After 15 years of marriage, Earl’s words were a blow to the world as I knew it. My first thought was, “Should I get a divorce?” Even though, this is not what he was saying. I was already on an emotional roller-coaster due to my mom suddenly dying of a heart-attack the week before and his statement elevated that roller-coaster by at least a hundred times.
It was early on a Sunday morning. Earl and I had just dropped the kids off at Sunday School and went out to breakfast before heading back to church. Breakfast had not yet been served when he looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “I don’t love you anymore, but I am going to stay with you for the kids.” I knew we had been having some difficulty, but even in my wildest dreams I did not believe it was that bad.
My first thought was, “should I get a divorce?” My second thought was, I am going to do whatever it takes to win his love back! I knew that he had a strong platonic relationship with a woman he worked with that was also my friend. On some level, I think I even knew at that time that it was a very strong emotional affair. But up until that point, I still believed that he loved me and that we could get through anything. I did not want to get a divorce.
As I didn’t really have any family that I felt comfortable talking to, I began asking my friends and church leaders, “Should I get a divorce?” The answer was always a resounding “NO! God hates divorce and if you get a divorce you will go to Hell.”
Earl was not an avid churchgoer, however I was. I did not want to go to hell. I did not want to disobey God. Therefore, I began doing anything and everything to change me - to be the proverbial wife and to make Earl love me again. I read every Christian book I could find on the subject, and spoke to everyone and anyone that would listen.
Meanwhile, Earl’s relationship with Annette grew stronger and stronger. I actually began suspecting that they were having a physical affair. I asked Earl if he had ever kissed Annette, and he refused to answer. I was heartbroken. I asked a so called prophet that came to my church if Earl was having an affair. His answer was, I knew the truth in my heart.
I was striving to be a good Christian woman and a Proverbs 33 wife. I studied everything that the Bible has to say about being a wife. Yet, things were getting worse and worse at home. Within a couple of years, both my children and I walked around our house on eggshells. We never knew what type of mood he would be in. One time he yelled at my daughter for three hours because she left the cordless phone in the den. Another time he yelled at me for two hours because the guy that fixed the water heater charged me $200.
As time went on, I found myself asking, “Should I get a divorce?” more and more. I was terrified of a new life. I was afraid of the future - the unknown. Would anyone ever love me again? Could Earl and I get back together? Would Earl pay me child-support and alimony? Who would take care of me if I became seriously ill again? This was 100-percent pure emotional torture! On top of it, everyone kept telling me that I would go to hell if I got a divorce.
In about the fourth year, I was so tired and worn out of not being loved, of not being touched and of being so very unhappy, that I began to pray that Earl would die. I actually fasted and prayed for him to die for three days once. After all, if he died, then I could be set free without the stigma of divorce.
I find that most women agonize over the question: “Should I get a divorce,” for months or years before actually taking the plunge. It is a very personal decision. I was told by a dear friend of mine to be very careful and consider all aspects of leaving before I made this decision. She did not want me to have any regrets. This is my wish for you, to make the best possible decision for you, one that will not be full of regrets in the future. Note, that I still loved Earl - or at least the Earl that I knew he could be when I left him.
Reading my other posts, you may have realized that I speak about the mental abuse from Earl as well as his emotional affair. During the time I was making my decision, I did not even believe emotional abuse existed. You could say, that I was so deep in the forest that I couldn’t see the trees. I loved Earl and really wanted my marriage to work. I could not fathom a life without him. Leaving him was ultimately the most scariest action I have ever taken in my entire life.
Regardless what your situation is, you may me asking yourself, “Should I get a divorce?” No one can answer this question for you. However, I have compiled a list of questions for you to deeply consider before walking down the path of divorce.