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Twice Divorced!

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Dear Jack, I’m sorry your second marriage broke up. You had so much riding on it, so much hope invested. Of course I’m taking a public stand in support of you. May not go down with religious folk but what have I to do with them. Grace says don’t condemn or judge others, that you’re no better than anyone. Grace is humble. Grace insists on redemption for mistakes. It never gives up on anyone, regards human life as sacred. Grace shows compassion to the afflicted. It’s there for people at their time of need. Grace is loving and supportive. I’ve always been intrigued with Jesus not condemning that 5th divorced Samaritan woman. Or the adulterous woman! I know society won’t forgive you. You’re already a parable. But those who condemn others don’t use mirrors.

Now, was the second divorce preventable? Yes, no doubt. You had enough warning signs. You forced the marriage. If you recall I’ve always warned against forcing relationships. If it’s not going to work, don’t force it to work. But we’re all prone to mistakes, though some of us more than others. It’s easy to condemn people after the fact, but truth is, many of us will fail given the same exam. The man who condemns others doesn’t really know himself, hasn’t come to grips with his humanity. Even if you willy-nilly went into the mistake I still will not condemn you. Who am I?! And my faith teaches me not to condemn others. It’s a case of let him who’s without sin cast the first stone. How then can a sinner condemn a fellow sinner?! He must have memory problem. It’s the picture of a man who asks a judge to vacate his seat so HE can judge his fellow prisoners!

Of course some people take great exception to the doctrine of grace and that’s okay. But I know what I know, and I have resolved in life to encourage people, not condemn people. The spirit of condemnation and judgmentalism is such a terrible and abhorrent spirit. And it’s hypocritical. I still believe you will meet a wonderful woman who gets you and who you can connect with. And there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s no so-called curse operating on your life. You just had error in judgment. You allowed your emotional and physical needs to make determinations for you. You were willing to accommodate approximations. When we’re physical needs-driven, we’re prone to mistakes. We’ll desperately and hungrily consume whatever is made available.

Loneliness can also drive one into blunder. A desperate need for amelioration can make one choose a wrong partner. You have to move on past the pain and disappointment. And you have to despise the shame. Your life should not be defined by your mistakes. It should be defined by God’s vision for your life. And there’s no link between your first failed marriage and second failed marriage. They just have you in common. So don’t get into that, “Maybe I’m not supposed to be married in life” stuff. If you’re not supposed to be married in life you won’t have a desire for marriage. You’ve got to pick up yourself and walk your walk. Ignore the contemnors. Nothing you do can please them. And I’ll advice you keep your mouth shut and not try and justify to people why you left the second marriage. Those who would condemn you will continue to condemn you and those who would love you will continue to love you. Over time, life teaches all of us not to condemn those going through marriage difficulties. We condemn those going through marriage difficulties because we can’t imagine ourselves going through one. We do all that condemnation stuff because our marriage is okay, until it’s not okay. Then we learn not to condemn others. It is only when some of the harshest critics of marital woe experience marriage difficulties themselves that they sober up.

Our job is not to assail the weak and suffering. We should bind up wounds and mend broken hearts. A 2,300-year old saying admonishes us not to break a bruised reed, not to quench a smoking flax. In other words, we don’t wound the wounded, we don’t snuff out hope in people. And you have to avoid bitterness and anger. That can easily happen. We get bitter and angry in these circumstances because we had hoped the second marriage will wipe out the record of the first. But that’s faulty reasoning. That’s not the way society works. Those who embalm our past will never let it be buried. These are life morticians. They keep the putridity of our past fresh so to prevent us from enjoying our future. They’re constant reminders of our foibles, mistakes and humanity. They’re busybodies. And yet we all have issues we’re battling with. We all have challenges in our lives. Some don’t concentrate on their race, they monitor others. And that’s baffling!

You have nothing to be ashamed of. You made a mistake twice, just like many of us have done and still do. I’d say don’t rush into another marriage so your pain won’t becloud your judgment. First you have to heal. Also be careful about isolating yourself. It’s easy to be colonized by purposed local affection in such circumstances. The more isolated you are, the lonelier you’ll be, and the lonelier you’ll become. Brave the elements. Go out. Go to social functions. The earlier you face the music the better. Normalize your life.

The reason I told you not to talk to people to explain what happened is that you’ll just be creating gossip fodder. Everyone’ll want to know what happened. But it’s none of their business! You have a whole life in front of you. You’re still relatively young. The bigger question is, do you want to define your life by the pain of your past, or by the potential of your future. Will you formulate a fatalistic philosophy of marriage from two premises of life? As for me, I’ll always be here for you. That’s all you really need from friends.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder | talk2me@lekealder.com

Tags : Divorce
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