Sunday, May 1, 2011

When is it ok to walk away?

I have had alot of conversations this week with someone in my life I dearly love.

She is in a very hard situation in her marriage.
Listening to her and a bit of strong advice her counselor has directed her to do in her marriage today, my stomach turned.
I was shocked.
It felt as tho her counselor and this strong request had completely stripped my friend of all voice and choice in a particular situation in her marriage.

She has a son involved from a first marriage...her counselor and new husband have basically said she needs to send her son away to live with his father permanently, and choose her marriage.

There was no middle ground.
No more conversations.
It's either do this, or choose the end of her marriage.
It's either send your son, or her husband is hitting the road.

Inside I was screaming, "What?!"

As I sit and listen to her, as she cries and tells me how stuck she feels.
I can't help but put myself in her shoes.
Honestly, NOBODY should ever be put in this kind of space. Nobody!
It is seriously the most unkind, and most selfish thing that any person could do.

But as I sat there, and thought on this... it was an easy choice for me.
I would choose my son.
If you are going to put me in this kind of choice, and MAKE me choose, I would choose my son.
I would choose to leave a marriage that doesn't embrace my child AND I.

There's is a whole lot more to the situation obviously, and I don't need to get into that.
But what absolutely floored me was this counselor TELLING my friend what she needed to do.
To me, that is NOT a good counselor.
A good counselor asks great questions of you.
And you, and God in you come to the answers.

So the question I have been thinking on a bit is...
When is it ok to let go of something as big as a marriage, after you have realized that the person you married wasn't the person he portraited himself to be before you were married?

When is it ok to step away from a situation that is toxic and is death, especially when it is a marriage?

I have my thoughts, and they are not at all in line with what my conservative friends would say. As a mother, I can see how easy it would be to let go of such a demanding situation.
To chock it up as a HUGE lesson learned.
From hense forth until my son is on his own, this season is not about me, but about him, and growing him and bringing the best balance I can so that he has equal parts me and his dad.

So so heavy for her.

It makes me wonder if there are situations where people might be married, said the vows, had the sex, played the roles but really never joined hearts and became one?
To ME, marriage is so much more then vows, sex and roles.... it's a nakedness of heart, a vulnerability, a joining of hearts and lives.
And that process is intense.
It's a constant choosing of each other... of choosing to see and WANT the best for each other.
It's of loving even when you don't feel you love... and really being inside someone heart.
I think of my husband, and what we share in our relationship is so intense.
He is in my heart, and I am in his.
I don't worry about him when he isn't with me, because I know that he carries me with him always, and I him.
THAT is marriage to me...but it's taken time, walking life together, a ton of hard work, as well as choosing to come together and not war at each other...of baring all and holding nothing back...

Which brings me to my friend again...
How can you become one with someone who will not reveal their heart to you?
How can you become one with someone who doesn't embrace ALL of my friend here with her son?
How can that oneness happen when there is no nakedness, or vulnerability...or of having a learning heart and a open ness that we make mistakes?

I know she isn't the only one in a situation like this.. I know so many people in marriages like this, and they feel stuck because of what religion has taught them about divorce and marriage.

For me, I don't care what it might be, if a certain person/situation brought continuous death to my heart, and it was a choice of choosing continued death versus life.
I would choose life.

Bit of a rant, I'm afraid....


  1. Hands down I would choose my Son. I was married once before so I can kinda feel where she's coming from. During my first marriage I used to pray that God would just put an end to my life and bring me to Heaven. I knew how God felt about marriage and I was trapped. I prayed and thanks be to God, that first Husband filed for divorce and left me and I was no longer bound to him because he was an unbeliever. I say she chooses her Son and let the Husband make the choice...her and her Son or buh bye! I will keep this matter in prayer. I know it's so very hard.

  2. I don't believe we were meant to live in union like that. If someone has tried their best to find guidance and love, then sometimes they need to exercise boundaries and strength...and walk away to healing. I am sorry for you and your friend. So tough. If it is just about religious rules then there is no doubt in my mind that faith would support her leaving- if there is more and there is major problems within the child - I would say maybe there is a reason. You know better than I so I am reading between the line and thinking that is not the case. So perhaps her whole self needs to go with her son. Sad for all. I am so sorry. Hopefully she finds a way that honours her child, herself, and her partner in a way.

  3. Thankyou, Paula. Her heart and tempermant remind me alot of you..

  4. Kmarie...her son is delightful. Nothing at all that the child has done, other then really want to have relationship with his step dad...with no response back. A hard situation. So hard for me to bite my tongue with this kind of thing.

  5. I have probably said too much to her to be honest... I have such a hard time with injustice and manipulation.

  6. Well my friend
    I had to go away form this post before I could comment
    Everyone has their own story and their own truth
    There are good counselors and there are not so good counselors
    Children should not effect a marriage
    If a marriage is breaking down it is because there is a break down between the husband and starts there...children can compound things, but they are not the cause
    I know this through personal experience
    I had a son from a previous relationship when I met my if he had not fully embraced my son there is no way I would have married him...and if he pretended to only to shift after we got married I would have left.
    I needed someone who loved my son as much as me....and really there has been times when I have felt he does!
    Even when we had our other son, his feelings for our first son didn't change...people even told him he would feel so different about son #2. I remember him telling me about that when son #2 was about 3 weeks old...he said," people told me I would feel so different when I had "my own" son...but Cat I feel the same about both boys." OMG brings a tear to my eyes..and not only that he embraced son #1's dad and they are now friends...maybe I am living in a fairy tale but to me that is how it should be...your friends husband knew she had a son, no surprise...if he wasn"t willing to bond with the child why get involved????
    And the counselor telling her to "make a choice"...don't even get me started!!
    Like I said some counselors are not worth the time.
    I pray your friend will find the courage to do what she already knows it the right thing...because, really, she already knows....but she will need lots of courage to step out there on the limb. I am so glad she has you as a friend Amy...hold her close, encourage her, let her know that she has all the answers already inside and to not be afraid, this is her life, her sons life and it is so worth a little discomfort to do what is right for her and him.
    I will pray as well, my heart breaks for her......

    love and light

    ps sorry so wordy...a topic dear to my heart and reality

  7. Cat, never ever too wordy.
    Girlfriend, when you write, my eyes are ready to read what you have to say. No joke!
    Thankyou for sharing your experience.. I am going to share what everyone has wrote here. I think it will really encourage her.
    Again, we share the same heart.
    Lots of love and LOTS of light to you :)