Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I learned tonight that my married friends will be divorcing each other in the near future. I learned that they couldn't make it work. That they are getting along better now- separated- then they ever were together.

I can't tell them this now but they were a role model couple to me. Not because they had a perfect marriage like some people do, but because they had an imperfect marriage. The kind I grew up with. The kind that always ended in divorce. But you see my friends were different- They had struggles but they came through them. They had their differences but kept going. But in the end it was too hard. In the end they will divorce. And they are okay- They are on good terms with each other now. Their biggest struggle is no longer each other but from the backlash of friends, family and church.

I will be having coffee with one of them this weekend. I love both of these people. I wish and pray that it wouldn't end like this. That they would stay together. And the sad thing is that I want them to stay together for them, but also for me. So I can have that hope back. Selfish, desperate hope that even though marriage is hard- and it is- it can work. It is worthwhile. It is worth protecting. Even I could do it. But I'm just not confident anymore.

I understand and agree that this is none of my business, and that it is self centered of me to make this even an inch about me. Still, I feel these feelings. I think our culture wants us to forget that our personal decisions and actions do not affect us only, but those all around us. We are a community. And every day we are a community more and more fragmented.


  1. Sigh. I am sad along with you.

    Dan and I went to a Gary Chapman seminar last month and he said something I've never heard anyone say before. It went basically like this.

    "If you want to be a witness in the world today, the most powerful thing you can do is protect and work on your marriage. A strong, persistent marriage will draw more questions and awe from the world than almost any other part of your faith."

    He also said that only a small percentage of couples did things like go to seminars, and they were usually not the ones who needed it the most. That a marriage, at any given point, is either getting better or worse.

    I don't know what the answer is, but if it makes you feel better, Dan and I are working like crazy people on our marriage. We haven't given up by a long shot.

  2. I think the marriages that amicably split are in some way the hardest for me to comprehend. It's one thing when a member of the union was violent, or a crazy cheater or something. Someone very close to me divorced their spouse because that person had an addiction that they refused treatment for--getting to the point that the security and well-being of the rest of the family was endangered. At that point she simply had to draw the line.

    But "it was too hard" just doesn't compute for me.

    DON'T get me wrong. I do not sit in judgement of my friends who have been/are getting divorced. And I am certainly in no position to criticize the choices of others. In many ways, those friends have accomplished more, tried harder, and been more faithful through their "failed" marriages than I have been through my singleness.

    But sitting up here in my ivory tower of limited perspective and judgeyness, I too want desperately for our community to give up on the idea that hard doesn't equal marriage. Marriage is hard. And I hope (literally) to God, that should I ever get blessed with the insane challenge of marriage that I will remember this. There will be a time when one or both of us want to get out. But I don't think that's a good enough reason to actually pull the trigger.

    It kills me (in a way) to know that my friends are getting along better now that they've split. It signals to me clear evidence that they are both worth fighting for, and so is their marriage.

    But this isn't something I imagine that my friends would appreciate me saying. I suppose the expected thing is to say, "I am so sorry (and I am). I am sorry that you are going through this pain, and I wish it could have worked out (and I do). I hope that you can find happiness and that everything will be ok (and I do)."

    But some part of me wants to shout at God, or them, or the wall and just say "Stop this. Stop right now. You are throwing away something terrible and beautiful and fulfilling and hard and something holy." What some of us wouldn't give for some "hard" in our lives.

    To my friends who are going through this, I humbly ask for you not to be angry at me for feeling this way; please understand that I love you both, and that I mourn the end of your relationship with you. The pain of this is yours, and no one can claim to feel it more than you do. But we were part of your marriage. We are your community. We are your friends and your sisters and brothers. And we don't cease to be these things simply because you've changed the status of your marriage. Nor do we love you any less.

  3. Miriam- I love you and Dan both so much as friends and brother and sister in Christ. Thank you for your insight and I rejoice in your mission to love another and therefore witness to others.

    Nicky- Thank you for taking all the stirrings of my heart about this situation and expressing them so well. I assume you know who I'm writing about.