We Told Our Friends ‘We’re Getting Divorced’—Their Response? Changed Everything

Ours was a fairytale wedding. Madly in love, tears of joy streaming down our cheeks, we promised unwavering devotion to each other for better or worse.

When we were declared husband and wife, I thought my happily ever after was about to commence.

Only it didn’t.

It turned out that marriage was not what either of us expected. We brought into it two imperfect people who struggled to find our footing as we navigated old baggage, misunderstanding and conflict.

We said things we shouldn’t have said and each demanded our own way. We doused every argument with fire and allowed selfishness to seep into the fabric of our relationship.

And though we read all the books and prayed all the prayers, we nearly buckled under the weight of the perfect image we’d created for our relationship. After all, we were the quintessential Christian couple. We loved Jesus. We were supposed to be nailing this marriage thing.

Our fledgling marriage quickly spiraled downward. And within two years, as young and defeated adversaries, we stood at the edge of divorce ready to jump.

Sometimes I’m haunted by how close we came to walking away from our marriage. By the world’s standards of a happy marriage, no one would’ve blamed us. Because we were miserable and had grown apart in every sense of the word.

But we were given a gift of immeasurable value: truthful words spoken by faithful friends.

As we slowly revealed the impending devastation of our marriage to family and friends, we were met with one overwhelming response: not on our watch.

I logged countless nights sitting cross legged on the floor of my bedroom, forehead pressed against the mattress, sobbing as I poured out our troubles to my friend Kim. She listened for hours at a time, wisely coaching me to love my husband and walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord. She always reminded me that my behavior was my own responsibility and advised me to treat my husband with respect – regardless of how I felt about him.

When Dave lamented to Kim’s husband, Dan how unfortunate it was that our marriage was ending, Dan pointedly told him no, it wasn’t. He reminded Dave of the vows he made before God and family and clearly stated that he expected Dave to live up to the commitment he made.

Dave’s parents stepped in with unwavering encouragement and gentle admonition to keep our covenant before God. My mom, having been down the road of divorce, offered endless compassion and urged me to fight for my marriage knowing divorce would be far worse.

Tammie Haveman
Tammie Haveman
Tammie is the wife to a gem of a husband and mama to four of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet. She chases her kids and a menagerie of horses, goats, and chickens around her little hobby farm out in the Minnesota countryside. Tammie is passionate about God’s command to love and serve others in community. She plays an active role in women’s ministry at her church and serves as assistant director of a nonprofit that wraps around isolated kids and families. Tammie blogs about hospitality, faith, and serviceat www.twentyshekels.com. You can also catch her on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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