Suddenly Single

Perhaps you’ve known it’s coming. You may have talked about it, screamed at each other about it, threatened it. Your spouse may have brought it up, Or it may have come from you first. At this point, you don’t really know where it started, or how. You just know it’s snowballed, and there doesn’t seem to be any way to stop it. Maybe you want to, but just can’t find your way back. Or maybe it’ll be a relief to finally have it over with.

Or perhaps you had no idea it was coming. Sure, you both argued, and a bit more than usual over the last few months, but what couple doesn’t have their ups and downs? And then one morning you wake up, go through your regular morning routine, and suddenly your spouse drops the bomb, very casually and calmly informing you that his/her suitcases are packed and in the car, and you’ll be hearing from an attorney soon about the divorce. And with a quick kiss on the cheek (really?) the house keys are laid on the table, the front door closes, and you’re left sitting there in shock, wondering what in the world just happened.

You’re suddenly single. Well, almost.

There are still attorneys to hire, and attorneys to pay. There are court appearances. Division of property. Custody, child support, and visitation to be decided if there are young children. New living arrangements most likely will have to be made. There are more court appearances and more attorneys to pay. Nights without sleep from worrying about everything you’re going through, wondering when you’ll ever feel like yourself again, or who you really are now, because suddenly you’re no longer part of a couple.

It’s not John and Mary any more…it’s just Mary. Or just John. And that’s going to take some getting used to. Things you did as a couple you now have to do by yourself. The little things…trips to the grocery store, cooking meals (or ordering take-out), going to the movies or out to dinner…take on a new meaning, because you’re now having to do them alone, or as a third or fifth person in a couples group…one in which your spouse had usually been beside you.

It’s not like it was, and you most likely don’t like this new normal, even if you’re actually relieved to be out of a bad situation. You still don’t want to become the person you used to feel sorry for because they were doing things or going places by themselves.

But now you’re suddenly that single person. Waking up in the morning with the other side of the bed empty and unused. Setting the dinner table for one. Wondering how to fill that half empty bedroom closet so it won’t be a constant reminder of what’s happened.

Unraveling a marriage is sometimes almost harder than keeping it knit together. You don’t plan a divorce like you do a wedding. And you shouldn’t. Because it shouldn’t happen. You certainly don’t enter into a marriage thinking about what happens if there’s a divorce, and if you do, then perhaps you shouldn’t enter into that marriage!

But it does happen, unfortunately, and as I’ve said before, I’ve been divorced twice, so I’m not criticizing anyone. I’ve been there.

It’s not a fun place to be. It’s a journey that too many of us have gone on. And it’s a journey I don’t want to see any others go on.

Being married is tough. Returning to being single again is just as tough. Or sometimes even tougher.

You’re not alone. Someone gets divorced every 23 seconds. It’s a sad but true statistic. But it doesn’t make you feel any better.

The good news is, though, you will get through it. And contrary to what others may tell you, the Lord still loves you, and He hasn’t given up on you because your marriage failed. No matter whose fault it was. You see, He knows your pain, and He knows how you’re feeling. He cries for you as He reaches out to comfort you. He doesn’t blame you or pass judgement on you. He simply loves you.

He still has a plan for your life. It may have taken a detour for now, especially while you’re getting your life back in order, but the plan He has for your life will not be forgotten. He’s going to use this detour to take you places you may not have gone were it not for your present circumstances. And who knows what you’ll find along this new journey? It may not be what you planned, but it will turn out all right in time.

You may have found yourself suddenly single again, but there’s something better coming. When you least expect it.

It just doesn’t seem like it right now.

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