My divorce story…picking up the pieces, making sense of the mess, single parenting, and other encouragement along the way!

The Separation September 3, 2013

Filed under: Divorce,Encouragement — justmejesusandsippycups @ 8:59 pm

Continuing with my story…..see my previous post “Ships in the Night” to catch up!


For me the separation brought great peace. I was in a safe place, living with a family I had always admired, surrounded by a supportive community of Believers, involved at church, getting time with God in an emotionally peaceful environment, and as a result, I was experiencing lots of clarity where there had been confusion. The ministry I was working with was celebrating a huge milestone anniversary, and I was a part of all the event planning as well as traveling some for work, so life was busy.

Peace is really the best way for me to describe this time looking back. Sure, there was grief for the choices my husband was making and for our marriage, but I no longer had to see it and face the pain of rejection on a daily basis. It was really out of my hands at that point. I was standing and fighting for my marriage the way God created marriage to be and the choice was his whether he wanted to make changes and remain married or not. He had broken the marriage covenant, and the relationship was over unless he was willing to make an effort.

For him, the first couple of months of the separation were basically a free-for-all. He was finally free to live the life that he had been so drawn to. He was out drinking and partying almost every night. I’m not sure I’ll ever know the extent of all that happened during that time.

He had agreed to start counseling, so we would see each other weekly during that time. It gave me an opportunity to be honest about how hurt I was and about how I was truly done if he was not willing to renew his commitment to me and to God. He was completely shocked to hear and see where my heart was in these sessions. He had been ignoring my cries, or was simply unable to hear them.

One evening after counseling, we stood in the parking lot and had a conversation about where things had gotten and where they were going from there. He told me he wanted me to accept him for who he was and where he was at. That he would never want to live the kind of life I wanted to live (although we seemed to be headed in the same direction when we got married). I had ignored the nonverbal cues (which I’ll get into later). He made excuses for his extra-marital relationships and justified them by blaming me for setting a standard that was too high. When I told him this was not the life I wanted to live either, he asked if we could civilly divide our belongings, let him keep the house, and remain friends. I told him that after some time, we may be able to build a friendship, but I could not make any promises. It was just so strange to me how far apart we really were.

This is another thing that has been hard for me to reconcile. He used to say that I was his best friend, but I never felt that he was my best friend or really a friend at all. Maybe it’s because I WAS a good friend to him. With the help of the Holy Spirit within me, I truly loved him with a selfless, Biblical love. And while, I was nowhere near perfect, I truly fought for him and our marriage. I sought to know him and value the things he valued. I was patient, kind, forgiving, and long suffering. Yet I never felt like he did that for me. I never felt like he really knew me or even cared to. I always felt like his friends (both men and women) had a deeper friendship, confidence, and connection with him than I had. He told me he loved me when we got married, he worked hard to provide, and every now and then he would throw me a bone by taking me to dinner or to do something together, but it always felt begrudging…like he was just “putting in his time”.

After two months of being separated, and shortly after this conversation, he had a “rock bottom” experience and ended at the ER with alcohol poisoning, unsure of how he even got there. He woke up alone and scared. He began to realize this really wasn’t the lifestyle he wanted and that he did want to be married. He decided he was ready to make some changes.


I don’t remember the details exactly, but I do believe he thought all he would have to do was pick up the phone and ask me to come home and I would. Thankfully I had a good support system to help me navigate the next couple of months.

With the help of the couple I was staying with, I outlined some steps that would need to happen before I would consider moving back in…mainly for my own safety and emotional well-being. He had been such a pro at lip service and I knew I couldn’t fall for that again. I asked that he remain in counseling, meet with some guys from church for accountability, show up at church and get involved, change his phone number to cut off some of the unhealthy relationships he had formed, and quit frequenting the bar that had been his home away from home. At first he bucked at my requests feeling like they were unreasonable, but eventually complied.

During this time, he would call my mom on a nightly basis and complain about how hard I was making things. She would encourage him (often for hours at a time), and try to help him to understand where I was coming from.

He was persistent in wanting to argue with the process and hurry it along. Why is hindsight, particularly with red flags, so much more clear? Anyway, I was ambivalent about moving back in so quickly, but felt like since he was my husband, and I really did love him, and since he wanted a second chance…I owed it to him.

The other piece to the timing of us getting back together was that the couple I was staying with was expecting their second child in July. So…while the spiritual counselors in my life felt like the reconciliation process needed more time and he needed more time to grow and settle, I had two options – find somewhere else to stay or move back in.

So….in June 2008 after being separated for four months, I moved back into to our home.

Things went very well at first. He was enthusiastic and present, willing to actually work at the relationship for the first time in our marriage. Shortly after I moved back in, against my better judgment, our marriage counselor basically said that things were good now and that we no longer needed regular counseling.  I was absolutely terrified to stop counseling as it was the only place I felt safe to share my true feelings and know that I would be heard. I was not ready to stop counseling and I did not find out until recently that we should have had the option to continue.

I realize this is my side of the story, but the purpose of this blog is for me to work through the details, the grief, and the regrets unto healing, hope, and the ability to love and help others! I know that God completes what He begins, and while He certainly does not will for us to walk through horribly painful times, He goes with us and is always at work behind the scenes on our behalf.

Romans 8:26-28:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we out to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And WE KNOW that ALL THINGS work together for GOOD to those who love God, to those who have been called according to His purpose.”

While I may not understand the things I have walked through, and my life may not make sense to me at this point, it all makes PERFECT SENSE to GOD because my life is a small piece of a much greater picture. And through it all, He is preparing each of us for something great. When we belong to Him, there is nothing we can do to thwart His plan…NOTHING.

Music has gotten me through some painful and lonely spots over the past couple of years. I loved the lyrics to the following song, “Nothing is Wasted” by Jason Grey. It’s so true that God never wastes our pain. He is a Redeemer….and He wants us to be a part of His love story….He loves us so much He sent his only Son to die for us.

Jesus came to save us, adopt us into His Kingdom, give us a new name, and a royal destiny and inheritance….and then He allows us to partner with Him to overcome evil and reach a lost and dying world. Just like Jesus came to Earth and lived as a man to relate to our humanity, so can our pain and life experiences give us a perspective and ability to reach those who are lost and hurting. He can be trusted with every detail of our lives.

“Nothing Is Wasted”

The hurt that broke your heart
And left you trembling in the dark
Feeling lost and alone
Will tell you hope’s a lie
But what if every tear you cry
Will seed the ground where joy will grow

And nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

It’s from the deepest wounds
That beauty finds a place to bloom
And you will see before the end
That every broken piece is
Gathered in the heart of Jesus
And what’s lost will be found again

Nothing is wasted
Nothing is wasted
In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

From the ruins
From the ashes
Beauty will rise
From the wreckage
From the darkness
Glory will shine
Nothing is wasted

In the hands of our Redeemer
Nothing is wasted

Glory will shine


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