Bottom Line Up Front: If you have married, keep your word. Stay together. Work it out. It’s not OK to leave. Forgiveness is an act of the will and takes a second. Reconciliation is a process that can take years. It begins with forgiveness.
Important Note: If you have made a colossal mistake and married in haste or for the wrong reasons, it’s a different situation. I allowed a divorce to proceed because it was clear we had no marriage. More on that in a later post. For this one… read on. Under no circumstances do I judge you, but men have to reject this social psychosis called divorce. Men commit.
“Marriage is no way of life for the weak, the selfish, or the insecure”
—Sidney Poitier, 1967, “To Sir, With Love”
“Marry in haste, repent at your leisure.”
The Last Christmas Before The Divorce
When I was 10 years old my parents divorced and I knew I wanted a better life.
The last Christmas before the divorce we lived in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
For Christmas I got a plastic sled on wheels you could steer.
I loved that thing.
My bed sheets had spaceships on them.
I had watched the Apollo Moon Landing with my dad.
I really. Did. Want. To be. An astronaut.
My dad bought me NASA posters. One had pictures of NASA rockets on it. Lined up.
The biggest rocket was black and white. It was for the Apollo program.
My dad believed in me.
I was very happy that last Christmas.
I remember laughing as I went down the hill in front of our house.
What does “Til death do us part.” mean?
Things I remember: my dad throwing a football with me the summer before they divorced.
I couldn’t catch and couldn’t throw but I loved playing catch with my dad.
Later I realized he knew our family was crumbling and was scrambling for lost time.
My dad was in the Army. He was the kindest man I’ve ever known.
He’d bring presents back from his trips. Presents you could keep til you were an adult.
A red camel saddle from Iran. I loved it because it was beautiful and real.
My brother and sisters and I all worked together one Saturday morning to clean the house.
It was a breezy summer day.
The vacuum cleaner going in the hallway. For some reason that made me happy.
We had a red oriental carpet.
Children don’t understand all the ways things can go wrong in a marriage.
They don’t understand how the mother they love can dislike the father they love so much that she would leave him and take them away from him.
They don’t know how tough it is to keep a marriage together.
They learn later about how women love sacrificially.
They learn later that when some people say “Til death do us part” they mean it.
Some people don’t mean it.
My Parents Didn’t Stay Together For The Kids.
My brother and sisters treated me so well. They were funny and kind to me, but that was all before the divorce. When my parents divorced the whole world broke apart.
They didn’t stay together for the kids.
My mother and I moved to a small house in Maryland. I spent a lot of time alone during the summer.
I met a very pretty girl a little older than I.
She introduced me to the most powerful narcotic in the world.
I was too young.
It put me on the wrong path.
When we are on the wrong path it’s hard to get off.
I didn’t get off that path until I was in Hong Kong in 1992 marrying my wife who saved my life.
Later, that wrong path affected my relationship with my daughters.
I was out of control as a teenager. Did pretty much whatever I wanted.
I was given way too much freedom to do as I pleased.
I never had to control the strongest appetites a teenage boy has.
I had a lot of girlfriends. I did many things I should never have done. I inflicted pain I regret to this very day.
We can never heal the pain we do to others. If you are reading this and I hurt you I am sorry I did.
Pornography was never a problem for me because the real thing was well within reach.
I could do whatever I wanted because I had too much freedom.
Because of the pretty girl I met the summer my parents divorced I had a lot of self-confidence and that self-confidence caused me a lot of problems.
I didn’t learn to control my temper til I was in my 40s.
I still struggle with some of my most powerful appetites.
I thought I was the center of the world.
Someone wrote that mothers raise boys but fathers raise men. It’s a generalization but it certainly seems to have been true in my case.
I was a boy well into my 30s.
Many people say that for a husband and wife to stay together just for the children is foolish.
Speaking as a child from a divorced family, I think sometimes that staying together for the sake of the children is the absolutely best reason to stay together.
It isn’t selfish. It means you have to put someone else before yourself. You have to keep your word.
When my own wife and I have been too exhausted to feel happy in our marriage, too exhausted or so angry we can’t see straight and don’t see each other in a kind and loving way we have held our marriage together because we know it’s bigger than either of us.
Our children rely on us.
Some of them are so small.
Water In A Pitcher.
Here’s the thing about hanging on and not quitting.
Think of love like water.
Think of your marriage like a clay pitcher.
At the beginning of your marriage your pitcher is full. Water is plentiful.
You pour the water out and use it.
When you can, you put more water in the pitcher, but you’re young and strong and the world is bright and your horizons are limitless.
But. You have to keep putting water in.
Sometimes there’s drought.
Marriage is very, very tough. It demands the best of us.
Sometimes you can’t find water.
That’s when you have to work.
Go to rivers.
Work hard to find pure, clean water, pure clean love.
When you find it you put it back in the pitcher. When you don’t have water you have to protect that pitcher.
For when the water comes.
You have to have hope and determination.
You have to find more water for your life, your wife, your children. Your grandchildren you don’t even know yet. They will tell your story.
Your wife and children are relying on you. Hold on til you find the water and don’t break that pitcher.
The saddest thing is to see a man and woman who discover water after a long time but have broken the pitcher and have nowhere to put the water.
If you break the pitcher you have nothing. You have nowhere to put any more water or love.
Don’t break the pitcher.
Call to action: Today, re-commit to your marriage and be a better husband. To be a better father, be a better husband. Vow to be a blessing to your wife every day. It’s very difficult and it takes a heroic man even to commit to that. You won’t know for many years whether or not you have succeeded, but if you aren’t a hero to your wife you aren’t a hero to anyone.
Post Source Here: Men Commit: Should you stay together for the children?