Marriage Fail

I’ve always wanted to be different.  If everyone was wearing blue, I’d want to wear black and white stripes.  If everyone wanted a Honda hatchback, I wanted a truck.
If others were buying boat shoes, my preference was sandals. If the raging fad was tofu, I’d order a burger.

If everyone else is divorcing, I’m going to stay married.

I’ve always been one to refuse to be told that I
COULDN’T do something.  If you told me that you knew I couldn’t
water ski
do a triathlon
learn to knit
hold my breath for ___ seconds/minutes
ride my bike to the next town

…….stay married………

I’d make sure that I did it.

It was as much for me
to prove it to myself
as it was for you
to know that I could.

Don’t get me wrong.
I’m not one for a dare
I’m not up for foolish challenges.
It’s not that I want to do just any old thing ….
only those things that someone truly believed I couldn’t do
when I thought I might could.
I’m not one to fold to peer pressure.
It’s more about challenge and accomplishment.

This combination of personality traits
is what is making my being left so very difficult.

You’ve heard the statistics.
Marriages are falling apart by the thousands.
Children are being scarred by the millions.
And now the statistics are that there is
no difference
at all
between the statistics
of the churched and the unchurhed
the Christian and the non-Christian
when it comes to divorce.

Do we, the Christians, have no power through Christ
to act and live differently from those who do not know Him?
My heart breaks for the individual for which this is true
and the world who watches us “live out” our faith.

And so, through the years, as I’ve thought about
my marriage,
my family,
my spouse,
my children,
my Father,
my faith,
the spirit of my living God,
and my friend, the Son,
I’ve been even more determined to
be like “them.”

I would withstand it all.
I would not crumble.
I would not fail.
I would not cease.
I would not quit.
I would love until the end.
I would stand firm.
I would keep my eyes on the reward.
I would not worry.
I would sing of song of joy
and count it all a privilege.
I would do my best.
And when I could not do it anymore,
I would continue.
I would hold tight to his hand
And His.

Because this is right.
It is meaningful.
It is important.

And now,
I have failed. .... storm clouds from my weekend travels ....

Well, that is what it looks like anyway.
In truth, I have not failed.
But, to those around me who do not know,
I look like I have failed.

Because things looked good.
Things looked right.
But they weren’t.
And they haven’t been.
Only the chosen few who have stepped into my world
have seen inside the circle
and know the truth.

I picked up a little booklet at the grocery store the other day.
It is called The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Surviving Divorce.
On the first page, in the Introduction, it states:
” And the new American family
– defined by single parents, stepparents, step-siblings, and alternating homes –
are more common than the nuclear family of the past. “
Do you know what was the most difficult part of that sentence for me to read?
It’s a single, simple word ….. six letters. Can you figure it out? Read it again.
It makes me shudder.

Common is the LAST thing that I want to be.

With the close of the chapter behind the door of divorce,
I began a transition from the “good” statistic, part of a nuclear family
with one mother and one father from a first marriage,
to the common statistic of “new” American family.
It cuts to my very core.

My choice to do my best to love like Christ,
to remain dedicated no matter what,
to be committed through it all…
it was not enough.

In some ways, I feel as though I have failed
my husband,
my children,
my mom & dad,
all Christians,
my church,
all homeschoolers,
my neighbors,
Dr. Dobson,
and my friends.

As hard as I tried
to hold it together
I failed.Mom, Dad & II have not told my parents yet. I wanted to tell them in person.
I thought I would do it while I was home over the weekend. I planned to tell them while I was there.
But, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I don’t know why it is so hard. I couldn’t do it.
How do you admit to those that love you most
that you did your best,
but it wasn’t good enough?
How do I tell them?

In some ways, it does not even seem my place.
It was not my choice.

4 thoughts on “Marriage Fail

  1. I’m confused about your use of the word FAIL. When something absolutely REQUIRES two people working together, like marriage does, and one just drops out it is not a failure on the part of the one still trying to hold on. It is not possible to provide incentive to someone who doesn’t want to be there…no matter how hard you try or how unique and exciting is each effort.

    Anyway, being mindful of the fact that I don’t know any of the players, here is my suggestion for telling your parents. And, I get that it’s really not your place but read my first paragraph again…he’s NOT going to hold up his end on this piece either apparently.

    What you wrote here is so beautiful and ingenuous and clearly conveys how much effort and love and time on your part went into a salvage effort that I think you should simply provide each of your parents with a copy of this so they can read it at the same time…of course you absolutely must be there with them so that you all can comfort and mourn together. Don’t they follow your blog?

    Another amazingly beautiful piece of writing by the way!


  2. Karen,

    I know you tried with everything in your being to save your marriage and I admired your selfless, joyful attitude and your whole-hearted effort! God knows your heart! You have not let Him down. You have been a faithful, loyal, long-suffering wife. All you can do now is lay it all down at His Feet. Let Him wipe the tears away; let Him give grace for each new day. Continue to trust Him — it is not too late for a miracle . . . and if not, He will be your husband and a Father to your children! When you are WEAK, He is STRONG!

    Praying for you,


  3. Bev,

    In my heart of hearts, I know that I haven’t TRULY failed. I know that it takes two…. but somehow …. it still feels like I’ve been abandoned. I didn’t play well enough to warrant a place on the team to finish out the game. And thus, I failed.

    Somehow it just seems like there MUST have been something I should have, could have done better.

    And if you were to ask Comedy, I’m sure that he could give you a list of things that I should have done differently… a list of ways that I failed. In fact, he has actually written an email telling me just those things.

    I gave the “howling through the tears” disclaimer at the end so that you, the readers, would know that I’m not devastated and left in ruins because I did not succeed. I’m not mortified and paralyzed because I believe I was truly insufficient. But…… from time to time …. here and there …… that little voice whispers ……. and those thoughts do cross my mind.

    I’ve tried to get my parents to read my blog, but I don’t think they do. I’ve sent them a link once or twice. I’ve told them the address. My Dad is on Facebook, so he can see the link. But, I just don’t think they come over here.

    Thank you for the compliment. I love, love, love to write, talk and share. And I it’s always more fun when I have something passionate to write about.

    Many blessings,


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