Many women work for years and finally get to a comfortable place in their life. They no longer need to worry about paying the utilities or repairing the car with grocery money. The relationship with their significant other settles into complacent routine. That works well for most, and could be considered a contented love achieved by long-standing trust and hard work at settling differences that invariably come up in life. But to some, life becomes boring, egos need to be boosted, and bad habits grow from cute little annoyances to real stumbling blocks for others. It’s not fun anymore.
That is where the dilemma starts. Should they go or should they stay? Finances are bound together, and for older women, the money may be controlled by the husband. How will she support herself when she is past prime employment age? The children want to return to the happy home they visualize for the holidays. Their friends may be mutual to both people involved. What about retirement benefits, taxes, and insurance? Everything has been blended together for years.
Then there is the emotional dilemma. Many partners feel responsible for the well being of the other, especially if they are not in good health. And being in bad health can bring out the worst behavior in someone who hasn’t overcome selfish tendencies, or whose health causes emotional changes in their personalities. The vows “for better or worse” rings in their mate’s ears.
One of the biggest hurdles is very prevalent in today’s culture: does a person have a right to be happy? And to have a mate who will nurture, love, respect, and be an ally behind them? In times gone by, the couple was married for life, for good or bad. Now, it is okay to get up and go find somebody else who will be a better deal. You don’t even have to declare a fault, just incompatibility.
The Bible says infidelity is a deal-breaker for a marriage. They are free to go. One question is, “Can they remarry?” Technically, no, but I don’t believe God wants us to live alone, and permits us to find someone else. The basic fact is that if a person in committed to God, they are still under His direction. It seems to me, a person must still wait upon Him to show them new direction. Whether they stay and make the most of it with His help, or go in peace.
One of the deciding factors must be if they can stay healthy in what they choose. If they stay, will they be safe? Will their mental health stand the stress? Stress can bleed over into body dysfunctions and illnesses. If they go, can they find reasonable accommodations, and start anew? Will it seem too hard to do? Can they face the children? Do they deserve happiness?
It is a dilemma, one that is not too big for our Lord, who cares about all things, even happiness.