A few weeks ago I celebrated my divorce in the company of close friends and family. It was definitely a joyous occasion as we dined over good food and great energy. The gathering was impromptu, invites were sent via text and I literally planned it the night before with my cousin who was also celebrating her divorce which was granted just a few days before mine. I was surprised by all the “I’ll see you there” responses and the turn out warmed my heart. I’ve gotten a lot of side eyes as word has spread that I am celebrating divorce but I would like to set the record straight. I don’t advocate for divorce. I advocate for wholeness by any means necessary but even this philosophy took me a while to attain.
I remember a time that I was fresh in my marriage and still on that newlywed high full of hopes and dreams for our future. The same cousin who just celebrated with me came to me seeking advice regarding her derailing marriage around October of 2014. I’m known to give good advice with my forte being toxic relationships but this was advice on a topic I was not familiar with. I hadn’t been married that long and I was talking to someone who was about 10 years in the game. I remember encouraging her to work it out and to stick by her husband and to forgive him and all the other good save your marriage tactics that were taught to me. We continued our conversation over dinner and parted ways later that evening. We caught up weekly over candid conversations that usually resulted in me jokingly calling her crazy. She informed me not too long after our ‘save her marriage meeting’ that they would officially be parting ways. I knew that God could change anyone and fix anything so I secretly held hope and prayed that they would work things out even in the midst of me knowing she deserved better. That was my first experience with giving marriage advice on a topic I didn’t have experience with but a few months later, in February of 2015, I got my second chance at this.
A coworker of mine, who happened to be my cubicle neighbor came in to work in tears obviously distraught and flustered. She let me know that she just found out some devastating news. Her husband had been cheating on her with numerous women over the course of their marriage. I looked at her, not knowing what else to say to her except I will pray for you. Honestly that is all that I knew how to do. I knew now wasn’t the time to encourage her to forgive him and attempt to work it out as I had told my cousin to do. I sat at my desk and silently prayed as I told her I would. I told God that I don’t have a point of reference to minister to her in this area and I asked Him to give me the words to say to encourage her and help her through this. I ended my prayer and went on about my day and literally within the next couple months, I got the point of reference that I asked for.
On the morning of 4/8/15, I myself came into work distraught and bewildered. I had just found out the night before that my husband had too cheated on me, with at least two women he admitted to. I hadn’t slept much from the night before and my numbness was wearing off. It took God to keep me from breaking down as pictures of us stared back at me on my desk. I attempted to keep my composure as I worked throughout the day but my heart was broken beyond measure and I wasn’t sure how I felt outside of hurt and devastated. Working out my marriage wasn’t even a thought that crossed my mind at that time and it sure was the last thing I wanted to hear. I had questions. I had pain. I had confusion. I had denial. I was just a mess of emotions. I wanted to run away. I wanted to disappear. I wanted to lash out but fear of what happens next left me numb. Was divorce the next step? Did I even have heart to follow through with that? Did he even want me? I simply did not know. I had no one to run to for comfort and for all I knew my husband was still at home.
Over the next few days after my husband’s cheating admission I sought out all the self help material I could find. I also began to journal for 14 days during this time. These journal entries were raw and transparent and kept me sane as I decided what my next steps were. After a week’s time I had decided that I wasn’t ready to call my marriage quits and I would do my part to get to the point where I could administer forgiveness. My husband was still home even after his suggestion for us to part ways so I continued to love him through this. I decided to be an example of unconditional love and through God’s instruction love him back to life.
I got a chance to reconnect with my cousin shortly after this too. She was separated at this point and I had pretty much gone into hiding and made saving my marriage my priority. She reached out to me in June of 2015 with some exhausting news. I was under the impression that my marriage was getting better and she called me to let me know that she ran into my husbands profile on a dating website. He listed his relationship status as it was complicated and had several pictures of himself even some taken in our new home. I was devastated and felt it was necessary for me to immediately address this. My husband admitted that he was on the website and told me that he was not going to change anything he was doing. He told me he wasn’t in love with me and would never forgive me. He told me that I might as well leave him because he could never love me unconditionally and he enjoyed what he was doing. He told me he was addicted to the attention those women were giving him. I heard his words but I refused to believe them. I knew his actions and current state was fueled by his backsliding and disobedience. I knew that prayer and my obedience could change things so I decided to go even harder with loving him back to life.
When I got to a stable position in my mind I decided to share my truth with my co worker. She was shocked by my revelation and how well I had been able to keep it to myself and keep my composure. I shared with her the tools that I had began to use and I let her know if she wanted to follow my footsteps we can work through this together. Over the next few months we got very acquainted and she got to know a Taty that I never let anyone else see. I shared with her my ups and my downs, my wants and fears. When she needed encouragement or a stern word of direction I was there. When I needed advice or to see something from my husbands point of view, she was there. We became great friends and accountability partners. I lived out what I asked for which was to speak from the point of reference to where I could encourage her and help her through this.
Between June 2015 and December 2015 she watched as I poured everything I could emotionally and tangibly give into my marriage and over time it did work. His heart softened towards me and we began to enjoy each other’s company again. Jackie, my co worker saw the fruits of my obedience and how he was able to change before her eyes with my demonstration of unconditional love towards him. We got to a much better place. He even at a point in time deleted all the dating sites he was on but he had weak moments that were triggered with his inability to handle his anger. He would run back to his vices that would lead him to backslide again or leave him difficult to deal with. I stayed meek, humble and submissive even throughout all of this but where you could see all that I was willingly putting up with was in my appearance. If you’ve read my other blogs this was the same time I realized how unhappy I was and how big I had gotten. I was emotionally dead and depleted of all that I could give. I was in desperate need of someone who could pour back into me and that is exactly what I prayed for. Shortly after this prayer, my sister-friend Victoria was sent to me. This story is the story on my blog “Destiny is Disruptive. That ‘Friend’ I Chose Over My Husband.” For all that have been keeping up with my blog posts you know how that leads me to now.
With the specification of my prayers I have reached my outcome now. I prayed to be able to speak from a familiar point of reference and boy did I get that. I also prayed for someone to be able to pour into me what I poured out to others and that person just so happened to offend my husband to the point where he chose to leave. Either of those outcomes weren’t what I imagined when I prayed them, but the answers to those prayers in the manner they were presented has shaped me with so much wisdom. I can share my story of divorce from a well rounded, unbiased viewpoint. If you want to know how to save your marriage after infidelity, I can share with you the tools that worked for me. If you’ve decided to divorce and need encouragement on your healing journey, I can help with that too. Above all I promote wholeness by any means necessary. If you can achieve wholeness while in the midst of a toxic relationship, more power to you but if you can’t and have exhausted all resources, know there is an out if you so choose to use it. For me, that was the best decision I’ve ever made. So for those who are confused by my revelry, judge my road to wholeness if you must but I am free and at peace!