DEAR CHRISTINE: Feeling trapped in my marriage
LET ME BE HONEST and upfront with you concerning this letter which you have received. It is not a personal problem of mine but your answer to the situation would mean a great deal to me since it shadows a similar case I am keenly aware of.
“I am a 39-year-old married woman who has lost all hope. My convictions and emotions are in severe conflict.
I’m a deeply devout person, which made the divorce from my first husband extremely traumatic. When I remarried, I made a religious commitment that I would make my second marriage work, and under no circumstances would I ever leave my new husband.
Because of that commitment, I feel I must honour my pledge – even though there is no love, no intimacy and no marriage anymore. My husband has refused me children and provides me nothing but cold, unwanted solitude in our home. It’s tearing me apart.
I know that being denied everything I need and want in life is the root of my constant, severe depression. My doctor has tried to help with prescriptions, but they’re not working.
My husband is much older than I am and content to have me “there” for him. I feel more trapped in this marriage than I did in my first. How can I go on with life when there is no life?
All I want is to get out of this marriage so I can start over – but my oath is holding me hostage. Please help.”
First, I do not want to appear as though I am judging this individual but I would say she has not made some of the wisest choices in choosing her mates. Perhaps, some people may argue that if she is as devout as she claimed to be, why wasn’t more prayer and counsel sought before she said her ‘I dos’?
That aside, I honestly do not think that God would deny her the happiness and peace of mind which she is obviously seeking. To live in a state of depression and denial when a divorce is the obvious solution is to imprison oneself. Her “commitment to honour” her pledge to make her marriage work is not practical and therefore cannot be that binding.
It is not practical because it takes two to work at a marriage, just as it takes a male and a female to bring a child into this world. One sex cannot do it without the other. She cannot “try to make the marriage work” if her husband is an unwilling partner in bringing about solutions to the marriage.
This woman needs to release herself from that self-made oath, realise that she has obviously made a wrong (or bad) choice and rather than try to start over again, give herself time to heal. She should also do some self-inspection and write down what she really needs in a mate.
Two failed marriages maynot necessarily be her fault, but let’s face it – she is the common factor in both. She needsto take that inner stock before looking for husband No. 3. If she is the devout person she purports to be, she should also pray and wait on God about finding the right spouse.