4.21.2013

DIVORCE: the four letter word

To divorce: "Legally dissolve one's marriage with."

Divorce, to me, is a four letter word. I cringe every time I hear it, not because it's something unfamiliar to me, because honestly, it's something I'm really accustomed to, but because it is easily one of my greatest fears in life.  

My parents were married very young, divorced before I was three, and both remarried one or two times following. When I lived in California, all my friend's parents were divorced, but when I moved to Arizona that was not the case. It's often difficult for people to understand that I'm technically an only child, but have numerous people I consider my brothers and sisters. To me, brothers and sisters don't have to be blood. I have a very different understanding of family, but I love it and I wouldn't want it any other way. The people that are in my lives are very special, and I work to create meaningful relationships with them. To me, it doesn't matter if we share the same DNA or not. 

 Myself and the bro-sefs
 Myself and Jenna 
Myself and Laren
 
Myself, Laren, Jenna, and our dudes. 

These wonderful people are my brothers and sisters, whether that is by marriage, was by marriage, or never lead to marriage. We have shared our hearts and memories with each other over the years, and grown together. They are my family.

That being said, divorce terrifies me down to my core. A few years ago I told myself I never wanted to get married. My reason for that was simply because I was so terrified that it would lead to divorce, as it does in over 50% of marriages these days. Many of the families I knew that weren't divorced, were those that were religious- Christian, Jewish, what have you. To me, I saw this as a binding force that forced people to feel as if they had to stay in unhappy relationships, because their religion told them it was wrong to escape it. I thought my friends who were getting married after dating someone six months and not even being 21 yet were insane. Psychology teaches that you do not even know your full identity until you are 30. I was convinced if I ever did marry it wouldn't be until then. But honestly, you can know your identity before 30. You can know that your identity is in Jesus.

I now realize that being brought together under God as husband and wife is so sacred. He has brought you to that person, with the intention that they will be your partner for LIFE. That doesn't mean giving up when the going gets hard. I do want to note that if the marriage is an abusive (verbal or physical) one, divorce can be the best thing for the safety of the two parties, and often their children. For example, in my case, I see my parent's divorce as a positive thing because they were not happy, and I know it could have lead to a really unhappy home life for me growing up. I don't hold that against my parents at all. Besides this I really can't advocate for divorce.

I think because I am so opposed to divorce, I have been terrified to get married for the fear that I would end up with the wrong person. When I met Matt I was SO not even ready to be in a relationship, while he knew that the next person he dated he wanted to marry. I didn't understand this at first because I hadn't really grown up in a nuclear family as he had. I wasn't totally sure how a husband and wife were supposed to treat each other. I felt that dating was positive for me because I was able to learn what I did and did not want in a person. Did I give my heart away? Yes. I failed to guard it, but it did make me a better person. It was hard for me to understand that Matt did not need to date to learn these lessons. It confused and terrified me that he wanted his only relationship to be with the person he was going to marry. But now I completely understand.

I no longer fear divorce as I used to because I know that Matt is going to fight for me. That respects me and loves me, and always puts my best interest first. That God brought us together and that he does not intend us to be separated. We are not married yet, but when we do get there, no matter how hard the going gets, I know divorce will not be an option. With Jesus at the center of our marriage, I know we will be just fine. Things will not always be perfect, but we can rest assured that we are allies and that we are both in the relationship to make it work and to glorify what God has created. I never want anyone to lose the hope in marriage that I had, because it is a great thing that should not be feared.

2 comments :

  1. Great post Cassie. <3 Divorce is a big fear of mine too. But putting Jesus at the heart of your marriage is such a protection around relationships and marriage. If both people are committed to following and obeying Jesus, He will walk us through the biggest struggles and use them for his glory!

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