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Lesson Learned #6: Accepting Your Contribution

This lesson is a tough one. No one whole-hardly believes that they shared in the demise of their marriage. Yet,  I’m so blessed to be able to realize this lesson and share this with those who may be struggling with their divorce. Because the truth to the matter is everyone plays a role in their marriage’s demise, whether you choose to accept it or not. I know for certain what things I did or didn’t do that helped cause strain on my marriage and ultimately led us to divorce. I am not in anyway, form or fashion saying to take ownership of the divorce in totality. But it takes a strong person to acknowledge, accept and get help to overcome their weaknesses.

I’ve heard people who have spoken about their marriages and they have went as far as to say, “I didn’t do anything!” Never stopping to think that them “not doing anything” caused just as much of a rift in their marriages as them doing everything, could have caused.

If you’re already divorced or in separation, take a long hard look at ALL of your actions, not just those you CHOOSE to remember. Were you supportive? Did you speak to your mate, or at them? Did you feel the need to point out your mate’s flaws or be overly critical, all in the need to “Be right!”. Did you pay attention to what your spouse communicated to you, or did you rewrite it so that you heard only what you wanted to hear? THINK ABOUT IT!!! There are more things to think about?

Did you make your home a haven of rest for your mate or a den of doom and gloom? Were you eager to be a part of the solution or quick to point out all of the problems? Men, were you considerate of your wives’ feelings and women, did you console them when they came in from the world which had already beat them up? Or did you add more insult to the injuries? Women were you keeping yourself presentable, or did you grow comfortable in your frumpiness! Yes, that’s a contribution too! Men, did you help put the kids to bed or wash the dishes after your wives had prepared a hearty meal? Women were you trying to drive the car, when you should have been willing to be the passenger? Think closely!!!

Still can’t think of anything, what about those things you overlooked in your courting phase of the relationship, knowing that those qualities you didn’t want nor need in your spouse, but you chose to marry that person anyway. Guess what??? That’s your contribution!!! Your lack in judgement! Acknowledge it, learn from it!!! But wait there’s more!

Men did you make quality time for the two of you and women did you make quality time for just your spouse, outside of the time you spent with the children? These are things you have to ask yourself! And don’t be ashamed to admit them!!! Because as in any recovery program you attend, the first step is to admit your problems.And then once you’ve confessed them, ask God to help strengthen you in those areas you’re the most weakest? Don’t allow the same poisons to cause you to make the mistake again or to hold on to unnecessary bitterness towards the other person. You can do it! (Phillipians 4:13). With God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). But you have to acknowledge and believe that he can make you a better person from it.

You can’t imagine how much greater you will feel and heal once you’ve taken responsibility for your contribution. To those who are newly divorced, I know it won’t be easy. This takes time. But you must know that it’s a necessary part of moving on in a healthy manner. You’ll be better in time from it.

It’s my prayer that those of you who have found yourselves in divorce unwillingly, do heal in a healthy and positive manner. Your life isn’t over because your marriage didn’t work out. And just because your marriage didn’t work out with this person, doesn’t mean that you can’t have a better healthy marriage with anyone else in the future. But the work, begins with you!!! It’s your responsibility to acknowledge your weaknesses and short comings (that we ALL have) and strive to overcome them. Work to make it better for the next one!!! And it will be. With God ALL things are possible!

With so much love,

Tanisha Rankins

 

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Knowing When You’re Healed- Part 1

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post for Divorced…But Not by Choice. There have been a number of reasons, the first being when I started this blog it was therapy for me. It was my way to help others, like myself cope and get thru the ugliness of divorce in a positive way. I wanted to show people that God can use the worst of a situation and make great things happen. (Romans 8:28).

Today I’ve come to the realization that I’ve achieved everything that I had set out to do through the creation of this blog. And I’m appreciative of the opportunity to do so. Without a shadow of a doubt, I’m healed from the experience completely.

By now, I’m sure you’re asking how do you know that you’re healed. I’m sure many people may feel differently, but here is how I know that I’m healed.

1. I don’t have any ill feelings toward my former spouse. When divorce was initiated, I was hurt immediately. I couldn’t truly understand why my husband was betraying me. I could name all of the things he’d done to me verbatim and I wanted to cash in on all those things. I wanted him to hurt. I even remember telling my minister that I wasn’t going to be happy until I saw him in pain. His response to me went something like this (paraphrasing) “You’re going to lead a miserable life if your happiness is contingent on someone else’s unhappiness.” You see I was having a Madea moment, I wanted wrath issued on my ex-husband. I wanted to see him hurt and I wanted God to allow me to witness it. In my head, I reenacted the scene from Diary of a Mad Black Woman multiple times, only thing is I let him stay under water a little longer. YES! I was that woman! I wanted to avenge the death of my marriage, hastily and drastically. YES, I admit it!!! I had those feelings too! But the difference was…I NEVER acted on them. I was angry, but who wouldn’t be? If you truly loved your spouse and wanted your marriage to work, divorce is going to pull out pure and raw emotions you never knew were within. And there’s nothing wrong about the emotions that you feel. The key is to not allow the emotions to take over and cause you unnecessary grief in the end.

#2. I’m able to reflect on the lessons learned through my divorce and react positively about them. This was a tough one for me. Because going through my divorce, I wanted nothing more than to be out of it and the emotions that came along with it, as soon as possible. I wanted to believe that I didn’t play any part in the demise of my marriage. Initially, I believed that it was all my ex’s fault. But after seeking God to take over my life and studying his word. I was and am openly honest about my contribution. And because I know what they are and appreciate them, I don’t feel any need to hide them at all. (S/N: I keep hearing a dear friend tell me to write from an honest vein and in this post I couldn’t be more honest) I’m so honest and open about them. I am going to list them. Because I’m so much more aware and diligently working to make sure I don’t repeat those same things. (Stay tuned to the following post, because I’m going to literally list those things that I did to contribute to my marriage. Hopefully, those who are married will read them and make sure not to do those things. And maybe those who are divorced will search deep within themselves to evaluate what their real contributions to their divorce were.) I know everyone of my flaws and I am taking the steps and precautions to ensure that WHEN (optimism at best) I get married again it will be for LIFE!

#3. I can appreciate the good times/memories we shared, laugh and move on. In the past when I used to talk about the good times, my ex and I shared, it used to make me cry. The disappointment I felt was unbearable and I’d rather not even talk about it. I’m sure my closest family and friends used to hate to see me coming (I can laugh about it now). But indeed it had to weigh heavy on them, when they’d mention my ex in a sentence and I’d break down. I couldn’t even look at the photos without tearing up, because I was enwrapped in the past. Not considering what a beautiful future I could still have if I just had the faith to move forward. Today I can speak about my ex spouse in a positive way and share the fun times we had with others. It doesn’t hurt to know that we won’t be able to have those moments together again.

This is just 3 reasons, I know that I’m healed. However, there are more to follow. Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I post the conclusion to “Knowing When You’re Healed”.

 

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Why So Many Men Never See Divorce Coming

I read this blog written by Judge Lynn Toler…you know, she’s the judge from Divorce Court! It was a shocker to me, because I originally thought that more men filed for divorce than women. But apparently there is a group of men, whose wives file for divorce and apparently they feel blindside. I’m reposting part of the blog she wrote for the Huffington Post here. I’d love to know what you think about it… 

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Lynn Toler

Divorce Court Host and Author of My Mother’s Rules

Posted: February 2, 2011 10:53 AM

I first heard it from attorneys who typically represent men in a divorce. I then began to see it in the cases that came before me. I remember the attorney who first mentioned it to me some ten years ago, he leaned back in his chair at a conference on divorce and said, “It never ceases to amaze me how many men come to me with their jaws on the floor saying they never saw it coming.”

Now, I am witnessing it in my own social circles. All around me long-term marriages are coming to an end. And as the studies show many of those jumping ship are women.

Not only am I seeing a rash of fleeing women all around me, I also see what I first ascertained years ago: That a fairly significant number of men–especially in longer term marriages–never saw their divorces coming. There was, they say, no warning, no build up, no escalating tensions, just an unexpected, non-negotiable and seemingly unprovoked decision to leave.

Of course, this is not the norm. Most marriages careen into a ditch after traversing a noticeably bumpy road. Likewise, there are women who are surprised when their husbands decide to leave, but what I am talking about here is that not-so-small group of guys who are caught flat footed by their wives sudden and seemingly unexplained departure.

As with everything involved with the human condition, there is no one reason for any trend. But after having witnessed it from the bench and in my own backyard and from reading what I can, I do see one common mistake both men and women are making that seems to rear its head in a number of these unexpected abandonment cases. I mention it here because I think it ends some very salvageable marriages…

For the rest of the article…click here! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynn-toler/why-so-many-men-never-see_b_815502.html

 

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