I hope everyone is doing well. Again, it's a very exciting time for me. My book is out on booksamillion.com, barnesandnoble.com, pendiumpublishing.com and hopefully soon to be in Barnes and Noble stores around the country. I have reviews which we be available on some sites soon, and I will give links to those once they are available. I have been blessed (again) beyond my wildest dreams.
Ok, so as usual, I'm hearing interesting stories everywhere. This one is very common and I believe it relates to more of us than I would ever hope to imagine. I know someone who is really tired of dealing with foolishness in their mate. Not the kind of foolishness that one might experience on a scene from The Maury Show, but it consists of infidelity, lack of remorse and a basic place where the spouses seem to be on separate paths in their lives at this point.
Interestingly this would normally be a story of a man who cheated, and he is being foolish. This time, it's a woman who cheated, and the man left the home. She has been ignoring his existence for a while. She works and does her thing, but there was clearly something wrong. She's not very affectionate, she doesn't do anything to "work" at making the marriage last a lifetime blessing for both of them. They have two children, and they share some responsibility, but for the most part, they are his responsibility. Somewhere along the line, it came out that she had been seeing someone else. There had been a lot lacking from this relationship for quite some time. No emotion, no affection, no working at it--basically from either side, because at some point, he got frustrated with the situation.
He left. Point blank, period. He feels like he had given her chance after chance to show she wanted to be there. The guy in this relationship felt like he had done everything possible to give her an opportunity to show in both word and deed that his wife was really still in love with him and wanted to work through their differences and make their marriage work.
This is an all-too familiar story. We know absence makes the heart grow fonder. Of course, she wants him back. Here's the problem, it may really be too late. The signs have been there for months. They have had conversations about her complacency, her lack of affection, basically just coasting along like roommates. No person should have to be subject to that behavior from a spouse, but it happens all the time. Much too often.
The question therefore becomes, when is too late, really too late? Ultimately the decision is up to the individual. There are two questions in this case, I think he should ask himself and be honest and frank in his answers to himself. First, has every option been exhausted? Marriage counseling (church or non-church related)? Has there been true open communication? Separation (in this case--yes)? If you can't see things changing now, while you are in the middle of the situation, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to believe they will change going forward. Let me use this analogy: If a guy knows he has messed up, if he's smart, he'll bring his girlfriend/wife flowers, her favorite candy...something as at the very least a token of his affection. It doesn't have to be tangible. It could be praying together. It could be saying he has been "in denial" and needs help getting over an addiction. Whatever! Something has to be done to show the other person is at least making an effort to change. If you can't see change (tangible or otherwise), you can stop here and don't even have to proceed to question 2. It's over. It's fine for your spouse to miss you when you leave and beg you to come back. It's worthless if the action (in this case, separation) has not effected change.
The second question is, are you capable of true reconciliation? This has a lot of subtexts to it. With reference to this particular situation, he should ask himself if he still loves her--and give an unbiased answer. It would be good to take a moment in solitude and write these questions and answers. There's something therapeutic and a way of providing closure (good or bad) to a situation when you can see something tangible on paper. They have 2 children, therefore another subtext here is, "are you considering staying for the kids?" If the answer is yes, that's a definite path to LEAVE. NOW. QUICKLY. Children of relationships of convenience tend to be spouses in relationships of convenience. I know some of those kids, who are adults today in unhappy homes, causing cycles of unhappy homes. Your children will respect you more if you leave under amicable circumstances, than staying under bad ones. They learn strength and courage from a parent being strong in times of trials and tribulations. Show yourself faithful to your Creator and He will show Himself faithful to you. Sometimes leaving takes that first step of faith. Take it! Living in fraudulent relationships are the opposite of the title of the blog--successful relationships. Closing out the subtexts would be, "is your spouse contributing to your life moving forward, in the direction you want, or a hindrance and an anchor holding you from becoming who your maker meant you to be?" If the answer is they are holding you back, and the rest of the answers are also negative, how fast can you get the divorce papers signed? At some point, common sense should take over. Nothing positive is nothing gained. Move on. Let it go.
That being said, the name of my blog and book are 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship. I am not a proponent of ending a relationship without just cause. I am not a proponent of divorce, but there are times when adultery comes into play. There are times when the commitment is gone and adultery is actually not the reason for the loss of commitment, but the result of the commitment being lost (Ladies, I know you hear me on that)! Sometimes, you just can't move on. Sometimes, unfortunately, it's over. I wish it wasn't like that. I wish in this instance, for this man, I could tell him, it's not like that. I know this situation. It's over. Why prolong the inevitable? There will be tears, it will be painful, Heaven knows he will have to deal with it long after the divorce papers are signed. They will have to be adults who raise children together. Eventually, he will see her with another man. None of that will be easy, but it's necessary. Extending inevitable pain is not good for anyone, and will be worse the longer it is allowed to simmer. You can't move forward and allow another door to be opened for you, until you permanently close doors which are necessary to be closed. That occurs in careers, school, relationships--all of life's journeys. If one door has to be closed, allow that to happen. Your Creator will open several other doors for you. For someone who is as against divorce as I, it pains me to say (but it's necessary), sometimes the Successful relationships are the ones you develop after you leave the not so successful ones.