This morning I woke up to a text I’ve known for months was coming…
It read, “the divorce is done.”
Despite the foreknowledge, the finality of those four simple words put an immediate lump in my throat and an ache in my stomach.
Today my parents marriage of 44 years is officially over. The rings have been removed, the papers have been signed, the assets have been divided…
I’m sure you saw it too, a few weeks ago our Facebook feeds were filled with posts and comments about Lysa Terkeurst, from Proverbs 31 ministries, failing marriage. My heart broke to learn that her husband, Art, much like my own father toward my mother, was “repeatedly unfaithful” to Lysa.
These stories are not uncommon. Adultery is now so “normal” that it seems rare to find a couple that hasn’t experienced it. Last February Matt and I weren’t able to get a date on Valentines Day and opted instead to go out the following night. We were shocked by the crowds only to learn from our waiter that the day before and the day after Valentine’s actually bring in far more money than the holiday itself due to the overspending of men on their mistresses to make up for the fact their wives got the ‘real day’.
Marriages every day are ending and it is absolutely devastating.
But I am more convinced than ever that adultery, lies, deceit, substance abuse, hiding, blame shifting, anger, fighting…although each devastating in their own way, are merely symptoms that point to the root problem underneath it all.
Soon after I learned of my own father’s infidelity I also was told by one of my best friends that she, too, had been cheating on her husband. Both describe similar circumstances leading up to the affairs, both had felt-needs that seemingly weren’t being met and both justified their actions based on their spouses shortcomings. Throughout the past year and a half the two stories have played out side by side as both couples have had to choose how to respond to one another.
One couple’s marriage is ending today. The other couple’s marriage is thriving today.
How can that be? What makes the difference? Both dealt with the same circumstances, the same “problem”…yet why the polar opposite outcomes? It is not adultery that tears apart marriages…it’s hardness of heart.