Divorce: Is it Possible to Resist?

Divorce: is it possible to avoid divorce? what should I do if a divorce is inevitable? Articles about divorce — opinions of priests and psychologists.

 

From the outside, it is impossible to imagine why this is happening, it is impossible to believe that the people we set as an example to everyone as an ideal couple have become enemies. Yesterday we were happy for the newlyweds, and today a sobbing friend tells us that she decided to take the last desperate step.

Why, knowing about the attitude of the Church to divorce, do people decide to break off marital relations? It’s scary to say, but divorce in an Orthodox family today will not surprise anyone. Where did we make the mistake? Archpriest Nikolai Sokolov, rector of the Church in the name of St. Nicholas in Tolmachy at the Tretyakov gallery, answers the questions of the website “Orthodoxy and peace”.

– When a person comes to the decision to divorce his other half, there is always a certain life tragedy behind it. Sometimes a person indulges his sinful feelings, sometimes the temptation comes from outside due to the weakness of the spouses, and the family can not resist anything.

Both in ancient times and in recent times, divorce was rare. In the XVI-XVIII centuries, this was not allowed at all, people lived in families. How they lived is another matter. Sometimes they killed their spouses, husbands – wives, and wives-husbands, let’s remember “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk district”. This is precisely the case when literature is based on real events in our Orthodox Russian life.

In the 19th century, divorce became possible, but it was associated with such problems that the divorce process took years and years. Unfortunately, then, as now, much was decided by money. The bribes were received by secular persons, but those in the clergy also participated in it. This is a sad period in our history. So gradually, divorce becomes more and more frequent, this can be traced back to the biographies of famous people. At the same time, people lived virtually out of wedlock for many years, or started other families without legally breaking the marriage.

One of my ancestors, God rest his soul, followed this path, but at the end of his life he repented. He worked as a district surgeon and at the beginning of the twentieth century, having a family and children behind him, met another woman and tried to divorce her. How it all ended, now it is not known for sure, because he faced great difficulties, but in the end, still went to another.

Whether he was happy or not, I can’t say, but his life was tragic. As a rule, there is no happiness after a divorce. Life flows more or less successfully, sometimes even something develops, but in 99 % of cases, if a person left the family out of passion or could not come to terms with some problems in the first family, his next marriage ends tragically: either he is abandoned, or he leaves. As a priest, I can tell you this from my experience of observing my flock.

– As a priest, can you recall examples of married couples who were on the verge of divorce, but somehow held back from this step?

– There are many such families. It’s just that people often don’t advertise their relationships, even if, as you correctly said, they are on the verge of divorce. What helps you avoid it? First of all, the realization that your marriage to this man or woman is the will of God. I mean Church marriages. If you have already promised to be with her or him before God or the Church, if God’s blessing is given to you, and besides, thank God, children have appeared, this outweighs everything: love, passion, Hobbies…

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We must have the fear of God. You’ll be brought before God later anyway. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. This allows you to save your family. Because sooner or later you will have to answer: “this is what God gave me, My children.”

Many people, reaching this point, find the strength through prayer, through repentance, through the Church to keep themselves within the limits, so as not to make public their family problems and sometimes through a hard life, unfortunately without love, to save the family as such.

The question of whether they are happy at the same time is very complex. But in this case, keeping the family, they do not think about themselves, but about the children. After all, they suffer from divorce more than anyone else.

There are many such families in our parishes. Yes, what happened happened. Love is gone. So it happened. Why? It seems that neither he nor she has fallen in love with others, but they can no longer find a common language, they stand on different positions in matters of raising children, social, intimate, Church, and religious life. But why get a divorce? What will it give us, what will we get in the end? Nothing but a divorce stamp on your passport. The saying is true: “A bad world is better than a good quarrel.”

A lot of people keep this peace among themselves and say: “Well, if there was someone to go to, then they would still think…”. As a rule, people who have been married for more than 15-20 years are very rarely divorced.

Christian families are based on the gospel, on the teaching of Christ, on the grace-giving gifts of the Holy spirit, which are given in the Sacraments of the Church. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. It is this and only this that helps to preserve the family in our time.

Yes, in our world, Holy people and Holy families have become exceptions to the General rule, but they are like stars shining to the whole world.

Leo Tolstoy was right when he said that all families are ” unhappy in different ways.” This happens because the couple did not fully partake of the grace that the Church gives. Church grace makes us forget personal contradictions for the sake of children, for the sake of higher spiritual ideals, for the sake of eternal life. A true believer will understand and forgive the other person.

I know marriages that almost fell apart, but today these spouses are celebrating their 40th and 50th anniversary of their existence. Now these people are far from young, they are 70 years old, but what a joyous event this is.

So love can come back?”

“Love?” I wouldn’t say it’s love. Remember Pushkin’s famous words: “The habit from above is given to us, it is a substitute for happiness.” In this case, this is the communication that is so necessary for a person. The most terrible thing is loneliness, to be left alone at the broken trough. Abandoned one family, but did not create a new one… As long as he kept his strength and earned good money, the young wife was close, and as the period of prosperity ended, the man grew older, things began to go worse, and she leaves him.

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The example of promiscuous intimate relationships is particularly clearly demonstrated by our “cultural elite”. Yesterday with one, today with another, tomorrow with a third. Boys and girls change each other like gloves, as if this relationship is not binding to anything. As if that’s what it’s supposed to be. At the same time, many still manage to consider themselves religious people.

God is their judge, I’m not going to judge anyone, but the example is contagious. It is written in the gospel: “be not deceived: evil societies corrupt good morals” (1 Cor., 15, 33).

If you want to save your family – don’t go to people who are prone to frivolity in relationships. Do not become involved in the world’s evil, which will affect you regardless of your will. Keep the fear of God within you through the grace-filled Sacraments of the Church, Penance, and Communion. This is the only way to preserve a family in today’s world.

You don’t have to save it for yourself. To live in a family is not to live for oneself. In the family, a person forgets himself for the sake of his spouse, for the sake of children and others. Then there will be a good, lasting marriage.

I will tell you our family history. In the 1920s, my grandmother, Zoya Veniaminovna Pestova, who later raised me, got married. It was a difficult time to organize such events, but they had a good Christian wedding. They were married with their grandfather in the Church of the ascension of the Lord on the Pea field (Radio street).

At the wedding table gathered relatives, father and mother of the bride, who by then were already divorced. Friends-students had fun, danced. Finally they began to shout “bitterly” as was their custom, but the young couple replied that it was not customary to kiss in public at Christian weddings and that they wanted to remain true to their traditions. The bride’s mother was surprised by this, and she told her daughter: “If you don’t observe this, then you will have a sad life.” My grandmother replied, ” Mom, I didn’t get married for fun.”

Indeed, she lived a difficult working life, with hardships, difficulties and sorrows, but also with the great joy of finding herself as a Christian, the mother of children, whom she was also able to raise as Christians. I’m their grandson.

You need to think about what you are getting married for, and instead of divorce, if possible, it is better to suffer. “By your patience, save your souls” (Luke 21: 19).

– Will patience help you find joy in life?

– Of course. You only need to overcome yourself, your egoism and understand that your “I want” now is not feasible, impossible. If you give up everything and pretend to find the happiness that movies promise for a while, what then? Then, as a rule, the fairy tales end. “They lived happily ever after and died on the same day” – this almost never happens. Let’s take an example of acquaintances, and we will see at the end of the tragedy-loneliness, abandonment, a complete break with the one you considered the ideal of your life, and the God – given wife, husband-abandoned. So much for all the love.

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– So in many ways, divorce today is a social problem of copying false samples?

“Unfortunately, Yes today. First, the desire for everything to be good right now, and secondly, copying. But I do not want to blame everyone and everything, because in every family and soul there is something that is unique to it. It happens that a person really could not find his happiness or did not understand, made a mistake, such things also happen. But even in this mistake, perhaps, you need to see the Providence of God, a lesson given to you personally, and bear responsibility for it.

There are such things in life as birth, death, marriage, when any person, whether he is a believer or not, feels the presence of an unearthly force in his life. That what came to him today was not his doing.

An Orthodox person feels that the will of God is behind this and goes to the temple, where he gets strengthened, and the Lord blesses his marriage, because at this moment a person fulfills his main purpose – not to be alone.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and possess it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the beast, and over the fowl of the air, and over every beast, and over all the earth, and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth” (Gen.

If the family is God’s Providence for man, then marriage is the most important thing for which God created man on earth. If you accept the existence of God, and believe in God – live according to the will of God. If not, then God is your judge, and life will show you what you will eventually come to.

Valeria  Was Interviewed

Divorce today has become quite a familiar solution to a poorly formed family life. So familiar that not only non-believers, but also Orthodox spouses began to be tempted by the opportunity to “correct a mistake”, “change their lives”, etc. More and more often people come with a request to bless the dissolution of the marriage. What can an Orthodox priest answer to this request?

DIVORCE

Divorce today has become quite a familiar solution to a poorly formed family life. So familiar that not only non-believers, but also Orthodox spouses began to be tempted by the opportunity to “correct a mistake”, “change their lives”, etc. More and more often people come with a request to bless the dissolution of the marriage. What can an Orthodox priest answer to this request?

Having the opportunity to observe the experience of many family tragedies, I will say that often, satiated with loneliness, the former spouse or spouse no longer remembers quarrels, shouting and slander, but “the wife of youth”, a sweet and desirable husband, they are disturbed by what they have experienced together, common things. To assuage the pain of their memories, they have to prove the other’s past guilt and their own innocence over and over again. To prove to myself and friends; I especially want to prove to those who never take to heart the evidence won’t understand their children. And you can also see that the families created after the divorce are very difficult. The requested cross is twice as heavy.

Archpriest Sergiy Nikolaev

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