Friday, December 7, 2018

God, Divorce, And My Job Moment

The Biblical Job was the victim of a bet.
It was between God and the Devil.
God took everything Job loved away from him.
And he still never lost his Faith in God.
And so God won the bet.

Is it possible that my divorce was a gift from God. That God saw that my marriage was making me miserable. So, to pull me out of that rut, He had my wife pull the plug on the marriage. Is that true?

Sometimes I think my ex-wife pulled the plug on the marriage to do me a favor. She even admitted once that she was not nice to me. She said, "I know I'm so mean. Why do you ever stay with me?"

Well, I did because I had Faith. I made a commitment. I was not going to back out of my commitment. You know, there's this part of marriage that says, "For better or for worse." Well, here we were in the "for worse" part, and I was not going to give up.

So she did. She filed for divorce. She filed, I think, two months before she even had the nerve to tell me. And she told me. We were in the kitchen. She said, "I think we should get a divorce."

I was blindsided by this. I felt like a puppy dog getting hit by a Mack truck. It was totally unexpected. Here we were in a miserable marriage, and I was broadsided by the word divorce.

I was stuck for words. My face filled with tears. That deep, darkest feeling over came me. And I said, "Is that what you think God would want?"

She said, "God would want me to be happy."

I said, "God would want you to choose your own happiness over your commitments that you promised to uphold?"

And she defended her statement that God would want her to be happy. And I never understood that. Still don't. Perhaps that's the liberal hold inside her brain. This thing that principles don't matter. That you can just make up rules as you go along in life. That there is nothing etched in stone. That, if you're not happy, you can make changes, even if those changes destroy a marriage.

But, that's what she wanted to do. And I could barely function at work the next day. I was so beside myself. My patients talked to me, and I might have talked back. But I never paid them much attention. It was, as though, a part of me had just died.

It was so bad I did not want to go back home. I decided to go to a hotel. I left work that night planning on getting a hotel room. I did not want to ever see her again. I was that disappointed. And, hate never entered my mind. Disappointment is the word that did enter my mind. I was disappointed in her.

And I was mad at God. Instead of going to a hotel, I drove a round a bit. Then I ended up parked at the beach. In fact, it might have been almost a year ago to this day. As I'm writing this, it's November 14. I was beside myself.

I threw a fit in my car. I crinkled up every last piece of paper in my car. I tossed stuff. I threw stuff. I tossed and threw obscenities into the air. I was utterly mad at God.

"Why did you do this to me. Here I have always been faithful to you. I have always worked to be a good Christian. I pray every night. I prayed to find her. You found her for me. We had a perfect marriage. And then you took it all away! Why!"

So mad was I. Then I stopped. I meditated. Sometimes, when you meditate, you hear God's voice. A message is sent to your mind. But, on this day, there was nothing.

"Please, God! Please give me an answer."


Now, I know this now and not then. But, there is this old saying. It goes something like this: "Sometimes your prayer has already been answered."

Okay? I know that now. God gave me this gift of divorce. It was a gift. He helped me get away from that stress. He gave me a chance to start all over. And I would more than succeed at piecing back together my life. But, there was no way I could have possibly known that on that day.

So, the next day I'm sitting at work. My coworker says, "John, what's wrong? I can tell something is wrong with you."

I told her my story. All of it. And I told her of my Job like moment the night before.

And she said, "John, that wasn't God doing that to you. It was some other guy."

It was the Devil.

Ahh, how could I not see that? Her words caused goose flesh to creep up my spine. It brought a feeling of awe and joy. And, of course, "Doh! How could I not have seen?"

"It's because you were so deep. It blinded you to the truth," she said, "But, God would never do that to you."

Monday, December 3, 2018

Divorce Doubled My Standard Of Living

To me, divorce didn't go anything like the experts said it would. For one thing, they said that your standard of living will undoubtedly go down. This is because you will now be living on half the money you had before. That sounds like it makes sense.

But, that's not how it went down with me. My standard of living doubled, maybe even tripled. I had this second job. I am a writer. I do this all day. I love writing. I'm passionate about it. And I always told my wife if she would just let me have control of the money I made I could double it.

But, she refused.

You see, I saw the money I made writing as 'Extra Money.' Your bills are paid using our regular pay. And, before I got this 'extra job,' we paid our bills just the same

So, now I start making an 'extra' $500 a month. Then I'm making an extra $1000 a month. I figure this money can be used to get out of debt. I figured once we get out of debt, we can use this money to go on vacations or buy things for our house. So, that's kind of what motivated me.

But, after years of this, the debt never went away. In fact, it got deeper. All of a sudden she starts saying things like, "We need to pay said bill. When is your check coming?"

Like, I don't want this money being used to pay for bills. I mean, once in a while is fine, but, that's not what it's for. Our bills should be paid out of our day job money. This is 'extra money." This is money that supposed to be spent on fun things.

But she refused to make any changes. No matter how many times I requested that she not ask for my check to pay bills, she kept saying it. It was depressing to me.

So, it was a disincentive for me to write. I got to the point, if she was just going to pay bills with this money, I wasn't going to write any more than I had to.

I mean, I was fine paying bills, so long as it was to get out of debt. But, in order for that to happen, she'd also have to stop going on her vacations. But, instead of that happening, she started going on more and more vacations.

Actually, one of these vacations she went on with just her and the kids. Like, if ever a hint could have occurred, a coworker came up to me. And this was someone I barely ever talked to. She said, "John, aren't you a little concerned about your wife going on vacations without you. It's not right."

Naive, I just defended her. I was the good husband (and perhaps that would be a good name for my book). I said, "Oh, she's a good mother. She earned the right to go on vacation with just her kids. Besides, I had to work."

Hint not taken. I moved on. But, that's not to say I was happy. I was not happy at all she went on vacation without me. If I had my way, there would have been no vacation at all until we were no longer living paycheck to paycheck.

I have a good analogy here. This is like what it's like living in a socialistic dictatorship. I actually even said that once in a fight we had. I told her that she is like a dictator. She taxes me at 100%. If I make more money, she takes that money too.

And most of it went to vacations. I never got to spend any of it to make our house look nicer. Nearly 100% of it went to bills and vacations. And, eventually, her new car.

So, one day I said, "If you let me control my money, I can double the amount of money I make."

She never did. She never allowed me to have any control. So, that sort of threw me into a depression of sorts. Here we were, 15 years into our marriage, and I'm not allowed to do anything. And I do something, and I'm berated for it. And then I'm told I never make any plans.

So, you can see this was not looking good. Still, I had Faith. The idea of divorce never entered my head. We would work it out. Although, this was not good form confidence or my self esteem. In the back of my mind, there were those voices that were saying, "John, this isn't good." But, I tuned them out.

See, this was the Faith in me. I knew I was in a trap. I was trapped. I was in a cage. Damned if I did and damned if I didn't. I was in a walled up country. That country was a socialistic Venezuela country. I was chained to a chair. The sole purpose of my existence was to be a good dad to my kids and to make money for her to spend.

And I continued to believe things would get better. And I never gave up thinking that it would. I never gave up until that inevitable day in court.

But, after than, my standard of living doubled. Hell, it tripled. Motivated to get out of debt and start saving, I went from writing 5 articles a month to 20. I was on fire. I was also moderating like crazy, and getting paid by the hour for that.

So, within the first month living on my own, I doubled my monthly wages. Seriously, folks, I doubled my wages. Now, nearly a year later, I am working on a deal that might help me to triple my wages with my 'extra' job.

So, your standard of living doesn't have to go down if you get a divorce. That's not true at all. In a way, I think my divorce was a gift from God. And I think I will make God the topic of my next rant about divorce.