Not up to you to stay married…

It is not up to you alone to stay married.

This is a painful truth that the church needs to internalize. Divorce need not be chosen by both partners.

One spouse can unilaterally decide to leave…

…for any–or no–reason whatsoever!

It is possible to have one spouse invested in seeing the marriage work 100% plus. That does not matter if the other spouse is done.

And the reason the other spouse is done might be highly ungodly–e.g. they just want to be married to another, the affair partner.

The secular law does not really care whether or not the filing spouse has biblical grounds for divorce. A divorce will still be granted. 

And this is the second important truth to internalize:

We do not control how committed (or not) our spouse is to the marriage.

All the marriage seminars and so-called “affair proofing” work does not change this fact. We only control our own decisions and actions. Not our spouse’s.

You cannot “save” your marriage alone.

Yet one can absolutely kill a marriage alone. A decision to divorce only takes one.

So, ultimately, it is not up to you to stay married. It is was and always is a joint effort–i.e. the staying married part.

4 thoughts on “Not up to you to stay married…”

  1. You are absolutely correct that it is not up to one person alone as to whether they will stay married or not. I had wanted to stay married forever and was willing to do whatever it took to make my marriage work. I am now divorced due to finding evidence that my ex-husband committed adultery. Before he committed adultery, he was abusive for years and I pleaded with him on a daily basis to treat me with respect. Prior to my finding the infidelity evidence, I told him that if he ever committed adultery that we would be instantly divorced. When I found the evidence, my heart was crushed and I was sickened by the new-found knowledge that he had been intimate with another. Although I had strong feelings of revulsion regarding my ex-husband and his affair partner, I thought that if he would confess and repent that we might be able to work something out. He adamantly refused to confess and repent and continued to lie regarding the infidelity evidence. I did not ever want to be divorced, but I had to proceed with a divorce because I had someone who had betrayed me and was telling me that the betrayal was a figment of my imagination.

      1. I am so blessed by your blog DM, it had helped me through the worst year of my life. I do find it hard sometimes when the abandoned versus willing to reconcile issue is spoken about. Both situations have their own problems and complexity and pain. My situation was that he was wanting to reconcile after d day 2 of a long drawn out mess. I came to the decision that I could not; for one, I did not believe I saw true relentence, and two, even if I did, I believed he had already made the decision to end the marriage with his initial infidelity. I do not want to carry the burden of the one who decided to leave because I could not go on in the destroyed marriage. The cheater decides to destroy it, whether they with to ‘reconcile’ after or not. That’s like asking to be best friends with someone who just shot you, because now they are sorry and want to try again in relationship and vow to never shoot you…again. These situations where that can happen for real are rare, similar to Elizabeth Elliot befriending the tribe who killed her husband.
        I know it is super sensitive for you DM because she left and gave no choice to attempt to see if that miracle was possible, but I am super sensitive to the fact that he wanted to stay and painted it that I didn’t choose it (after an excruciating hard time of deciding for me…) He killed the marriage with adultery. It was a choice. So whether they ‘stay’ or they ‘go’ they are the ones who killed the marriage.

        1. No worries. I certainly do not blame you for choosing to end it legally. Scripture is clear that you are in no way compelled to stay with an adulterer. Agreed that the marriage was killed with the adultery whether or not the cheater filed.

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