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The Truth About Divorce

Roy Milam

The Truth About DivorceThoughts of divorce? There are few things in life that are more painful than the feeling of falling out of love. It is overwhelming. From the time you wake up in the morning, that’s all you can think about. Nothing else really matters. All your waking hours, your thoughts and feelings, your entire life is consumed with how you and your spouse have fallen out of love. You feel bewildered. You wonder what went wrong? What happened to the good times of yesteryear and the dreams you had for the future?

Falling Out of Love?

Imagine for a moment, that your courtship and marriage have been captured on videotape. If you rewound to the beginning, what would you see? That magic moment, when the two of you first met, and fell in love? The special times you shared, a picnic, a walk in the park, or on the beach? The powerful attraction when sparks began to fly, and you just couldn’t seem to get enough of each other? As you got to know one another, you were drawn to each other because you felt so accepted, appreciated and loved. You could talk about anything. Being together was exciting and fun, and you wanted to be together all the time. Then, it wasn’t long until you began making plans for a future together. You had found the person of your dreams, and marriage offered the chance to fulfill all your secret yearnings and wishes. On your wedding day, you were filled with expectation as you exchanged your vows; pledging your love for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.

Then came the ecstasy of your honeymoon, when you celebrated your love with passion, and pleasure. On that day you felt complete and fulfilled. Divorce was the farthest thing from your mind. But no sooner than the honeymoon was over, things began to change. Along came kids, a mortgage, bills and careers, and with each came increasing demands on your resources and time. As the years passed by, the dreams you started out with have been hampered by harsh realities, if not shattered by disillusionment. Tensions have mounted and stress is taking its toll. Unresolved issues and painful events of the past have eroded the relationship to a point of despair. Tenderness and intimacy have all but disappeared. The marriage you’re seeing isn’t what you had expected. Once, there were high hopes for a blissful union and a happy home, but despite the way things appear now, that’s beginning to seem impossible. The person whom you couldn’t wait to spend the rest of your life with, now seems distracted, unwilling and uninterested. With unmet needs, and incessant demands, manipulation, resentment, bitterness and dissatisfaction have set in. Now you mostly relate to each other with anger and conflict, or else avoidance and withdrawal. It seems like the two of you can’t talk about anything without losing your tempers, or getting your feelings hurt.

The person you married has changed. And yet, this is the person you loved so deeply on your wedding day, the one you sincerely meant to stick with through the joys and hardships of life. It’s as though some powerful current has taken hold of you both, leading you down a path of negative thinking. You feel overcome with destructive feelings, and painful actions and reactions, that lead to isolation and loneliness. Disappointed, discouraged, and confused, you feel like your love has died, and you feel like giving up. Divorce seems like a viable option. Does any of this sound familiar? If you’ve chosen to read this article, there is a reason, a good reason. Perhaps you are in a marriage that’s in trouble. Maybe this scenario does sound uncomfortably similar to yours. Or, maybe you got here by a different route. However you arrived, the pain and disappointment at times seems unbearable. You may feel as though you’ve tried everything, and there just seems to be nothing left for you to do, and so you are considering divorce.  As you consider your future you want to know the truth about divorce.

I can understand where you’re coming from.  My Junior year in college, I married my high school sweetheart, after dating for six years. Within five years after we married, we appeared to be more like roommates: living separate lives. We had tried everything humanly possible to straighten things out between us. We both professed to be Christians, and we’re absolutely against the idea of divorce, but we had never learned, and consequently did not know how to function in the most important human relationship on earth. We attended church on Sundays. We believed in the Bible, yet we were on a path racing toward marital ruin. It just seemed the more she tried to appeal to my sensitivity the more insensitive I became; and the more I tried reasoning with her, the more unreasonable she became. When our problems first began, I thought, “This is just a stage we’re going through.” But then I realized that I was just fooling myself. My marriage was getting progressively worse, not better. In spite of all the difficulties, there were times when I would reminisce about the past, and nostalgically recall the good times that we shared. But there came a point when the constant war at home served as a painful reminder that much of what we had together appeared to be lost forever. To make matters worse, all our battles had not gone unnoticed by our two children. Bedtime had become fraught with tears, questions about divorce, unusual night time fears, and anger.

Desperate for answers…

Again, and again I reflected on what went wrong. Though things were never perfect, I knew early on that the heavy demands of attending graduate school, while trying to get established in my career, had taken a severe toll on us. The births of our two daughters, only eleven months apart marked another turning point. Initially, we were ecstatic about our new babies, but our mutual joy was short-lived. My wife became totally immersed in motherhood, as I spent increasing amounts of time at the library and the office. At first, she frequently expressed her hurt and resentment about my long absences, but since it was “all for the family,” I justified it. After a long period of my unresponsiveness, she eventually stopped trying. We lived separate lives with few shared activities. Our verbal exchanges were limited to, “Pass the salt.” Every year, we fought with increasing frequency, becoming more numb and disillusioned. I remember one time when we were separated, seeing a movie about a couple whose marriage was falling apart. In that movie, I saw my own marriage like a reflection in a mirror. It even seemed that the camera crew secretly moved in and candidly filmed the story of our lives.

By the time I had reached my mid thirties, I had achieved every goal that I’d ever set for myself. I owned a successful business, and had pretty much everything I ever wanted. Despite all my successes, I had not achieved the satisfaction and happiness I had longed for, and certainly not a happy marriage and family. I felt a nagging sense of emptiness. I had done everything I thought would bring me the happiness I wanted, but still something was missing. When I was trying to fill my emptiness, I made many mistakes as a person, a husband, and a father. By the age of thirty-nine my life was a shambles. Selfishness, alcohol, drugs, and materialism took its toll on my marriage. After seventeen years of this kind of living, my wife walked out. My marriage was over, and came to an end. That story is all too familiar, and during the past thirteen years that I have worked with couples with marital problems, I have heard many stories like mine. The scenes and the actors change, the specifics vary, but the dynamics are strikingly similar.

When a marriage is neglected the relationship deteriorates, problem-solving efforts prove ineffective, and divorce seems the only solution. On the brink of divorce, in a desperate, “eleventh hour” attempt to save my marriage, I read self-help books and sought the help of pastors and marriage counselors, all to no avail. Two different marriage counselors told me that if I was unhappy in my marriage, I should just get out. Divorce was actually encouraged. That was all the encouragement I  needed to hear. After all, I told myself, life is short and we all have the right to be happy. I opted out, and got a divorce. Through a lengthy process, I soon learned the truth about divorce. What I discovered is when it’s all over and you weigh the costs and the “benefits,” of a tearing a family apart is that the benefits of dissolving a marriage through divorce pale in comparison to the overwhelming pain of dissolving a marriage. Over the past 21 years  of working with couples and families after divorce. I have witnessed the suffering, disillusionment and lingering pain that are the by-products of a breaking up a home. Throughout the years I have seen firsthand what tragic devastation divorce leaves in its wake. On the surface, the idea, the idea of divorce; of getting away from the pain sounds appealing, but instead it really can actually make your pain and problems even worse. In many ways divorce is like exchanging one set of problems for another, which are many times far worse.

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Rhonda A.

“About two years into our marriage my husband and I were talking about divorce. The tension and upset got so bad that we could hardly stand sleeping next to each other and nearly every comment either of us would make was taken wrongly by the other. It was utter agony because I loved him very… Read more “Rhonda A.”

Linda W.

Our Marriage Renewal Weekend with Cornerstone was the best thing that ever happened to us and our marriage. We had been to counseling two different times, but what we learned on our weekend greatly surpassed all of it. The weekend saved our marriage. We now have tools to help us through struggles and trials we… Read more “Linda W.”

Steve Wriggle

“Roy and Sue Milam of Cornerstone Marriage & Family Ministries faithfully served at Grace Community Church for ten years. They developed and implemented a marriage and family ministry at our church and organized a team of individuals to support and carry out the work. Roy and Sue conducted ongoing marriage skill classes and worked with… Read more “Steve Wriggle”

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Anonymous 6

“Thank you for your ministry and for giving us hope and “how to’s” and thank you for helping me realize that divorce is not the answer. I looked at my kids today and cried with gratitude that they got back the Daddy they have always loved.”

Barbara A.

“Before the the Marriage Renewal Weekend I was absolutely sure I wanted out of my marriage! I would find myself thinking about things I would do and how my life would be without my husband. The weekend for us was nothing short of miraculous. I feel now that I can communicate my true feelings to… Read more “Barbara A.”

Enrica K.

My husband and I had been separated for two months when he asked me to go with him to this retreat. We had tried a couple of counseling sessions during the time of our separation, but we had not felt comfortable at all, and achieved nothing. We live in New York City, and I thought… Read more “Enrica K.”

Anonymous 7

“Before we came to the marriage renewal weekend we were distant, cold, and angry with each other. Our only communication was arguing. Our marriage was so bad that we didn’t say a word to each other on the way to the retreat. But this was the shot in the arm our marriage so desperately needed.… Read more “Anonymous 7”

Mark K.

We had experienced many terrible hurts in our 19 years of marriage. I had severely neglected and mistreated my wife and she had ended up in an affair. Our marriage was filled with anger, distrust, and bitterness. There was no love, affection or closeness between us and were no longer soul mates we had once… Read more “Mark K.”

J.A.

“We came here threadbare… honestly believing divorce was an eventual reality for us. We both dreaded it; but knew it was almost 100% assured. The conference was like spiritual surgery. Words can’t describe the transformative experience my wife and I had. We left with a renewed commitment to marriage. Thank you for such a comprehensive,… Read more “J.A.”

C.K.

“The weekend was incredible! After 18 years of marriage and with two children our marriage was in shambles. Unresolved issues and painful events of the past had eroded our relationship to a point of despair We were disconnected and disgruntled, basically just coexisting under the same roof with little or no intimacy, just surviving, living… Read more “C.K.”

James A.

“Our marriage was all but over. We were separated for 7 months. Toxins had invaded all parts of our once- Sacred partnership. But a miracle of God happened this weekend– I’ve been saved on so many levels – my life, my marriage, my salvation— I owe it to Jesus. He brought us here (over 1200… Read more “James A.”

Anonymous 3

“This weekend was the best decision my husband and I ever made. Recovering from an affair was something I wasn’t sure was possible, considering all the marital issues we had before it. This weekend gave me the power to forgive my spouse. I have totally recommitted my life to God as well. My husband and… Read more “Anonymous 3”

Angie O.

“After 18 years of marriage, my husband and I had so many walls built up between us that we weren’t sure if our marriage would survive. This gave us the opportunity to break those walls down in a constructive way. We can now start fresh in our marriage and experience the fullness of God intended.… Read more “Angie O.”

First-Hand Accounts From Those Rescued

We were on the road to a possible divorce. It was a marriage that was complacent, unloving and uncaring. We had been unable unable to work out issues, and we had definitely lost that “loving feeling”. Growing up in  church, with a strong faith in God, I never thought I needed marriage counseling. This was… Read more “First-Hand Accounts From Those Rescued”

Jared S.

“We’ve been married 8 years. If you’d asked me a week ago, “Where do you see yourself in a week?” I would have said, “In a very nasty divorce ruining the lives of our two beautiful children” Instead, I will be able to share with friends and family this amazing weekend and this amazing journey… Read more “Jared S.”

Ashley S.

“This weekend was the best decision my husband and I ever made. Recovering from an affair was something I wasn’t sure was possible, considering all the marital issues we had before it. This weekend gave me the power to forgive my spouse. I have totally recommitted my life to God as well. My husband and… Read more “Ashley S.”

David B.

I was unfaithful to my wife, and it destroyed my marriage. The marriage retreat weekend was the last resort for us, but we both decided to let God decide what He wanted us to do after this retreat. Before coming to the retreat, divorce was our only option, but not anymore. I have a lot… Read more “David B.”

Anonymous 2

The marriage retreat that we attended by Cornerstone at a time of need was truly a amazing experience. It reassured us that we had to put the Lord first to insure our marriage would survive. “I can do all thing through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13” The program that was put on by Roy… Read more “Anonymous 2”

Katie M.

Lack of communication caused built up resentments which led to anger and eventually the breakdown of our marriage. My husband began to do drugs to cope, and I began to drink. Our teenage daughter was desperately trying to escape our wrecked family. On a Sunday, after 15 years of marriage I told my husband I… Read more “Katie M.”

Anonymous 5

“This was our ‘Miracle Weekend.’ Experiencing the biblical steps to truly forgive my husband and let go was amazing. I’ve opened up to hearing and accepting what God wants to change in me. Prior to the weekend I didn’t believe I was critical or unforgiving, but I saw how I have been both – I… Read more “Anonymous 5”

News Report: 54 Children & 36 Adults Saved From Impending Collapse Location: Dallas, Texas Event: A New Beginning, Marriage Renewal Retreat Date: June 24-26, 2016 First-Hand Accounts From Those Rescued “My wife and I had hardly spoken in months. The projects and counseling helped us get back to a point where we are now communicating… Read more “”

Audrey M.

“Without a doubt, this weekend saved my marriage. In fact, it saved my life. After 27 years of marriage, I was ready to quit. I was not sure I even wanted to go to the weekend retreat. Praise God that I did. We had been hurting each other for so many years and had no… Read more “Audrey M.”

Denny Dillon

We recently hosted “Keeping Love Alive,” a marriage enrichment seminar presented by Roy and Sue Milam of Cornerstone Marriage and Family Ministries. Roy and Sue’s practical insights and transparency had a profound effect on our couples. They spoke from a wealth of understanding and personal experience that hit the issues our couples were facing head-on.… Read more “Denny Dillon”

Anonymous 8

“Our marriage was on the rocks for infidelity, and we had allowed our marriage to hit rock bottom due to neglect and lack of respect. We had spent thousands of dollars on therapy and our marriage had still not improved. Out of desperation to not destroy the lives of our 3 precious boys we came… Read more “Anonymous 8”

Anonymous 9

“God is so good! He is working in our marriage and we are seeing a remarkable difference. I know now, beyond any doubt that I am blessed with such a wonderful wife. Our relationship has been so much better and we’re much closer than in the past. Last week we had a wonderful anniversary celebration.… Read more “Anonymous 9”

Larry K.

“In the middle of a nasty divorce, 33 weeks pregnant, with a 2-year old at home, we were given the tools to restore a marriage that had become so miserable and full of hate and resentment that I was willing to do anything, just so I could tell my kids someday that I tried everything… Read more “Larry K.”

Amazing Testimonies of Marriages Saved

News Report:   54 Children 32 Adults Saved Imminent Distress of Family Breakdown Locations: Dallas, Texas  & Indianapolis, Indiana A New Beginning, Marriage Renewal Retreat Date:  April 1-3 2016  &  April 29-May 1, 2016,     Before this weekend my marriage was full of anger, resentment and little hope. The projects on confession and forgiveness… Read more “Amazing Testimonies of Marriages Saved”

Anonymous 1

“Our relationship had become cold and we barely communicated with each other anymore. I learned how to better meet my wife’s needs. I realized that I need to follow God’s plan. I surrendered my life to Jesus. Now I want to be the spiritual leader in my home. Thank you so much. Your ministry saved… Read more “Anonymous 1”

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