I did something I very rarely do … I told her to develop an Exit Plan. Our daughters are friends, and my daughter has told me, very generally, that her friend is going through some really hard things. (My daughter is one to keep confidences, even from me. She knows the difference between a confidence – something that won’t hurt people – and a secret – something that has the potential to hurt people. A secret she needs to tell a responsible adult; a confidence she can keep.) I scheduled a lunch date with the mom, who I really like. I had been burdened to do so, and we were finally able to get together. On her own accord, she shared with me her situation.
For the first time I understood what those close to me felt and experienced when I was at the end of my marriage … real fear for her and her kids … because dad is an unsafe man.
I talk with women, and occasionally men, who are struggling in their marriages from time-to-time, and I always encourage their marriage and tell them the truth about the harsh realities of divorce, trying to dispel their unrealistic ideals that the grass is greener on the other side. But with this woman, and in situations like hers, she needs to develop a safe exit plan for her and her children.
The truth is … there are bad people out there. The truth is … not all people are bad, and I think that most people are good, but some people are bad, and unsafe.
I browsed through several respected blogs the other night where they wrote about divorce. Honestly, they were a bit irritating … slanted to one side or the other … or people who are grasping at staws as to how the church should handle and approach divorce. Sigh. One of the things I’ve always deeply appreciated about this place is Amir’s balanced and fair treatment of men and women. Depravity is no respecter of gender.
Yes, God hates divorce … but He hates other things, too. So God, in His wisdom, gave us divorce for those rare times when it is necessary to protect ourselves. The consequences are still there, but so is the protection. There is no easy answer. There is no easy way out. But, sometimes, there is a safer place than the one we’re in.
If you think you are in an unsafe place, seek wise counsel immediately. If you know you are in an unsafe place, seek safety immediately. There are many resources available out there; search till you find one.