’til Death do us part ~ UNLESS . . .
There is no "UNLESS"
Last weekend, my son married his beautiful bride. The wedding was set outdoors and it was a beautiful day for a wedding.
As they spoke their wedding vows, it took me back to my wedding day(s).
I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.
And I realized, there is no loop hole. Nowhere in the vows does it say “UNLESS we get divorced”. There is no UNLESS, when you have children. The kids seal the deal…
My parents are divorced. They divorced when I was 24 years old, so I grew up in a stable original parent home and did not have to deal with Step Parent drama. After my parents divorced, there were some rough patches at first as we adjusted to a new normal, but my Parents were amazing models of how to continue life after divorce. Together, they have always been my parents, they may not be legally man and wife anymore, but over the last 30 years, anytime I have needed my parents, they have come together as a team.
Both of my parents remarried and my Step Parents became amazing models for me on how to be an excellent Step Parent. They each understood and respected our original family unit as a family. As the years went by, we celebrated many Christmases and Thanksgivings, Weddings, birth of grandchildren and loss of family members as a family. It may have been blended, but we were all together, and happy.
You see, DIVORCE does not dissolve the FAMILY UNIT. We may wish it did, we may choose to act like it did, but it DOES NOT.
The vows go on to say . . . “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mark 10:9)
I now understand that to mean that even if you are divorced by the law of the land, you are still a family unit in the eyes of God and NO ONE can ever change that.
When I married my Son’s Father, he was divorced and had a child from that marriage. I remember getting so angry when his ex-wife would tell me “In the eyes of God, we are still a family”. I couldn’t understand it, I didn’t want it to be so, I was his wife, not her and their marriage was over. What I came to understand was that they would always be a team, they would always be her parents, and I had to respect that.
Jealousy and Anger and Hate are no way to live. I remember shaking my fist in the air and proclaiming “If you want him back so bad, you can have him!” She didn’t want him back. I was foolish. But she held her ground and today we are good friends. I respect that she is part of the parent team to their child and she respects that I am part of the parent team to our child, and we have even developed our relationship to the point that we consider each other co-parents to all of our children.
That was a rough ride, and it didn’t have to be that way.
Now back to my son’s wedding…
I have since divorced my son’s father and each of us has remarried. My son grew up in a stable original family home and we have many good memories of our family unit. Those days shaped us and formed us into the people we are today and no one can ever take that away from us, not even divorce.
I am so blessed that my new husband understands and respects the blended family unit. He respects my son's father as his father and understands that there are times when we as parents will still come together as our original family unit to celebrate life accomplishments of our children, make decisions regarding our children and support our children as a team. My husband provides a safe and stable environment for me and my children. My heart swells when I think about what an amazing man God gave me.
My son’s new step mother does not yet understand the real dynamics of a blended family, but I’ve had some excellent role models in my life and I understand the importance of standing strong. I understand that there will be some uncomfortable and stressful times ahead as we continue to adjust to our new normal. But, I also have faith that “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
My son’s wedding was one of those events where the blended family comes together. It’s hard not to react to the ugliness of jealousy. It’s hard to stand up for what is right at the risk of causing upset on a day where you want everything to be perfect for your child. But it’s easy to LOVE your child, RESPECT your family unit and TRUST that God is in control.
I do not promote divorce. I do not condone it, I do not choose it. I do however believe that divorce is sometimes necessary, and when that is so, there is a loving and happy way to move forward.
Everyone may not be on board, and I have to accept that as their struggle, not mine.
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