By Nancy Virden (c)2021
We hear stories of exes who part amiably or become friends after their divorce. Probably for most of us, however, the union included some form of toxicity, a contagion that wrecked our peace of mind. It can be unhealthy to encourage continued interaction because their influence remains negative. I call this “communitagion.”
Trapped in an enabling relationship
While we sadly cannot force anyone to stop making terrible choices, we can stop supporting their efforts. It is easy to believe that someone we care about can change – especially if we have been telling ourselves that for a long time. It is a difficult habit to break. However, it is not likely anything we do or say will make a difference or it would have by now. By continuing to be there for them in any way, we often end up enabling.
We have the God-given privilege of deciding what to allow into our lives. We do not have to watch an ex self-destruct. It can be difficult to let go, but when we cease being distracted by a lost (to us) cause, God will open us to areas we can make a difference.
Trapped by our ex’s sins
As believers of Christ Jesus, sometimes it boils down to whether we will allow another person’s toxicity to infiltrate our God-filled minds and hearts, or not. Our ex’s sins include negatively interfering with our ability to follow after God with an undivided heart. A spouse’s job is to protect a partner’s heart, drawing one ever closer to a holy relationship with Christ. Some of our exes failed miserably.
God does not demand we keep injuring ourselves by reaching into the same fire repeatedly. We wives especially often do that, getting burned again and again. A large part of the joy I experience now is a direct result of finally cutting off “communitagion” with my ex. His heart never changed, but mine is free of that cycle of hope-disappointment-hope-disappointment…
Engaging with a new focus
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, “…An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.” While Paul was not ordering singleness or suggesting divorce, he was stating the obvious. Since an ex has chosen to leave our marriage, we can aim to be devoted to the Lord one-hundred percent. It is a lovely place to be, believe me!
Not trapped at all
“For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.” (Isaiah 54:5) “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18)
When hopes are crushed and our identity as a husband or a wife is removed, the Lord redeems all that has been lost with his unfailing love. He is enough! Once we allow ourselves to be free of an ex’s drama, we can find fullness of joy in Christ Jesus. – COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
“Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.“
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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