Divorce, Rejection, and Acceptance

What is the experience like? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was sitting here pondering what I would write on today and then it occurred to me to write again on divorce. i have not lost sight of the biblical look at marriage and divorce, but for now, I am writing a more personal look. I have been told that these writings have helped others, especially my fellow men, who are going through divorce. I hope that pattern continues.

If there’s any word that I think best describes divorce, it’s rejection. Humans have a need to belong. We want to be accepted. It doesn’t mean by everyone, but it does mean by someone, which is why I’m sure it’s particularly damaging if you grow up with parents who don’t accept you. That was not my growing up thankfully, but I know everyone can’t say that.

To get to divorce, it involves someone breaking a promise to you as if to say that you’re not worth it anymore. I won’t deny I do wonder sometimes about trusting people now. I tried to give my ex the benefit of the doubt in everything and it did not work out well at all.

Then you can easily be left wondering why you were rejected. You are rejected on every level which I cannot speak for a woman, but as a man, definitely stings. What you did was not good enough. It is your ex looking at you and saying that you failed to bring happiness and joy to their life.

It’s tempting to have the story end there for many of us. We can want to be happy again, but just be scared of the possibility. My DivorceCare leader said off the cuff one time talking to another member in a meeting once that everyone in this even contemplates suicide at some point. He’s not wrong.

Now I did resolve that I would not let my past determine me or else I would always be a victim. Our culture places a lot of premium today on being a victim. I did not want that. If you are a victim, then you are saying you are granting someone else power over you.

Sometimes it’s easier than others. Every day I have to go to my job is horrible. I get extremely bored and as odd as it might be for some people to contemplate, I am extremely lonely. It’s like just being a cog in a machine and it’s especially hard when I see other couples come in.

What has been beneficial to me has been the acceptance. When I shared the news finally that I was divorced, no one looked down on me. Now that is not why I didn’t share it immediately. I wanted to avoid as much as possible people thinking badly of my ex. In some ways, I still want that. I still pray for her and her well-being every night.

Not only were people kind to me when I shared the news, but many of them found their own encouragement in it. It’s always good to know that we’re not alone. That is often still needed for me today.

I don’t consider myself a people person, but it’s always good to have some people in your life. My former in-laws and I still can speak to each other easily. I do have many people who reached out to me to make sure I was okay. I have been playing games like Final Fantasy XIV with friends and got in a small group of people who help each other out on Pokemon Go.

I do still long for a connection with another woman again. Right now, there are no sure prospects, but I have put any on hold seeing as I plan to move to Louisiana soon. That is something else to be thankful for. The seminary could have easily rejected me on the grounds of divorce and they did not. Christian leadership has by and large been very kind to me.

However, when you do interact with a divorced person, keep in mind rejection is very real. For those who haven’t had it, I would say to picture the worst break-up you ever had and multiply it by about 1,000. You’re starting to get the idea then.

To those who have been there, I honestly thank you. I referred to Final Fantasy earlier and in most every game, the main character never battles alone. He has friends. In each of our lives, we are in some ways the main character, and I know I could not walk the journey without having good friends around me. Thank you for being there.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: The Art of Falling in Love

What do I think of Joe Beam’s book published by Howard Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Joe Beam has an interesting story. He was married and then divorced his wife and got remarried. However, when he remarried, he remarried the woman he had divorced prior. In doing so, he has also spent years studying love and what it is and how one comes about falling in love.

Many of us have this idea from our culture that falling in love is just something that happens to you and you have no say in the matter. Many of us know the experience of falling in love. The problem is we don’t realize that we can do things to help us fall in love with another person. This is known as the Love Path.

The path starts with attraction. This is basic enough for us to understand. For many of us, this is how our relationship began. I remember in my men’s group a question being asked what first drew us to our wives. Now I didn’t see Allie in person first but talked to her and spoke about that, but many guys came out and pretty much talked about their wife’s body. That’s not a bad thing. That’s not a guy being a perv or objectifying a woman. That’s him being a man and knowing that a woman has a beautiful body and wanting to get to know her better. If after some time in a relationship the body was all that mattered to him still, there would be a problem, but it’s fine to start there.

This can also mean that in marriage still, we need to work on this. I have had to change my appearance in some ways since marrying for Allie’s sake. Many men and women sadly let themselves go after they marry. It’s the message of “I have them, so now I no longer have to try.” Sure, but that’s taking them for granted. Taking care of yourself to be attractive is showing love to your spouse as well.

The next step is acceptance. Attraction is never enough. Many of us guys have known being attracted to a woman and never doing anything with it and the relationship only exists in our own heads. When you act and speak to them, eventually both of you get to the place of acceptance where you decide to give one another a chance. Thus, the second place on the path is Acceptance.

After that comes Attachment. This is where you get more serious about your relationship. It could start with something like going steady. After that, you can get engaged and of course, get married. In this, you build a position where the other person becomes a more central part of your world.

Finally comes Aspiration. In this step, which is often neglected, both look at the dreams of one another and see what can best be done to meet those dreams. If the two contradict, as they often can, there is some compromise reached whereby both parties are happy.

There’s also something said on what love truly is. We often confuse it with what is called limerence. This is a super strong infatuation with another person you are not married to. When acted on, 99% of the time the limerence eventually fades and the person wakes up and says “What have I done?” Beam says marriages can recover from this and it is extremely common.

Falling in love is not just an emotional response. It’s a choice. It is a position of the will and a deliberate action that is done. I can say on my part my love for Allie has only grown over the years.

If you are in a marriage wanting to improve or needing to be saved, this is a very good book to get. I highly recommend it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters