Andrew and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary earlier this summer.
I’m pretty sure both families expected us to get a divorce within a year or two. After all, Andrew and I were so young and clearly didn’t know what we were getting into.
Yes, we were ‘in love’. But the reality is, during some point in our marriage, we opened our eyes and climbed out of that bucket filled with love and wondered, “Now what?”
There were several long years where we couldn’t stand each other. Of course my sweet husband denies and says he never felt that way about me. But this isn’t his blog, and I’m telling my side of the story. So let’s say, we observed many moments of silence that lasted sometimes a month at a time.
He practically lived at work, and I resented (that is putting it very mildly) having to do everything at home while also working a full-time job. I was hurt because I felt my husband didn’t love me anymore. I cried myself to sleep almost every night.
During these difficult times, my friends were divided into two camps of opinions. Non-Christian friends would say, “If you are unhappy, you should leave him. Find someone better. Someone who appreciates you.” I’ll admit this advice tickled my ears.
Christian friends would say, “If you want a happy marriage, you need to submit to your husband. Obey and respect him.” Or “God wants us to exercise self-control, not overrun by emotions.” While these are partly biblical (bible doesn’t promise a happy marriage) advice, the wisdom was lost on me by their lack of compassion.
So what did I do?
I ran to God. I laid my heart at His feet: I hate my husband and I want a divorce. Then I read the Bible, searching for loopholes that would let me get away with what I wanted.
I found none.
OK. God said He hates divorce. So I wasn’t going to get a divorce. But I still hated my husband. I ran to God some more. Read the Bible more. Prayed for my heart to change, for Andrew’s heart to change. Cried buckets of tears. Years went by.
During those years and I was a fairly new Christian, I became very close to God. I learned to praise Him, to rejoice in Him, to place my hope in Him. And from God, I learned to love.