Category Archives: Marriage and Divorce

DIVORCED, BUT STILL SINGLE, WAITING, LOOKING….. GIVING UP!? A WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE!!

After a divorce, many quickly jump into the dating scene for various reasons: to celebrate their new found freedom, as a sense of revenge, anger, loneliness, afraid to be alone, to prove worthiness, pride, compensate for the pain, replace old love, etc. But eventually, everything begins to get old.  Date after date, same thing and same results. The feelings that caused one to date after divorce have resurfaced. Why?  What causes such feelings to resurface?

Feelings resurface for various reasons.  It could be as a result of a female not really evaluating self long enough to know, love, and appreciate herself as a single woman before getting involved.  It could be that the external attractiveness of a man did not outweigh his negative internal attributes.  It could be that the man’s spirituality wasn’t deeply rooted, just surface grown.  It could be that the woman settled just to fulfill her need to have companionship, even when she saw the red flag(s).   Whatever the reason is, many women who are independent, self sufficient, loving, caring, spiritually grounded find themselves waiting, looking and possibly giving up on FINDING their true SOUL MATE.

WAITING – How long does a woman have to wait for true love?  Many women who have truly evaluated themselves, more than often, have created a list of acceptable and unacceptable attributes that they will or will not tolerate from a man.  Sometimes that list becomes a hindrance to the process; whereas, other times the list becomes a vehicle of progress, keeping the woman focused on the lessons learned from her past relationship(s), marriage, experience(s), as well as reminding her of the ultimate goal.  Does the man have the pertinent attributes to achieve the level of satisfaction that the woman desires and in turn fulfill his desires wholeheartedly as well?  Many will quickly tell a woman that her list is too long or unrealistic; that she’ll never find anyone with all of the listed attributes; and/or that she may be looking over a blessing that God has right in front of her WAITING.  As a result, many throw the list to the side and begin LOOKING for their soul mate.

LOOKING – How do women look for men?  Many women resort to social media, dating websites, church, sporting events, gyms and other social gatherings to look for a man.  However, some just go on with their daily routine waiting while looking, if that makes any sense.  They are out and about, doing their thing, but waiting on the man, who they may have an external attraction for, to approach them.  However, the man don’t approach them.  The women then begin to doubt themselves and wonder why.  Especially, when they see another woman getting the attention of that same man; although she appears to be less professional or lady like and dress very provocative.  So the women not getting the attention begin to lower their standards to obtain the same attention from men.  So their LOOKING becomes to FINDING a man who shows interest in them, but the man showing the interest only has one thing in mind.  Knowing this, the women are so thrilled to finally be noticed, that they go against the grain and against the list they’ve made based off of their past experiences.  While their intuitive spirit tells them to run, they begin to have a relationship with a man who does not measure up to anything on their list and does not add any value to their life.  As a result, many repeat the dreaded cycle of been there, done that, experienced that, reliving it and eventually GIVING UP.

GIVING UP – Why do women give up on finding their soul mate?  Many women give up, because they never put the true effort in evaluating their life, actions or understood why they experienced what they experienced.  They don’t connect the spiritual aspects of life with the physical aspects.  Sometimes, women jump in relationships because they fall head over hills in love with a man because he looks the part, he acts the part, he says the right things, he open doors for her, he pulls out her chair when going out to eat and he appears to be the perfect gentlemen – just can’t  do any wrong.  The next thing you know, the women are in the bed with the men, and guess what!??  The chivalry dissipates and/or the real man appears.  Of course, he could have already showed who he was, but the woman could have been so overwhelmed with what she was getting on the surface that she didn’t evaluate the intent and/or true signs of the relationship or if he even considered it a true relationship.  The problem exist because most women don’t ask the right questions, and most men will not reveal their true intent unless asked, if then.  As a continued cycle, most women fall prey to believing that the men are in love with them because of the time spent with them and the chivalry displayed for them.  Most women, but not all, are very emotional, believing  that intercourse is the most intimate way she can reveal her love for the men who they assume loves them; whereas, most men are logical thinkers. Most men do not connect love to intercourse initially.  Most men may even believe that a woman may be just thanking them for taking her out to eat, for the things he has done and/or that she has finally just given in to what she wanted in the beginning. Regardless of what, the key is to determine intent and consequences of taking it to the next level.  What has anyone gained by being intimate with someone they’ve known for a brief period of time? Do each know the others health status? Have the two gotten an appointment with the health department or have they scheduled a doctor’s visit to get tested for STDs, HIV or AIDS?  As a Woman, have you looked at your checklist to see if he even has the attributes you’re looking for in a man?

The answers provided to the questions above will help you ascertain if you will continue to Wait, Look Or Give up on a Soul Mate.  Women the key thing to remember is “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” Proverbs 18:22 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

AFTER DIVORCE – WHAT’S NEXT?

Who said it would be easy?  Many have difficulty adjusting to life after divorce.  Depending on the type of relationship held prior to the divorce, reason(s) for the divorce and the livelihood of each  after the divorce, it can be devastating to one and a blessing to the other; devastating to both, or a blessing to both.  Whatever the cause may be for the divorce, an acceptance of it determines how one moves on with his/her life.

Some may be so used to being married and are totally lost when it comes to dating; whereas, others may be ready for an adventure in hitting the dating scene.  A casual relationship may appease some; whereas, others may long for a committed relationship.  The problem comes when one wants one type of relationship, but the one whom they’re trying to get with wants the opposite. To avoid a misunderstanding or the feeling of being lied to, cheated on or taken advantage of, one must be specific as to what he/she wants when dating.  When one settles on the type of relationship based upon what the other wants or expects; instead of remaining true to self, they establish precedents and/or practices that may become detrimental to a future relationship with that person.  Although it’s good to compromise; setting aside what you want just to please another usually results in unwanted and unnecessary pain, stress, bitterness and misunderstanding.

After a divorce, before getting back into the dating scene and/or beginning a relationship, the following question should be asked of oneself:   Have you allowed yourself a chance to get to know yourself as a single man/woman before getting into a relationship?  Do you have baggage that will only allow you to continue the patterns of behavior you have previously succumbed to?  Have you searched your heart and realized what causes insecurity, intimidation, mistrust, jealousy, hurt and pain within you, and what actions to take to nip in the bud?  Do you really know what makes you happy?  How is your spiritual life?  Are you being proactive or reactive in your prayer life?  What can you bring to the table in a relationship? What are you expecting from a man/woman?   These are just a few questions that will help you to become focused on moving on after divorce.  Until you are able to answer the aforementioned, you stand a chance of reliving your past.  All things are normally good at the beginning.  But LIFE happens after the infatuation wears off and reality sets in.  The question is, “Are you honest and open enough with self to attract the same honesty and openness from another?”

After a divorce, usually one immediately clings to another relationship to sustain the heartache occurred because of the separation.  However, sometimes, it’s because the one who they have clung to is the one who was a major contributor to there being an ex- spouse.  In reality “Did You Train Your Ex for Their Next Lover”?  That’s an interesting topic that I will dive into via future blogs.

Until then, take one day at a time learning and loving you again while fulfilling your desires and dreams.  Remembering the following scriptures:

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

DIVORCED? NOW WHAT? DID YOU IGNORE THE SIGNS?

As a Christian, one will never think of or believe in divorce.  However, when one witness and experience a mental and/or physical abusive marriage, that divorce can be a blessing in disguise; especially if someone SELECTED one who they thought was their soul mate, instead of allowing GOD to ELECT the one that HE knows is their soul mate.  If you haven’t read my first two Blogs, you may need to go to them to understand where I’m coming from.  The warning signs are usually there, but many choose to ignore them because the positives, at the time, outweighed the negatives.

Summarizing the previous two Blogs “Factors that Contribute to Divorce Before Marriage” and “Loving Yourself to Receive Love”, if you aren’t able to deal with a behavior, characteristic or an attitude at the beginning, you won’t be able to deal with either later.  If you do things for or treat your selected soul mate a certain way so that you can be treated the same, you’re fighting a losing battle.  Remember that you have to love yourself in order to receive love.  “The Impressions” says it best: “The Same Thing It Took To Get Your Baby Hook, It’s Going Take The Same Thing To Keep Her”.

Sometime the myths of love and relationships are just as damaging.  For example, one myth is that if the man loves and respects his mother he’s going to love and respect the woman he’s with.  Again, you have to think about the type of love the myth refers to.  As I discussed in the previous Blogs, there are four different meanings in the bible for the word love.  I would hope that a man doesn’t love his mother in an erotic way “Eros” like he would his mate, but as one loves a family member “Storge”.  So we have to remember that everything that sounds good is not always good or apply to situations of today.

So what about these warning signs?  There are so many subtle signs, that both men and women ignore.  The signs can be minor or major; however, if repeated without addressing, it becomes an approved habit or behavior that continues to grow more and more after each success or win.  In a marriage for example, a woman may believe that her money is hers, so she does what she wants with it.  Whereas, the man may believe that they should put all money in a joint account; pay the bills; put some in savings and then divide the money that’s left between each other so that they can do what they please with their portion of the money. The problem comes when their independence along with the inability or unwillingness to compromise questions the love the couple has for one another.  The question arise is if the love they have for each other is based off of the amount of money they have or is it the love that makes each complete with or without money.  Both must truly realize that where the love of money exists, there are lies, mistrust and even competition.  “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:10 In addition, financial woes are a leading cause of divorce.

What if the man makes less money than the woman?  Many men say they don’t care because that’s less they have to worry about.  Some even say that as long as it’s in the household, it doesn’t matter to them.  But is that really the case?  When I say competition in the aforementioned paragraph, I refer to the negative aspect of competition.  Some couples have a healthy competitive spirit.  It’s like motivating one to do their best because the other is doing his/her best.  It’s making plans together to accomplish a common goal, as well as individual goals.  But what if the man and/or woman have a negative competitive spirit?  What if a man brings home less money than a woman, but the woman is okay with it? I won’t say all, but the men I have witnessed in this situation appear to be always trying to prove themselves.  It appeared to always have been a competition for them to prove their worth and/or manhood.  The funny thing is that most, if not all, of the women appreciated them for being the man regardless of how much money they brought home.  If the man took care of business, lead the household, treated the women with love and respect, the man didn’t even have to work in the majority of the marriages I’ve witnessed.  But what was happening with many of the marriages, in which the woman brought home more money, the man would stress himself out by getting two jobs to keep up with the woman’s salary, resulting in more issues within the marriage, such as: not spending time together; not communicating; too tired for intimacy; and a bitterness and/or grudge held against the woman because she was happy either way.   What caused these problems?  Is it a man’s ego, self-worth, has he fulfilled his desires to become the man he wants to become or does he love himself?  All could be issues; however, the key for all problems within a marriage is: 1) to admit there is an issue; 2) determine what the issue is; 3) communicate truth with each other, regardless of the temporary pain it may cause; 4) make a plan and 5) implement plan to eliminate the negative contributing factors.

If a couple wants their marriage to survive they must put God first, communicate with each other during the good and bad – not their family members, and plan and work towards a common goal and understanding.  All must realize that one’s perspective is their reality until both perspectives are discussed and analyzed.

Factors Contributing To Divorce Before Your Marriage

Getting married to someone whom you truly love is one of the most fulfilled feelings one may experience.  At this point, a woman is so confident in herself that there is USUALLY no self-doubt, inferiority, jealousy or low self-esteem issues.  She is saying in her head, “He loves me because he asked me to marry him.” equating that to “Jesus loves me because he died for me.”  Although no one would ever admit it, a woman’s mind does go to that extreme.

So what happens after the engagement has lasted for a while and the woman begins to see her future husband flirt and joke with other women in front of her, comment on how nice another woman looks while giving her the “I want you look” and that woman being receptive of it?  At that point, many women may think, “I have the ring, they can flirt all they want.”  Others may say, “Oh, he didn’t mean anything by it, he always compliment people.  It doesn’t hurt to look.  I look at men and flirt too.” So it appears that the man can’t do any wrong because she has the ring.

This is the beginning of a divorce before marriage.  Why?  Because the woman has allowed the man to establish a precedent before marriage.  For example, if an employer has three vacant clerical jobs available and has provided a Reasonable Accommodation for two female employees by moving them from a warehouse job to the clerical jobs, without adequate documentation to identify that they have a disability and need an accommodation; yet, refuse to provide the same accommodation to a male employee, with the same condition as the females,  unless he obtains medical documentation from his physician, then they may be liable for discrimination based upon sex due to the precedent they have established by accommodating the females without documentation.  In other words, don’t allow or settle for something or someone before marriage and expect something different or for that person to change after marriage.

Many problems exist after marriage because either the couple marry young and what was accepted by one spouse at the beginning of marriage has changed over the years due to growth, education and life experiences.  It could be that they never really got to know each other at the beginning so learning and accepting the other is more difficult than expected.  It could be that one pretended to be who the spouse wanted them to be, but once married, they are secure in being their true self – like me or leave me….. it cost more to divorce than it does to marry. Maybe one is pulling more financial responsibility than the other.  Whatever the reason is, realize that people and situations change.  As long as they possess TRUE love for each other, with God (not religion, not church building) being the foundation of that marriage, life’s lessons will bring them closer to withstand the toughest times and situations.