This post is applicable for men and women. Men please substitute “she” for “he.”
My spouse said he wanted a divorce and moved out. It’s been almost two years. I’ve prayed and pleaded but he won’t come back.
He’s still living with the woman he left me for. This breaks my heart. To me marriage is sacred.
I have finally come to the realization that our marriage is over whether or not I like it. I need to move on with my life. But why is he is leaving it to me to file the papers when he is the one who wants a divorce?”
I frequently hear stories like the one above. This scenario is confusing to say the least. You’re trying to make your marriage work but your spouse leaves anyway and then just leaves you hanging. He’s not coming back but doesn’t file for divorce.
Perhaps he’s lazy, perhaps it is the cost, perhaps, he doesn’t want to face the fact that he ended his marriage. Maybe, just maybe, he is easing his own guilt by waiting until you grow weary enough to file.
Another explanation is best explained by the emotional vs legal divorce. Consider this scenario:
He left the marriage emotionally and spiritually long before he left physically. His emotional divorce is likely completed. Your emotional divorce may not have started until he left.
For him all that is left is the paperwork which he sees as is just a detail.For you, it is still personal and painful. It can be very easy to resent him for leaving you in limbo. He’s ended your marriage but you are left to make it legal.
What Can You Do?
First, pray to God for guidance.
Second, take an objective look at your spouse’s behavior to see if it shows any repentance and consistent change in behavior that suggests he is willing to work on your marriage. Has he abandoned you? Has he committed adultery? Has he given more than lip service to changing? Is he willing to go to counseling with you?
Third, assess your own behavior. Have you tried your best to make your marriage work? Can you in clear conscious file for divorce knowing you gave your marriage your all? Are you abandoned?
Fourth, pray to God for guidance.
If Divorce is Your Reality
Know that God still loves you! The Bible says God hates divorce and I believe that is because he knows divorce’s devastating effects on his children. The Bible does not say God hates divorced people.
Know that God is still there for you–seek him. Jesus died for you–thank him. The Holy Spirit is here for you–feel his presence. Find peace.
“The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 NIV
Opportunities for You…
Separation & Divorce Christian Community
- Separation & Divorce Christian Community is a new closed* Facebook peer support group for the separated and divorced.
- Click the link below to visit the page.
- Once you are on the page, click “Join” to ask to be admitted to the group.
*A closed Facebook group means that while anyone can see that the group exists, only group members can see posts. If you are not already on Facebook, you will need to first join Facebook before you can join this group.
Renee Smith Ettline is a writer, founder of After Divorce Ministries, and author of the award-winning book, Peace after Divorce as well as the group curriculum, Peace after Divorce. Her blog posts here every Wednesday.