It’s a strange thing. In my old life, when I was still a good Christian woman(TM), we took it as an act of faith that Christian marriages did not end. Good marriages did not end. I remember telling someone that maybe when marriages ended the two people in the marriage hadn’t really ever given themselves over to the marriage. It wasn’t so much that the marriage failed as the fact it never took place.
I was wrong. I was married. I was married for almost 16 years. There is no way I didn’t give myself over to my marriage. I’m pretty sure he did as well. It was definitely a marriage. Sometimes it was even a good one. It just didn’t work. It couldn’t work. It was never, ever going to work. We were fundamentally different people to start with. At some point, the chequing account of my marriage was so far in the red from the withdrawals of being different people that I simply wasn’t willing to believe that it could ever be brought to a zero balance.
Maybe I’ve never told you, but I finally realized that the reward for sticking it out wasn’t a gold star, wasn’t some sort of happy prize, it was however much longer of being miserable from a poorly conceived match. My promise of til death do us part wasn’t enough. I wasn’t willing to be miserable any longer. I broke my promise.
If you are me, who believes in loyalty and fidelity, who considers herself to be a romantic, this is a tough place to be. I believe part of what makes love works is a refusal to give up. I also gave up.
Which makes me wonder – should we be saying “and when you realize your relationship needs to end . . . ?
That’s not a romantic proposition. It’s definitely not the sort of proposition that most Christians are going to get behind.
It does feel a bit true though.
I wonder – if our conversations about relationships were based on the idea that they could end, maybe sometimes they should end, how would that change not just the ending of relationships, but the entire life span?