I think this article illustrates the difference between broken families and those led by a widow/widower. In the latter case, the lost spouse is an angel to hold over the heads of the children, an ideal which can inspire. In the first case, it's all too often a resentment tug-of-war, and nothing good ever comes from resentment. I think that's key to your excellent article; it is the resentment we hold onto that destroys, and letting go of it, and loving instead, is what forgiveness and repentance in this sense is all about. In that sense even a husband or wife ENTIRELY wronged, and in no way culpable in a divorce, still has to work past the quite 'natural man' resentment that attends such a situation or court spiritual death. You may wear the white hat by default and in truth, but still white stains easily.
Reading the comments, it occurs to me that some may have missed the point. I think the real objective in all our relationships with others is to avoid the self deception that arises naturally whenever we fail to love others, when we have an accusing or blaming attitude toward them. (Of course, loving others doesn't mean condoning bad behavior, but it does keep us from engaging in self deception.) An excellent treatise on the subject of self deception, particularly how it applies to relationships, is C. Terry Warner's book "Bonds that Make Us Free". I highly recommend it.
I was abandoned with a 5 mth old many years ago, after 5 yrs of marriage. Temple sealed etc, left me..left the church..disappeared. I started a blog the other day if anyone is interested as back then there was no computers or Internet! No support in the church, as it wasn't done to be 26 and divorced, now it is more common.Lds women might want to share their story, just to get it out. I felt I needed too after all this time, now I can leave it in cyber land and move on ( I used tapping / eft as never went to counselling. Etc which helped me after 22 yrs to move on . Don't live in a frozen state like I did ) I married...had more children, all good...but still hard. Anyway just thought I would share.Ldsabandonedwives.wordpress.comIt's there if you need it .Good luck to all those going through divorce, it's just so very sad.
Excellent article. I was not a member of the Church when divorce happened; but it led me to ask questions and move forward. I also realized I must have played a part in my husbands seeking someone else, so I looked deeply into what that might have been, and improved my communication patterns, leading to successful marriage #2. My daughter's comment "If there was ever a 'good divorce', I think you and Dad had it." A voice told me to never say anything "bad" about him, as she was half me and half him". To this day she does not want to know what happened. Perhaps that's the best resolution.
That's not to say I wasn't tempted.
I am going through divorce now, and I want you to know that this article has helped me. My circumstances are different in that the man I married was not a member of the church. I always felt that he would come around some day. But I now see that this was just wishful thinking on my part. We spent so much time apart somewhat due to my activity in the church. I am very committed to my beliefs and love my callings. But time away from my husband is what led in large part to our divorce. He had a great deal of time to enjoy his worldly lifestyle and as soon as he found someone who shared his enjoyment of that life he left me. I am hurt and angry for the betrayal, but I am trying to forgive and to understand his point of view. Thanks for your words of hope that things will get better and life will go on.
When a spouse commits a sin that may lead to divorce it does not mean that the black hat is automatically that spouses to wear. Roots of any sin that may cause any divorce run deep and wide into both sides. Neither spouse should say "It's not my problem, this is all yours" and place either the black hat or the white hat on themselves or on the other spouse. Grieve that both spouses could not make their relationship work. Know with surety that the Lord offers a way for both spouses, even the one who may have committed a grievous sin, to repent and heal completely--even if their marriage does not survive.
Overall I think this is a very insightful article. To make a long story short: I was married in the temple to a returned missionary. He changed the minute we walked out of the temple. We had 4 children who he bullied and mentally abused. I knew he was jerk--I clung to his good traits. I spent many years on my knees striving to keep my temple covenants. Married 36 years. Found out he was a philanderer. I had no clue--I knew he was many things but not a cheater. He was exed because of his philandering and an evil business he opened while we were separated. Like the poster above the first thing Heavenly Father told me was "It's OK--you have endured to the end." I did not have to grab a hat. Everyone we knew assigned him the black hat except his sister. My stake president and bishop were extremely supportive. He got the money--I got the kids and gospel. I'm happy.I feel like this line--I either contributed to or allowed everything that went on in my marriage, even if I wasn
I cannot speak for others, but I have always been open to the knowledge that at least some of the fault for my divorce lay with me. I know I struggled for 20 years to keep the marriage together, but there were ways in which I had self-righteous feelings which may have contributed to the problem. But it was not me who was excommunicated, and the first time I went to the temple after the divorce I was prompted that "It's okay. You've done enough. You can let go." To have received such an assurance in such a holy place was comforting indeed, and has allowed me to move on without continually beating myself up over what I could or should have done.
It really open up to me what I went through how wonderful The Lord works of bring what we need at the right time.
This was an excellent article. I needed to read it. Thanks!
Thank you! Truly one of the best articles I've read on Meridian. I am going out to purchase the book mentioned. I love how you have chosen growth. Your perspective and mine are very similar with the belief to take the experiences we have in life and forgive and grow. I love that you are still growing to this day. What a wonderful learning experience. Thank you for sharing!
Following my divorce 20 years ago I too subjected myself to some serious heart-searching and self-examination and was prepared for quite some time to accept at least some responsibility for the failure of my marriage. But the years have also shown me that my marriage was a train crash waiting to happen, that there was very little that I could have done to prevent it, due to my ex-husband's mental health problems which he still refuses to acknowledge. His 3rd marriage has also just hit the buffers and cannot be repaired for exactly the same reasons ours did. But as I have sat and pondered the issues involved and tried to find answers, I have been reminded by the Spirit that the man I married is not the same man I divorced, and that, just possibly, in the Resurrection, that eager and enthusiastic young man might be restored to us. Both his present wife and I have been sealed to him in the temples of the Lord. Maybe the greatest joy is still to come when this life is over..
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