"Growing up Adventist, I had always believed that divorce was wrong. One of the very first counselors we saw told me that my husband's problems were a private matter to remain between the two of us, and that it was my job to protect his reputation. I took that seriously and kept to it for over four years.
My husband and I were actively involved in all aspects of the church. He led out in Pathfinders for years and was an elder. I taught Cradle Roll and served as a deaconess among other positions. My church face was always smiling, but behind the scenes were disaster, exhaustion, and pain. I've lost count of the number of counselors we saw to get my husband help, and of the thousands of dollars and hours poured into trying everything possible that people suggested. Every new strategy or idea I learned of, I devoured with new hope.
Finally, many factors led two counselors to urge me to separate and prayerfully consider divorce. It took many long, tearful months for me to decide that divorce was the road I would take. I was terrified of what everyone at church would say. I saw this as the ultimate failure, and prepared myself to be treated accordingly.
Our church was shocked when they learned we had split. No one saw it coming. I chose not to divulge details of my husband's struggles with many individuals, but those who were aware of the situation were full of nothing but love and support. It was my turn to be shocked as I reached out to various people for advice on navigating this new chapter of my life and was greeted with open, loving arms!
To this day still there are not many who know the full depth of those awful years. Going through a divorce was both the most horrible time and the most wonderful time as I experienced so much growth, transformation, and relief at no longer having to play the happy wife. The pain was intense and felt unbearable. But my relationship and understanding of Jesus' love is so much stronger now today than it was before."