Living in the light

I used to think divorce was the worst thing that could happen to me.

Now I know that there are worse things: like living a lie, like thinking it’s all my fault for not fixing it, like trying to pretend everything is fine-oh-fine because we have a “reputation” to protect.

Being real hurts. Hiding is so much easier–or so it seems while you’re hiding.

Living in truth is painful. But it sets you free.

Lies bind. Truth frees.

Telling the truth after you’ve been hiding is like walking out of a dark theatre into the blinding brightness of a sunny afternoon. You squint, you cover your eyes. The light is painful. It takes time for your eyes to adjust.

But when you adjust to the light, you can see everything. You realize you never want to go back to that dark theatre where all you could see was the flickering illusion of reality on a screen.

You want to live your real life in the light.

I used to think it was my job to fix everything, to make everyone happy, to be a “good wife”–whatever that means. I expended outrageous amounts of energy trying not to make mistakes. And even more energy trying to cover up for others’ mistakes.

In the end, hiding wasn’t easier. It was exhausting.

Now I understand that my only job is to live openly, vulnerably, courageously–freely making mistakes and freely learning from them.

We are not divorcing.

Together, we are stumbling into the blinding brightness of freedom.

  • Tara S

    OH MY GOD I am so relieved! Bless both of you. I am so glad you are making this journey to freedom.

  • herewegokids

    Are you familiar with Retrouvaille EE? My (non-Catholic) hubbie and I did our first stint this summer and it was amazingly helpful for both of us. Lots of tears, lots of truth.

  • Katie S.

    I’m trying to find the right words to convey just how beautiful I think it is that you’re being so real and honest…but it all comes out completely wrong. I thank you for your honesty. Praying for blessings during this painful time.

  • From Tracie

    The blinding brightness of freedom. I’m so glad you have found it in your life. It is worth it.

  • Shaney Lee

    I originally subscribed to this blog as a way to educate myself on the issue of spiritual abuse. What has shown up in my reader is a woman who is being open, honest, and vulnerable so that others might share in her journey. Your amazing attitude through the oftentimes painful process of stumbling into the light of freedom is a blessing to me. I look forward to continuing to read your writing, even (especially?) if it’s not what I originally signed up for.

  • ThatGuyKC

    Hey Sista,
    So glad to hear you are stumbling along together and fighting for your marriage and family. I think far too many couples give up and throw in the towel regardless of the reason. My own parents divorced 3 years ago after 27 years of marriage.
    I can only imagine how tough the healing/counseling process is, but I’m praying for y’all.
    God bless,

  • M

    Your words are so true and speak right to my soul. I’m so glad I read this blog post today! It is exactly what I needed.

  • Kathy Harter

    “Now I understand that my only job is to live openly, vulnerably, courageously–freely making mistakes and freely learning from them.”
    Feeling like a crappy Mom because no matter how hard I try, I will NEVER be perfect. Why can I accept this in other areas of my life but when it comes to being mom…well, it extremely difficult? Thank you for your words EE… they have encouraged me today.

  • Lucie

    GOOD news.

  • Kara @ The Chuppies

    “Together…stumbling” …so thankful to read that at the end.
    I rarely comment here, but read/visit often.
    You have a way of making people care about you…and your family…and your marriage.
    I hesitate to write “praying for your marriage” because that’s so often thrown out as a quick bandaid…or hole-filler when it’s hard to know what to say.
    But…every time I see a post come through from you…I honestly will stop and pray that as you walk into the blaring-revealing-sometimes-scary-light, God will bring about real healing in your marriage.

  • Anonymous

    I get this… I’m praying for you both as you cling to one another and make your way together.

  • J

    I put your blog in my reader a long time ago when you were writing about depression and I was living it, too. Then I quit reading blogs for awhile … and then yesterday I happened to look in my reader and see that you are now writing about marriage in crisis, which I am also living. I really can’t tell you how brave I think you are – and how brave your husband is, for letting the world know what you’re facing. It seems that troubled marriages are such heavy and hidden crosses that leave us feeling very, very lonely. So thank you for letting me know that we’re not the only ones. And for being real about how unbearably hard it is – because it is so, so hard and sometimes I think I cannot possibly be expected to carry it and yet, here I am…

  • Martha Brady

    it is a wonderful gift to have a good husband: one who is willing to look at the truth with you…even when it can be painful for both of you. in many ways, my husband has helped me learn to tell the truth to myself in better ways. he is the one who has told me it is not my responsibility to fix everything that is broken. he has taught me to accept help from others. the older i get, the more i realize what a wonderful gift he has been.

    is he perfect? no, of course not…but neither am I. it is wonderful to be able to face the future together truthfully, coated with gobs of grace.

  • Anonymous

    Keep stumbling, fighting, and living vulnerably…that’s all you can do! Your friends will be here cheering you on as you make your way through it!

  • Alexandra

    I read a comment once that “the turning point in your marriage will feel like a death.” I so agree. It’s like death – and then comes resurrection and new life.

  • Melissa

    Prayers for you. I’m trying to learn the same things myself as I’m in a relationship that is troubled with a very shame-inducing problem.

  • Melissa

    I wish you well. Peace to you both.

  • Rachel

    Wow, you’re awesome. I’m in quite a situation myself, and I came across your blog just today. I’m an ENFP married to an ISTJ. Crazy. It’s tough, and just wow. Hoping I can do the right thing. If anyone reads this, pray for me! Thanks!

  • Emily Ufkes

    This post keeps echoing in my consciousness, since the day you posted it. Thank you for sharing this. I appreciate what you have to say about light, about divorce, about truth. I wish we were real life friends cause I’d love to talk in person. Thank you for being so open with all of us, here on your blog.
    I’m with you in the stumbling, the blinding brightness, and hopefully the freedom. xoxo