The hostess of a live television talk show introduced herself to me as I arrived at the broadcast
studio. I was a little nervous at being a guest on her show, but I thought since it was a
Christian show things would be manageable for me. The main topic was the discussion of my
newly released book, Listening to the Garden Grow, and as nervous as I was, I was greatly
excited as well.
We ran through the premise of the show and went directly into the stage area and met the
director who also gave me some rules of production. I felt relief as it didn't seem all that
daunting. But about a minute before the director counted down, "Five, four, three, two, one,
GO," the hostess covered the microphone with her hand and leaned over whispering, "I hope
you will have patience with me today. I just found out this morning that my husband of
twenty-two years has left me for another woman! I'm a little off my pace!"
I was totally taken aback and said a prayer, "Lord, I didn't need to hear THAT this morning of
all mornings! Please be with me and tell me what to say!" I responded that I would try to field
most of the call-ins and do the best that I could. When the director said a silent "GO!" my heart
The first call came in and I was able to give a reasonable response that seemed to satisfy the
caller. Then another came in and again I measured up to the challenge. I breathed a silent
"Thank You, Lord!" as the director called "Break". We had five minutes or so to recover, but my
hostess leaned over again covering the microphone with her hand and stated, "The woman my
husband left me for was my best friend and prayer partner of 15 years! He is pastor and
founder of our church and we all attended together. I am just devastated. What will I ever do?"
After an hour, the show finally came to an end and I tried my best to comfort the lady telling her
that she should rely on the Lord to guide her over the coming days. She wrote me a lovely
letter thanking me for my graciousness and concern during my brief visit to her show. We
became very good friends over the ensuing years sharing many phone calls at all hours of the
days and nights. She called me many times crying out in confusion, anger and desperation
trying to sort out having not only her church taken away from her, but her home, her friend, her
show and her livelihood. She was mourning a shattered heart and life. She was mourning the
death of her marriage.
I doubt that many women suffer such a devastating loss as my friend had, but many, many do
suffer a broken marriage and tend to blame themselves alone for the breakup. So what can
one do to recover from a grief as deep as that? Turn to the Lord for answers. Do not blame
yourself for the choices of your spouse. You cannot live the life of another person even though
we sometimes think we can. It's impossible and can only result in further heartache. But the
most important thing to remember is that God did not desert you in this event, your spouse
deserted you and God!
As with those grieving the loss of a loved one through death, survivors of a failed marriage go
through some of the very same behavior. Blaming one's self instead of the one who left. Eating
too much or not at all. Becoming manic in daily activities or staying in bed with the blinds
drawn withdrawing from a support system of friends and family.
Engaging in tirades of anger at everything, even things that had nothing to do with the breakup
of the marriage, or people who try to reach out to give you hope and courage to deal with the
situation. Anger is a vile emotion that produces nothing but more useless anger. It can do
nothing to change the situation nor can it produce anything positive for you.
Healing a broken marriage or relationship takes no less time than in the physical death of your
mate. But healing can only come through realizing that God is still in control of your life and
that of your mate and still dictates your time spent on this earth. How you choose to spend it is
totally up to you alone. Not your former spouse, not your television show, not your former
friend, only you. As my friend finally came to accept, you alone can choose to move on and
find another life without the one who hurt you so badly, even if it means moving to another
place to live as she did. Or you can choose to wallow daily in self pity blaming everyone
outside yourself. Only God will know that answer, and I beg you, please, go to your knees and
earnestly beseech the Lord to show you the answers as my friend did. In the stark light of
reality, she found that she, as well as he each contributed a share of blame, and she accepted
that fact and decided to move on with her life.
The last I heard, she had moved back to the town where her mother lived and was reconciling
her life with new associates, a new job in the university where she received her doctorate
degree as a professor, and new personal interests but always with the help of the Lord.
Teaching psychology, her past vocation, has allowed her to become involved in the lives of
her students as not only teacher, but counselor, mentor and fellow Christian friend.
For her it was a long recovery period from the day she whispered over the microphone that her
husband had left her for another woman, but now she sees that her full Christian potential has
at last found a very satisfying and productive place in her life and the lives of many more
searching young people. And perhaps the best part of her recovery is the fact that God never
deserted her, He just allowed her to reach out and search for Him in another more meaningful
If you have been through a divorce or breakup of a long term commitment with a spouse of
significant other that has left you dazed, hurt, angry, and confused, it is my fervent prayer that
you will continue to rely on God to guide you even when the future seems empty of any
promise or hope. Empty? No hope? That is the farthest thing from the truth! God is and always
will be there if you will trust that He alone can heal your hurt, turn to Him day and night, and
always seeks His guidance for your every action more than you have at any other time in your
Christian life. He promised that He would comfort you and heal you if you would only ask. And
He will! I know that is true because I speak from my own personal experience.
My prayer is that you will find that Solid Rock, God Almighty through Jesus Christ, our Risen
Savior, upon which to rebuild your life and future.
|Another Grief: Death of a Marriage
© Betty Sue Eaton
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