Church Folks and Divorce

I am a Christian. I go to church. I believe in God. I am a lover of all people. I am a sinner. I am saved by grace. I am an optimist. I am divorced.

Here’s my story…

Divorce is hard. No one wants to go through a divorce. No one wants to feel like they failed at marriage. A marriage that they wanted and hopefully tried to work at. It was especially  hard for me because my ex husband and I grew up in the church and married there. Neither one of us wanted to give up our church home.

My divorce took many people by surprise. My family had no idea. My friends didn’t know either. Why? Because we didn’t let people into our marriage. They didn’t know all the intricacies of our marriage and they didn’t need too. It was our marriage.

So, because of that decision it caught some people off guard. Some said that they predicted the end. Others acted like I’m the worst person in the world for getting a divorce and not working on my marriage. Really? Was it really any of your business?

Yep, I said it. Take that to the bank. Cash that check written out to busybody (you) and give that money to charity. I already felt like crap that I was having to redesign my life and I didn’t need the negative opinions of others. I heard it all…

I’ll pray for your marriage.

Maybe if you went to some marriage ministry activities your marriage could have worked.

Really? Don’t give up on your marriage. It’s hard once you approach that 13th year and you can work through it.

Here were my responses to that advice…

Why are you praying for my marriage? You don’t know if he’s abusive to me and you want what? Me to stay in that house. 

So, that would have saved my marriage?  Really? Get a clue.

Maybe for you. But, it takes two people who want to work through a marriage for it to be effective right? Do you think badgering me is going to make it somehow better?

I had to stop. I was feeling the need to explain myself to people that I didn’t have to. Why? Because they were entitled to their opinion. Did it make it right? Nope, but why waste my breath?

If you weren’t at my wedding, ever been in my house or spent any substantial time with me and my spouse, why offer an opinion now? It’s too little too late. You’re not a professional therapist. Nor have you counseled us. You just feel the need to say something.

Many women (I can only speak for us) divorce a man for two reasons: abuse or infidelity. Now, abuse comes in all forms. Not just physical. It could be physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, cultural, financial, etc. The fact of the matter is just because you can’t see the signs of someone’s abuse doesn’t mean that there was none. So, are you praying that someone stays in that situation?

I woke up from a dream almost 4 years ago when I decided that I had enough. I wanted no more. No more drama. No more children. No more arguing. No more. I wanted out. You don’t have to understand it, accept it or believe it, but know that I did what I thought was best for my health (mental) and my child. I endured months of back and forth pain because of my choice.

He was angry. I was angry. He was hurt. I was hurt. But, the lashing out was the worst. My anguish was so real and agonizing.  I got up every day and went to work trying to keep the face of normal on. I hid behind make-up and fake smiles to make those around me feel comfortable. I was dying inside. I didn’t go crying at everyone’s doorsteps about the things that were wrong in my marriage. I didn’t seek solace when I was in the midst of hell because I didn’t want to mess up my friend’s marriage. But, that didn’t change the fact that I was in hell.

So, how can you tell me that you feel sorry for me? Sorry for what? That I valued myself enough to get a divorce from the person that I once loved? That I chose me and my son’s health and happiness over a relationship that we had tried for years to fix?

Don’t feel sorry for me. The church is for the broken and sick so why am I supposed to be treated differently? No judgement should ever be made against me. You are a sinner too. We all are.

If you really want to help people that go through a divorce and attend church, stop pretending you care when it’s too late to do something. Show them you care in the beginning. Be that light of reason and truth. Give them encouragement before the marriage, during the marriage and just tell someone that you love them and you are praying that God gives them what they need. Not, what you think they need. What God believes they need.

You are bound to make a difference.

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29 thoughts on “Church Folks and Divorce

  1. WoW, I’m not very “churchy” or even very spiritual and I have a strong dislike of organized religion. It seems you have a legitimate complaint and a good solution and it is awe inspiring to me that you seem to be forgiving. ~~dru~~

    If i prayed i’d pray for you but i don’t; so i’ll applaud you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow! I REALLY relate to this one! Except, you were smart to keep your business private. I learned the hard way that its best to not share in church so much. Either way, people judge you. Church folk can be tough to deal with. I am a witness!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Tikeetha, you are so bloody bold. I agree you chose to keep your marriage issues between the two of you. Personally, I think -the fewer people involved (unless it’s serious abuse /lawyers needed) the better. You are spot on who and how you decide to take comfort, the decisions you make – this has nothing to do with anyone else. This is about your personal relationship with your god and your faith and what you want from life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep. The funny thing was that my friends who are in the church are going through the same thing. It’s hilarious. I’m over it and want to do a manifesto to the congregation that talks about the importance of staying in your lane and minding your own business.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well said. I’m also Christian and went through a divorce. I was raised Catholic and tried going back to Catholic Church during my divorce- the shame I was made to feel was indescribable. It always surprises me when people expect churches to be museums for saints instead of hospitals sinners (borrowed from somewhere but still good!)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Truth be told I can think of about five women in my church growing up that should have definitely gotten a divorce! Yep I said it! Even as a teen I knew that those relationships were not a representation of a good, or even decent marriage. It was not a good example for young girls to see.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not a good example. The message that it sends is that you should endure mess for the sake of marriage. That’s nothing that I would ever want. I think it’s better if people see you happier and healthier even if it means you are alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so nice…so right! Thank you for how you are. I have had to bite my tongue so many times with Church folk and revealing divorce. I retain singleness. I rather deal with the tag “unwed mother” than the non-Christian behavior when I say divorced. I see the shock on their faces and sashay my way to my Sunday School class, to teach. Smh/lol
    Church. Blackness. Womanliness. Again, you are awesome. (Not sure if I am being Black Woman Powerful or holding on to failure guilt.) Ho hum. Be well. Keep safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just think that Christians where I’m from (Caribbean) are too self righteous. They think if you’re getting divorced or not attending church regularly or don’t participate or socialize with them, gives them reason to be your judge, when they’re no better. No one but you and your then husband knows your business. People are just on the outside looking into something they want to work in their minds, because theirs is no different. Best of luck to yo.

    Liked by 1 person

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