Growth is painful, yet ultimately rewarding

roller coasterThis week has been an incredible roller coaster of emotion and developments. Early in the week I felt very rejected–both by my soon-to-be-ex-husband, and by some friends whose intentions I misinterpreted. When you’re going through the tumultuous emotions of a divorce, you can be overly sensitive. At least I know I am.

My STBX decided to let me know that he was done pursuing me and trying to save our marriage. This didn’t sit well with me because, in reality, he has done little to pursue me or our marriage during the past five months. So I broke down and told him that I had really wanted him to decide that our marriage was worth fighting for–with actions rather than mere words. Whether or not this was wise, I’m really not sure. But it did set in motion some activity. He said he was willing to do some things, like some intensive counseling. Initially I was drawn in because, finally, it seemed he might be willing to actually do something. So I considered it.

But here were the problems:

1. He continued to lie to me about big and small things, and I had proof.

2. He refused to admit that his behaviors are outside the realm of normal.

3. He told me he was torn between his duty to our marriage covenant and his desire for the other women he has been pursuing.

With these things in mind, I decided against his offer. A person has to be truly repentant in order to change, and he is not repentant.

Today our pastor preached a sermon that totally backed this up. Using the story of Zacchaeus, he said that, to truly be sorry, a person has to be honest, that confession doesn’t equal repentance, and that a person’s actions have to back up the apology. Clearly, that is not going on here.

There is no way to have a healthy relationship with someone who is unrepentant. But I do desire reconciliation–not restoration of our marriage–but the ability to admit our wrongs to each other and the mutual decision to release each other. I hope and pray that this will happen, and I will practice this on my part whether or not he ever comes to that point.

This has been and continues to be an incredibly painful journey. I have to think that the death of a child would be worse than this, but I really can’t think of anything else that could rival it. It was horrifying to learn that I had been living a lie and that I had allowed myself to be manipulated all of those years. I have felt so betrayed and rejected. I have had anger, anxiety, confusion, and extreme sadness. I have almost been sucked back into his manipulation and deception more than once.

However, I have grown so much closer to Christ and I have become so much healthier as a person during the past five months. I keep saying it’s like I’ve been on warp speed in my codependency recovery. It’s been incredibly painful, but also amazingly blessed. Though I would never wish this on anyone (except maybe my STBX), I wouldn’t trade the growth it has brought.

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