This is part 2 in a multi-part series that starts here. Remember, this series of posts is for the future, adult versions of my children in the event that they face the decision between staying married and securing a divorce. Do I know people in difficult mariages right now? Of course I do. Quite a number of them actually. Do I want each spouse in all the various couples to read this stuff?
But don't assume this post is about you. The #1 reason I write this blog is for my children to know the younger version of Brenda and I.
So, if you've made it this far I'm going to assume that you didn't altogether disagree with part 1. If you thought I was flamboyantly idealistic in the first part then you can relax a little. I have no intention of getting all inspirational and stuff on this one. Actually, I'm going to employ a different tactic and you should probably stop reading now. I'm almost certain you're going to be offended because I don't know of a nice way to convince someone to not be a liar.
2. Believe That Promises Should Be Kept
A marriage is a promise at least and a binding contract at most. We make promises and enter into contracts for a reason. I shouldn't have to say this but feelings are a terrible reason! Would you advise that someone make a lifelong promise because of how they felt for a certain season of life? I hope not. So why then would you choose to break a promise under the same conditions? If you're trying to solve your way out of a problem I'd like to recommend not using the same toolset that got you into trouble to begin with.
I believe that in most cases this is what divorce is at it's root: It is a lifelong decision made because of the absence of the feeling recognized as "being in love." A promise, however, should be kept regardless of the presence, or absence, of this feeling. I can't be more plain than that.
C.S. Lewis writes:
And, of course, the promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry.
If you want to save your marriage you have to believe in promises, and not just the ones that others have made to you. Have you not, your whole life, been a staunch advocate for others to keep their promises to you?
Another question, how many of the arguments that moved your marriage to this point were caused because your spouse broke a promise to you?
Look. All I am asking, or rather all I am challenging you to do, is esteem your own promises above all others or shut up already about what anyone else owes you.
If you want to save your marriage you need to believe that promises should be kept. Especially yours. Especially when it's hard.
[Go to Part 3]