Today would have been my ex husband’s & my 28th wedding anniversary. Naturally, realizing that made me think about our relationship. I thought I’d share my random ponderings with you, since many of you who read my blog have been divorced as well.
When I decided to end my first marriage, although I wasn’t yet a Christian, I still felt terrible for breaking my vows. I took them very seriously. I also felt like a total failure for not being able to make that marriage work. No matter what I did, that marriage was still not good & he was never happy with me. I was never good enough for him. I also felt incredibly guilty. Guilty for not being able to fix the marriage, for never being able to please my ex, for doing everything wrong, for wanting the divorce & more. I felt that intense guilt for a long time, for at the very least, a couple of years after we separated.
Looking back now, I realize how wrong I was.
While marriage vows should be taken seriously, they should be taken seriously by both partners, not only one. If one doesn’t take them seriously & mistreats or even abuses you, there is nothing wrong with breaking the vows to protect yourself & your children if you have them. There is nothing good or holy about tolerating abuse from anyone, period!
One person also can’t save a relationship. It takes two to make any relationship work. It’s impossible for a relationship to work when only one person is trying to make that happen, especially if the other person is a narcissist. They will do their best to sabotage your efforts & refuse to give you what you want or need. So, if you couldn’t fix your marriage, welcome to the club!
Although I still don’t like that I hurt my ex, there really was no other choice. He hurt me plenty as well, which is why I wanted a divorce in the first place. I certainly didn’t decide to divorce him because things were going well!
Does any of this sound familiar to you, Dear Reader? If so, I want to encourage you to change your thinking like I did.
Remind yourself that did the best you knew to do at that time. How can you be mad at yourself for not knowing then what you know now? It doesn’t even make sense. That would be like being angry at a year old baby for not knowing multiplication. We all learn as we go, even as adults.
Narcissists are also fantastic actors, so even if you knew about narcissism & married this person anyway, you still can’t beat yourself up because of what fantastic actors they are. We all can get fooled sometimes, no matter how much we know about narcissism. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid – it just means they are ridiculously good actors!
Don’t forget – if you grew up with narcissistic parents, you also were wounded because of your upbringing, which means you didn’t have the ability to make the best decisions. Unfortunately, this happens! You’re learning, growing & getting healthier now & that is what matters most.
Also, never hesitate to go to God. Ask Him to tell you the truth. Were you stupid to marry that person? Are you a failure for your divorce? He really will answer you & you know what He says is the absolute truth. Let Him help you! He will do so & gladly!
And never, ever forget – while you may not have been the perfect spouse, that doesn’t mean the divorce is absolutely, completely your fault. Narcissists would have their victims believe that, but it’s not true. Wanting to escape the torture & abuse isn’t a bad thing! In fact, quite the opposite. It shows you love yourself enough to know you don’t deserve this kind of treatment.