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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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