A Wife Loved Like The Church

The Day I Saw My Marriage Ending

Posted on: April 2, 2013

The life of a grad student is challenging. Especially if they have full time jobs and family. They literally work non-stop 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

The life of a wife married to a grad student is challenging. It’s single parenting 6 or 7 days a week. There are early mornings and late nights. Breaks are far and few in between.

Tack on life commitments, theology studies, marathon training, new jobs, little sleep, and even fewer dates, and you find yourself in a revolving door that never slows down.

This is where Jonathan and I have been for nearly a year. Constant go-go. Never stopping, just pushing through. Holding everything together, tediously keeping it all from collapsing, all from breaking.

Until it breaks.

About three weeks ago, after another long week, Jonathan called to say he’d be home late. Again. During the conversation he said “Babe, you need to let me know when enough is enough. We are in this together. I need to know how you’re doing.” Enough was last June. Enough was last December. Enough was yesterday. We are past enough. Immediately, pride crept into my heart. I thought “If you can’t see that I’ve had enough, I’m not going to tell you.” I went silent on him and our conversation ended quickly after. I found myself left standing in my house clinging to my pride.

My evil, lying pride.

In that moment along side my pride, like a flood washing over me, the Holy Spirit prompted this thought ::

This is how divorces start. 

Divorces don’t just happen. You don’t go from honeymoon happy to bitterly divorced. Divorces start off like a disease; small and unseen. And when left untreated, they grow until what once lived dies.

So in that moment, that moment of realizing that this life I had built, this love I had cultivated, this relationship I cherished could be killed, I hit my knees. I cried out to my Heavenly Father because, I knew that in my own power, in my own selfish desire, I would divorce Jonathan. This life can get too hard, and I don’t like hard. But… {oh what a wonderful word} with Christ’s power my marriage will continue to stay strong, even when it’s hard.

So I prayed. Prayed for my heart, prayed for my attitude, prayed for my marriage. And then I told Jonathan how I felt, what I was struggling with, my loneliness and frustration. I talked, he listened. He talked, I listened.

That weekend, Jonathan and I talked to our closest couple friends. They already knew what was going on, but we still needed them to help us in the thick of it. Help point us to truth. Help us remember our desperate need for Christ. {Where would we be without good friends?}

Then we booked tickets to New York. Just Jonathan and I. No kids, no obligations. Just the two of us.

We leave this Friday. {And a chorus from heaven sang “hallelujah!”}

Things are still hard. Life is still busy. But this truth has sunk down deeper in me than ever before :: Divorce is not an option for our marriage.

For that moment, standing in my bedroom after that phone conversation, I saw the path my life could go down. And I don’t want that. The heartache, the tears, the pain. It’s not worth it. So instead, we are fighting for our marriage. We are not letting this ship sink, we are not backing down, we are not giving up. Together we are clinging to our sure foundation.

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32 Responses to "The Day I Saw My Marriage Ending"

This is really powerful and honest and I love it. I think I tend to not listen to that little voice that enough is enough. Thanks for the advice.

Thanks Erin. Funny how we silence that voice when really it’s the best thing for us.

Amen and amen. I am in tears at the truth of what you have shared, that God opened your heart to his truth. Praying for you now and always. Have a great weekend!!

Thank you Katie! And expect a few more “is this outfit cute?” text before Friday. 😉

Thank you for sharing this, Sarah! I know that pride and that same thought process. Praying for you. And THANK YOU for the reminder to all of us!

Ugh, pride! It is such a yucky, awful thing. I am so, so glad that the Holy Spirit spoke to me even in the midst of my pride. Where would I be without God?

Praying you have a beautiful, healing weekend!

Thank you!

Praise God. Thanks for your honesty. Where would be without the love and grace of Jesus? He’s fighting for you too. I’m so grateful for the Holy Spirit and his conviction in our lives. Praying for you friend.

“Where would we be without the love and grace of Jesus?” Amen. Amen. Amen. And I am so grateful to know that He is fighting for me. I can do all things through Him.

I have always greatly respected your ability to share what is going on in your life.This is beyond anything you’ve posted thus far. I am almost in tears. (Maybe because I can relate a little bit.) Truth and light take back ground the darkness cannot keep. It is only i n our most ‘real’ and ‘raw’ moments, when we let the light in, that those sins of pride and anger cannot stay. I am so happy for you two.

Thank you, Jena. Truth and light take back ground the darkness cannot keep. Beautifully written and so true. Praise God for His light!

“Constant go-go. Never stopping, just pushing through. Holding everything together, tediously keeping it all from collapsing, all from breaking.”

“Divorces don’t just happen. You don’t go from honeymoon happy to bitterly divorced. Divorces start off like a disease; small and unseen. And when left untreated, they grow until what once lived dies.”

This hits very close to home, Sarah. I’m glad I got through grad school before having children bc it was 7 days a week even with a part-time job. After returning to from maternity leave and being full time researcher and still trying to be a full time Mom and wife (not to mention grocery shopping, cooking, buying cards/gifts for any event we have, visits to friends and family), I’m so exhausted and I keep waiting to be filled up instead of stripped and ran down. I need to quit waiting. I know I’m resilient and can handle a lot, but eventually, I’ll break too.

I’m glad you and Jonathan will get the time you so need together. I appreciate your words and courage and will definitely be sharing this one with John.

Thank you for sharing this!! So many married couples struggle with this exact thing. I appreciate the reminder of not letting pride get in the way:)

Thanks! And the pride thing, oh man, it gets me I tell ya! 😉

Angela, girl you amaze me. Really. I can’t wrap my head around all the things you do. It’s so humbling to me. Working all day, then working all night. I truly hope you get some time to recharge and reconnect. And if you ever want us to take the boys, we would love to!

Love you, love your honesty. 🙂

Thank you, Emily. Thank you!

Wow Sarah! I was almost heartbroken when I saw the title of this post. I held on to your every word and sighed a sigh of relief when I reached the end. I’m so grateful you stopped and invited the Lord to change things. He can and will do mighty work in our lives when we ask Him to. I will be praying for you and your hubby as well. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old. I can tell you, as an adult, the pain of my parents divorce still cuts deep to the core of everything I am. It is SO hard on the kids. Even when it’s amicable. I’m sharing this with you not to create any guilt, but just to give my perspective from my own experience. There are few things, if any, that can’t be resolved by the hand of God in a marriage. Especially when we have a Christ-centered marriage. I pray your trip to NY together will be wildly passionate and wonderful! Stay strong my friend. Some seasons of life are definitely more challenging then others…but at some point each season comes to an end as a new one emerges.

Rosann, my parents divorced when I was still very young (before I was 2) and the effects of that were so long lasting (maybe even still?). And then when my mom divorced my stepdad (who had been in my life since I was 5) when I was in college, that forced me to really start facing my own thoughts on marriage. It is so devastating for everyone, kids included.

Thank you for being so open. I am beginning a master’s program and I am in full-time ministry and my wife works full time. I needed your article. Bless you!

Thank you Buddy! I’m glad to hear that it blessed you.

Thank you for sharing this. Just this week I heard rumors of my husband having an affair. I trust and love him and know that these are just rumors but they still hurt us both. We are both committed to this marriage and will not let these rumors and hurt come between us. Our God is Bigger than what our problems are and will never leave nor forsake us.

Roice, I am so sorry to read that you’ve battled with nasty rumors about your husband. That is heartbreaking, even when not true. People can be so cruel and thoughtless with their words, and I am sorry that you’ve experienced that. But I am encouraged to see that you are standing beside your husband and leaning on God during this time.

Words I needed today! Thank you! My dh graduates in 3 more weekends. I am holding on for dear life and praying for a good attitude.

Love this too!! So so true! For me I always look forward to date nights.. Even if it’s a crazy week or month or whatever we never miss a date night.. Has to happen! Thankful

Sarah, I loved this. So true. How quickly we can take things for granted and let pride slip in. I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit prompts us to repent…may we be so SO sensitive to that.

It is true when you say that divorce is like a disease that left untreated will get worse. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for sharing. Gives me a new perspective on marriage. I’m not married nor am I even dating but I came across this somehow and what a great post.

Such a great word! Yes divorce doesn’t just happen and you are right it is a disease that creeps in slowly and then it sucks the life out of us. Glad you guys got away and love that you went to your closest friends for guidance and wisdom. We have been there done that!

Glad you saw this coming and are prepared to take care of it! I’ll be praying for you. I’m so sorry it’s so hard to have your husband in grad school. Is he working a regular job in addition to grad school? (Just wondering because when my husband was in grad school we were poor – still are – but he was free so much, he never worked full 40 hour weeks and he just recently started his first 40 hour a week job and I’m dying without him. I think it depends on the area too though – my friends in the humanities spend so much more time on school than David did.)

Mandi – Thank you for the comment. Things are getting less crazy, Jonathan only have five more Saturdays and two more trips to make before his classes are done! He has been working a 40+ hr work week while in school, which adds to the overwhelming feeling. But… We are almost done!

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