Just read a great book by John Trent and Larry K. Weeden entitled “Breaking the Cycle of Divorce: How Your Marriage Can Succeed Even if Your Parents’ Didn’t.” It is a must read for anyone with divorced parents and a great resource to share with your children if you are divorced yourself.
Trent and Weeden share their hearts for helping adult children of divorce (ACODs) make good choices in their own marriages and reversing the curse that divorce brings about. Your family marital history does not determine the future of your marriage. In spite of statistics, what you hear in the media, from your circle of friends, or even from your parents–you and your spouse are the ones that decide the destiny of your marriage.
Yes, if your parents divorced, you have more challenges ahead and if your spouse’s parents were divorced also then it gets even more complicated. But still, your marriage is not your parents’ marriage. You can choose to change your family tree, learn from the mistakes of past generations and become intentional in building a lasting, loving marriage.
In the book, a researcher was quoted observing that young people today tend to enter marriage “in a profound state of cluelessness.” For many who grew up seeing the most important relationship of their parents’ lives get washed down the drain, they tend to go into marriage with a “we’ll see how this goes” mentality. To them each argument can feed the negative thoughts that their marriage may crash just like their parents’ did. Much like many people view their first home as a starter home, they have in the back of their mind that this may only be a “starter marriage.” Such a mindset can be toxic to your relationship!
As a marriage coach, I come alongside women to build a foundation for their one-and-only marriage. I show them the common pitfalls awaiting them and use God’s instructions as a GPS to avoid them. You need to have a vision of what a healthy, lasting marriage looks like so you can make that a reality in your own life. Just because your parents’ marriage failed, it doesn’t mean yours has to.
God’s Word tells us that “this day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) I am encouraged by the Trent’s message. I am empowered by knowing the areas that ACODs tend to struggle with because now I can be on the lookout for those traps that we face as ACODs. We can see the choices laid before us and then choose life for our marriages.