Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wedding Bell Blues

As a minister, I'm frequently asked about my perspectives on marriage gone sour... this is an interesting place to speak on because I am divorced. People assume that, because I am a minister, I want couples to stay together until "death do them part". Nothing could be further from the truth!

Over the years I've worked in a prison, psychiatric facility, literacy centre, nursing homes, a hospital, group home for adolescent girls, and community college. I've dealt with people in drug rehabilitation centres, hospices, palliative care centres, and on reserves. I have observed that people in a bad marriage, who stick in a lifeless marriage, often perpetuate abuses on themselves, their partners and children as a real side effect of their hopelessness and frustration. This creates a sense of futility which for some people escalates into violence.

No, I am not a Christian minister with what are perceived to be fundamentalist Christian values, and no, if all avenues of help have been sought and the marriage is over, honour that awareness. Thank the partner for what you have shared and what they have taught you - especially about yourself - then move on. Love them from a distance, but move on. Staying in a marriage because of the financial ramifications is one of the worst reasons to stall - it leads you nowhere. Seek help for yourself to move on, be it spiritual, financial or material. There are myriad supports out there for divorce survival.

Know that your journey is one of learning, and we may well have many partners on this life walk.

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