Divorce is not something that we take lightly or suggest, as a matter of factly. It has great ramifications that can and will stick with you for a while. So we don’t like them, but we do understand their utility. In an effort to not repeat what we say in the book, we’ll just say that, while we, just like Christ, hate divorce; just like Christ we also understand that the function of divorce is safety, survival, and ultimately, healing and thriving.
Nothing would make us happier than to see more marital reconciliations, than family destruction. However, that reconciliation must abide by the corresponding functionality of why you opted to leave to begin with. You must be safe in this reconciliation. You must survive. You must heal. You must THRIVE…There must be intentional and purposeful actions from you both towards living life and living it abundantly. That doesn’t mean living without problems. It does, however, mean living as a partners and not Prisoners.
With that said, you owe to yourself (and your children, if any) to answer these questions honestly….
- Are you Safe with Them? – Mentally, Emotionally and Physically Safe?
- Can you Survive with Them? – Will you be seeking escape to just breathe or will they be able to HELP you breathe?
- Can you Thrive with Them? – Can you live, enjoy life, minister to others, survive hardships, endure failures, suffer defeats, obtain victories and in throughout all of those situations maintain a victorious attitude WITH Them?
No one can answer these questions but you. And even if you can’t answer these questions right away, that’s perfectly normal and OK! No one changes overnight. Your hurt doesn’t heal overnight. Neither one of your dispositions have changed overnight. So hesitation is most certainly appropriate when considering reconciliation.
The goal is to help you see things differently and clearer than you did when you got in the relationship the first time. When a person experiences a major trauma, and after triage, the initial treatment is to “stop the bleeding.” After that, the doctor will always prescribe some sort of “therapy” and rehabilitation in order to help that person heal effectively and regain their strength wholly. And so, while you will forever be changed by your personal trauma, you can also be made new after that trauma. You will think differently, walk differently and you will grow differently. If reconciliation is rushed just so that you don’t have to hurt anymore, or so you that you can jump back into your “happily ever after,” you risk re-injury and maybe worse… Regret.
So we urge you: Even if you reconcile, regain your strength first and heal. Then operate in that new strength.
Hurt and brokenness is not a final state. You don’t have to choose between them or to stay broken. That’s guilt, shame and fear weighing on you. Give yourself the time needed to heal. You must do this FOR YOU, but it’s also the best thing you can do for a potential reconciliation of your marriage. It’s the best thing you can do for the BOTH of you.
One thing we know for sure, you cannot be the same people in a renewed marriage that you were when the first marriage fell apart. And while our book is an AMAZING start for you to begin the process of healing (individually and as a couple), it is imperative that you both commit to couples counseling (preferably with a Licensed Clinical Counselor OR Marriage and Family Therapist). You want someone in your corner who will be able to SEE more and SEE further regarding where you are headed…Good and Bad.