I took today's blog title from some advice I gave on my personal FB page, advice from personal experience. I hope you will read this and hear my heart today.
I was in a bad marriage, an abusive marriage. Boy was I putting on a show! He was too. We were all smiles on social media and in public. All I had to say was good to the outside world. I fooled myself and others. The only person I never fooled was God. The only person you will never fool is God. He loved me then and He loves me now. He loves you too.
I want to implore everyone to not get married unless you know who are dealing with. Trust me, "the miserable show" eventually ends. Your props fall down around you faster than you can pick them back up. The hidden lies come out into the light and it will be painful. The only good thing about this is it is actually freeing to be out from under the lies, to not have to put on "a show" anymore. **I was thankful when my "miserable marriage show" was over even though I would have preferred it not end in my late husband's suicide. I still had loved him.
You owe it to yourself to be honest with yourself and others when it comes to a mate. Choose wisely. If something isn't right, don't ignore that uneasy feeling. If something is evil, run don't walk, the other way! God will not give you an abusive person to "fix." He will not give you someone who is mean to you. These are choices we are making when we start and stay in a bad marriage. Do we always know a marriage will be abusive? No. However, once we know this, we owe it to ourselves to remove ourselves from that situation. Otherwise we get to put on a "miserable marriage show" on top of the physical, mental or emotional damage we will have inflicted on us by the other person.
I will stay single before I put on another "show." I would implore all of us to know how to be single before we become involved with another person. It will help you out if you end up in a situation you must leave. When you know yourself, you know what you will not tolerate and you will know what healthy looks like and what is unhealthy.
Let me say I do not believe all marriages are bad or that marriage itself is bad. I know many couples with great, loving marriages! I simply want people to be sure their potential mate is healthy for them and vice versa. I also don't want people to fall for the notion that in all cases marriage is a once in a lifetime thing. Not everything works out the way we planned, who you wanted to spend your life with may not end up feeling the same way. Our world is fallen. This is not a fairytale. People make choices. Some people can't be fixed or simply don't want to be. I did what I could for my late husband but the truth is, I should never have been with him. I believe now he was not sent from God. It took me almost four years to come to grips with this but I did, just the other day in fact. I was sad, yet relieved. I also know now why someone like him was attracted to me in the first place. Self-examination is never pleasant but quite revealing. The Lord will walk with me through that, He is ever faithful. He will walk with you too. He still loves us regardless.
If you get nothing else out of this blog today I want you to get this, marriage is a partnership not a show. If you have a show, you don't have a partnership. If you have a show, you have lies. If you have a show, you are protecting evil. If you have a show, you don't have a marriage.
A good marriage is too great a gift to waste on "a show" or on someone who is evil. Remember, the Lord will walk with you through the mess and the epiphanies of a bad marriage and your exit from that marriage. He walked with me. He's still walking with me. He can handle the mess. He can help you handle it too.
Until next time,
** To read more of my story, see my book The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope and Everything In-Between. You can find it on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.