dear jen, i want a divorce

One of the biggest blessings to me in the past few months has been the relationships between the minister’s wives at our church. In fact, every other month the women hold a gathering specifically for minister’s wives at someone’s home. We have dinner, catch up with other women we don’t often get to see, and are working through a book together. Being the spouse of someone who works at a church can be a very lonely place, and I’m always so encouraged to see other women who are striving to maintain balance in their lives, encourage their husbands well, and figure out their role in ministry. I come home challenged to be a better wife and inspired by the women around me.

Last Monday I rode to “Pastor’s Wives” (as it’s called) with two friends, and on the way back we were talking about some of the challenges we face specific to minister’s wifery. Wifery? Yeah, I said it.

The three of us were having a grand time talking about how stressful ministry can be, and about how when our husbands are stressed even the question of, “What do you want for dinner?” becomes apparently too much to handle. But then one of the women had to go and get all logical.

“Yeah,” she said, “But I was thinking the other day…what would it be like to be married to me? What would I do if I had to be married to myself?”

Well, sweet potato pie and I shut my mouth right up (I’m working on being more southern. Am I convincing?). As I let the reality of what it must be like to be married to me sink in, I was literally speechless. Not because, as you may assume, I am fantastically wonderful to be married to. I mean, I can understand easily how you may get that impression. After several minutes of silence, I said my conclusion out loud.

“I would’ve left my butt a looooong time ago.”

For real. I am stubborn, defensive, argumentative, condemning, and discontent. And that’s on a good day.

So…I’m divorcing myself now. I’m divorcing the Jen who wants to win an argument more than she wants to compromise. I’m leaving the Jen who sees our differences as points of contention rather than the perfect complement. I’m packing up the bags of the Jen who lets her insecurities dictate her marriage. Moving into her place will (Lord willingly) be a Jen who finds her identity, strength, courage, and compassion through Christ and is therefore able to pour those things out to her family. A Jen who knows that many of her weaknesses are her husband’s strengths and her strengths are her husband’s weakness, and that is why we are perfect for each other. A Jen who communicates without being passive-aggressive, and whose general heart is one of gratitude and joy as opposed to bitterness.

I’m not saying that Preacher Man will instantly become the luckiest man alive to be married to me, but I hope to at least make his work as my husband a little less challenging. Walking a mile in someone else’s shoes and all that. So has that thought ever crossed your mind? What it would it be like to be married to you?



2 thoughts on “dear jen, i want a divorce

  1. okay.

    don’t you EVER, EVER, EVER freak me out like that with a headline that says “dear jen, i want a divorce.”

    upon reflection i realize that is the most ridiculous thing to assume about your headline but either way that was NOT GOOD FOR MY HEART.

    but, now i get it.
    anne, i want a divorce, too.

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