Husband and I both grew up with divorced parents. In both cases, divorce was the best option, and we commend our parents for the strength they had to recognize that it was. To say that growing up with divorced parents didn’t affect us would be a bold-faced lie. It did affect us, in many ways, but most significantly in how we approach our own relationship, our own marriage.
Back story, feel free to skip: Husband and I have been together since we were 14, with a couple educational short breaks thrown in. Going through high school and puberty as a couple wasn’t always a picnic. We had a lot we had to work through and discover individually as well as together. Because of this, we had the rare opportunity to know literally everything about one another. I mean, we’d been in school together since we were 4. There were absolutely no secrets pretty much from day one. We fell in love so hard and so fast and at such a young age that many, including my mama, didn’t think it was healthy. It wasn’t at times, but we needed each other in so many ways that we clung to each other throughout our teenage years. It wasn’t until college that we really started to evaluate us, as individuals and as a couple. We took a short break to try to figure out what we both wanted out of our lives and relationship. Forced to look inward, we saw our own flaws, our own mistakes. That break was probably the best thing that could have ever happened to us at that moment. The number one thing we realized was that we took each other for granted. We promised to never let it happen again. We haven’t and won’t. We set some guidelines for ourselves and our relationship. One of the most important guidelines we ever set ourselves was never ever saying the d-word (divorce).
Why don’t we use the d-word in our marriage?
Because it’s not a joke or something to take lightly.
Too many couples joke about divorce. They do it to each other. They do it in front of others. But, it’s not funny. Saying you or your spouse would divorce one another if this happened or that sets up a petty game that could get serious quick. You might think it’s a joke, but just mentioning the word puts the idea fresh in your mind whether you consciously think on it or not. In a real, healthy marriage, the d-word isn’t and shouldn’t be funny.
Because it isn’t an option.
We don’t use the d-word because we agreed long before we said our wedding vows that it’s not an option for us, ever. I’m not saying it’s not the right course in some situations. It certainly worked out for our parents, but for us, we will work out whatever problems arise before us however we have to to solve them. The d-word will never be on the table to choose from. We’ve committed this life of ours to each other, no matter how hard the rare low times might be.
Because we truly believe that God put us here for each other.
Woah woah woah. Did you just say God on the internet? Sure did, and you want to know why? Because our relationship is too imperfectly perfect for God to have not been involved. Not to mention that we vowed to be faithful, loving and devoted to each other for the rest of our lives in front of God in the Catholic Church that we grew up in. If we truly believe that God made me for him and him for me, why would we ever even think of the d-word, let alone say it.
So many marriages these days are done for the wrong reasons- It’s the right time. It’s past time. Biological clocks are ticking. I want a dream wedding day. I’m supposed to be married by this age. And the list goes on. I think those are arrangements, not real marriages. Because in a real marriage, you love each other for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Those words actually mean what they say. In the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, you are in this life together. As children who grew up with divorced parents, we made certain and will continue to make certain that the d-word never enters the discussion. We watched first hand what it meant, and we won’t repeat it. We by no means have a perfect marriage, and you may disagree with me on any of the above points. But, we do love each other perfectly, and there’s absolutely nothing more on this Earth we could ask for.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”- 1 Peter 4:8
P.S. You might be wondering why I’m blabbing on about marriage on a homestead blog? Well on our homestead, our marriage is the foundation for everything. Without it, none of the other aspects of our homestead would exist.
[ Disclosure: You are the only one who truly knows the inner workings of your marriage. I know there are circumstances where divorce is the smartest option, like in our parents’ case. This is just our personal outlook on it that I’m sharing. ]