Mary, 36, has been separated from her husband for over a year. Although they are still legally married, her estranged husband left her after five months of marriage and returned to his hometown.
They initially maintained some contact, but this was only through Facebook. She continues to wait for him to come back, and remains hopeful that the person she married will return to her soon.
Mary is very religious and doesn’t believe in divorce. Because her husband broke up with her in a similar fashion when they were dating, she strongly believes that this is just another instance of the same.
Her religious beliefs and conviction remain unwavering—despite evidence to the contrary.
Her husband has told her that, after one year, he will divorce her. She has looked into the state law where he lives, and knows that he has to wait two years before he can file for divorce. In the meantime, she continues to hope for reconciliation. She has moved forward in her life and found a new place to live, paid off her debt, and found a better job.
What would you suggest for Mary?
Here is a person who is "wedded" to the ideal of marriage; her religious convictions prevent her from seeing what is in front of her—a man who no longer wants to be married to her. He does nothing to give her any inclination that reconciliation is part of the plan, quite the contrary.
It is not uncommon for people to question their religion and faith and ponder how this will ultimately affect their relationship with God.
It is during divorce that people tend to rely on their faith more than ever. How do they reconcile honoring that, while still grappling with an impending divorce? What if they view divorce as a sin? How will they reconcile that strong belief?
This becomes even more difficult when a spouse does not have the same convictions, and is able to leave a marriage without feeling he or she has done wrong. And despite wanting to stay married—as in Mary’s case—when a spouse wants out of the marriage, there is really nothing the other person can do.
A person who is struggling with reconciling his or her impending divorce would do well to be reminded that his or she—as an individual—has a relationship and connection with God. And despite no longer being part of a couple, this person has the ability to reconcile with God in ways that will bring both peace and the ability to move forward on this life-changing, unpredictable new path.
In these difficult times, finding a priest, minister, or rabbi to help you will prove beneficial. Many people have even found that going through divorce creates a stronger sense of faith.