Who would think being a divorced woman would be a crucible she would need to learn to thrive in, today? Divorce is a common occurrence, even within church communities—communities that tended to frown on it in the past.
Why/how could being divorced even be considered
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending upon one’s
perspective, being a divorced woman is still frowned
upon, unless, of course, she has an ‘acceptable’ reason for being divorced. In some circles, only adultery is a "good enough" reason for being divorced. Spousal abuse doesn’t even qualify as a reason. For some, child abuse is not a reason to be divorced, even when the abuse is sexual.
A woman is expected to stand by her man. You just stay in there and pray; that’s what some counselors, even some pastors say.
So, where do I fall on that spectrum of reasons to be
divorced and not frowned on?
I do happen to be “Biblically” divorced. My husband decided he would put some condoms to use, condoms that “just happened to be there”, as he put it. Then he wrote me a note of apology about it. Forgiveness was not the issue; we all sin and need forgiveness. He simply decided he wanted to be free to do what he chose.
Religion and Divorce
To conclude our efforts at reconciliation, even with counseling, he told me he knew the requirements of our church; he knew what the Bible said about divorce and remarriage. And in a very quiet voice, he simply said, “I’m going to make sure you will be free to get married again. I do NOT intend to remain celibate, and I am going to tell the pastor that.” And he did. Our shocked pastor asked me, “As his pastor, what do I do with that?"
The younger generation gives this answer, “You let it do what it do!” The pastor did. And I did. So, before God, I am free. Yet, I often face the confines of the crucible created by the looks I get from the “religious” community when I check the divorced box on documents or verbally answer questions about my marital status because many religious communities still think every woman should be able to “keep her marriage together.” Period.
Consequently, the opinions of others put a woman in a crucible, whether she “deserves” to be there or not.
How does she reduce the stigma attached to being a divorced woman? How does she move from surviving the divorce to thriving as a divorcee? It is not easy.
In the crucible, there are a lot of feelings of hurt, anger, guilt, frustration, inadequacy, abandonment, loneliness, grief, remorse, questioning, and general suffering, even when you have “grounds”. The words, "She must have done something to drive him into the arms of another woman or to make him leave her", are whispered—often where she can hear the words spoken.
How do I Thrive ?
A divorcee must pull her emotional life back together, create a new way of life for herself (and her children), rediscover herself, and then reinvent herself in order to survive, so how can she possibly pull things together to thrive?
“The Crucibles” focuses on the marital status of "divorced", not the rightness or wrongness of the divorce itself. Everyone is welcome to share views in the forum; however, the focus here is how to survive what is and the way to get to THRIVE.
Some things to consider: why stigmatization accompanies divorce for women (and men), what it is like in other countries, and how we can help each other as we live in the divorcee crucible.
Let’s Work Together
No one is alone in the Refiner’s fire
Our vision is to be the place where the wounded receive more than an emotional bandage; to be a community where people come to be heard, to obtain compassionate support, and find help as they seek healing.
Our vision includes the ability to provide funding for respite care to cancer caregivers and revenue to support the ministry of The Crucibles.
Sometimes we get ourselves into things ~
and need a little help to get out.