…Well, Get Through It Already!
Although the above picture probably gave you a chuckle, divorce is a sad thing – even if you desire the divorce, it is still a sad occasion. But what’s even sadder than getting a divorce, is NOT getting a divorce! There is almost nothing sadder than people who are “going through” a divorce for years and sometimes even decades. From the wife that just won’t accept the fact that her husband does not want to remain married; to the husband that files for divorce, as a bluff to force his wife to change, and finds that it is ineffectual; to the couple that is “staying together for the kids”… There are many reasons that people get stuck in the divorce process, but no matter what the reason, a couple in this situation, is LIVING IN AN OPEN GRAVE.
I interviewed an elderly gentleman today, whose “open grave” situation I became aware of, through one of my clients. I was highly intrigued by this gentleman’s story and privileged that he opened up to me about it. I want to share the interview. I pray that after learning of his story, if you are in your own “open grave” situation, you will very expeditiously get on the other side of “going through”, and redeem the precious remainder of your life!
Just as a side note, I made no attempt to “minister” to this gentleman because he did not come to me for counsel. He is a non-believer that respectfully agreed to an interview, and so I interviewed him like a journalist, in a non-biased manner. This is just FYI. I will call this man “Greg”.
Dr. Intimacy: For the record Greg, how old are you?
Greg: I am 70 years old. I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by. How old are you?
Dr. Intimacy: I am 37.
Greg: Oh, you are a young lady. You wait until you get into your mid 40’s, the years are going to start flying by.
Dr. Intimacy: So Greg, tell me about this big change that you are going to be making in your life in the coming months.
Greg: Well, I am going to be moving out of the country to be with my soul mate. I finally found “the one”.
Dr. Intimacy: You have been married for 45 years Greg. Are you going to “officially” divorce your wife before you leave?
Greg: No, at my age, it’s not worth it.
Dr. Intimacy: Isn’t your freedom worth it?
Greg: Listen, I don’t want anything from my wife. I have paid the house off and I am signing the deed over to her. I am going to continue to pay her bills and she can have everything. In this state that I live in, I will have to pay all of her legal fees if we go through a divorce. There is no way I am going to pay $50,000 to fight over a $500 couch! If she files and wants an uncontested divorce, I will gladly sign the papers, but it doesn’t matter to me either way. I am leaving the country.
Dr. Intimacy: Is your wife aware of your plans?
Greg: No she isn’t. I have done everything very discreetly. I have taken care of all of my affairs. I have already purchased my burial plot. My son is the executor of my estate. My funeral costs are paid for. I am debt free… I have not told her anything. I did what I had to do to make this happen. I will not tell her until I am just about to leave.
Dr. Intimacy: I see. Greg let me ask you something… I know that you are pretty sick. At your age and with your health challenges and so much of your youth and vitality gone, do you have any regrets about not making this change sooner, so you could have enjoyed more years of your li… (cut off before I could even finish the sentence).
Greg: OH YES! Do I regret it! I feel like I have wasted 45 years of my life!!!
Dr. Intimacy: Well Greg, help me understand your thought process. If you knew so many years ago that you were experiencing that depth of misery, why didn’t you leave long ago? From what I understand, you have worked all these years to ensure that you could come out ahead financially when you finally “freed” yourself. But, how could you value provision and finance above your own happiness, freedom and peace?
Greg: You don’t understand, it’s not that simple. I mean, this woman… I don’t want to say she’s a bad person, but there is just something about her… Her own sister has not spoken to her in 27 years. She has a brother that is a pastor and even he has not spoken to her in 25 years! Her problem is that she wants to control everybody’s life! I mean…
Dr. Intimacy: Again Greg, my question is – why was money worth staying, if it was that bad?
Greg: You know Laneen, I filed for divorce in 2001. When the litigation began, it was very nasty. My lawyer really screwed me. I could have sued the lawyer for breach of contract, it was so bad! The whole thing was a big waste of money, and I ended up having to have the case removed from the docket, due to the lawyer’s incompetence! I hate litigation. I lost a half a million dollars in litigation back in 1983! I hate litigation, any kind of litigation, even divorce litigation. I haven’t lived with my wife since 2001. So, the way I see it, I saved $50,000 in litigation fees!
Dr. Intimacy: Ok Greg, putting your hatred for litigation aside; let me ask you a philosophical question. You said to me earlier that you feel you have wasted 45 years of your life. Let’s just say that 30 years ago, you went ahead and finalized your divorce. Let’s say that the worse case scenario happened in the divorce outcome – you lost everything, had a ton of legal fees and had to pay a huge alimony settlement. After the outcome of the divorce, let’s say you got on with your life, entered into a happy marriage with another woman and lived life peacefully and happily from that point forward… To add 30 years of peace back to your life, would it had not been worth the $50,000?
Greg: (In a sad and somber tone) Yes.
Dr. Intimacy: What if it had cost you $100,000 or even if it cost you a million dollars… Isn’t your life worth it? So at 70 years old you’re finally debt free – but so what if going through the divorce had cost you an extra five years of debt?! Would it really matter 30 happy years later?
Greg: You’re right. My life was worth more.
Dr. Intimacy: So did you save $50,000, or did you lose 30 years of your life?
Greg: You know what the worst part about it is?
Dr. Intimacy: What Greg?
Greg: When you go through life unhappy, you become an angry person. You become someone other than who you really are. And honestly, living a happy life is going to add another 5 or 10 years to your life anyway.
Dr. Intimacy: So you would have time to make up for the money you lost, huh? (Laugh)
Greg: Exactly! (Laugh)
Dr. Intimacy: Greg, let me ask you this. Were you ever in love with your wife?
Greg: I thought I was, but I knew the first week we were married that I had made a mistake.
Dr. Intimacy: Really? How did you know that?
Greg: I don’t know; I just knew. We didn’t have a single commonality. We are completely different in every way. It wasn’t just that though. I don’t really know how to explain it. I just knew. When you find the right person, you just know, and it really makes a difference… Doesn’t it?
Dr. Intimacy: Yes, Greg. I agree. I do have one final question for you. Your friend that made me aware of your situation is in a similar type of marriage, of 32 years. (He is 56 and filed for divorce nearly two years ago and has yet to finalize it.) From my sessions with him, I understand that he is completely divorced from his wife physically, mentally and emotionally but will not finalize the divorce on paper due to finances. He wants to “get his affairs in order”, just the same as you have finally completed at 70 years of age. But you and I both know that realistically, with the amount of debt that he is in; it will be a number of years before he is financially “comfortable” enough to come out ahead in a divorce. As one of your best friends, doesn’t it hurt you to see him going down the same path that you traveled?
Greg: Yes, I have to talk to him! I have to tell him not to make the same mistake that I made. Life is not about money. It is about so much more than money. Let’s face it; I am a very sick man. I am 70 years old, and the average lifespan for a US male is 73. I don’t have many years left; certainly not many good years. Even if I live another 10 years, that is not a lot of time! I am determined to be happy for the last years of my life. I don’t want him to make the same mistake that I made. I am going to talk to him and tell him that he needs to be happy and enjoy his life. Life is not about money.
Dr. Intimacy: OK, thank you so much for your time Greg. I appreciate you sharing.
As a minister of The Gospel, divorce breaks my heart just as much as it does any preacher’s. However, it is an undeniable fact that some marriages are erroneous, contaminated unions of flesh that produce nothing but bad fruit. Yeshua says in scripture that you shall know a tree by its fruit, whether the tree is good or bad. When you examine the fruit of some marriages, you will find that it is rotten to the core. Even some marriages that have lasted for years and even decades, are producing rotten fruit that is contaminating the nation with adultery, bitterness, hatred, thwarted purposes, destroyed destinies and misrepresentations of holy matrimony.
If you know in your heart that your marriage is over with; if both you and your spouse are not 100% committed to making the marriage honor the holy matrimony that God intended for it to be; if you know that you have already given your heart to someone else; if you have not touched your spouse in years and don’t even want to again; if you are only staying together for the kids; if your spouse has filed for divorce and you refuse to accept that it’s over; if your spouse is having an open affair without repentance; if you are a woman who is afraid that you can’t survive financially on your own; if you are a man fearful of losing all that you’ve worked for; if you think divorce is too expensive… Whatever your empty excuses are for living in the open grave that has become your life, I ask you to consider:
Price versus Cost…
Yes, getting a divorce can be financially burdensome. It can be hard on the children. The changes you have to face are fearful and overwhelming at times. It can be murder on your public reputation. Divorce is expensive in a lot of ways. The price is hefty, but what will it cost you to stay: Price v. Cost? Will it cost you 45 years of life, like it has cost Greg? Will you be dying of cancer, trying to escape the country before you finally realize that there was no price too great to pay to get your life back on the right path, as quickly as possible? Will you have spent so many years in bitterness that it ate away your bones and rotted away your dreams?
I have been through divorce, and it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. But, I made it; I am here; I recovered; I am alive. I don’t wish that anyone would have to go through the death of divorce. But I would rather completely die once, and then be fully resurrected and restored to health, than to spend the rest of my existence bedridden, in a brain-dead, vegetative state: That is the difference between finalizing a divorce and living continuously in a divorced state of heart! Once someone is divorced in the heart and unwilling to reconcile, the marriage is over. It is a disgraceful waste of life to continue in that state!
Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes, like a poorly chosen spouse, are more painful than others. But what is exceedingly more painful than making a mistake, is punishing yourself to live in that mistake forever. You have the option of forgiveness, restoration and wholeness. You can begin your life again, anew. So quit punishing yourself! STOP “going through” divorce, and “get through” with divorce! Redeem the rest of your life immediately! Don’t waste another precious moment of peace and purpose! The pain and the price is worth it; your soul will thank you; take it from Greg!
In the Power of Love,
Prolific Author and Speaker Specializing in Sex, Intimacy and Worship from a Holistic Perspective –
Breaking the bonds of sexual perversion and healing the bonds of heart-2-heart intimacy.
Copyright © 2013 by Laneen A. Haniah “Dr. Intimacy”. All rights reserved. Please see full copyright and legal notices on this page.