One’s new relationship status isn’t complete until it is changed on Facebook and broadcasted to the world. Minnie changed her Facebook status to “single” today. This was my Facebook status update:
Thank you @Minnie Beechner for being my beautiful bride. The past 18 years have been the best years of my life. Thank you for accepting me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for being my soul mate, helper, lover, teacher and friend. You are my best friend. Thank you for showing me how to worship God in a new way and worshiping with me. Thank you for bearing, gifting and entrusting me with four handsome boys-you are a loving mom-kind, patient, nurturing and protective. Thank you for bringing joy to my life. Thanks be to God for giving me such an incredible, independent, bold and confident woman. I believe God brought us together and bonded us in marriage. I am blessed beyond grace and will be forever grateful for the years we have been husband & wife. I’m sorry for hurting you and loving you so poorly, I regret it every day. Your divorce from me has been finalized. Even though I failed you in the past, with God’s help I am being transformed and becoming a new man.
Well, it WAS the response I posted, but Minnie asked me to untag her, I couldn’t, so I deleted it. She thinks that I did not mean the things I said…Let me just say I do. With all my heart I do.
I was served divorce papers on February 13th 2012. The day before Valentine’s Day. I was completely shocked. It was like a 2×4 to the face. The effects were the same too: dazed, confused, pained, wounded, felled to the floor knocked out. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so shocked. Our marriage counselor looked directly at me and stated that if we didn’t change then the logical conclusion would be divorce. After, I asked Minnie if she thought that was true and she said no. I asked her if she’d let me know if she thought it was getting to that point. Even though she said she would, she never did. I never thought I would be divorced from Minnie. She really was my best friend. There was never a day when I was not in love with her. I’m still in love with her.
For the record: I was faithful to Minnie, I never touched another woman; I never gave my heart away to another. There was no physical abuse. No addiction or substance abuse. I wasn’t a deadbeat. I worked and provided for her and our family. I was quick to apologize when I was wrong-and even if I wasn’t. I don’t know why it is so important to me to communicate that list, but it is. Actually, I do know why.
Although I am not a verbal abuser in general, I was verbally abusive to Minnie the last 6 months of our marriage, before Minnie filed. I was hurt. I was broken. I took a stand. I lashed out. Minnie wilted and died inside. I didn’t know. If I had seen it I would have changed. I swear I would have.
Minnie had my stuff packed up and I moved out day one. Thanks to Walter & Sean for helping me until I could stand on my own 2 feet. I eventually moved into my own 2-bedroom apartment. It isn’t much, but it is clean & organized, I have it completely furnished for me and my 4 boys. I’ve even done some decorating. I am learning what it means to be independent and a single father. Keegan, one of my 16-yr old twins lives with me. I see Kaleb, Calvin & Corbin for about 12 days out of the month. The boys are handling it very well for now, but I am fearful how it might affect them long-term. To teach them that divorce is an OK out is horrible. The sins of the father…
I refused to sign the divorce decree. Oh, the numbers and parenting time and such were agreeable enough and I signed those documents. The divorce negotiations were never mean or argumentative. But I love my wif, er, I mean, I love Minnie very much. I believe that God brought Minnie and I together, that which God binds in holy matrimony should not be undone by any man. We were married by two pastors. We wrote our own vows. A vow I could not break. There are no biblical grounds for our divorce, like I stated before, I was faithful to Minnie and I was not abusive to her or our boys. I do not believe that we have irreconcilable differences. So I refused to sign; never a day will come when Minnie will wonder why I agreed to a divorce. I believe that Minnie and I can still work things out and have a marriage that is awesome. I hold onto hope.
I’ve been learning first hand what it means to manage unbearable pain.
I ran to God a couple of hours after I was served the papers and clung onto Him. One of the truly good things that has come from this brutal separation is that I have been reconciled to God, forgiven and on a journey of healing and comfort with my heavenly Father.
I’ve refused to fight or show anger to Minnie. I’m sad as hell and hurt like crazy, but, I can’t see how it would do any good to get angry, mean or fight. Minnie stated that if I hired my own divorce lawyer that we couldn’t be friends, so I didn’t. No legal battle.
The separation in general has been good for Minnie and I. There was even a time when Minnie and I were getting along very well. It was…great! But then she backed off again.
I make good choices and bad. It isn’t easy managing this brutal pain. Sometimes I try to fill the pain with things that aren’t the better option. But I feel like for every bad decision I’ve made, I have made 100 good ones.
I’m not “better off” without my best friend of 18 years. But I am going to be OK. I guess. That’s what they say anyway. I can live without her, if I have to. I am a better person than I was 5 months ago. I am a better dad. I am a better housekeeper. I am a better cook. I am a better shopper. I am a better money-manager. I am independent. I’m more in love with Minnie today than I ever have been. I’ve never felt so incomplete. I miss her every day.
I’m also in mourning. I’ve lost the person that meant the most to me. I lost my best friend. They say it is worse than a death because you have to see the loved one over and over again.
And that’s pretty much where I am. A divorced, broken man. I am trying not to let it become my identity. I am becoming closer to God. Holding out for a miracle. Trying to manage the overwhelming pain. Trying to be transformed into a better person, for me, for God, for my boys, but especially for my bride. And learning to move on.
But not move on too fast or too far. I haven’t changed my Facebook status yet. Facebook automatically deleted the “married to…” part and just changed it to “married”. The truth is that in my heart I will always be Minnie’s husband. I love her. I know that sounds so cliche at best and stalkerish at worst. I am letting her walk away. I’m going to move on as best I can.
“Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning” (Lamentations 5:15).
Thank you to all who have prayed with me and for me.