Feb 152013


Since I announced my separation, I’ve received love like never before. I’m grateful for it.  I’ve also received advice like never before. Every message I’ve received that contained advice about what I should do next like fight for my marriage and never give up and allow God to redeem all has been from self-identified Christians.

All of this advice has been offered with hope and courage and love. I hear it, I feel it.

And I still find the advice to be disturbing and dangerous.

Why do we, Christians especially, enter other people’s marriages and insist that the best outcome is re-uniting?

We tell women that God wants her to stay. We tell her what God wants for her. What God wants for her husband. For her children. We suggest that we know what’s best for her better than she does.

Why is this our blind agenda? Doesn’t this agenda strike you as insanely dangerous?  In any case, but especially one in which the person we are offering the advice to is a stranger? And at the end of the day, aren’t we all strangers to other people’s marriages?

Do we rush in with Bible verses and advice and sweeping declarations because we really, truly want to help the other person?  Are we sure about that?

Or could it be that we are desperate to help ourselves? When we hear about someone we love whose marriage is crumbling . . . does is scare the bejesus out of us? Do we think, somewhere down deep . . . if she can’t make this work, what if I can’t either? If this can happened to her – does that mean it could happen to me? No way. This must be fixed.  This marriage must be saved.

But are Christians in the business of saving marriages or saving individual souls?

Because I just need to lovingly remind everyone that unless you are inside a marriage – you can’t know it. There is so, so incredibly much you don’t know about my marriage. Chapters, novels, lifetimes.


And sometimes, a woman decides to leave – not because she has given up, but because she refuses to give up.

Sometimes she leaves, not because she’s confused or lost, but because things are just becoming painfully clear.

Sometimes she leaves because she knows God loves her more than any institution He made for her. Including the institution of marriage. Including the institution of church.

And sometimes she leaves because in terms of parenting, she’s taking the long view. She knows that staying might help her children in the short run, but that staying – with everyone in his current state of being – would hurt her children in the long run. Because she never wants to tell her children that she compromised her integrity for them –  that’s too heavy a burden for them to bear. They never asked for a martyr mother. And because she never, ever wants them to martyr themselves for marriage. Because she wants them to know that there is a chasm wide gulf between co-dependence and love.

Sometimes she leaves because she knows her children are watching her to learn what love is. And she wants to show them that sometimes LOVE is doing what you can’t do. Sometimes love is leaving everything you know and think you need. Sometimes LOVE is hard as a rock and tough as nails and jagged as a knife and nothing like a Valentine’s Day commercial. Sometimes love is laying your head on your pillow at night knowing you did the hard but right thing. Sometimes love is knowing that your future and your help never lie in another human being. Your future and help are in God and so you walk towards God, even if that means walking away from your best friend.

Sometimes a woman leaves because she knows the difference between right and wrong- not because she doesn’t.



We all have strengths. One of mine is listening for God’s voice, my own Truth, and following directions- even when his voice sounds terrifyingly different than what folks have always told me his voice would sound like.

But I fear for women who don’t yet have that strength. I assume that there are thousands of women like me out there. Women who woke up one day and found themselves in the middle of their worst nightmare. And who decided not to sit inside that nightmare. Who are fighting every day to stay sane, to stay strong and healthy and resist the overwhelming urge to crumble and give up. Who are bravely putting one foot in front of the other and refusing to stay in the dark . Women who are moving wearily but boldly back toward the light. Women who have decided that they will stay in the light no matter what it costs. No matter what it costs. They will stay in the damn light. Because they’ve fought their entire lives for that light, and they’re not about to give it up now.


But then, some of the folks she loves tell her that her God wants her back in the dark.

Folks who don’t know. They love her. They want what’s best for her. But they just don’t know. They can’t. She can’t and won’t tell them why they’re dangerously wrong. Why the right thing for her is to keep marching. Because she is a mother freaking warrior and her silence about the painful details is part of her battle plan. She is protecting her children, her husband, her family.

She and God talk every night and every morning and sometimes every twenty minutes about her marching orders. The two of them are clear.

You should consider trusting her and God. It’s hard. Because we know, marriage is so important. But a woman’s soul, and a child’s soul, and man’s soul are more important. Yes, they are. And people of God should know that. We really should.

Don’t tell a woman you love what God wants her to do. If you must offer her advice, tell her you’ll take the kids for an hour so she can Be Still and Know. So she can listen for God. I think  God is more likely to talk to her about her than to you about her.

Listen to me: God said the most important thing to do down here is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Implied in this commandment is that if you don’t love yourself, you’re useless. You cannot save anyone else. All you can do is save yourself so that those you love can see how it’s done.

God also said: “Lose your life and you’ll find it.” I’ve lost my life. Everything I’ve ever planned and dreamed for is gone.

Somehow, with it all gone, my life is emerging. I don’t know how the hell that works, it just does.

It’s still a love story. Love still wins. Love and redemption come in so many different shades.

Carry On, Warriors.




The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life you could save.



~ Mary Oliver ~




Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  890 Responses to “Lover of the Light”

  1. God is the restorer and the healer, I have been through it and God did an amazing healing. Both have to be willing to realize they need to change, not each other but themselves.

  2. I applaud your courage!
    It is imperative to Listen, Hear and Obey the Lord in each and every situation. Each case is different. My case was different. I never separated. But I had “scriptural” permission to according to all I talked to. Every person I came in contact told me to divorce.
    The Lord said no!
    That was 31 yrs ago and than again 19yrs ago. We were married 38 yrs this past Oct.
    God is Faithful to Listen, Hear and Obey!
    God bless your bravery and courage to Obey!

  3. Goodness. I just started reading your site in the midst of my own journey through separation. I’m thinking about the next right thing and dragging my feet, but not wanting to leave the light. Years later, your words are still speaking, Glennon. Thank you for writing this in the midst of the battle. Those of us who are following behind are both blessed and encouraged by your honesty.

  4. Fact Check: First commandment is not to love your neighbor. The institutions of church and marriage are what made this country and world in fact a peaceful place and when these institutions are cast aside, during a difficult time in ones life, you end up with what is wrong in our small communities and around the world.

  5. Thank you for this… i just read 3 of your post, in reverse order back to this one… thank you this is support i need right now

  6. […] church will promise you that God loves you more than any institution God made for you — including marriage and including church. If you are telling yourself that you are staying for the kids, tell yourself to leave for the kids […]

  7. […] decent church will promise you that God loves you more than any institution God made for you –including marriage and including church. If you are telling yourself that you are staying for the kids, tell yourself to leave for the kids […]

  8. […] decent church will promise you that God loves you more than any institution God made for you –including marriage and including church. If you are telling yourself that you are staying for the kids, tell yourself to leave for the kids […]

  9. […] church will promise you that God loves you more than any institution God made for you — including marriage and including church. If you are telling yourself that you are staying for the kids, tell yourself to leave for the kids […]

  10. In two years on this nightmarish journey, browsing hundreds of posts on the topic, I have not come across one that put words to my feelings as well as this one. Thank you so much, Glennon.

  11. […] Lover of the Light by Glennon Doyle. Why do I love this? Because she’s calling for empathy, beseeching people […]

  12. (I came to this post via your more recent update.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You put into words the things that almost no one will say, and you do it publicly. Thank you.

  13. I don’t have any advice but I have a couple of songs: Faithful to Me (Jennifer Knapp) and Jesus, I Come (Shelly Moore Band). The first I played in my car every day for two years. I was bewildered, hurt and felt alone amongst friends because the present I was trying hard to make work and the future I had so desperately been trying to put my hope in was taken away. The second is now my go-to hymn. It renews my hope and comforts my soul, reminding me that Jesus is my Savior despite my constant attempts to save myself.

    I hope these songs can minister to you and yours the way they have to me. And I am only an occasional reader so I don’t even claim to know this version of you well, but I prayed for you and your family. Take care.

  14. Good for you. I’m addicted to sharing your attitude with others. Sending love love love your way.

  15. It’s been a month since I learned the truth. Since then my children and I have moved out of our beautiful new 2800 sq foot home in a neighborhood we adored and into my parents’ house. The truth knocked me on my ass. I didn’t learn it in therapy but from federal agents who had a search warrant to raid my home. DH and I are starting marriage counseling several years too late but I too try to imagine a life together that doesn’t seem like hell on earth. I am not thin. I do not have much earning potential. I don’t know how to explain to my children or friends why this has happened over night. If people knew the details they might not judge me but the details are too unspeakable. I consider going back because I don’t want my children to live near poverty level for the rest of their upbringing. We had so much and my husband destroyed it all. Andd now I am left to decide what to do. If I were thin or beautiful or if I had any real way to give my two kids a good life by myself I might think more about leaving. Instead I start marriage counseling in a week.

    • No one… thin, overweight, beautiful on the outside or beautiful on the inside… deserves to live in misery or to live the rest of their life in a loveless relationship. You’re in such a rough place right now. Rejoice in all of your small feats. At the end of the day, pat yourself on the back for putting one foot in front of the other all day and making it though. Good luck to you and your children. May God bless you and keep you close as you figure out your next move.

  16. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I sobbed as I read it today because it was as if you took the words right out of my heart. I left my marraige when my daughters were 3 years and 18 months. It was hard, but through therapy and prayer and support of my parents, I’m sure it was right for our family. But listening to those comments from people, having people ask you what happened, why, tell you how sorry they are – hurts. every. single. time. Truth is, I probably would have stuck it out in that darkness and buried myself for the sake of the commitment if it was just me. But I had my girls and as young as they were, as much as they looked like me, I didn’t see me in them. Because I wasn’t me anymore. I didn’t stay for my kids, I left for my kids. And now, almost 2 years later, we smile, we laugh, we go on vacation, we love, and we are happy. I love my ex husband and I only want the best for him, but if I had stayed I would not be me today and I would not see joy in my babies eyes. They are happy and well adjusted and they know love. Thank you again for writing this, I hope that you make the right decision for your family and that it brings you peace.

    • Katie,
      Thank YOU for writing THIS. Your story is mine now. Hoping my story two years from now is as happy as yours. Thank you for sharing.

    • “Because I wasn’t me anymore. I didn’t stay for my kids, I left for my kids. And now, almost 2 years later, we smile, we laugh, we go on vacation, we love, and we are happy. I love my ex husband and I only want the best for him, but if I had stayed I would not be me today and I would not see joy in my babies eyes. They are happy and well adjusted and they know love”

      This is me. I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I was told when I left that i was damaging my chidlren for eternity. That it was so sad that I was ripping their world apart and they would never know a “real” family. all this from the “christians” in my life- including my family. It had taken 4 long years for me to forgive myself for doing what should have been done years before. I saved my children from seeing a mom in pain in a loveless angry marriage. Who stayed for what? To show them what love was NOT? I am happily remarried and very good friends with my X. We were just not good together married. God has been so faithful though it all. Despite my fall into alcoholism during this time God has used EVERY bit of pain to draw me closer to him. I have learned so much and my children now have a good, sober mom who is now in a place to show them what a real family acts and looks like.

  17. Sometimes when we try to help, it comes out wrong. Which you know.
    But here it is–I DO know what God wants for you—
    He wants you to be happy.
    Not happy in the way you think. Not happy through the path you think. Or through the path that I think.
    But I do know He wants you—and me—and the whole world—to be happy.
    Tragically, we can’t, until we let go, and let God. Which you know.
    But that’s what we mean when we’re being all judgy unintentionally.

  18. Your poem was so poignant and memorable. I was once that young woman,and now I am older, wiser and so very very happy I made my life my own. Keep going. Don’t look back. If God is for you, who can be against you?

  19. You are so right…about it all…but I think deep at the root of all the advice is that we all want love to win.

    Love just looks different to everyone.

  20. I was in a prayer group over my domestically violent marriage with some amazing Christian women….who got a vision of God bending down to earth and scooping me and my daughter up in his hands and out of marriage. I was such as scary thought that God’s way of SAVING me meant risking everything and leaving everything…..but in my heart I knew it was right. It was also a different perspective than the sugar coated other answers I received.

    You are SO RIGHT. We have NO CLUE what happens in a marriage. We as Christians need to stop spouting advice and just pray, listen, SUPPORT, and care for families facing hard times.

  21. WHY is marriage so difficult? I mean really, when you date, live together, and even while you are engaged things are almost always easy.

    Then you get married.

    Then things get really hard.

    WTF? Why? I was happily dating and engaged to my husband for two years. Got married, things were good for another.

    Then year two, three, and four have brought so many tears, so much heartache.

    And two babies.

    WHY is marriage so hard?

    • I think LIFE is hard whether single or married. In marriage, it is easier to blame the other person or the “situation” than to put your head down and grind trough it like when your single. When you are married, you are more compelled to look up. Single, you don’t have to care so much about what anyone else does or thinks. The grass is never greener, though.

    • I’m a Christian, so obviously my answer is biased, but here’s what I believe:

      Marriage is arranged by God to teach us about His nature; His goodness, His self-sacrifice, His mercy, His grace, His justice, His love. James 1:12 says “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” Marriage is just that, a series of trials, and when we pull through them together, the marriage Life grows stronger. Hebrews 12:14 says for everyone to strive to live in peace with others — what institution provides more constant opportunities to strive for peace in our daily interactions than marriage? 2 Corinthians 12:7 says Paul was given “a thorn” to torment him in order to prevent conceit; we endure hardships in marriage and, by so doing, we become humble. We learn to see our spouses as flawed Children of God whom we forgive just as God forgives us.

      Satan knows this, and exploits it; he mocks marriage because “a threefold cord is not easily broken,” and he knows that where there is unity between two believers, his power to deceive is weakened. He attacks our sexual integrity, our humility, our self-control, and our forgiveness with sexual immorality, piety, rage, and hard-heartedness, for the same reason navies break up fleets and take on each ship one at a time: Because there is exponential strength in numbers. Two people equally committed to God’s ways are more powerful than ten men alone.

      It is so damn hard to deal with the problems that grow and grow and bubble beneath the surface till, 1 or 5 or 20 years down the road, they finally emerge; I’ve learned through prayer and study and therapy that my husband’s problems are not my fault, but were part of him for years before we even met. But, I’m still learning to forgive. And every single day has brought a new opportunity to encounter God’s mercies and goodness.

      • Sharyn -really really beautiful, sister.

      • I left an abusive husband with 3 children under 4years old, he had gone a step too far and tried to strangle me. I am not in my own home country. I had little or no family support – my mother rejected me at a very young age. I went to the church for help. The priest advised me to take my husband back. The police said he was very contrite and seemed to want to reform. I went back and tried for 5 more years. I have damaged my children as a result. A marriage takes two and once violence is involved it will always come back. Anyone who says that God wants women to remain in bad marriages have never seen fear on their children’s faces. They cannot have had to put their principles to one side and tolerate the effects on innocent minds. I love my children dearly yet my returning into a bad relationship with hindsight is bordering on negligence for which I will have difficulty forgiving myself.

  22. Thank you for sharing G. I am an avid reader of your friend Kelle’s blog and stumbled over here one day when I had some free time. I have a friend who is going through a very difficult time trying to decide whether she needs to stay or leave, and as the friend, you feel helpless and want to do everything you can to protect and guide them. Being a Christian all my life, you go to your arsenal of “Christian responses” and feel like you are doing the right thing by saying “Fight! Fight!” but you are absolutely right. It took me really LISTENING to what she was telling me about her marriage and some of the things that happen day to day to really look at what I initially was telling her (Fight for your marriage) and realize how foolish the advice really was. I’m learning daily to be more of a listener, a support system and change my advice. I know I can’t save her or her marriage, but I can be the best friend I can by sticking by her side trusting she knows what’s best for her. Thanks for the reminder and I will be thinking of you as you begin this new chapter of your life. God bless.

  23. G, this made me think of you, thank you for not hiding your light!!!

    We like to make a distinction between our private and public lives and say, “Whatever I do in my private life is nobody else’s business.” But anyone trying to live a spiritual life will soon discover that the most personal is the most universal, the most hidden is the most public, and the most solitary is the most communal. What we live in the most intimate places of our beings is not just for us but for all people. That is why our inner lives are lives for others. That is why our solitude is a gift to our community, and that is why our most secret thoughts affect our common life.

    Jesus says, “No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the lamp-stand where it shines for everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15). The most inner light is a light for the world. Let’s not have “double lives”; let us allow what we live in private to be known in public. – Henri Nouwen

  24. My mom left my dad when I was young and it taught me many, many wonderful things about love and loss. I know without a doubt that it was the right thing for her to do. I am close to both my mom and dad and so grateful they could both be the parents God intended for me precisely because they were NOT together.

    A verse my mom said helped her during the divorce, ‘for God did not give us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.

    Sending love, prayers, and hugs your way!

  25. Beautifully said. This has to be one of my new favorite G quote:

    “God said the most important thing to do down here is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Implied in this commandment is that if you don’t love yourself, you’re useless. You cannot save anyone else. All you can do is save yourself so that those you love can see how it’s done.”

  26. Glennon,

    “They never asked for a martyr mother.”….
    It seems to me that you are handling this with the most Amazing Grace, because you are being true to You. In my opinion, that is all you ever need to do. My view of God doesn’t want us to be martyrs, or victims, or anything that doesn’t serve our Higher Purpose in this world. And that Higher Purpose is to be as much of ourselves as we can be, because we are part of God, and God is part of us. Simple, but so complicated. Much love to you xxx

  27. G, I wanted to tell you that I left my husband several years ago, I am Christian and I am sure that God loves me. I am also sure that nobody else was inside my marriage (as you say) and that I won’t have to look my son in the eyes one day when he is 18 and say yes, I stayed for you and you only (as you say) and put that kind of guilt on him? Never.

    My ex and I are never going to get back together. We have worked towards a pretty decent friendship for our son and he is a pretty great father. but in the end, he was a very unhealthy husband for me. I knew I had to leave.

    Don’t let anyone tell you what God wants for you. I will only tell you that I want peace for you. And love, love wins every time. (It may change and shift but it wins!!!) You are amazing. And will make your own right choices. xo Sarah in NYC

  28. Glennon, I grew up in a cult – similar to an extreme Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church. We suffered an abuse that has not been recognized until recently: spiritual abuse.
    I can’t begin to understand all the pain and torment you have endured, but I can empathize and resonate. I had to “separate” from the abusive god I grew up with, which caused a separation from all family relationships and all friends. I lost everything and everyone.
    I eventually found my way back into the arms of another God, the real God, but it was a hard and painful journey. It hurts me deeply to see the way Christians are treating you. It reminds me of the many subtle and not so subtle religious manipulations I grew up with.
    You already know this, obviously, but you are beautiful and strong. You have recognized your own value and the value of your vision for your children. You are being honest and transparent instead of living in an alternate reality that would help you cope with and repress the truth of the abuse. You are standing up, facing the truth, and doing what you need to do.
    You know all the factors better than anyone else, and you are doing the right thing.
    Thank you for sharing so much with all of us. Your journey has helped others, including myself – even though I’m a guy, haha.

  29. I read your article. It made me laugh, but the laughter turned into sobs of pain. Because I have been walking this road for more than a decade. And I lost all but two of my friends when I divorced my abusive husband for the sake of my children and my own sanity. As you said, “I’ve lost my life. EVERYTHING I ever planned for and dreamed of is gone.”

    I am a Christian woman. And I tell you, as a Christian woman, that you MUST do what God leads you to do. If the world around you tells you that you are wrong, fling yourself into the arms of your Father in Heaven and weep in the safety of His presence until you are strong enough to face the world again.

    I won’t lie to you. There will be dark days — even now, ten years down the road, there are dark days. But they do get fewer as the years go by. And the light will be there, for our Father has promised that He will never leave you or forsake you. So no matter how dark it looks, cling to that. I will be praying for you.

  30. I have something to say to folks who are speculating on what the “news” is and giving advice to G.

    It really doesn’t matter what the news is. It’s not our marriage, it’s not our divorce. I personally trust Glennon to do what is best for her AND her family, including what she’s going to post and not post about what’s going on. I trust that she has a strong and clear relationship with her higher power and a good brain that she’s using to make decisions. If she wants my advice on something, I trust that she will ask for it. Until then, my role is to support her in helping her find her way, in HER way, not my way.

    That is my understanding of my role as her friend. I would venture to say it applies to total strangers who read her blog too.

    Of course in the anonymous space of the comments section of a blog opportunities abound to pontificate and speculate and blame and point fingers, but what is the point of that really, but to make ones self feel better and the subject of these actions feel worse?

  31. I read your post about your decision to separate from your husband… I honor every person’s decision to have a healthy relationship, but I also believe in accountability, if your community and blog followers are reading this:

    “In a whirlwind, I found myself marrying my baby daddy. Marrying Craig turned out to be the best decision I never really made.

    During that time, I discovered that I was strong. That was the first true thing I ever learned about myself.

    I also learned that wifedom, motherhood, and Life, sober, were really quite difficult.

    Nine sober years, one beautiful marriage, and three kids later – I’ve learned more true things about myself and life.”

    And then reading the post above, how are they not to encourage you to redeem your relationship? I agree It’s important to hear the voice of God through prayer, His word, BUT also from the people you’ve allowed to speak into your life so that they can encourage you to do the hard thing, even if it doesn’t make you happy in the moment… we can also deceive ourselves, and be deceived by our “own truth” regardless of how “sensitive to God’s voice” we think we are.

    this isn’t meant as judgement just some questions that were brought up in me by reading your various posts…

    • April, I would like to reply to your comment, which I can see was sincere and heartfelt. I have lived through the same thoughts and emotions that Glennen has shared in this entry, having left my husband when our children were very young. I think what I would like to convey to you, and others who may share a similar perspective, is that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” right decision when it comes to the institution of marriage, not even in God’s eyes. When a man is abusive, the wife and children all suffer, and this is inevitable.

      So when you asked, “how are others not to encourage you to redeem your relationship,” the answer is, when one does not know what goes on in someone else’s relationship, then he or she is in no position to know if redeeming that relationship is the right choice. Sometimes it is the worst possible choice. When staying will do far more damage to the children than leaving, the answer is simple. You leave. Please understand, I don’t mean leaving will be easy–I mean the right choice is clear, because the impact of abuse is a clear reality. It is profoundly and glaringly clear. It will change the children, affecting the people they will become. Affecting the kinds of relationships they will have in the future. Affecting their development and wellness. It will remove their joy and sense of security, leaving a scar that is irreparable. It will damage them in ways that can be seen, and in ways that will never be fully seen.

      I do believe that God wishes for families to remain whole when it is the right choice for that family, but God does not want men to abuse their wives, or their children (or for women to do so, which I know does happen). What God wants is for parents to protect their children. And sometimes, sadly, leaving a marriage is the only way to protect them. For me, it was the only choice.


  32. Glennon: I had a somewhat different reaction to your story. Of course I am supportive of you and do not judge you, but am left wondering: What is the point of marriage, especially for women?

    We women are the workhorses of humankind. We birth the babies, we do the lion’s share of caring for them, we care for the men too, the kids almost always take the men’s surnames, sometimes we do too, we sacrifice our careers and our personal interests to serve everyone else… and far too often, as many women here have revealed, we suffer abuse and heartbreak from husbands.

    Seriously, what is the point?

    Then to add insult to injury is all this judgment heaped on any woman who wants out of all this nonsense. All this social censure – most horrifyingly when it’s women who heap it upon women, when we should be sticking together instead.

    I am left thinking we women would be better off without the institution of marriage altogether. Yesterday I was reading a BBC article about Chinese women being labeled as “leftovers,” and scorned by society, if they were not married by the age of 27. The article went on to say that any Chinese woman who excelled in education and had a good job was unlikely to ever marry, because men only want to marry down in terms of education and job status. Seriously? If I were a Chinese woman, I’d opt out of marriage altogether in this circumstance! I would choose my education and career instead of serving a husband. It’s ridiculous. It’s not just Chinese society, even if they happen to make it more explicit. It’s insidious, worldwide.

    We women need to realize that our needs and wants matter too, and simply shut our ears to all the judgment and criticism telling us we need to be constantly sacrificing for everyone else. That is not the message we want to pass on to our daughters and all the other wonderful women of the world.

    • Okay, seriously A-fucking-MEN!!!!

      “the workhorses of humankind” ne’er were truer words spoken.

      I have stage IV cancer, four daughters, and I’m finally getting a divorce. I stayed for way too long with a man who was emotionally unavailable, then abusive when I found my voice and got a backbone. I stayed for way too long for fear that I wouldn’t be able to get the insurance to stay on the chemo that’s keeping me alive.

      Screw it. I don’t care anymore–I need freedom from this emotional slavery. So do my daughters.

      • Heather: I’m sorry to hear about your stage IV cancer, and wish you every strength in the coming months and years. Best wishes for this next stage in your life, and kudos to your bravery.

        • Elaine,
          Thank you. It’s taken me a long time to fully understand how brave I am, and how brave I’ve been (I’ve had this damn stage 4 since 2008, and suffered with his narcissism throughout). I hope beyond reasonable reason for a good many years after I extricate myself from this toxicity. I so want to be done. I keep breathing. One step at a time.

      • Best wishes, Heather. And Elaine, I’m going to print up a couple copies of your post and silently hand them to the people nagging me to get remarried.

        • Thanks, Kristin. And what a great idea!! I might frame her comment as an eloquent reminder of the worst that can happen.

        • Hee! Kristen and Heather, you’ll get me in trouble… But seriously, gals, being single is not such a tragedy when you think about it. Sometimes, I think all the social pressure worldwide for women to be married exists because society needs women to serve in voluntary subservient roles, and – let’s be honest here – wifehood and motherhood are two of the main vehicles of voluntary servanthood.

          So really, being single can be a good life. There’s no need for anyone to attach so much drama to it. We should just calmly and wholeheartedly wish Glennon (and others here) well, without attaching all these layers of guilt and drama and judgment.

          • I’m so looking forward to single life. I think your observation about voluntary subservience is extremely astute, and deserves a lot more discussion.

            I wish everyone here well. I know that a decision of any importance must be made in the hallows of the human heart, and only until it’s made there is it made well at all.

  33. Freaking WOW! Beautifully stated and oh so very spot on! It amazed me the advise I got in the same situation…there were times I longed to SCREAM at the advice giver of the things I needed to escape to be able to LIVE. I did not….I would smile and thank them for their concern. In the end…it was their “loving concern” that caused the most angst because I was totally certain of the direction I had been led. I finally realized that it was their fear that prompted those 250 phone calls. (It was a big Church!) I was absorbing that fear at first, then it became compassion for their fear. I will be sharing this beautifully written story. Thank You.
    I wish you Peace…and continued Love on your journey.
    Carry on, Warrior!

  34. Dear Glennon:
    I’m sorry that your marriage hit some bumps & just couldn’t make it through it. It is a tough decision to make that ONLY YOUR FAMILY can make. We should not be telling you what you should do. If you want some advice, you will ask for it. This is not a decision that you entered into lightly. I hope that you & Craig are able to support your children with all of the love that you can. I hope that it is not full of angry words or hurtful hearts. This is not an easy thing to do. I wish you happiness. It will come in time. You will settle into your new routines. You will be ok. Good luck. Ignore the people who want to offer hurtful things. You have way too many people who would rather support you & help you through life.

  35. Dear Glennon,
    Many years ago I was stuck in a difficult decision. I waited and waited for God’s answer. I said to my older brother, “I have peace, knowing that God will tell me what to do.”
    And my brother shared with me that God does not promise we will make the ‘right’ decision. As flawed and sinful people, we often make the wrong decision. But God does promise that when we seek to follow His will, as His children, He will bless whatever decision we make–not just for us, but for all involved parties–He’s almighty, so He can do cool stuff like that, even when we mess up. So even when we do the WRONG thing, God can turn it around and make it the RIGHT thing–not only can He do this, but He promises that He will. How cool is that? Romans 8:28-30.
    So I do not know if you are doing the right or wrong thing, how could a person know that? But I do know that He will bless you, because you are His dearly loved child.

  36. So true. No one knows but you. And no one has to live with it but you.

  37. Hi Glennon, I am a Catholic and pretty religious and would never purport to know what another woman should do, in ANY situation. Go forward in peace and the knowledge that you are doing what feels right to you and your family. Carry on, WARRIOR!

  38. First-several months ago I asked if I could quote you at church. I did and have continued to so from time to time. Many people have enjoyed your wisdom.

    I know you have been inundated with comments about marital problems, separation and divorce. I have some words of wisdom myself regarding divorce etc. I speak from a place of knowing. I’ve been there.

    1-Divorce sucks. No matter the situation. It is amazingly hard and painful. It takes the breath from your body. There are days that the best you can do is survive it. In the end, you can grow from the experience and emerge a stronger, wise person and loving parent.

    2-If God chose our spouses, there would be no divorce. Unfortunately, he/she does not. We do. Sometimes we screw up.

    3-A very wise person said this of her divorce. I find it can be true for both parties. “I learned that the only way I could continue to love and honor this man, was to not live with him.”

    Good luck, Glennon. Be filled with peace, love and breath.


  39. That’s one of my favourite Mary Oliver poems, which says something because I love ALL her poems! Such great words to live by . . .”it was already late enough, and a wild night and the road full of fallen branches and stones . . .” That’s how I think of us all in our hardest times, scrambling in the dark over sharp rocks and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But I am so glad you can hear your own voice and you know you’re on the right path. That’s 90% of the battle surely. I wish you every good thing Glennon x x

  40. No questioning from me. You do what you have to do. Everyone needs to make their own choices based on what they, alone, know. Block out those people who are sadly ignorant of this fact. I am sure they want the best for you, too, but the preaching is not the answer. For YOU. Don’t let it get to you. As merely one, I’m behind you.

  41. Glennon,

    When I decided, after years of fighting myself, to leave my abusive marriage for my then toddler, and myself, I finally spoke to my Monsignor friend. His advice:

    God wants you to be happy. God does not want you to suffer. Leaving is the best thing you have ever done. For yourself, for your daughter, for He loves you too much to see you in pain.

    Our inner voice, that is the one to listen to. When I see friends, loved ones, strangers, hurting and in a painful and difficult situation, my only prayer for them is that God’s Will for them be done.

    None of us know what that is for anyone else. Most of us don’t know what that is for ourselves.

    So much love for you, my dear.
    Carry on, Warrior.


  42. Never settle. You deserve more than the droppings at the bottom of the bird cage.

  43. Bravo, G. Sister On!

  44. “I would like to beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

    -Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903
    in Letters to a Young Poet

  45. Are you my mother? “Be still and know.” I’m working on it every day–like it is a brand new idea. I’m ready to tattoo a butterfly on my wrist to remember to breathe and know the affect my response to situations has–that ripple of emotion that pervades the loves in my home. I admire your grace, courage and honesty. Sending good juju and holding you close from afar.

  46. I just wanted to say thank you for this post. I used to be one who would offer lots of advice and freak-outs about what God might think, but my perspective on God and life has changed a lot and now I just wish I lived closer so I could take your children and give you time to listen. That is stellar advice!

    Love this! So true!

    • Well now, that didn’t work so well, now, did it? It was supposed to say,

      “I think God is more likely to talk to her about her than to you about her.”

      Love this! So true!

      I’m not so good with technology!

  47. I love this post so much. I went through a divorce three years ago and then went through a period of immense guilt because I felt like I hadn’t lived up to my Christian parents’ expectations. (And I have probably been guilty of giving some of the advice you mention above.)

    I knew I was doing what I needed to do but couldn’t express it. This is beautiful.

  48. I think you are awesome – just in case you needed a reminder.

  49. Jesus wept. Thats the shortest verse in the Bible and perhaps one of the most powerful… for so many reasons. And I know he is weeping with you right now. The Bible is full of admonitions on how we should live our lives, but we have to remember who they came from.. a loving and compassionate God. He is holding you right now and walking with you. Just listen to Him and those around you who speak His truth with love and FULL knowledge of your situation. The rest of us can pray.

  50. I have never commented on a blog post before, but I feel so strongly led to leave one for you today. I have walked in your shoes. Like you, I received the news. Like you, I tried to hold my family together. Like you, I was still and waited. Like you, I knew God would lead me. I assumed God would lead me to stay. After all, as Christians we are taught to forgive. As women, we want to heal those around us and the situations we find ourselves in. However, after a year of limbo and several new revelations, God showed me the light that separation was my path. It had been all along, I just wasn’t ready to see it yet. God knew I needed a little time to be at peace with that decision, so time was what He gave me. I am so heartbroken for you, but I am also happy for you. Because I know that NOW, you can be at peace. NOW, you can start to live again. Stay strong and know without a doubt that God will carry you every step of the way.

  51. G…I have been trying not to read your story. Which is terribly hard for me because I love coming here another wide open beautiful soul living out loud. That has been my goal for my life. But I have deliberately not been keep up on this particular part of your life because I’m sailing the same boat and didn’t want your situation and your feelings on it to persuade me. I am separated from my husband and trying to decide what is best for me, my daughter and even my husband (because, as you know, you still love him even if “things” are not good or he has issues to deal with). I decided last week to check in with “you”. I really needed to see how you were and see where you were in the process. Your story assured me once again that I’m not alone. Thank you for that- as always! But all I wanted to tell you was that you are not alone! And you will never be! Also that the only one that knows what is right for you is you, even when you have no clue what that is or means! As for the desires of our loving God, all he wants is for you to be the best you you can be! Peace and love!

  52. As this is a place where flawed people come to feel not so flawed, I believe good, kind and wonderful people want the best for you. Sadly they think because they know you so ‘well’ through your blog – they must know exactly what it is that is best for you. Lucky for them they have this safe place – where even unsolicited and uninformed advice is received as it is intended, from the heart with love.

    Wonderfully you have provided another lesson in love in your response to them. I know not what path another walks, nor the shoes they wear. I see a picture, a snapshot in time that appears one way to the eye and another to the heart and soul. I can’t know what is best for you or where your journey will lead – but I am making space for you, and I know you can do hard things. I am saying it in my head and my heart to you right now.

    Oh, and right on with the care and delicacy you are giving your family and their future selves in this blog. This has been about the journey – not the minute detail. Giving them the details is as it should be, letting them be for your family to hold is right. Bravo for you for holding back what is theirs.

  53. Maybe we just want what we have read from you – be true – a marriage that is intact – yet brutiful. Many people -Christian and not -say what they (we) believe to be helpful and true – and have good intentions, but yes fall short.
    Every person’s situation is unique and their own and there should never be condemnation nor judgement.
    You are very brave to put your whole life out there for all to see. Very brave. And inspiring and funny and helpful.
    I for one hope your marriage stays intact.
    As wrong as some people -yourself maybe included -may feel that is. On the outside looking in I hope the marriage covenant stays.
    Your honesty should never open the door to criticism – but it is human nature I believe for us all to want to “fix things” and “make them better.” Grace covers us all. All of us.
    I have been married 24 years – I was 19 when I married – and very trying times my husband and I have overcome. Most self inflicted. But we are now at a very good place. Not complacent – for if you don’t water a flower it wilts – but at a very good place.
    You seem like an overcomer no matter what plays out.
    I just selfishly don’t want to see your story include divorce. But I also know it is not my story to write.

  54. Beautiful.

    –A sister in Christ

  55. I just started reading your blog today (but I did find you earlier, through Kelle Hampton’s blog) and who knew the first post I would read is about your separation. I am a good person, but I am not a devout Christian, as I am sure you are and also your readers. But I believe in one’s power to control their own destiny and make positive choices with their life. If something is not working, then it just is not. And only you can know that. Living life peacefully apart is way better for your children than living together and being miserable. I took a flying leap and left my husband 2.5 years ago. I had a small but successful photography business and some hope. I struggled financially, I learned how to live alone for the first time ever at age 38, I learned how to be a single parent, and I fell in love again. I got remarried. And I know show my children every day what true love looks like. What a confident and happy me looks like. And that is something I could never have shown them in my previous marriage. I am sure it is comforting to know all these readers are praying for you…but sometimes what you need to do is pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make shit happen. I’m sure this will get lost in all the comments…but if you ever want to break it down and keep it real…I’m here. Shoot me an email. Lisa

  56. I just read this and it spoke right to my life right now. I just called off a two year engagement and have been divorced and am starting over again. I needed these words! Thank you.

  57. And sometimes, a woman decides to leave – not because she has given up, but because she refuses to give up.

    Truer words never spoken.

  58. I’m not really sure why I’m leaving this comment – with your massive readership and the 800+ comments, I can see that this will get lost in the shuffle, but I”m going to do it!
    For the past year and a half I’ve suffered from an extreme anxiety disorder. My whole world as I knew it stopped and the suffering of the present and fear of the future overwhelmed me. With each doctor I visited, each therapist, each acupuncturist – they asked about my marriage. I always answered that my marriage was fine – I didnt’ have the time to talk about my marriage, I was suffering so greatly that I needed to dive into the world of anxiety and knock that out before I looked into other issues!
    But 5 months ago what had been in the dark for many years, came into the light and I discovered that my marriage was in severe crisis mode. As you’ve said, much of my story is my husband’s story and not for me to share publically on my blog or otherwise, but what I found out shattered me and also revealed that a huge source of my physical suffering and debilitating anxiety was actually caused by my husband and our marriage.
    My weekly therapy sessions for anxiety have now turned into weekly couple counseling and I’m not sure how we are making it through except for the grace of God.
    I have no advice for you.
    I don’t know you or your story completely.
    But in the past 4 months of marriage therapy, there has not been a week that has gone by where a friend of mine, teacher at our school, blog writer, or other woman in my life has announced her divorce or separation. I weep at the difficulty of marriage. I weep at the difficulty of my own marriage!
    The enemy is alive and well and he loves to destroy everything that threatens him.
    He is threatened.
    Again, I don’t know you, but I want you to know that I am praying for you by name.
    God has “gifted” me with much insomnia through my battle with anxiety and He has told me to pray in those awake hours of the night. He often speaks a name to me to pray for. Without knowing much of anything, I pray.
    I am praying for you.

    • WHY is marriage so difficult? I mean really, when you date, live together, and even while you are engaged things are almost always easy.

      Then you get married.

      Then things get really hard.

      WTF? Why? I was happily dating and engaged to my husband for two years. Got married, things were good for another.

      Then year two, three, and four have brought so many tears, so much heartache.

      And two babies.

      WHY is marriage so hard?

  59. is anyone else tired of all this? there’s life outside “G”. she appreciates all the prayer and support and discussions. she has (as we all do) enough to deal with- just with regular life. it doesn’t matter what her next step will be. all i know is life is hard. and i pray for her no more, no less than anyone else.
    so let’s all get on with our lives. what’s going on in your life? any new projects monkees?

    • I teach musicals to 150 students per grade level in my kids elementary school with a performance every month (900 total per year). Since music is cut pretty much everywhere, I offer approximately 40 hours/week of stay-at-home-do-chores-mommy-time up to public school music programs. This world desperately needs time more than $. Search in the hidden closets of your life and dust off those old talents. Our kids need them! And our elderly need them too. Heck, YOU might just need them more than you know! GO VOLUNTEERS! I gave up tv a while back and replaced it with grant writing, donation requests from corporations, non-profit program development, and all sorts of creative-life-enhancing stuff…it makes a gal feel useful. We weren’t kept up all night through a generation of midnight feedings and “I can’t fall back to sleep” so we could waste it all on Facebook and tivo recordings. I live to hear about how people spend their precious time.

    • God loves you, Glennon. Keep trusting in him. Keep listening to him. He will guide you and give you truth. And you are right, no other person can receive personal revelation for you.

      For all who read this blog, Last Sunday, I came across this quote:

      “The Savior’s atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins, but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair… I promise you He is not going to turn His back on us, now. When he says to the poor in spirit, “Come unto me,” He means He knows the way out and He knows the way up. He knows it because he has walked it. He knows the way because He is the way.”

      It is from a talk called “Broken Things to Mend” and you can watch, read, or listen to the entire talk at this link:

      Keep pressing forward! Keep holding on to God. HE WILL NEVER LEAD YOU ASTRAY.

  60. I am here with a heavy heart today. I came back to see if there had been any additional discussion on comments I left the day this first posted. As I scanned through the comments looking for mine, I was saddened by what I saw. There is so much I would like to say, but much of it has already been said, so I will just hope that it has been heard.

    But there is one thing I haven’t seen that, I think, warrants saying… I have seen a lot of talk about how Glennon’s writing a blog and sharing her life with us justifies any number of reactions — criticism, advice, insistence on knowing the whole story, etc. I strongly believe this is not only faulty logic but potentially dangerous. The idea that Glennon, somehow, ASKED FOR THIS is a notion that we would summarily reject if proposed in another situation. I don’t excuse my 8 year old from pushing his little brother no matter how badly the five year old was behaving. We should all cringe at the idea that women are responsible for rape if they dress provocatively or flirt too much. That’s because we recognize that my 8 year old and a rapist and *all of us* must take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for our actions.

    So if you are going to criticize, advise, ask for more information (or even praise, encourage, support), OWN IT. Glennon is here because she is a writer, because she wants to help people, because she sees the power in sharing our stories and making connections, and this forum is how those things intersect for her. I’m sure she *expects* criticism, but that is far different from “asking for it.”

    To be clear, I’m not commenting on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of anything else said here, not by Glennon or anyone else. I am simply asking that we all own our reactions and comments and questions and not suggest that they are the fault of someone else.

    Peace and love, friends.

  61. I feel like a lot of women assume that, if a woman offers advice or has an opinion, it’s because she’s never been through Hell herself. This assumptions says that women who have been through Hell in their marriages will universally agree that any decision is equal and positive, and those who disagree haven’t REALLY “been there.” It also assumes that every woman who doesn’t walk has obviously just not had it “bad enough.”

    Let me just say, the last few months of my marriage have been Hell. There were many weeks where I woke up and dreamed of how much better my life would be if I just packed up and left. I thought it was impossible that he would ever recognize that he needed to change, for me to forgive, for us to work together. Hell, I didn’t think we’d ever share a bedroom again.

    But, through all that, I’ve also seen grace and mercy and God’s faithfulness like never before. I have more confidence in my marriage, in myself than ever before. I have more faith in God than ever before. Because there is absolutely no explanation for how far we are now, from where we were, than God’s mercy. If I’d walked away 4 months ago, I’d have robbed myself of God’s ability to work in me and in us, and still been left with a broken home and family.

    I’m still not saying what anyone else should do in her own individual situation. But we all make decisions based on experience — sometimes our own, but sometimes others’. And my experience says that when you’re down in the valleys, when you stay there through the storm, the waters will come and lift you up to heights that you could never ascend on your own.

    Blessings. Love.

    • Now THIS is encouragement! This is encouragement in a way that, “I have been where you have been, and sometimes it is better just to leave,” could never ever be. Misery loves company, and G being separated or divorced makes others feel better about their own. Nothing easy has ever really been worth it.

      And this is coming from someone who has been through hell herself, and knows full well how incredible and affirming it feels to come out the other side!

  62. thumbs up!

  63. I’ve never written to you before — but I had to when I read this particular post. I’m very active in my Episcopal church, my dad is a priest, my grandfather was a bishop — and I’m the mother of three amazing children aged 11, 14, and 17. Their father (my high school sweetheart) and I split up 9 1/2 years ago. The decision to separate and ultimately divorce was by far the hardest I’ve ever made — for MANY reasons, only one of which was my belief that I had made a vow before God. It took me a long time to stop thinking I could and should “fix” it — and instead to realize that staying in my marriage was not what I was “supposed” to do. Instead, I believe what we’re called to do is live as authentically as we can — and I couldn’t do that and stay in my marriage. It hasn’t (and isn’t) always been easy — but it was without a doubt the right decision for me — and for my children. All four of us are happy and thriving. I wish we lived closer to you so I could invite your family into my home and all of you could get a glimpse of just how great your life in the future can be. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us through your blog!

  64. you are brave. you are wise. you are loved. Carry on, Glennon!

  65. I loved this post. Thanks for a great reminder that we don’t have anyone else’s answers. Or our own for that matter.

    I hear your voice breaking through. Reading this made me think of Psalm 40 and the idea of “a new song.”

    I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

  66. Good grief. This thread is emblematic of why I’ve come to avoid Christians like the plague. “Faith” has evolved into just another stick to whack others over the head with, but no one’s allowed to question the practitioner because it’s all “God” and “The Bible” and therefore outside of anyone’s reach to criticize.

    It’s not anyone’s job to “figure it out” for anyone else. It’s just our job to be quiet and listen and support. If Glennon says that there’s no bad guy, good guy, or sides to be drawn up…accept it. You don’t need details. They’re not your business to know. And since no one can go and live her life for her, she should probably be allowed to live it as she sees fit without a bunch of cavil and bellyaching. As should we all.

    • I am a Christian. I am a very different Christian from Glennon. I read her blog (and enjoy it) because she writes of our differences with no judgement (at least I don’t FEEL judged) and a lot of love. I have seriously disagreed with some things that she has written in the past, and that’s okay. I still think she’s smart and funny and her viewpoints are valuable. And because she writes without judgement, it is easier for me to learn more about people who think differently than I do. I’ve even written some of my disagreements and posted, and gotten nothing but love in return. Some questions maybe, but never anger or judgement.
      That being said, it makes me a little sad that you would run from me, like the plague, no less, because I am a Christian. Because you write with some intelligence, I think it might be kind of fun to talk to you.

  67. I am relatively new to Momastery. I have been deeply inspired by Glennon and the community I’ve found here. I’m generally not someone to comment on blogs, but this particular post seems to have spurred many people like me to sort of come out of the woodwork and speak our minds.
    I am responding not so much to Glennon’s original post, but to many of the comments I’ve read here from people who feel that they can speak to who Glennon is as a Christian and to what decisions she *must* make in her marriage, and the way she *should* be conveying her message here in order to be a true Christian. “If you leave for these reasons, it’s acceptable according to the Bible, but if it’s not for these reasons, it isn’t ok. And even if it is for those reasons, just know that you’re still hurting God by doing it.” “If you really wrestled with this *properly* you would have referred to specific Bible verses in your blog post.”
    I was raised in the Catholic church, but only in recent years, and especially in recent months, have I start to come into my own as a follower of Christ. Speaking as someone who is still in the early phases of learning, digesting, and understanding the Word of God, I can say that the judgmental words I read here are exactly the kind of thing that led me to build a wall between myself and Christianity. All those people who professed to know more, to understand better, to be closer to God than I am – I do not believe those are the people who God used when He called me back to Him. Those people scared me and made me want to stay away. God called me through the gentle and loving voices of my friends, and people like Glennon. I hated myself and never believed I could be good enough for God (and I can’t), but I have been blessed to learn about what GRACE really means from some wonderful people in my life, and from reading books and blogs like Glennon’s, and now that I’m ready for it, from reading the Bible. All those people who appear here to be shouting at Glennon “YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!!!” make me recoil. Even if you think you’re saying it in a gentle voice, when someone is as raw and vulnerable as Glennon is here (and as tender as I am as an emerging Christian), your words are harsh and can come across as if you were shouting.
    All I’m saying is that if your goal is to spread God’s Word, to draw people in, to encourage people to follow Christ, a message of love and acceptance and grace is going to be much more effective than finger wagging. Maybe you feel God is calling you to be His enforcer here, and you certainly have to follow the path you believe He has laid out before you, but from my perspective those methods will scare off many more people than they’ll attract.

  68. Disclaimer: This post is not about G or any other person and it is not written in response to any commenters. I am not trying to make a point or steal anyone’s thunder. I am asking for a community of prayer.
    I am a fan of this blog and I am praying for a miracle. It will take a miracle to salvage my marriage, considering we are in the final stages of divorce and my husband left me for another woman. For the past 6 months I have read countless books and blogs about moving on, accepting reality, self-help, self-acceptance, self-improvement, the positive effects of divorce on kids, the negative effects of divorce on kids, the biblical meaning of marriage, God’s grace and forgiveness for the divorced, and on and on. I have read Scripture about God’s will, moving mountains, what to pray and how to pray, how and when God answers, and why he sometimes doesn’t. So today, after I took my children to school, I took a sick day off work and buried my face in my pillow and cried uncontrollably for God to help me move on, get back up, accept, let go, and truly believe Jeremiah 29:11. While doing so, it occurred to me that I am asking for something that I do not want. It felt fake, but what is the alternative? What I really want is a miracle, yet I have been and I am afraid to ask for a miracle. Ye of little faith? My husband and I made a mess of what God created–love and marriage “by digging our own cisterns” It will take a miracle from God to clean it up. Dare I pray for a miracle?
    When we told our 11 year old son, a baseball player, that we were getting a divorce he said, “but we are a team, we don’t quit, if one person on the team gives up, we all lose”. My seven year old daughter told me just yesterday, “it’s ok for you and dad to get divorced because you can always marry each other again”. Children believe in miracles, they believe in their parents.
    Christians, Monkees, and believers in magic or miracles or the alignment of the stars, please, if you are inclined, pray with me for a miracle.
    Jeremiah 2:13 “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

    • praying for a miracle for you….

    • Your sons response… From the mouths of babes.

    • Dear “theoneleft” I will be prating for your miracle…its the same miracle I looking for also! God’s blessings be with you.

    • I am praying for you. Possibly you should be saying, “Your Will be Done” and truly believe that He is in control. Nothing is worse than feeling like you have no control of a situation, in which you do not. But He does. Trust. Believe. Peace to you.

    • Absolute prayers! Feel loved. Know love. Receive love from all of the infinite sources surrounding you. And go get your awesome kiddo’s some Red Robin bottomless fries (or anything bottomless) because ya’ll need to know that love and hope is never ending! Have faith!

    • Holding you and your family in prayer. I too have a son who is eleven. It is amazing how wise eleven year olds can be. Regardless how God answers, I also pray peace over you. You are not alone.

    • praying for you and for all marriages that need a miracle

    • The responses from your kids really hit me. Kids are amazing, really. I’m praying for a miracle for you. I may be in your situation in the very near future and it is terrifying.

  69. “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
    ― St. Francis of Assisi

  70. I am so proud of you. I am so proud of you. I am so proud of you. (Yes, three times on purpose.) I see HEARING that voice of God as one thing, and FOLLOWING it as another – two unique, uniquely challenging skills. You seem to be really good at practicing both. I am blown away by your bravery. Thank you so much for being an example to little old me. You help me grow too.

  71. You are so strong, Glennon, to have the courage to go through this hard hard thing, and then to have to turn around and deal with the thinly veiled judgements of people who know so little about you and nothing about your marriage. And through it all, you’re still kind. You’re still loving. You still care. Thank you for modeling that. It’s something that I struggle with, but watching you do it inspires me to try.

    I have no advice to give about what you’re going through, but I’m thinking of you and holding a little space in my heart for your family today.

  72. Isaiah 64:8 “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

    I am not a Christian, but believer in Higher power and God. I find your blog restorative and thank you for sharing your brutiful life! It’s inspired my own blog on wordpress. About my own addiction and recovery and sobriety.
    Thank you. You are strong and fearless!

  73. G, thank you so much for saying all this.
    I’ve just ended my own marriage (16 years together, 11 years of marriage, 1 child) for so many reasons, all culminating in the simple fact that being together was destroying us both. We are both good people. We love each other and adore our child. There wasn’t even any News on our front, no precipitating event. But we are not good *together,* and hanging on for the sake of hanging on is not a way to spend a life, and we only have the one life to spend. I’ve been so lucky to be surrounded by people who recognized the necessity of this decision, and have been wishing for it, but the very few dissenters I’ve encountered have been well-meaning Christians who are concerned that my decision may not be right. But the power of an institution is ultimately nothing compared to the emotional health of the three of us. When my mother saw me for the first time after my decision her eyes welled with tears…I looked alive inside for the first time in six years, she said.

    Your sailing post struck me for so many reasons, one of which was the quotation from the poem, Kindness. Kindness to one another has been my mantra since I made this decision on November 10th of last year, and so far it has been the key to helping all three of us feel safe in our new reality. We are gifting each other a chance to live our lives again, and offering our six-year-old daughter a glimpse at what it means to make the hard choice for the greater good. I also hope she will see what it means for her parents to be whole.

    I wish for you kindness and grace and the continued bravery to make choices that are right for you, no matter how difficult or easy they each may be. Thank you for speaking for so many of us.

  74. With all that is loving, sincere, and genuine in my heart – thank you. This piece is beautiful and so very much appreciated. xO

  75. Can’t get through all the comments… But just want to say that I think you are totally right, it is our own need to reinforce our own marriages that makes us wish for others to stay married. The first time I heard a friend was getting divorced, it really shook me — and that was a time when not only was my marriage rock-solid, but the friend’s marriage was problematic from Day 1 and I truly believed it was best that it end (I was very grateful there were no children involved). Now, as time has gone by, of course my own marriage has had its own shakes and rumbles at times. I think that’s why I have been especially hoping for you and Craig to mend — not knowing anything, just wishing for a happily-ever-after: as if that would make my own happily-ever-after more likely — ha!! But I know that’s just wishful thinking. The best thing that could happen to you is for you to figure out, not me. I will have to figure out my own path, not just follow yours, obviously :) So I pledge not to give advice about whether you and Craig should stay together or not!

  76. I’m home sick today and rocking’ out to “Today is the Day” by Paul Baloche. I think you would like it G!

  77. Gi and fellow readers,
    Something in this post reminded me of a previous post of yours detailing a plane trip with your son when you met a new friend Tim.You gave advice to Tim about how he shouldn’t categorize people in groups by using the words all or most and how by doing this it discredits his argument a little.Although you never used the words all or most in your this post, the way it was written could have been taken that way by some of your readers.
    For the record, I wasn’t offended by the post when I read it but immediately thought the post wouldn’t go over well. I think when you wrote this post you wanted to speak to the hearts of women in similar situations as yours and to bring awareness to Christians offering advice. Instead this post seemed to offend many Christian readers.
    I don’t believe giving this type of advice is limited to just Christians. I believe a lot of us are guilty of this. I think many of us think we know best and want to offer our helpful advice. I for one know this is a problem for me that i need to work on.
    Lets all work together to give our opinions in a constructive and loving way.
    Much love,

  78. “…you will be called My Delight……for the Lord delights in you.” Is. 62:4…
    Precious G. When read about your separation I felt sad. And I began to pray. Carry on Warrior…. hugs and love from the throne of Grace.

  79. Oh, Glennon! I feel you. And thank you for your transparency. I’ll be transparent for a moment to share what I’ve learned. I’ve been married 5 times. No one will ever say that I don’t believe in love… And I’ve often reflected on what advice I would’ve appreciated (instead of what I got). My first marriage lasted 5 years. We were waaay too young and had absolutely no examples of a solid marriage. We just gave up instead of growing together. In my second marriage (and the one I had my daughter in), I think I was looking for the antithesis of my first husband. The problem was that we had NOTHING in common. And I allowed myself to be ‘small’ in his presence. The third and fourth marriages happened in a self-righteous time (for me) when I thought that I needed to be married… one lasted one month, the other lasted 6 months. They were both great guys but we should’ve just been friends. My fifth marriage is the one where I have grown the most. I married a friend that I had known my whole life… well, I thought I knew him. And we had a baby girl (when I was 43). And I just THOUGHT I had problems in my other marriages. He is a good man… with major problems… that I suffered the consequences of. So, I filled for divorce when the baby was 1 year old. And that’s when he got some help. He begged me to wait to follow through with the divorce for 6 months. And I did. We were separated for 1 year. During that year we both worked on ourselves. And now we are spending more and more time together. The truth is that I’m (still) not sure what the end of the story will be. I do know that we are both stronger. And we are both continuing to grow. So, here is my advice… consider reading ‘A Return To Love’, Marianne Williamson… and take your time. I also think it helps to release the stereotypes of what a marriage is. The truth for you is in you… because God is in you. You are loved. You are love.

  80. YES, YES, YES!!!! I struggled with the whole concept of “God wants me to work harder at this marriage” for far too long. The first six years of my son’s life can never be recaptured and the damaging effects of staying will linger a lifetime for him and me. It was only when I sat quietly, just me and God, that I understood what he had been trying to tell me through all the noise of well meaning friends, professionals and the clutter of years of lying to myself. This entire post is oh so brutiful to me. Hugs to you and every other brave Monkey on this journey!

  81. Do you imagine G has come to this place with anything less than gut wrenching love for her children, herself and even her husband? Do you think there is one iota of enough affirmation offered here to offset the magnitude of her loss? She’s not breaking up a family, she’s discovered her family was already broken. She’s not only lost her future, she’s lost what she believed was her past. Her whole story is being rewritten backwards. I imagine a big part of her wishes she never had to know all this. But from what I can tell from her writing, G is committed to living in the light. So God turned the light on and exposed extremely painful things. So they can be healed. Because. He. Loves. Them. ALL of them. The journey will be long and arduous. Where love ultimately leads them is their business before God. We get to love and support them, Christians. That’s our only job.

  82. Well crap. Sorry I missed this news from your earlier post. Thank you for reminding me that you don’t have to give a flying pig what people think about your relationship with God. And also the lesson that you can love the judgiest ones regardless of what they say. It is these lessons (that I learned the hard way long ago, but need constant reminding of) that allowed me to walk away from agnosticism and back to having a relationship with God. But this isn’t about me. You are not alone. The Monkees stand behind you.

  83. So many emotions…but simply stated, “Amen Sister”!! You are such an inspiration – so happy to hear where your heart is!!!! LOVE YOU!!

  84. Glennon I really do feel sorrow for you. Marriage used to be an institution that was beautiful. The modern marriage has become quite far from that. I am certainly glad that my generation is nearing their end. I never thought I would see the day when marriage and Christians were talked about as if they were both dogs. Just truly heart breaking. My how I feel guilty. Christians have always given me strength and support, and I have a spouse that supports me in my walk with God. I need to count my blessings! I take it from these posts that I am quite in the minority.

  85. You’ve gotten over 700 responses to this post. I’m not surprised. My daughter follows your blog daily. She sent this particular one to me and said it “reminded her of me.” God bless her and God love her for “seeing” what I “felt” for so long. Thank you for putting on “paper” exactly what I went through years ago. I shed the guilt a while back. I stopped caring what everybody else thought about my divorce … except for my children. They have since become my rocks and my support. Still, it helps them to read another story, and it so helps me to know they “get it” about what I did. No one else really matters. But you’re so right about the Christians in my life who thought they were helping but were only making things worse for ME. I matter too … to my kids and to my God. He loves me more than he loves my failed marriage. I so wish all the nay-Sayers would find something much more important to focus on than divorce. From my experience, most of them would walk out of their own relationships tomorrow if the Christian guilt wasn’t holding them back. Thank you, Glennon … from the bottom of my heart.

  86. SMAD. Sad and mad together. Reading this post and the comments, leaves me with a nasty combination of both.

  87. I am so glad that this blog is here to guide us through the trials and tribulations life throws our way! It is so refreshing not to have scriptures shoved down your throat and to just hear the sweet truths through Glennon’s writings!

    • I think this is a scary thought you would rather have a woman’s word to guide you through life than scriptures. The Bible is here to guide us through because the Bible and God are the only thing that is always right. We should be running to Scriptures and to the Word of God which is living and active for our guidance not that of someone online. Also, they are many issues with this post because it disregards the Bible and God’s stance on marriage which is the only truth we should be basing our life off.

      • CC, I believe very strongly that Glennon was putting shoes on scripture in this post, not just wielding it like a sword. If we look at the scriptures as a whole and see the love story that God has written, we will see that even though God hates divorce and has that “stance” on it, he still divorced His people. Since God is the embodiment of perfect love that is an example to us that sometimes the loving answer to a situation is divorce. Please don’t require of someone to give a chapter and verse to defend themselves or justify their actions. Sometimes we need to be led by the Spirit of God in order to embrace the spirit of God.
        If you are referring to his “stance” in Malachi 2 (or any other verse for that matter) I would suggest that your read it in context and not only in the context of the surrounding verses, but also the context of the Bible as a whole.
        I say all of this with much love and grace. We are all on a journey.

    • I must admit this post troubled me also. I enjoy reading Glennon’s blog, but to hear her writing referred to as ‘sweet truths’ and scriptures as a burden gave me a chill.

    • CC and Karla, I think you might be reading too much into Lucy’s words. I think she means the truth that we learn through experience — Glennon has lived a whole lot and divined some truths that I think most of us can learn from. I don’t read Lucy’s post to mean that Glennon’s words are a substitute for scripture. (It’s also possible Lucy’s being sarcastic — hard to tell.)

    • I was just sort of restating what most people have posted in the comment sections. If you read the comments, I completely agree that it is refreshing not to have to answer to a bunch of outdated and man written scriptures, but to just rely on love. Love conquers all. As long as we act in love then we are in tune with the will of God. Glennon writes everything in love. So yes, it is quite refreshing to hear her perspective and see her words of love. I do not need people referencing scriptures from a time where slaves were legal and women were property. That does not really seem like loving thy neighbor as thy self.

      • yes but the problem with saying love is all we need without outdated scriptures is we can not know true love without knowing God because God is love. Also, we cannot know God with knowing Jesus and the best way to truly know Jesus is to study the scriptures and the story of His life and the story of God the Father. We cannot love without seeing how God loves because love isn’t always easy and it isn’t always comfortable and it isn’t always what we today would call love. So if you take the scriptures out of it you take true love that God is talking about when he says love thy neighbors out of it which means you aren’t living in the will of God afterall. And like it or not we do answer to the God of the Bible with the truths that are in His word because that is the only place truth comes from.

  88. God is there behind every misfortune and fortune, every argument, tragedy, sorrow and all joys, waiting for us to return His love. Waiting for us to open our hearts and be guided. If we continually look outside to the world for guidance we will continually be telling God to wait. When we cultivate the silence and joy within and make the connection with God, all exterior circumstances in our lives will begin to improve. :)

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