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Posts Tagged ‘Divorce’

As a divorce mediator for many years, I thought I was more prepared than anyone for what lay ahead as I faced my own divorce. Well, I was wrong! Here are some of the things no one told me, which I learned from going through it — and coming out on the other side.

Read more: http://www.today.com/health/10-things-i-wish-i-d-known-getting-divorced-t82321?cid=eml_tes_20160416

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Rise in remarriage

If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. Exodus 21:10 (NKJV)

 

According to report by the Pew Research Center[i], in forty percent of marriages begun in 2013, one or both partners had been married before, and close to one-quarter of all currently married adults have previously been married to someone else.  It is of interest to note that both figures have risen sharply since 1960, when just 13 percent of married adults were on their second (or later) marriage.

What is also interesting is that while a growing number of adults have never been married, and more of those who had been married are divorced or widowed, those who had been married are not less likely to remarry.   That is to say that those that have never been married see marriage as less desirable than those whose marriages have ended, regardless of the circumstances.

The report also shows that formerly married seniors have become more likely to remarry, whereas their 25- to 34-year-old counterparts have become less likely to do so. While men have become less likely and women more likely to remarry, men are more likely than women to actually marry again.

According to W. Bradford Wilcox, American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar and director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, research suggests that, on average, couples who remarry are more likely to divorce than those who marry for the first time.  One of the factors that determine whether the new marriage will last is the presence of children, but another important one is whether “the same orientations or vulnerabilities or vices that may have led to earlier divorce — whether depression or drinking too much or something else — can be carried over to the second marriage. For that reason, we see they are generally less stable than intact first marriages.”

While some people are very intentional about not making the same mistakes they made in a first marriage, it is “not always possible to realize those good intentions, given the challenges of new relationships.”

 

Father, help me work as hard as I can to make this marriage last.

[i] http://family-studies.org/the-rise-of-remarriage/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=9b4102a4cb-Newsletter_107&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-9b4102a4cb-104541745

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They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. Psalm 109:3 (NKJV)

 

According to MSN Lifestyle[i], here are eleven early warning signs divorced people say they should have acted on—but didn’t. (We’ll explore them in the next few days)

  1. I let other people take priority over my husband. This is how Valerie Jones, of Glen Allen, Virginia, tells her story: “My ex-husband and I never made sure we had date night, private time, or special moments. Our careers and our children became the priority.”  She then adds, “A decade later we realized we weren’t even friends any more. We were roommates who raised children together. A couple of years before our divorce, I forgot about our anniversary, which was totally unlike me.”  Another wife says she put her kids first, her career second, and helping anyone else who needed her third; her ex-husband came in dead last by default.  As she says, “I remember one time he asked me to stop writing an email and come watch a movie with him.  I said I had to write an email because our friend’s father had just died. My husband’s response was, ‘Someone is always dying.’ And it was true. I’d been to six funerals that fall. Helping someone through a tragedy is obviously a great need, but I was helping too many people. Sometimes you can destroy the things that are the most important to you because you put everyone else first.”
  2. I ignored my gut. Courtney Klein’s boyfriend, “treated me as a ‘trophy’ girlfriend, then wife, pressuring me to dress sexily so he could show me off.” She continues, “I felt very vulnerable and because I didn’t have a support system overseas, I allowed myself to become totally dependent on him. In retrospect, I should have left before we got married.”  As she looks back, she admits on their wedding day, as she walked down the aisle, her gut told her to run, but she ignored it.  She explains, “It was more than just nerves. It was a gut feeling that I was making an absolutely huge mistake.”  Of course, it would be better to recognize this sign before saying I do than afterward.

Recognize any of these signs in your relationship?  Seek help.

 

Father, help me to find professional help before my marriage ends.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/11-early-warning-signs-of-divorce-most-people-miss/ss-AAayKrG#image=1

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Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret–it only causes harm. Psalm 37:8 (NKJV)

 

According to MSN Lifestyle[i], here are eleven early warning signs divorced people say they should have acted on—but didn’t. (We’ll explore them in the next few days)

  1. He couldn’t communicate. As a wife said, it was during their divorce proceedings that she realized that the whole marriage revolved around him. As she explained, “Those first arguments and signs of immature, selfish, controlling communications were big red flags that I was too young to recognize.”

Good communication is a skill that anyone can learn, you’re never too old to learn it, and it can change your life and your marriage.

  1. He had a bad temper. Laurie Lyons, of Pasadena, California, tells her experience: “Soon after we got married, my ex’s tone changed and he was quick to anger.  If I gave him an answer he didn’t like, he would just repeat the question louder and louder to try to intimidate me.”

Christian psychologist, Willard Harley, refers to anger outbursts as one of the “Love Busters,” those things that damage and even destroy relationships.  Anger is an emotion, but one that we need to learn to control.  The apostle Paul teaches, “Be angry, and do not sin” Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV).  The point is not to never be angry but rather to never sin while we are angry.

  1. I made excuses to not go home. As Harley states, “Domestic support involves the creation of a peaceful and well-managed home environment. It includes cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, house cleaning and child care. If you have the need for domestic support, when your spouse does some of these things, you feel very fulfilled, and when it is not done you feel very annoyed.”[ii] Some people, who don’t have this type of domestic support often will do all they can to stay away from home. They work long hours, volunteer to help others, go out with friends, anything but being part of the home atmosphere.

 

Father God, open my eyes that I may be aware of anything that may be causing damage to my marriage and make any changes for the better.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/11-early-warning-signs-of-divorce-most-people-miss/ss-AAayKrG#image=1

[ii] http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3340_dom.html

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They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. Psalm 109:3 (NKJV)

 

According to MSN Lifestyle[i], here are eleven early warning signs divorced people say they should have acted on—but didn’t. (We’ll explore them in the next few days)

  1. He put me down. Honorée Corder of Austin, Texas, author of If Divorce is a Game, These are the Rules, speaks of her experience: “My ex-husband belittled my appearance, goals, and ambitions, and thought nothing of checking out other women in my presence.”  If your spouse puts you down on a regular basis, he/she compares you to other people – in words or actions, it could be a sign there are some problems in your relationship that need to be dealt with.
  2. He went out all the time—without me. Some of us enjoy spending time with our spouse, but it is appropriate to spend some time apart. The problem is when your spouse spends more time away, with other people, than he/she does with you.  What they do with others does not necessarily have to be inappropriate, unethical, or immoral.  It is not being present with you enough time to strengthen your relationship.  The message they’re sending you is that time with you is not important, therefore, you’re not important.
  3. We fought about little things. As a therapist help her client realize, “we often act out in some form instead of calmly discussing the root of what’s actually bothering us.” People that have problems in their relationship often make mountains out of molehills and argue incessantly about meaningless things.

Everyone experiences conflict at one time or another. The issue is with petty fights about things that are inconsequential and which lead to great unhappiness and the eventual breakup of the relationship.  Those could well be a sign that your marriage is in trouble.  “These crises come also in the life of husband and wife, who, unless controlled by the Spirit of God, will at such times manifest the impulsive, unreasoning spirit so often manifested by children. As flint striking flint will be the conflict of will with will.”[ii]

 

Father God, help me to recognize any sign that our marriage is in trouble, and to take any positive steps to find a healthy solution.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/11-early-warning-signs-of-divorce-most-people-miss/ss-AAayKrG#image=1

[ii] White, E.G. Counsels for the Church, p. 142

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“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Numbers 14:27 (NKJV)

 

According to MSN Lifestyle[i], here are eleven early warning signs divorced people say they should have acted on—but didn’t. (We’ll explore them in the next few days)

  1. We were drifting apart—and we didn’t care. Whether we are pursuing a career, trying to provide for our family, or taking care of the kids, whenever we devote more time to any or all of those things than we do to strengthening our marriage, our relationship will suffer. As Joseph Trout, of Norcross Georgia, speaks of his divorce, “There came a point in our relationship when I felt like my wife no longer supported me.  He adds, “I couldn’t even tell her about my day without her saying that whatever had gone wrong was probably my fault. So I basically stopped communicating with her altogether.”  Their downfall didn’t stop there but soon they stopped spending time together and became less intimate.  As he tells, “I like watching TV after work and my wife would rather surf the web.” In retrospect he says, “We should have found something to do together, but we didn’t. I wish I had gotten our disagreements out in the open and worked harder at improving our marriage.”
  2. I dumped all of my complaints on him. It is important that we express our feelings with our spouse, whether those feelings are about something they or anybody else did to us. At the same time, if all your spouse hears are your complains, it can become very burdensome.

Tiffany Lanier, of Solvang, California, recalls, “When I was first married I would call my husband three times a day to tell him I loved him or was thinking about him; it was always something sweet. But near the end of our marriage, I was overwhelmed at home and would instead call to complain: the dog threw up on the rug, the washing machine was broken, etc.” Looking back, Tiffany wishes that she had found someone else to share her frustrations with, like a friend, sister, or therapist.  She adds, “Your husband shouldn’t be the punching bag for all the other frustrations in your life.”

 

Father God, help me to not add undue burdens to my spouse.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/11-early-warning-signs-of-divorce-most-people-miss/ss-AAayKrG#image=1

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Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. Hebrews 2:1 (NKJV)

 

Marriages don’t usually and suddenly go from “’till death do us part,” to “I want a divorce” with no warning signs in between.  The question is whether you would recognize any red flags if you saw them.  According to MSN Lifestyle[i], here are eleven early warning signs divorced people say they should have acted on—but didn’t. (We’ll explore them in the next few days)

  1. He didn’t care about my feelings. As we wrote a few days ago, couples that say “thank you,” and “I love you” regularly enjoy more positive, healthy relationships. Showing respect, appreciation, and affection also contribute to a feeling of happiness and well-being.  When your spouse does not display any of these, he/she may be sending you an unspoken signal that things are not well in your marriage.  As Kristin Smith, of Great Falls, Virginia, tells, her soon-to-be ex-husband’s lack of interest in her life is what initially stood out. “He didn’t get any joy out of making me happy. Whether it was showing up hours late to a fundraiser I organized, or not picking me up from oral surgery because he was too busy, it was all about him. Mother’s Day and my birthday were often barely acknowledged, and I shed a lot of tears on special days like that.” She adds, “My husband watched me cry and cry over him. Loving people should not want to watch the ones they love cry.”

Like many children of divorce, Kristin didn’t want to entertain the idea herself, so she hung in there for 26 years.  As she explains, “When you’re in love with someone it’s easy to see the bad in them and still defend them.”  She continues, “As my marriage counselor told me, kindness is forgiving someone once or twice and enabling is forgiving the same bad behavior over and over again.”

People in happy, healthy relationships encourage each other, build each other up, and relish in making their spouse feel loved and cared for.  Your spouse may not be very expressive, at least through words, but their actions and attitude toward you still demonstrate their loving care toward you.

 

Father God, help me to show love to my spouse how they need it.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/11-early-warning-signs-of-divorce-most-people-miss/ss-AAayKrG#image=1

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Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young. Psalm 84:3 (NKJV)

According to Anna Sutherland,[i] in general, moving from a two-parent to a single-parent family is worse for kids than moving the other way.  To make the general statement that family instability is bad for kids doesn’t apply to every case.  For instance, children will actually benefit when their mother kicks out an abusive live-in boyfriend.  Still, in general terms, that statement, on average, is not disputed.

Researchers wanted to see the validity of that generalization and tried to answer several questions to see if it was indeed true:  By what measures and to what extent does family instability hurt kids? Do the number and kinds of family transitions matter, and how so? Are there gender and racial/ethnic differences in how children are affected? How does the impact of family instability compare with that of other childhood disadvantages, such as poverty?

Sociologists Dohoon Lee of New York University and Sara McLanahan of Princeton University investigate these questions in a recent American Sociological Review article. When these researchers broke down the outcomes by gender and race, they found quite a difference between groups.  For instance, consistent with prior scholarship they found that there is a more pronounced detrimental effect of family instability on externalizing behavior for boys than for girls, especially for boys who experience multiple transitions from a two-parent family. On the other hand, a parent exiting the home has a larger negative effect on girls’ cognitive achievement than on boys.

While some scholars have argued that the number of family transitions matters more than the type of transitions, Lee and McLanahan’s data suggests the transition type (for instance divorce versus remarriage) does make a difference.  These researchers concluded that “generally speaking, transitions out of a two-parent family are more harmful to children than transitions into a two-parent family.”  More proof that a health, stable marriage is the best gift you can give your children.

Father God, help us to maintain a healthy marriage not just for ourselves but especially for our children.

[i] http://family-studies.org/the-varying-effects-of-family-instability/?utm_source=IFS+Main+List&utm_campaign=09d33be450-Newsletter_93&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c06b05f1ff-09d33be450-104541745

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So then he who gives her in marriage does well, but he who does not give her in marriage does better. 1 Corinthians 7:38 (NKJV)

 

The last two questions that philosopher and author of ‘Existentialism and Romantic Love’, Skye Cleary,[i] suggests German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm would have you consider before you get marry are:

  1. What are your expectations of the marriage? Unrealistic expectations become burdens. “Supposing she loves me, how burdensome she would become to me in the long run! And supposing she does not love me, how really burdensome she would become to me in the long run! – It is only a question of two different kinds of burdensomeness – therefore let us get married!” Daybreak

Here’s a very important thought for serious consideration: “I know that to the mind of a man infatuated with love and thoughts of marriage these questions will be brushed away as though they were of no consequence. But these things should be duly considered, for they have a bearing upon your future life.”[ii]

  1. If you decide to divorce, will you be mature about it?

While God does not like divorce, and it is not best for your children, if you decide to separate be sure to act kindly, lovingly, and maturely.  “And better vow breaking than vow bending and vow pretending! A woman once said to me: ‘Sure, I broke my wedding vows, but first my wedding vows broke – me!’” – Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Among many comments, Ellen White wrote the following:  “Time and labor and prayer and patience and faith and a godly life might work a reform. To live with one who has broken the marriage vows and is covered all over with the disgrace and shame of guilty love, and realizes it not, is an eating canker to the soul; and yet a divorce is a lifelong, heartfelt sore. God pity the innocent party! Marriage should be considered well before contracted.”[iii]

As Cleary concludes, “Nietzsche loved love and thought highly of marriage. Yet, he worried about love’s intoxicating and delusional nature and encourages lovers to balance passion with reason by ensuring that marriage is a strong and meaningful choice.”

Father God, may I consider these questions seriously and carefully.

[i] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/skye-cleary/10-essential-questions-to_b_7699300.html

[ii] Ibid., p. 46

[iii] Ibid., p. 346

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Divorce facts – 4

But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? 13 Man does not know its value, Nor is it found in the land of the living. Job 28:12-13 (NKJV)

Today we conclude with last six divorce facts as reported by MSN.[i]

  1. A study found that dancers and choreographers have the highest divorce rates (43.05 percent). Bartenders, with divorce rate of 38.4 percent, are at the second spot, closely followed by massage therapists (38.2 percent).
  2. According to the same study, agricultural engineers, sales people, nuclear engineers, optometrists, clergy, and podiatrists had the lowest rate of divorce.
  3. Couples who argue over matters of finance are more likely to get divorced. Often premarital couples bring a lot of debt into their marriage, something which causes tension from the very beginning. In many marriages one spouse is a saver and the other a spender.  Setting up a budget together, and keeping the finances together can help these couples to understand and manage their finances better and prevent that area from becoming a serious issue in their relationship.
  4. A study published in the journal “Family Relations” found that marriages are less likely to end in a divorce among couple with higher levels of education. At the same time, African-American women don’t seem to enjoy the same degree of protection that education confers on marriage.
  5. According to a researcher at the Ohio State University, men are likely to gain weight after divorce. One of the advantages of marriage is that spouses look after each other’s well-being. Divorced men, much like their single counterparts, don’t have that someone helping them to take better care of themselves.
  6. A study in Sweden found that people who spend more than 45 minutes commuting are more likely to divorce.

My hope is that as we review these 24 facts we will be warned but also reminded that our marriage is worth fighting for,

Father God, thank you for bringing us together as husband and wife.  Help us to fight for our marriage so we will stay happily together.

[i] http://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/relationships/24-facts-you-never-knew-about-divorce/ar-BBjYgIX

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