Remember me telling you about my friend whose husband moved out a few months ago so they could "work" on things? Well, shocker of shockers, he was having an affair. My friend is crushed, devastated, heartbroken, and left to pick up the pieces of her and their children's hearts.
Am I being dramatic? I don't think so. This man deserted his family.
But, G, infidelity is just a symptom of a damaged union.
True, but you know what a real man would have done? Well, a real man would have worked like a dog to fix his marriage - but, even a grown-up would have been honest that he'd checked out of the marriage rather than put his wife through a year of intense marital counseling, letting herself turn herself inside out in an attempt to save the marriage, when he had no intention of actually fixing the marriage.
It makes me mad. I am outraged.
Cut to a week or two after the revelation that this cad had been bedding his coworker for at least a year and I was sitting with an acquaintance who divorced last year. I asked her about her divorce and asked if she had any advice for my friend.
She told me she had learned to not judge, that no one really knows the circumstances of what is happening in a marriage, that no one can really relate to how bad a marriage can be unless they have been there, so no one should judge how it ends or how anyone behaves.
She then proceeds to tell me that she insisted she and her then-husband go to counseling. I know her husband. I know that during the time they were in counseling, he was crushed, he wanted his wife back and he wanted his marriage healthy. He was invested in their marriage.
Turns out she wasn't. The whole time they were in counseling, she was in love with another man. How do I know this? She told me.
She then told me no one can judge, that no one should judge, that no one really knows.
Those actions deserve judgment. There are consequences for actions and some actions demand judgment.
It is flat-out wrong to violate the sacred vows of marriage. Marriage is a commitment made before God with the words "til death us do part." That's a forever kind of commitment. If a spouse is literally being abused, being cuckolded, married to someone with an addiction declares they would rather have the addiction than the marriage, then by all means, end the marriage.
Cheating? Lying? Walking away?
Those actions deserve judgment. People are so afraid to judge bad behavior these days. They don't want to seem "judgmental." They might say something quietly to a neighbor, but they certainly won't say it to the person's face.
I'm just going to say it: We need to bring back some good old-fashioned judgment. If you desert you family, your actions deserve scorn. If you cheat on your spouse, your actions deserve condemnation. There is no excuse for such wretched behavior.
All these things have been rattling around in my head for the past few weeks. I'm angry. I'm frustrated. I hurt for my friend. I'm incredulous that my acquaintance thinks her actions are above judgment. What to do?
Have a symposium! It occurs to me that the thing to do is invite people I know (either through online friendships or in real life) who value marriage to write about their experiences in marriage. What makes a good marriage? How does one avoid the nastiness? What advice would they give a young couple, eager to learn how to make marriage work?
Over the next week or so, I will post the essays of my guest bloggers. Please welcome them! Feel free to post your comments and questions to them. They will have the opportunity to respond to you. I can hardly wait to get started!