Saturday, 14 June 2014

Another response to another Christian blogger: divorce parties and change - oh, my!

I might have bitten off more than I can chew here, but let's go on this anyway.

A guy called Matt Walsh writes a blog. He's conservative and has opinions long than a five year old's Christmas list. Scratch that, he probably doesn't believe in Santa either.

The blog I both agreed and disagreed with is this one: My wife is not the same woman I married.

But, really, the blog only touches on this topic.In lots of aspects, I can relate to Matt. Sure, we have only been married half the time he has and have no children, but we have certainly overcome a lot and done some pretty damn amazing this together. As my more newlywedded friends suggest, the honeymoon doesn't seem to wear off. But, if it does, we can work it out.

I'm a member of the Offbeat Bride Tribe. It has really be one of the best things I have ever done. Our online community is caring, kind and non-judgmental. Quite a number of those women have been married previously. And that gives me some kind of hope. As I said to one of my divorced friends, I often value their opinion much higher than my married friends. Because, so often, they can recognise their mistakes, and those of their previous partners.

This blog is anti-divorce and against divorce celebrations. Surely, we shouldn't be celebrating someone's divorce? It's not really about that. As some people know, I've been part of one of these so-called celebrations, and it isn't about saying 'yeah, marriage is stupid! Good on your for forsaking your vows!' No. It's about solidarity. It's about saying 'this time has really sucked and we want to do something fun with you to help you through it and recoginise where you have been'. At least, that's what it was about the one and only time I have been part of such an evening - even if it wasn't exactly stated quite that way at the time. Such things do not always need to be said.

Some great advice I was given a few years ago was that I can only worry about my own relationship, not other people's. They have to make their own mistakes and learn. And anyway, if I were to be in charge of everyone's romantic entanglements we would have plenty of unhappy people!

The other interesting thing about this blog is that it talks about how people change. Of course they do! We don't know the ins and outs of Matt's friend and his relationship. Perhaps it was more than what he led on. How many people give an offhanded comment when things don't turn out the way they expect? How many little white lies do we tell? Hundreds. Could this be such a case? Probably. But also, maybe marriage doesn't mean the same thing to him as it does to Matt. That doesn't make it right, but it does explain a lot. And it's okay not to have the same understanding of marriage. Even in our eyes, if it it is wrong, it doesn't mean we have to project all our beliefs onto the other person who is probably pretty miserable.

What gives everyone the right to be such a Judgy McJudgerstein anyway?
There are lots of great comments below this blog which are well worth the read. Matt makes so valid points, but it is so exclusive and unkind it is sometimes hard to get past it and look at where is heart is. Recently Matt has also responded to being seen as a hateful person. I don't believe he actually is, he just knows what be believes and uses other people's stories to validate his points, or attempt to discredit them completely. I just thought I'd respond here. Perhaps I am too inclusive, perhaps how I feel about things doesn't fit in with the conservative model of thinking, but at least I can love without constantly pointing out splinters and planks and so forth.