I was wondering what it was going to take to get me to post again. It seems like lately it takes something big to prompt a post.
Or, apparently, someone I don’t know very publicly divorcing her husband after 14 years.
I read the news about Glennon on my way out the door to go the gym. The whole drive, I couldn’t think about anything else. All I knew was that I felt devastated. I spent most of the class trying to figure out why I was so distraught.
When I got home and was explaining it to my husband, I literally sobbed for 15 minutes.
You guys, I am torn up about this and I’ve never even met Glennon.
In fact, I haven’t even read much of her blog. Just a few posts. (Which I loved.) And I heard her interviewed on a podcast once.
But this is what I do know about her. She’s been very vocal about her marriage. She’s shared a lot of the mess, and also told the beautiful, unbelievable story of reconciliation. She’s fought – publicly and openly – for her marriage when it was in shambles.
She talked about the messiness of marriage in a way that I deeply connected with. She never shied away from the hard stuff. But she always did that in the context of why her marriage – and marriage in general – is worth the fight.
Or maybe that’s just what I took away from it.
Anyway, always until now.
(Well apparently this happened three months ago but I missed it, so for me, it’s happening now.)
She stopped fighting. And I feel utterly betrayed. She left us – those of us who are still fighting for our marriages.
She was like the leader of the Broken But Still Fighting. But now she’s abandoned us.
Glennon is writing about being in love and says she’s happy, but I am extremely sad.
I feel betrayed because she was such an outspoken fighter for her marriage. She was the person that I looked at and thought if she can experience all that mess and still be in the fight, then I can do it too.
My heart is broken for her children whose understanding of a marriage vow is now forever warped. My heart is broken for the thousands of women who read her blog, many of which are in the middle of a messy, painful marriages, and are now considering whether they should leave their husbands to find this “true love” Glennon claims to have found.
She has a very powerful platform. She has a huge influence. And she has a responsibility to her readers to point them to the Truth. Unfortunately she’s chosen to prioritize her own happiness over that awesome responsibility. And that makes me really, really sad.
I have written before about fighting for my own marriage. We’re only seven years in and sometimes I feel I’ve been in the fight a lot longer. And the longer I’m in it, the more I know that it’s something outrageously precious … something worth fighting for.
No one said marriage was going to be easy.
Or for that matter, that it would make you happy. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve cried more in the seven years I’ve been married than I did for my entire life before.
The thing about marriage, though – and I think maybe this is where Glennon went off the rails – is that it is NOT actually about our happiness at all. Happiness may be involved, but the truth is that the point of marriage is not to make us happy. It is – just like every other experience is life – to make us holier. (This is an idea suggested beautifully by Gary Chapman in his book Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline.)
As I was blubbering through my sense of betrayal to my husband, he asked if I could forgive her. When he first asked that, I blew it off. Why would I need to forgive someone I’ve never met? But later I realized that I feel betrayed by that someone I’ve never met. So maybe I do need to forgive her.
So here we go…
I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced. I’m sorry for the hurt and the judgment that you’ve likely gotten from many. I’m sorry for a marriage that was so broken that you couldn’t see a way forward .
I was moved and inspired by your grit and your commitment and your faithfulness to your husband in the midst of the mess. I had never heard someone talk so candidly about the hard in marriage. Reading your blog made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
I feel abandoned and betrayed by you. I don’t understand your choice and your apparent change of heart, but I forgive you for it. I have to so that I can let go of my idea that we were in this fight together. I will continue fighting even though you’ve chosen to step out.
May you find the Peace that you seek.