heaven help me.

Lord help me.  really.  i just read ANOTHER heartbreaking story about a man, who seemingly out of nowhere, up and left his wife and small children.  left a marriage that the wife thought was good and full of love.  she thought they were happy.  because he told her he was.  he left a marriage where they served the Lord together.  where they shared memories and life.  
and then one day was done.  so he left. 

my initial reaction is absolute heartbreak.  so sorrowful.  like a living death. 

my second reaction is to calmly assure my dear and wonderful husband, that if he ever thought of doing such a thing to me...i would ENSURE that he never knew a peaceful, happy day again.  i'm not saying i would kill him...because you know, the internet lasts forever...but it would be ugly. 

(for the record, there is NO chance on God's green Earth that either one of us would ever
let this happen to our marriage...we are committed to the very, very end...)   

i wish this was a story you read every so often.  
once in a blue moon.  but sadly.  it's becoming common place.  
it's sad.  it's heartbreaking.  
it's NORMAL.   

now i can't begin to know what caused the rift that couldn't be healed in the marriage above...or any other one where the story is the same...where he leaves out of nowhere...but part of me believes that it has to be communication.  or lack there of. 

it's hard to fight a battle that the other one doesn't know or care about. 
it's hard to save a marriage on your own. 
some of you may remember that i was married before doug.  
though i wouldn't call it a marriage.  it was an arrangement i thought would alleviate the sin of me living with someone who already treated me like hell.  it was an act committed by a woman who never knew what REAL love was like.  who never knew an example of a good marriage.  to the very young me at the time...marriage was not sacred.  or a covenant.  or a promise for forever.  nor was it supposed to be happy or joyful or wonderful.  i definitely didn't think that you should enjoy your spouse...or be best friends with them...and that they should feel the same about you.  at the time...all that marriage meant to me was alleviation of sin.  so i did it.  even if at the time i KNEW that i shouldn't.  that i didn't love him.  that it felt wrong.  that it would be bad. the problem then was that i didn't know i deserved better.  or that i deserved at all.  i had never been told that i was lovable or deserving of good things.

i didn't know love the way i know now.  or commitment with the meaning it holds to me now. 

and because of that...that shell of a girl who was the past me...spent some time in hell on earth.  he was abusive...mentally and spiritually.  he was a drunk.  he slept around.  he regularly spent the night with beautiful girlfriends.  i left him one day while he was out of town, which was a regular occurrence...convinced that if i had to spend the rest of my life ALONE and repenting of the sin of divorce, then it would be much better than the hell that my existence was.  i left him when he started talking trash about Jesus.  

only my closest friends knew the pain and depth of healing that i needed.  

other friends knew of other things that went on...he is now married to one of my good friends at the time.  a relationship that started secretly long before i knew of it.  

the point is.  there was only one of us trying.  only one of us seeking Him.  only one of us communicating at all costs.  

my view of marriage is so different now.  maybe it took growth or maturity.  or maybe it took healing of things that have nothing to do with marriage...but i have learned what a gift it is.  what it means to love.  what a HAPPY marriage looks like.  what it means to BE loved.  

and our key so far?  if i may share...is communication.  communication.  communication.  we talk about everything.  we spend time together.  we like each other.  we ARE best friends.  we come before ANY other relationship, save Christ.  we seek Him together and separately.  we talk about our marriage.  we share our problems and hurt feelings and weaknesses.  we talk about what we want from each other...what we expect from each other.  there is NO stone left unturned.  we never speak badly of each other to anyone, ever.  we do what we can to lift each other up and encourage each other.  we PRAY for each other.  we ask others to pray for us.    

yes, i realize that we have only been married for a little over five years.  
no, we are not experts by any means.  we have a lot to learn but we are committed to learning it.  if any things but death separate us...heaven help us both.  it's serious business to us.       

but we are committed.  
we are rallying for our marriage.  
it is THE most important earthly thing to us. 

and it doesn't end there...we rally for marriage in general. 

can i encourage you?
  talk.  beg your husband to talk.  
make the time.  make the priority.  
make Him your best friend so that He can guide you.   
seek help if you need it.  fight for it.  make your husband your priority.  
above everything but God.  and yes, i mean above your children, too.   
the best parenting move you can make is a healthy marriage.
never talk bad about him.  never talk down to him.  ask for forgiveness if you need it.  
forgive him too.  give it everything you have.  
but above all...talk, talk, talk. 

i don't know why i was compelled to share all of this...i just know that if i can help a friend help herself by sharing...then i will share a million times.  i don't pretend to know the ins and outs of any marriage but my own...but... 

i know for a fact that sharing my history has saved others from the pain of my fate. 

go talk.


Zookeeper Jess said...

I have had so many friends split up recently. It makes me so sad. It is the truth that hardly anyone takes marriage seriously anymore. My husband and I talk and work through everything. You cannot have a marriage with no communication and almost all of the split ups were because of this very reason.

Holly said...

Great post! I totally agree! Brian and I have been married for 14 years. We were married when we were both very young.....I was 17. We would not be where we are today if we didnt communicate!

Abbie said...

everything you said is true. i can't figure out this whole "starter marriage" trend. my parents have been married 30+ and grandma and grandpa just celebrated their 70th anniversary last week. i am fortunate to have such examples of strong marriage. the biggest take-away point for me has always been to put Zac second only to God and that kind of commitment will get you through all the hard times.

gabbyfek said...

you are amazing.

Jeanette said...

Thank you! My husband is my bestfriend. We have been married 27 years. He saved my life, when we met on Nov.7, 1981. I had a bad childhood. I have forgiven my parents and have been able to have them in my life is small doses. We have to grown children and have added a son-in-law and a beautiful granddaughter to our family. I have been blessed by having my sweet husband and his family who spreads so much love. Keep talking. God Bless you and your family.

Audrey Nathalie said...

Your entire post gave me goosebumps. It was exactly what I needed to hear today.

Thank you.

Margaret said...

There are so many who do not take marriage seriously. It is sad.

Next month my husband and I will be married for 9 years. We were high school sweethearts and first got together when I was 15 and he was 16. Like you I know the amount of time we have been married doesn't make us experts, but I think we are doing something right. We also seek God in our marriage and communicate about everything. I feel we set a good example of what a marriage should be for our 3 children.

Marriage is constant work, but it is so worth it. Congrats to you on being able to start fresh and make marriage work.

Right as I am typing this he just text me from work to say hello. He still gives me butterflies to this day.

Randy Chase said...

This post was amazing and healing to me. The story you told could be my own. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and now know how wonderful a marriage can be. Thank you for sharing :)

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