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August 11, 2005



Your therapist's quote couldn't have rang more true in these ears. Thanks for sharing.


I'm glad to hear you say that; we've had similar experiences.


Do you think it would have been the same if there were children involved?

Just curious?



THREE previous marriages/divorces and you're still projecting? (Returning to the repressed, as Freud would say?)

Have you read anything by Carl Jung on the psychological aspects of marriage?

I cannot judge you, though you may wish to ask yourself --- "Am I using serial marriage as a way to dodge my critical existential demons?"

More pragmatically, how does marrying again allow you to play out your fundamental addiction?

"Almost everyone has some addictive pattern. Any reflexive response to stress and anxiety, whether conscious or not, is a form of addiction. The chief motive of any addiction is, of course, to help one not feel what one in fact has already been feeling. Breaking the tyranny of addiction will require one to feel the pain that the addiction defends against. No wonder, then, that addictive patterns have susch a staying power as flimsy, faltering defenses against primal wounds."



Check out your Bible and you will find that God does not condone divorce nor makes concessions for it's failure. Mark 10 is pretty cut and dried on the subject. I would take His word over a Christian(?) psychologist any day. Anything you have said on the subject has no scriptural basis and therefore can not be attributed to "God's divine word". Be careful that you aren't responsible for convincing the scripturally uneducated into thinking divorce is OK under the right (save one) circumstances. It's not.


Can we give a person credit for trying to make something positive out of a negative?


For once NYMOM and I are in complete agreement. Didn't Jesus have a few pointed things to say about being judgemental? I seem to remember something about the casting of stones...

ms. b.

Good luck, Hugo, I'm sure you won't need it.

(from a feminist whose opinion about marriage has done a 180 recently!)


Actually, yrmom, Jesus was pretty clear that divorce is appropriate in cases of adultery.

By "Bible" I believe you mean "New Testament." The Tanakh is pretty clear on permitting divorce.


Although I am not always happy with the outcome of taking liberties with the text of scripture, one could argue that even in divorce one can really be loving his or her neighbor. . .how often it happens and if that is bullshit, I am not sure. But the text is, if anything, maleable.


I repeat, none of what any of you are saying is based on scripture. It is merely what "I think" which is of no consequence to God. Our only concern should be what God thinks and He has stated that clearly. So are we all simply impressed with our own rationalizations or are we determined and dedicated to being obedient to God's word? Could II Timothy 4:3-4 apply here? And, since when does referring to scripture translate into judging? Does that mean any pastor who quotes scripture referring to sin is judging? Erica, where does it say that the Word is malleable? Should I trust your own musings or the Bible?


way to go Hugo, your fiance is lucky to have found someone like you.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts on if/how it feels different with this girl than it felt in the beginning of your relationships with the others.

I just ask because I'm in the beginning of a new relationship that has from day one felt immensely different, lasting and significant from every other relationship I've ever had in life.


Yrmom, just FYI, without getting into detail, 1 Corinthians 7:15 was applicable in my past. Even many of the most conservative evangelical churches accept divorce and remarriage by that standard, as you no doubt know.

How we understand Scripture is conditioned by our time, culture, and circumstance. Scripture may be inerrant in its original intent, but our human interpretations may not be infallible. In any case, yrmom, thank you for your witness; peace to you.



You seem to be a believer in Biblical inerrancy. You are, of course, free to choose the religous precepts that guide your life. I, personally, while feeling that many valuable lessons and examples are contained in the Bible, choose not to take every word of a document that has been assembled by humans and repeatedly translated by humans as the literal truth. Which Bible should I select? King James? Gideons? Perhaps I should go back to the Torah...

Please do not take my snark personally; I am exaggerating in order to make my point, which is this: your faith and the decisions you make based upon it are between you and God. It is not our responsibility to live according to the scriptural dictates that you select. I like to eat shrimp, and I will not ask women who serve me food if they are having their monthly courses. (If you are skipping the restrictions laid out in Leviticus, please ignore this as well. I am speaking mainly to moonbat gay-haters.) If your faith cannot withstand our disbelief, our stubborn refusal to be struck dead by lightning for our tolerance, it is your problem.


Gosh, Barb, good question!

Yes, from the start, this felt different. That doesn't mean that I didn't experience moments of doubt and anxiety. But the real test of one's own growth and change is not feelings alone -- it's the ability to make different decisions and take different actions than one took in previous relationships.

I've learned to better about holding myself accountable, and learned to be better about holding my partner accountable. While yes, passion and romance are powerfully present in this relationship, what really makes the difference is the level of communication, commitment, and skills.



I finally got married at the tender age of 37, following two long-term relationships whose endings were, frankly, divorces in all but legality. I would not have been able to make the commitment I did without the lessons taught by them.

Congratulations on embarking on a new adventure, and best wishes to you both.


Alex, Ms. B, everyone else offering good wishes, thank you!


TITUS 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure: but even their mind and conscience is defiled. :16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


I repeat, none of what any of you are saying is based on scripture.

Tsk. I recommend you review Matthew 5:31-32 and 19:3-9. Jesus clearly believed that divorcing one's wife on the grounds of her adultery was acceptable. Could you explain how your quote from Titus contradicts that?


Thank you, Mythago.

Yrmom, my beloved Jennifer Knapp has a great song done to the verse you cite; check it out sometime. (Hugo used to be very, very into Contemporary Christian Music!)

Lynn Gazis-Sax

I've seen interpretations of Matthew 5:31-32 and 19:3-9 that got rid of the adultery exception for divorce by arguing that Jesus really meant only that people could leave marriages that weren't valid in the first place due to their being formed with someone forbidden to you. That reading never made a whole lot of sense to me, though, and seeing Matthew as just plain talking about adultery fits better with what I know of Jewish debate about divorce at the time.

There's also a wide range of interpretation as to when 1 Corinthians 7:15 applies.

I have difficulty being too rigorous about divorce when there aren't kids yet, given that telling unhappily married, but still childless, couples that they should never, never divorce is likely to lead to their toughing it out and having children together, and then divorcing anyway later.


While divorce where you learn from it is better than other kinds and it's true that you shouldn't be guilt-ridden for the rest of your life, I still don't quite understand, why a Christian would argue for it in this way.

We've had some quite difficult times in our marriage where we would have considered divorce if we hadn't been committed to a life-long relationship. I was tempted at the time to just re-interpret God's rules my way like you do.
I would have felt elated at the time to just end the relationship and start new, but in the long run, it's much better to stick through the difficult times.

Why couldn't you "graduate" to a second phase with the same partner? What was it that made this, or seemed to make this impossible?


Swan, I'm afraid that out of respect for all those involved, I'm not going to get into the specifics of what brought about my divorces.

I will say that I didn't "just reinterpret God's rules"; the bible passages cited in this thread make clear that Christians of good will can disagree about divorce. I belong to a church (Episcopal Church USA) and a tradition (Anglican) that have accepted divorce (some say back to the 16th century), and have provided biblical grounds for doing so.


I understand that it's not a good idea to go into the specifics of your divorces. I don't expect you to do that.

I would expect you to make clearer though what your interpretation of these passages is. You seemed to say that even though an exception like adultery may not have applied to your case (even if it did, you didn't HAVE to divorce) and even though you talked things through with a counselor (at least the third time), that divorce was still the best option.

So I'm not saying that divorce is never ever acceptable, and I don't think many churches are saying that, I just think that many people, even Christians, make the decision to divorce too easily. And from what you've written, you seem to be one of them, and you seem to be defending that position.

I also want to make it clear that people who are divorced shouldn't be treated as second-class citizens at church in any way. It's real and it happens, sometimes for good reasons, sometimes for not so good reasons. And in any case it's tough and people need support, not judgement afterwards. We have a divorce recovery group at our local church for example, and people freely say that a marriage is their second and are not treated any differently because of it. If it is seen as a fault, it's clear to everyone that everyone has has faults, and that everyone needs encouragement, not condemnation, and that it is best to learn from our experiences.

I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting what you are saying, but if so, maybe you could be a bit more specific about what's good and what's not in general terms.


It is easy for a man to talk about learning from divorce as long as he was not left bankrupt. Any man can always find a woman no matter how old he is.
Divorce is not so wonderful for middle aged woman left destitute and alone for the rest of their lives.

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