I began to fear that every argument would lead to the dreaded words I had heard before: “I want a divorce.”
I never anticipated hearing the words “I want a divorce,” only nine months after I had said my “I do’s” in my first marriage. Words have a powerful way of permeating your mind with a direct connection to your heart; our words and thoughts are the faucets where the mind and heart sync up. The sting of divorce is powerful yet never overrides the power and redemption of Jesus, and with Him, all things are possible, even in remarriage.
After Scott and I married and settled into our newly blended family life, we began to experience what many couples in remarriage experience, which can only be described as “growing pains .” Our growing pain season consisted of a lot of learning; for Scott, it was how to be married and parent for the first time in his life. For myself, it was learning how to do marriage right the second time around while trying to foster and support Scott in his new role as a stepfather. As the months rolled by and frustrations between us grew, and arguments ensued here and there, I began to fear that Scott would want to divorce me because of all the issues we were facing together in our marriage and blended family. Thoughts of “I brought too much mess and baggage into this marriage for him to handle,” “he didn’t sign up for this,” “if we can’t agree on anything now, how is this marriage ever going to work?” “Will he divorce me if I don’t change how things are going”? I began to fear that every argument would lead to the dreaded words I had heard before: “I want a divorce.” There was one day in our marriage that I remember so vividly. It was the day my fear of Scott leaving and divorcing me met a reality of what I can only describe as God’s grace and peace over the loud echoing words and thoughts of my heart and mind.
Widowed and Blended
Scott and I had gotten into a big argument the night before, and that morning we woke up in silence and headed in our directions to work. At this time, I was also pregnant with our first son together and was an emotional mess. Scott had messaged me to come to see him at his office for lunch so we could “talk.” I convinced myself he would ask for a divorce, and I replayed what that conversation would look like over and over in my mind, up to the moment I entered his office and sat in the chair across from him. After allowing me to speak first and asking what I was thinking, looking at the floor without hesitation, I said, “I know you want a divorce, so how do you want to go about doing it?” After the words left my mouth, I looked up to see the color and expression on Scott’s face fade into sadness. Moments of silence followed with such sweet and gentle words, “Vanessa, I didn’t marry you to one day divorce you. I committed to God, you, Michael, and our new family, and I intend to work through anything that would keep me from that.” In our conversation, Scott expressed how it was hard for him to now see that I had been struggling with the thoughts of him divorcing me and living in that fear, anxiety, and worry of all of it. He felt guilt and hurt that those thoughts and feelings were a part of my mind and heart and expressed that he never wanted that to be a consideration.
Take time to pray together as a couple and seek discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit to overcome negative thinking patterns and the fear of divorce.
For many of you reading this article, you may be able to relate or have a family member or close friend in a similar situation. What I want to encourage you within this season is that if fearful thoughts of your spouse leaving you or divorcing you have been on your mind, please consider sitting down with your spouse and discussing this openly with them. Take time to pray together as a couple and seek discernment and guidance from the Holy Spirit to overcome negative thinking patterns and the fear of divorce. Seeking Godly counsel or a Christian licensed professional counselor/ therapist is a great place to receive support, tools, and resources to begin the healing process of what past words and wounds from divorce have caused. Fear has no hold over your mind and marriage. You can overcome fear and replace those negative permeated thoughts with God’s faithful ones. Allow his word to be a sweet new aroma to your mind and heart that will penetrate your marriage. Choose today to declare that fear no longer has a place and room in your heart, mind, and marriage.