Sunday, May 29, 2016
TO RECONCILE OR NOT TO RECONCILE..THAT IS THE QUESTION…
During the process of divorce, one of the most difficult questions to answer may well be the question of whether to reconcile with your divorcing (or ex) spouse, if that opportunity arises. In some divorces, though one party is desiring to do their best to make choices that are pleasing to God, the other party may have decided that he or she has no interest in ever pursuing reconciliation, so unless something radically changes (which sometimes does happen), reconciliation is simply not an option. Then there are those cases where the ex-spouse has already entered into another marriage - then Deuteronomy 24 pretty clearly states that one is not to remarry that spouse should they get divorced again…or at least it says that in the case of the woman.
But for those individuals where the possibility arises…the decision and process can be heart wrenching. Some individuals I have known spend a long time waiting, hoping that their mate will return so they can start over and rebuild their marriage. This can be a great attitude to have, or it can be an avoidance of reality. In other cases, an individual may have closed the door to the possibility, denying the fact that change can actually happen. This attitude can keep an individual from experiencing the wonder of a near miracle as God works in their lives. But then there are those somewhere in the middle, perhaps hopeful for reconciliation one day, and fearful of it the next.
It is to the latter situation I want to address, those who, for one reason or another, find themselves asking whether or not to reconcile with an ex and re-establish a marriage.
I offer the following as my collection of thoughts and suggestions that might help you in sorting out your options (with the caveat that this is not an option I personally had available, so though I did imagine the “what ifs,” my opinion is based more on the things I have observed or read about in the lives of others.)
1. There is a certain attractiveness to the belief that getting back together must certainly be what God would want, right? After all, isn’t that the point of the sacredness of the marriage vows? While there is no doubt that the divine intention for marriage is “till death do you part,” that is not the only divine intention for marriage…even though sometimes people act as though that is the only one that matters.
2. If your ex is saying he or she wants to get back together, with the notion that you can just start where you left off, it is probably wise to be just a little bit skeptical…especially if there was an affair.
The truth is, things cannot go back to just how they were; some fundamental shifts have taken place.
Sometimes when an ex just wants to get back together and move on, there are ulterior motives. For instance, perhaps the ex realized that the timing was bad, and plans for a bit more time to get the finances in order. Or perhaps they realized that being divorced is inconvenient or more costly than they had intended, and would rather just go on in a pseudo-marriage, with the expectation of having another affair.
This may sound cynical, and there certainly are those who genuinely are seeking restoration, but there are those who continue to plot as well.
The possible reasons for such a request are many…make sure you know what the real reasons are before you make a final decision. Most importantly, make sure that instead of wanting to get back together as if nothing has happened, there is a real desire to get back together to honestly face and deal with all the things that HAVE happened. Along with a willingness to work on solving the problems that created the bad marriage relationship in the first place.
3. Some reenter their marriage relationship without making the necessary changes in that relationship. If a marriage got to the point that one or both partners pursued divorce, then getting back together without also working to create a more healthy relationship strikes me as very similar to that oft’ quoted definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different outcome. New results require new behaviors. That is a fundamental of true reconciliation.
Since this blog is getting too long rather quickly, let’s end here with: TO BE CONTINUED!