How To Get Divorced In One Easy Step

{For those visiting from Start Marriage Right, welcome. I’m talking candidly about preventing divorce today – I know this is a painful and controversial topic, and I’m trying to be delicate here. Please do not hear me being trite or accusing or blaming people who have experienced divorce. I am speaking on the side of prevention for those who are walking the line in their relationships, or who are blissfully unaware of how easily the cracks form in the foundation of a marriage. Thanks for reading and please be sure to be respectful as we discuss this sensitive issue.} 

No one wants a tutorial on divorce. No one walks down the aisle planning for the marriage to end. At least not in a healthy relationship. Yet there is one particular thing any couple can do to significantly increase their chances of divorce. It’s simple: disconnect.

I’m not talking about disconnecting from each other. I think that’s obvious. I’m talking about couples who isolate themselves from community, from family, friends and church involvement. Especially when their marriage is in crisis.

As a pastor of a church alongside my husband, we consistently see marriages in trouble. We offer counsel with a goal of restoration, but always understanding both parties must be engaged in the process. And both partners must want the help.

Sadly, some marriages never make it through the crisis. But these relationships have something in common. A strong marriage depends vitally on the input and support of others, through mentorship and counseling, through transparent relationships where the dark and painful things can be aired out and healed. And the marriages who fail tend to have one or both partners outside of community, unwilling to correct their course and receive guidance.

My husband and I received two years of counseling when our relationship started. And we needed it. I had many misperceptions about men from previous relationships, along with a suitcase full of fear about how our marriage might end up. We were counseled while we dated, during engagement, and for the first year of marriage.

I didn’t know it then, but these mentors assisted us in laying a foundation for healthy communication and conflict we would need the rest of our marriage. Our marriage would be much weaker without their input.

Pastoring in a college town means counseling many young, idealistic couples through their early stages of marriage. There is often a blissful ignorance present during the dating period, a disbelief that their love could fade and problems could set in. As we attempted to challenge this view, we saw a few of them pull away from the very relationships that might provide stability and honest feedback.

Some couples waited until they nearly despised each other before they sought help. Some couples reviled any suggestions that their ways of relating to each other were harmful and pursued counselors who agreed with their unhealthy habits. Others lived under the pretense “nothing is wrong here”, ignoring conflict the best they could until it blew up.

This is always painful to watch because we wanted to help. But we could not get in. There was no door for us. These couples were on the outside by their own choosing. They did not want our help.

And no marriage can survive and thrive without authentic community.

Continue reading at Start Marriage Right.

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