
I don’t know all the details but I know that she decided to leave after a pretty rough go at things.
I sent her a message and told her how proud I was of her for standing her ground.
A few days ago she said that her and her husband had decided to reconcile.
I (again) messaged her and told her I was so proud. I’m so glad she is taking a stand for her marriage and working through things.
I kind of fought with sending that second message. I didn’t want it to seem insincere, considering less than two weeks ago I told her I was proud of the opposite actions.
But I legitimately feel that way.
I wanted her to know that no matter what she chooses I am proud of her.
Both of those options are HARD.
Leaving a marriage is one of the hardest things anyone will ever do.
Staying in a broken marriage that you feel like can’t be repaired, is right there beside it on the list.
For 4 years I had a very broken, sad, lonely marriage.
I felt defeated and hopeless, but I stayed.
I can say now that my decision was the right one. But I also know that I stayed through things I shouldn’t have. I put up with more than anyone should have to and it took a toll on me mentally and physically.
I laid awake at night hounding myself wondering about what everyone would think of me.
At this point, nearly no one knew what I was dealing with.
What would people say if I just up and left, when I had this perfect Facebook life and had hidden everything for so long?
Even worse, what would people think if they knew what I was staying in?
I felt this judgment from society, without even telling them what I was going through.
People will say “I would never” often.
And good for them.
There are things that you shouldn’t have to deal with in a marriage, but the reality is you probably will. And until you’ve been through it, you don’t know what you will do about it. Even when you do go through it, you still don’t know how to deal with it.
I felt like I had to leave, even though I didn’t want to, because I didn’t want people to think I was weak.
Let me say it again.
I thought staying made me weak.
Not because that’s how I felt, but because we live in a time where people put on fronts for social media and even in person. I felt so alone in what I was going through and that I would be so harshly judged because no one else could possibly have been through a situation like mine.
I didn’t realize that a large percentage of people were dealing with the same shit, or had in the past.
People don’t like to air their dirty laundry, which is understandable.
But by hiding it, you’re doing a disservice to others. I’ve gone on this rant before so I’ll save it. You get the picture though.
Bottom line, I wasn’t weak for staying.
And I wouldn’t have been weak, or any stronger for leaving.
There isn’t a right or wrong way to do life, and especially marriage.
You’ll get backlash no matter what you do, so you might as well be doing what makes you happy.
This isn’t a post to tell you to stay.
Just because it worked for me, does not mean it will work for you.
There are still times that I feel like I’ve done the wrong thing by staying in the mess I was in. Like I haven’t been a good example for people who need to leave. Because there were times I should have gone and never looked back.
I’m just so thankful that things are where they are now and I’m able to share our story.
But there has been a whole hell of a lot of forgiveness in our marriage, even more grace, and all kinds of Jesus.
Had it not been for those things, we would be sharing weekends and fighting over holidays.
I pray every day that what we’ve been through will help just one single person through their mess. Whether that be the strength to stay, or the strength to leave.
I don’t know that there is a real lesson in this post. Just kind of an announcement of sorts.
This is me telling you that it doesn’t matter what your friends, family, or random Facebook follower thinks.
If you feel like you need to leave, I’ll be there to help you pack your bags and you can sleep on my couch if you need to.
If you are dealing with something and want to stay and work through it, I’ll be right there to pray for you and encourage you.
Marriage is worth fighting for. But there are times where you can’t be the one to change it.
I wish I had wiser words for you, but all I can offer is my support in a world of people who may not feel the same way.
I, like always encourage you to reach out if you’re struggling in your marriage. Having people to talk to was huge for me and my husband. And I know that when you’re in the thick of things the last thing you want to do is spill the secrets.
But I promise you, it will be worth it to share and have someone to walk with you through the fire, no matter which direction you choose to go.