Saturday, June 5, 2010

Why Divorce is Not an Option

It seems fairly common for women suffering from emotional neglect in aspergers marriages to get a separation or divorce. But because of my faith and Christian worldview, divorce is unequivocally not an option for me in this scenario.

The short answer to the why behind that statement is that God hates divorce. Unless there is adultery, abandonment, or abuse involved, the Bible does not allow for divorce. I don't believe emotional neglect is abuse, though I do believe there is a such thing as emotional abuse, evidenced in such things as yelling, swearing, name-calling, and the like. The Bible calls one who divorces without biblical grounds an adulterer.

More practical details are that the children would indeed suffer more from us getting a divorce than they would from our staying together. There are many, many good things in our life and overall we have a happy family. We have security, stability, dedication and loyalty, and more. If you come into our home you will hear loud, joyful laughter more often than not.

Just because deep down "mama ain't happy" doesn't mean "ain't nobody happy." Mama needs to work out her unhappiness, yes. But without God's blessing, mama ain't gonna be happy. Not married, not in an affair, not alone, not anywhere! And God will not bless me in an unbiblical divorce.

My biblical counselor has told me that emotional discouragement is spiritual warfare. The enemy of the Christian faith wants us to dwell in anger, bitterness, and discouragement so that our lives and our families and our witness will be destroyed. We are to fight such feelings with prayer, with faith, with hope, with love, with knowing and using the 'sword of the Spirit', which is the Word of God, the Bible.

It's a battle. It's a daily struggle. I'm in the midst of the batttle, wavering and weak. But I am determined to fight for my family and to fight for my faith. And my faith comforts me with who will eventually (and eternally!) win.

Even when I am most sad and lonely, I can sing with my children because I know it to be true . . . "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so."


  1. ...and that, sadly is one of the reasons why there is so much hurt in the world. People are willing to become martyrs and to suffer for their beliefs without questioning.

    If you're a deeply Christian person, you need to acknowledge that God is forgiving and that you are worthy of forgiveness too - regardless of what you do. Don't be too hard on yourself because we all make mistakes.

    In my younger days, I looked down on divorce with very judgemental eyes but when it almost happened to me I began to understand that sometimes it's necessary. In my case we avoided it but I'm glad to have had so close an experience because it helped me to appreciate what I have.

    Of course everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and you must always do what feels best for you and your family - not what other people (myself included) might think you should do.

  2. Of course God is forgiving. I wouldn't go to hell simply for getting a divorce. All of my sins are always forgiven through Christ. But my life would not be any "better" by willfully entering into sin (in this case unbiblical divorce). I am certain that I would suffer more (and my children would suffer more, which would make me suffer even more) if I chose that route. This is because God blesses obedience and punishes disobedience, all the while forgiving us daily as we confess and repent of our sins.

    Divorce is unequivocally not an option for me in the case of emotional neglect. If there are ever biblical grounds, I would pursue it!

  3. It is terrible to live in a quandry all one's an empty place where there is no do I look to-day? Am I a likeable person? See me.Look into my eyes. I feel I am fading away. Almost invisible. I know that the Lord loves me but I long to feel cherished and wanted by another human being.

  4. Wendy, I totally agree and have felt everything you have written above. The only thing that gets me through those feelings is a strong belief that God brought my husband and me together for a reason and that reason is to make us more like Him.

    So for all of the things about him that are so painful to deal with, I know that I am, in my heart, no better than he is. I am unloving, unkind, thoughtless, selfish, proud, rude, unthankful (and the list goes on). God loves me and provides for me and forgives me, despite all of my sins. And so does my husband, amazingly enough!

    We pray for God to "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." That's a scary thing . . . when I think about how many times per day I choose NOT to forgive my aspie spouse. It's a humbling thing to dwell on, and life-changing to take this situation and determine to "practice forgiveness as a way of life" as one author put it.

    I encourage you to study forgiveness and take this pain and loneliness as a time to grow closer to God, understanding how much He forgives us and how He calls us to do the same for others. It's what I'm doing and it is not easy. But I am finding that it gives meaning and strength to all of the pain in what often seems to be an "emotional abyss" of a marriage.

  5. Thanks for your thoughts, Aspmom,
    I am 7 months into a marriage with an undiagnosed aspy and whilst I have become invisible to my husband, God sees me and cares, Psalm 34:18 'The Lord is close to the broken hearted and comforts those who are crushed in spirit'. As hard as life is, (I developed a stress disorder in the first 3 months) I know that the Lord is with me and He enables me to stay, and shows me His love and encouragement in so many ways, so I can hang in there in this emotional vacuum and learn, grow, forgive (both of us), stay calm (varying degrees of success at this early point), keep loving and be ready for His directions. What you have to say is a great encouragement, Aspmom, thank you so much.

  6. Thank you for your comment. It encourages me. It helps so much to know we are not alone and that others understand exactly what we are going through.

  7. WoW! All i can say is Wow! I just stumbled across you blog thirty minutes or so ago.... and still all I can say is WOW! I have read most every post... and can honestly say I can totally relate 100%. We had a dx of our ds last August.... and it has been a ride. God is good though, and day by day, He will guide us! So glad to have found your blog. Thanks for writing and sharing!

  8. I agree with Butterfly. I am married to a man whom I believe has Aspergers. It took me 18 years of praying, crying, working through anger, and praying some more before the Lord revealed to me through some trials and through some reading what I was looking at in our relationship. It is still very difficult, but at least now, I know that what we are working with has a name. I believe the Lord is in control, though it is never easy. He has taught me so much about Himself in times when I have felt like I was alone in the desert laying face down in the dust.

    I wanted to ask if you know of any biblical sources that deal with Aspergers. I have found a few books, but not many. I am also trying to find a biblical counselor, but have not found one yet, to address different marriage and family issues that come up, as well as strategies we can use as a family for communication, especially. We have been through some very difficult trials over the past five years that have left us, our kids included, wounded, yet individually closer to the Lord. Those wounds still need some healing. I have come to understand that divorce is not an option, and want to thank you for clarifying that for me (the difference between emotional abuse and emotional neglect). I am in here for the long-run, but need support. Any resources you know of that you can post here would be appreciated. Blessings in Christ to you. Stand firm and continue to lean on Him, as I also strive to do so each day.

  9. "Anonymous" posted a comment and I want you to know the only reason I am not posting it publicly is because of one word you used that would lead folks to my blog who use certain google search words that I wish to avoid. No offense to you!

    You shared that you desperately need help in your marriage to a Christian man. A biblical church is set up with a leadership of elders. These elders are there to help you, give counsel, confront members who are in sin, and exercise church discipline. If you are not in a biblical church, I encourage you to find one and seek help from the pastor and leadership there. You don't have to suffer alone without help from the church in directing you regarding your very serious marriage problems. Where necessary, the elders may confront your husband and call him to repentance.

    You can find great encouragement from the fellowship and teaching that can be found in a good church. We, as believers, are never truly alone if we are members of a Bible-believing church.

  10. how sad was that.. =(

  11. I am having a very hard time with my marriage. I don't even consider that we have a marriage. We are simply roommates. He lives in the same house, and that's about it. I've struggled with the divorce issue. I still don't know what to do, but I found a verse that stays in my mind and won't go away. Is it possible that God saw what was to happen in our day, and made provisions for it? I don't believe that the people living in Biblical days could possibly make provisions for divorce based on the behavior of someone with Asperger's/Autism, since they most likely did not have those issues in those days. However, I do believe that we are nearing the end times, and the Bible is very specific about what kinds of personalities will pop up and that those men should be avoided. Please read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I don't know if this describes all men with Asperger's, but it sure does describe mine. I've been married 17 years and have been at the end of my rope for awhile now. The stress is making me sick. Weather I stay or not, either way, there is no good solution to this situation.

  12. For a very long time I have struggled with the same issues - that divorce is not from God.
    My relationship with Jesus is so important to me that I do not wish to make a wrong decisions. My biggest thing is to one day hear his voice by saying “well done, good and faithful servant”.
    I worked with doctor's and physiologists, Christian and non-Christian and spoke with them in depths about the issue on divorce for the Christian believer...

    I have been married for almost 14 years with 3 children, 2 of my children and husband has been diagnosed with Asperger’s in the last year.
    The pain in the 13 years was so excruciating as you all will know, the loneliness, and all that goes with it, but the pain of actually knowing now and understanding that my husband's behaviour will never change is not comforting at all.

    The doctor told me that you can only manage Asperger’s with the Holy Spirit by your side. There is no healing otherwise (I am not talking about miracles though).
    In our case my husband loves God too, but he continue to neglect and bring pain to me and my children.
    I guess the pastors that I have been talking to does not know enough about Asperger’s to really comment...

    But one thing that my doctor explained really made sense to me… a couple makes a promise/covenant/contract in front of God, to love and cherish each other and all the rest we say when we say I do, if ONE of us do not bring our side, that is to love your spouse as you love yourself, support, encourage, protects, no withdraw from sexual conduct unless mutually decided…etc. (all that is biblical issues) from the other, that contract means nothing… because you are the only one that is holding on to something that will never be.

    I have friends that are in Asperger’s marriages and it works, but you must also remember that each Asperger that you met is the first Asperger that you met, as they are all different from each other.

    I have cried before my Abba Father for years, and the scriptures that I got astound me. He is my husband’s God and He is mine. He looks after both our wellbeing and after my kids, but He knows that I have no husband – yes, I have a very good provider and that is all, and it is the wrong example to set for my kids, especially those with the same diagnoses, as you know they mimic what they see, and most of my son’s behaviour is same as dad’s. And I am sorry but I am emotionally so numb that I cannot be a good wife to him either.

    I am busy getting everything ready for a divorce. I have tried to separate from my husband, but he refuse to do so, and carries on as if nothing is wrong and is hurt by me being unhappy. I have learned to be happy in myself, I love life and I love everything that goes with it, I love my children, I am just unhappy about the way I get treated and manipulated and controlled and with it my stress levels actually are so bad that I have serious health issues.
    The interesting thing is that he does realise that I am serious as suddenly he will phone and say sorry for the things he did/didn’t do…and the next day all will be forgotten.

    I believe that God has given us life to live it in the fullest and to get to the potential that he has for us, but when we cannot get to our potential because of a situation like this, I truly doubt if it is in the will of God.

    I do however take my hat off to you and all who can make it work.

    There is many scriptures that we can talk about but don’t want to encourage someone that has not heard from the Lord herself.

  13. I encourage you NOT to go through with it. If you will stick with it a while longer, I do believe blessing will follow. I believe you will SUFFER more by leaving, maybe not in the short-term, but in the long term. As an old lady, you will have regrets. Many do.

    You will lose financial benefit down the road. Life insurance, widow's benefits in your old age, retirement, not to mention the example of breaking a vow and teaching your children that divorce is okay for mere emotional suffering due to neglect of your own desires.

    You will be raising self-centered children. Teaching that happiness in this life is all that matters. If you believe that, then go for it. If you believe serving God and honoring covenants and vows and obedience to His commands matters more . . then don't divorce.

    This is harsh but please think about it. Again. The world says one thing. God, in His written Word to us, The Bible, often says the opposite.


  14. What would that be saying to your aspie children? That because of their autism, their spouses should tuck tail and RUN away from them! They are not worth, because of a brain disorder THEY CANNOT HELP and DID NOT CHOOSE to be born with, someone committed to love them "as long as they both shall live." What does it say you think of THEM? They are not worth of love.

  15. I realized last night that thisis most likely what my husband has. About 5 years ago my son was diagnosed with autism, one year prior my brother unexpectedly past away, then a year afer my son was diagnosed my mom died. I knew there were issues with my marriage but I was in a sirvival mode I had to forego the luxury of how I was feeling isolated and in the battle alne, very alne,my mom was my bestfriend, my cheerleader. I was alone to fight this battle with my son, I didnt understand my husband's withdraw..I really didnt have the luxury to try to dissect it when I had to pour my energy into my son.I sought God all the way, wavering in my faith with the loneliness I felt, but god made me strong. God has answered so many prayers, my son his healing. When he first got his dx, I asked not knowing what his capabilities were that if God would do one thing, please let him know you.That with God we are conquers in this world. My sons food iallergies are subsiding, he is learning self-confidnece, very social. He loves to read the bible and talk about God, especially David and Goliath. We are going to look through the bible during this thanskgiving holiday to pick scripture to stencil on our walls.God is merciful and loving, he is faithful and will help us stand. My son just receiced his yellow belt in Tae Kwon Do, I celebrate EVERY step and I appreciate the entire journey. I share this because, I have now been able to look at my marriage. I am thankful for the posts. We as Christians are called to deny ourselves and trust that God will e supply all our needs, even the emotional unmet needs in our marriage. I know God will, he is true to his Word. I cant say that I am not saddened by this but it makes so much sense, and I am in the battle but not alone as the battle belongs to the Lord. As Christians we are to love one another as ourselves, it is the easy out to divorce, believe me I have thought about it, but I believe Gods Word is true. He will forgive you...but. wouldnt be better to build the character with Gods strentgh to bring glory to God by staying in the marriage and trusting that God will be faithful and help you through this. Call on God he will be there to answer. I am not condeming those that cannot not stay on the marriage but if this is where has called you he will be just to finish the work he began. The world does not have anything to offer, especially their wisdom. Sorry for the mis spelling I am having problems with my Ipad. God Bless you and fight the good fight fight it to win it.

  16. This is an interesting string. A person with Asperger's is capable of loving and cherishing another - we are just very clueless when it comes to the relationship dance - especially the dance of dysfunction. I am an adult with Aspie symptoms, raised a son who is Aspie and married an NT. Unfortunately, the NT took terrible advantage of our trusting natures and made me feel crazy on top of challenges I face every day, emotionally. So, it is not just Aspies who create turmoil, we absorb it too when the wrong spouse enters our lives. I am divorcing due to emotional abuse and chronic infidelity (glad to know God approves because I also was raised never to divorce). I would love to meet another Aspie at this point, maybe it would be less complicated. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the outlet!