SO YOU want to give up on your marriage. Okay. Heard that... But have you done enough to earn your way out of the marriage? – to paraphrase Dr. Phil.
Many times in what I call ‘live time’ – living the present moment – we still fall short. We always fall short as a prime characteristic of our sinful nature.
The fact is, if we have earned our way out of the relationship – an ethical benchmark – there are few if any regrets in the future.
Indicators that You’ve Earned a Divorce
These are good signs that you’ve done enough to earn your way out of your marriage:
þ You have stayed single for a prolonged period as you’ve waited on God and learned to embrace an identity of singleness out of the torn coupleness. You have essentially saved your heart for your current/ex-partner until you’ve felt God has released you.
þ You have analysed your portion of the fault. You’ve resisted the temptation to simply blame him or her. You both could have loved more or better. Owning what you could have done better, and accepting it in the sight of God, is repentance: a crucial investment for you and your future partner.
þ You have been as reasonable with your ex-partner in the intervening period. You’ve been a mature person, give or take, because nobody is perfect. You can be characterised as fair-minded, despite the difficulties of grief you’ve grappled with.
þ The feelings of Eros (attraction and passion) and agape (deep companionate) love have morphed into a healthy sense of philo (friendship and respect) love. Having done the above few things (amongst others) your emotional meter for your ex-partner will be tepid, but sound. Life is made abundantly easier in the future if ex-partners can like and support each other, particularly where they share a child or children.
þ You’ve been able to split assets peacefully and graciously overall, and you’ve been blessed to accommodate and not ridicule or undermine their plans, and you have no conditions for your ex-partner. Around the children there is the ongoing need of negotiation for the children’s sake. A spirit of unity is most necessary despite what you may feel about your ex-partner or toward them.
þ You have prayed to God about his will enough to sense where his peace is at, from within you. There is no residual indecision from within you. A peace has come and such a peace is affirmation all itself that what is to be done – and the timing – is both right and appropriate.
þ You have worked hard on becoming truly autonomous. There is nothing from this broken relationship you see impeding a future relationship.
When we’ve earned our way out of the relationship there are few if any regrets in the future. Earning your way out of your marriage has required an earnest path with God.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.