The Trauma of Divorce

It has been reported that children recover more easily from the death of a parent than from divorce. With that understanding, we would do well to consider that comparison in that the phases of grief will be experienced by those whom this act of violence has been forced upon. There are a few things to help get someone to that place where they can get back on the dance floor of life and begin the process of letting the wound scar over. The first is what we mentioned in chapter 3: “Do not allow the actions or words of an unfaithful spouse to define your worth.” I have been in the middle of far too many of these scenarios where a spouse has shouldered the blame for the infidelity of their mate. Listen dear friend, as a husband or wife, and especially as a Christian, you have every right to expect the faithfulness of your spouse to you as unto the Lord. There is no justification for adultery, violence, mental or emotional abuse. When these things happen it is the absence of self-control in the other person and they are out of the will of God… period! Yes, you could have been a better husband or wife, but that is true every day in every marriage, as long as they both shall live. So do not let the words of those who are in rebellion and sin be the words that define your value before God. God loves you so much He cared enough to put in His book how much He hates what you’re going through. So don’t play the “blame game” especially when the one you’re blaming is yourself. No Christian can ever justify cheating on their spouse, being physically or emotionally abusive or even claiming irreconcilable differences by saying things like; “I just don’t love you anymore.” When God is part of the equation, all things are possible! 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.1 Corinthians 13:4-8a

These verses from the famous “Love chapter” of 1 Corinthians makes a great point through Paul’s stringing together of 15 Greek verbs to define what love is and there is not one single emotion or feeling listed among them. However, emotions and feelings are certainly a wonderful part of being in love. Paul here is stating what love does and when someone says they don’t love someone anymore it means they have quit doing what love does because this kind of love, according to the the word of God, never fails. This is important to understand because it is essential to moving forward after a divorce and fend off the unending replays in your mind of what you could have done differently to keep your mate from cheating or leaving. You must first come to grips with the fact that love can be expressed in spite of how someone feels and, again, there is never any justifiable reason for cheating or ending a marriage just because of feelings. 

We also need to incorporate what we mentioned in chapter 1 about moving forward with unanswered questions. The trauma of divorce is not unlike the death of a loved one, time stops, emotions take over and questions and feelings begin to rule the mind. This is normal and natural and also reminds us that a future transitioning from wounded to scarred is required as life is not going to pause and the world will move on even though a great trauma has occurred in your life. Make no mistake however, God sees and knows the pain you are going through and it matters to Him.

Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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