I have been through two divorces—the ripping apart of one flesh back into two, the division of marital property, wedding pictures thrown into the trash bags along with the hopes and dreams ignited that day, a million tears falling on damp pillows in the darkest of nights. Yes, I’ve been through two divorces.
The strange thing is—I’ve never been married.
The end of any marriage is a tragedy because marriages weren’t made to end. But since the Fall of Man, nothing on this Earth follows its original design. My mom will soon be officially divorced—twice. I know the shame of having two failed marriages eats at her like termites slowly devouring the foundation of a house. Sometimes a house needs to fall so its foundation can be rebuilt…and I have seen my mother’s life bottom out. Now because of the grace and love of God and His people, she is setting a new foundation and rebuilding her life. Go, Mom! I am so proud of you!
However, no matter how much it hurts the people I love, I have to be honest. I’m still reeling from living through two divorces—the first occurring when I just turned 20 and the other just a few months ago. While I pretend I am just fine, on the inside, it’s killing me. See, after seeing how a man can ravage a woman through unfaithfulness (my father) and major abuse (my stepfather), I do not think I ever want to open my heart to a man. I just don’t see how I could survive it.
To cover my pain, I joke about finding “Mr. Right.” For example, the other night when there was an impromptu fire in the dumpster on my mom’s side of the apartment complex, I joked that I should yell “My hero!” and plant a kiss on one of the firemen. Of course, I was met with uproarious laughter because despite it all, I can still make ‘em laugh. Like a clown without face paint, I can put on a good show. The last thing I wanted to do was go near a man, especially a good looking one in uniform. Even though it’s true, I do have a weakness for a man who can run into a burning building when everyone else is running out. I’ve really been taken in by the whole “damsel in distress” myth.
If I’m honest with myself (and everyone else), my heart has been hurt by men who were supposed to love me, to show me how a godly man acts, and to guide me through the roughest times in my life with fatherly wisdom. Why, then, would I want to marry a man who has the potential to wreck havoc on my life? To destroy me in ways I’ve seen men destroy other women, particularly my mom and my best friend?
I understand that my view is not a particularly romantic or even a realistic view of love and marriage, but it’s the only one I’ve been able to witness firsthand. Like I said, I’ve been through two divorces…and I’ve never been married.