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Eleven Marriage Regrets From the Divorced (from H. Post) -Also the No Divorce Rule by Christians is a Symptom of Holding Marriage as an Idol
I no longer believe in the Christian view of “permanence” regarding marriage (you might want to read this off site article about the issue) – not that I ever accepted it concerning abusive marriages to start with.
I never felt that an abused woman should stay with an abusive man and “submit more” to him, or just stay, period. Life is to short to spend it with someone who mistreats you or takes you for granted, or to spend it feeling ignored, unsatisfied, and unloved. Abuse is a grounds for divorce, not only adultery.
I think that the “permanence” view of marriage – which stipulates either only adultery is grounds for “biblical divorce” or there are no biblical grounds for divorce ever, is a symptom of MARRIAGE IDOLATRY. Christians have made marriage into an idol that they worship along with God.
A Christian person’s only permanent relationship is with the Trinity (God). If you are married on earth, Jesus Christ says your spouse now will not be your spouse in Heaven, as there is no marriage in the afterlife. Your relationship with Christ will stay the same, by contrast.
God granted mankind divorce because people are imperfect. Even the Bible mentions that, though it uses the phrase “hard hearted” or something.
You see the items below where the divorced women said they regret having been married because “they lost themselves” because they put everyone else first in the marriage, or where they said they lost their identity in their spouse and had no clue who they were? That is called codependency, and society and American Christianity teach women to be that way, they encourage women to be that way, and it is detrimental to women.
In churches, and on some blogs, books, sermons, and pod casts and sites by Christians, women will be told (usually under gender complementarianism teachings, or the title “biblical womanhood”), that it is proper, right, biblical, or “godly” for women not to get their own needs met; to always defer to their husband’s decisions; to let their spouse think for them and make choices for them; to always put the spouse and kids’ ahead of their own needs; and to lose themselves catering and serving to others.
Those beliefs may not always be spelled out so clearly as I put them there, but they are inherent, assumed, or implied in some Christian views about what is “appropriate” or “biblical” behavior for married Christian women (or even for single ones – I got brainwashed to hold those views and practice them since girlhood).
If you do that, if you follow that advice because you believe getting your own needs met, or disagreeing with a man, or saying no to anyone’s request for your time or money, is “selfish” or not being a “godly woman”, you will end up burnt out and filled with resentment in the future.
You can bank on that. Years spent always caring about other people and their needs, never standing up for yourself when your feelings are stomped on, and never nurturing yourself and going after what you want and need will end up leaving you exhausted, unhappy, unfulfilled, and resentful.
That Christians keep holding this up as a model for women to follow, and to further refer to it as “godly” or “biblical womanhood,” is demonic.
The Bible says woe to those who call good evil or evil good, but that is precisely what Christians do when they advise girls and women to be doormats to be used and abused and call it “biblical” Or “gender complementarianism” and insist that is how God designed women to operate and HOW God wants women to behave all the time. That is wrong, wrong, wrong.
If you are a woman who recognizes herself in any of that, please do yourself a favor and read the book “Boundaries” by Cloud and Townsend, and “The Disease to Please” by Harriet Braiker.
There are also many other wonderful books you should read about these topics, just do a search for the word “codependency” or the phrase “people pleasing” on internet bookstore sites to find the pertinent material. God does not want you to be a doormat and ignore your own needs constantly.
- For most of us, moving on after divorce is easier said than done. You may cut ties with your ex and embrace life on your own, but thoughts of what you could have done differently always linger.
Below, HuffPost Divorce readers share the biggest regret they have about their marriages, from walking the down the aisle in the first place, to giving decades of their life to their exes when they knew the relationship didn’t stand a chance.
1. “I regret not realizing he was broken and that I couldn’t fix him.”
2. “My biggest regret? Staying seven years and giving my all because that’s what I felt society expected of me. If both of us weren’t going to give it our all, it was never going to work. The last five years of being on my own have been vastly better than all 14 years of my marriage.”
5. ” I should have left after he cheated on me the first time and not wasted so many years of my life with him.”
6. “I regret all the red flags I ignored, beginning the day before the wedding when I didn’t have the guts to call it off. I regret being too trusting, too optimistic and too serious about my vows to realize I was not in a a viable relationship.”
7. “I regret looking past all the signs. I was so in love, I thought you gave without reservations. I gave up on me, my dreams, my passions, a whole life that I had planned so that he and our four kids could be happy. I got so accustomed to getting nothing in return, he started treating me like I was nothing. Only his wants were important in our marriage. I regret not realizing this was who he always was all because I was so blinded by love.”
8. “That I lost who I was during the marriage because I was so focused on everyone else.”
9. “That I allowed myself to get lost because I was trying to be the person he wanted me to be. Even after changing, I was never good enough, anyway. I’m so thankful I was able to break free and find myself again.”