Pre-Order So God Made a Mother

I’ve borne witness to the hushed conversations and sympathetic glances surrounding a woman going through a divorce. I’ve heard the million I’m sorrys offered to her and seen the look on her face when she really doesn’t know how to respond. I’ve watched women transition from “married with kids” to “single mom”. I’ve also heard the judgmental comments. I’ve listened to other women go on about how they would never tear their families apart, regardless of their happiness. I’ve watched a hurting woman be twisted into a selfish woman in someone else’s mind. 

I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant until I became her, though. 

I left my husband for myself, but also for my children. 

You heard me right. I left my husband in part for the benefit of my children. He was/is not abusive. He is a pretty good dad. They would not have been in harm’s way physically had I stayed. But still, my choosing to divorce their father will benefit them in the long run. 

Although their dad isn’t an abusive person, he wasn’t a good partner for me. We weren’t good for each other. There were problems small and large that we couldn’t work out. The love we had was not a display of the kind of love I want my sons to go looking for one day. The husband he was is not the kind of husbands I want my sons to be one day. We didn’t work together, and that did and would continue to have an effect on our entire family. 

For a long time, I stayed and told myself it was for our sons. For a long time, I told myself that growing up in two homes, like I did, would be worse for them than growing up with their parents miserable but together. For a long time, I lied to myself. The boys started getting older, and my toddler was already showing signs of being affected by the fighting. The tension in the house was so thick at times you could slice it with a knife. I finally admitted to myself, my head hung in shame, that this was not beneficial to anyone. 

I was ashamed of my failed marriage. I was ashamed of the fact that ultimately I was the one to make the decision that would result in my children growing up in a “broken” home. I was heartbroken, scared, and so full of guilt. 

That changed when I realized that two homes doesn’t have to mean “broken”. I realized that sometimes God brings people together for a time, but not forever. I realized that just because our marriage was ending didn’t mean it didn’t serve its purpose. We brought two beautiful children into this world together, and our duty is now to them. 

In my leaving, I have given myself a chance to find happiness within myself and possibly one day with someone else. I have given my sons the chance to witness what a marriage should look like, hopefully both with me and their dad. I wish him nothing but the best and continue to pray that our relationship as co-parents will be the best it can possibly be for our children. Our marriage, on the other hand, was not. 

I left my husband for the benefit of everyone involved, including my children. I didn’t tear their family apart, I just changed the dynamics. I may have turned the page in our lives, but that doesn’t mean I ended the book; we’re just starting a new chapter.

You may also like: 

I Was Better Off Divorced

I’m Done Being a Victim of Divorce

What I Wish I Could Tell My Child Self About Divorce

Want more stories of love, family, and faith from the heart of every home, delivered straight to you? Sign up here!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Shelbie Farmer

I’m a full time bookkeeper, but my favorite “job” is being mama to my sons. I have a love for all things personalized, early morning cuddles, and way too many sweets. Writing is my favorite way to talk about how much I love motherhood and my hope is that the things I write will resonate with other moms. 

Let Us Grow Old Together

In: Marriage
Couple kissing in kitchen

Dear husband, May our love grow in millions of ways, but may it never grow old. This life we’re living is fast, fierce, and full of beautiful memories in the making. It wasn’t until this past weekend that I realized that one day, probably before we know it, we will have grown a whole legacy of love together. See, I was at a first birthday party this weekend, and it was everything you would imagine it would be—family mingling, children playing, sounds of laughter, an abundance food. RELATED: At the End of Your Life, This is What Will Matter to...

Keep Reading

Let’s Stop the Negative Talk about Marriage

In: Faith, Marriage
Square, wooden arch with floral and fabric in field, color photo

Growing up, I remember hearing many negative phrases used about marriage—on TV, by distant relatives, anywhere, really.  “The old ball and chain.” “All my wife does is nag.” “You’re happy in your marriage? You must still be in the honeymoon phase.” These are just a few examples of the many things I have heard for years that create a negative connotation around marriage. I never really thought much of it until I fell in love and got engaged to the man of my dreams. Can you guess what happened next? “Just wait . . .” I heard entirely too many...

Keep Reading

You Will Survive the Starting Over

In: Living, Marriage
Woman walking with two kids on beach

It might be uncomfortable. It might be awkward. You might have to tell your 3-year-old that you won’t be living with her dad anymore. You might scream, cry, and curse—quietly, so she can’t hear you through the thin apartment walls. You might have to buy secondhand furniture and be okay with the fact that nothing matches. You might have to bury your pride and call your friends to help pick up your child when you need an extra hand. RELATED: Overwhelm Isn’t Just a Season For a Single Mom You might lose friends when your brain is at max capacity...

Keep Reading

Dear New Mom, Give Your Marriage Some Grace

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Family of 3 with baby on bed

He cried when our daughter was born. Twice. I clearly remember his choked voice when he kissed me and thanked me for bringing our baby girl into the world. But by the time we got home, the diaper was on the rose. The baby was crying. His wife (me) was constipated. And the house took on a perfume of spoiled milk. Pre-baby and post-baby, people talked about engorged nipples. Moms and dads rant about sleepless nights and diaper explosions. There are books written about baby weight, burping, and tummy time. But no one talks about the fighting. And we fought....

Keep Reading

Co-parenting Is about the Kids, Not Your Feelings after Divorce

In: Living, Marriage, Motherhood
Girl holding parents' hand

This is likely to step on a few toes, but is something that absolutely needs to be addressed: co-parenting and blended families. When people think of co-parenting, many things come to mind—good and bad, of course. The fact is some relationships between co-parents can be amazing, and some can be an absolute nightmare. You know what? That does not matter. Co-parenting is about coming together in every possible way to make things right for your children. The children did not decide their parents were going to get divorced. The children don’t have a say in how they feel about things....

Keep Reading

The Beautiful Ugliness of Marriage

In: Marriage
Couple standing holding hands by water

I never realized how beautiful and ugly marriage can be at the same time. Interwoven so tightly together and made known to us, these moments were what we agreed to when we made our vows to each other so many years ago. The beautiful and the ugly—for better and for worse. Ugly. It’s a strong word to use. But when we’re experiencing these moments, it feels that way, doesn’t it? Just ugly. The ugly moments when we fight and utter words to each other we would never utter to anyone else within earshot. The ugly moments when we argue in...

Keep Reading

As An Adult, Navigating Your Parents’ Divorce Is Complicated

In: Grown Children, Marriage
Older couple sitting apart unhappy on couch

“Gray divorce” is a term that refers to divorce in couples over 50 years old. There are plenty of reasons why people decide to get divorced—in some cases, after decades of marriage. Many couples at this phase of their life are experiencing empty nests for the first time and are finding that once their kids have left the home, their relationship is not where they hoped it would be. No matter what the reasons may be, the reality is a lot of adults with families of their own are navigating their parents’ divorce. I am one of those adults facing...

Keep Reading

We Need Valentine’s Day Because February Sucks

In: Living, Marriage
Annoyed woman holding heart

I figured out why some human in the past created Valentine’s Day in the middle of February. Because, like my plant, we’re all just barely hanging on. We’re alive, but we are having to let go of some pieces of ourselves in order to say we are even “okay” or “fine,” the two most dangerous words in a woman’s vocabulary for men. Spring is coming, but it’s too far away; the cold and dreary days are taking a toll. RELATED: What Is Hygge and Why You Need It This Winter Commitments are overwhelming and exhausting, but we are already starting...

Keep Reading

I Am in Love with Two Men

In: Grief, Marriage
Two men in the back of a van, color photo

I am in love with two men.  It started years ago. My marriage of 11 years, which led to four sons, was wonderful and comfortable and safe. I had trained myself to never look twice at another man out of respect for my husband Aaron. I enjoyed being married to the right man. And yet here I was, thinking about another man. A man named Jason, who happened to be friends with my husband. I knew Jason was a man of integrity, kindness, and faith. It had been a long time since any man had noticed me, and though I...

Keep Reading

I Thought I Knew What Love Was

In: Living, Marriage
Sad woman folded arms sitting on floor

I thought I knew what love was or what love was supposed to be. It meant for better or worse, no matter what. If you loved someone and did everything you could to help that person, you could save them. I think this idea gets put in our brains when we’re kids watching the damsel in distress and her prince saves her from death no matter what. And that same princess would save her prince from anything too. That’s at least how I saw it. Go to church and then feel that divorce is shameful and bad and you’re tainted...

Keep Reading