What is something I want to say to Christian men who have been divorced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Yesterday, I was interviewed by Sam Sears for his podcast on the topic of divorce as a divorced man myself. After sharing some of my story, we got into how one handles divorce. Towards the end, I thought of one message I wanted to pass on to Christian men who are going through this and don’t want it.
You’re not alone.
Loneliness is one of the biggest problems that Christian men facing divorce go through.
After all. you have been sharing your life with someone and every aspect of it. Marriage is to be the one relationship that you are the most intimate with anyone, sharing even your very body in the most sensitive way possible. You sleep next to each other every night and wake up together and share everything together.
Then it’s gone.
If you’re the man facing it and you didn’t want it also, you’re rejected. For whatever reason, your ex is telling you her life would be better if you weren’t in it. That stings more than you realize.
My DivorceCare leader once told me that everyone who goes through this thinks about suicide at least at one point and he’s right. I know I had fleeting thoughts when I would go to bed and see some bottles of medicine nearby. They were just that, fleeting, but they were there. Sometimes I would get so anxious about the divorce I wondered if I needed to check myself into a hospital. I am on anxiety medication for what I have gone through, which really works wonders.
A guy can be hanging out with his fellow men, but there’s something special about the company of a lady. For me, even if I want to ask someone out, I can still be hesitant. It’s hard to know if someone is really interested in me or not. Not only that, I have issues of trust. Being at a seminary, many people know me who I don’t know and when someone greets me by name and I haven’t got to know them yet, I get suspicious.
Men struggle with pornography often, but I think loneliness makes it worse. If you’re a Christian man, you go from when you can have sexual intimacy with a woman, to where it’s forbidden until you marry again. Pornography can be used by a man to fill that void, but I contend it will only make you feel more lonely. It will stop you from going out and getting the real thing.
Yes, men are primarily highly physical beings, but sex for a man is not just physical. It’s a way of having a woman tell us, “I trust you and respect you this much that I can bare my whole body to you and trust you to come inside of it.” Not only that, but it tells us if she’s eager that she wants us this much and a man really wants to be wanted. A woman who divorces her husband tells him he’s unsafe and he’s undesirable, at least to her, and if this is the woman who has known us best, what else are we to think?
But men, hear this.
You are not alone.
There are plenty of people walking this hell with you that you can turn to. The pain will still be there, but you don’t have to carry it alone. I am thankful I knew another divorced man who walked with me through my divorce. Now I’m the man walking others through it and someday, those will walk others through as well.
I also get it. It sucks, but as another divorced man told me, today sucks. Tomorrow will also suck, but it will suck a little bit less. That’s not a hard and fast rule. Sometimes, there will be fluctuations. There are many times I can still be stuck with sadness thinking about it. You really do spend a lifetime recovering from divorce. It has been hard for me when I see seminary professors and speakers sharing pictures of their families. By all means, they should not stop doing this, but it is still hard for me.
If you’re a man reading this and facing this trial, you’re not alone. Please reach out to me if you need to, but especially reach out to a Christian therapist in your area. Get involved in a DivorceCare near you. You are not alone and you do not need to walk alone.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)