The Day My Marriage Died (Part 1)

I remember waking up on the morning of October 31st, 2016.  I woke the children and got them ready for school like normal.  Then after they were gone, I got dressed like I was headed to a funeral.  I put on a pretty black blouse and black pants and then my parents pulled into the driveway to take me to the courthouse.

6 weeks prior, I had a similar morning.  I woke the children and got them ready for school like normal. Then after they were gone, I put on a black dress, high heels and my husband pulled into the driveway in his pick up truck. He took me downtown to his lawyers office.  He was a gentlemen – getting the doors for me and there we signed the official dissolution and affidavits to file for our divorce.  My husband had written up a dissolution and I had agreed to release him from our marriage because he was in love with another woman – and so our divorce moved forward quickly. 

Back at the house, after we filed – we stood for a long time in the kitchen hugging.  None of this made sense. He appeared to still have love in his heart for me but he continued to move forward with the divorce.

At the courthouse on the day of our divorce, my husband arrived alone in the waiting area and we smiled and greeted each other politely.  It was awkward.  My parents deeply loved him and they had not seen him much in the previous 10 months since he had left me. 

After about 30 minutes of waiting, our lawyers came and got us and we entered into the judges chamber, where we sat at a long table.  I could not see his face.  The judge asked us each a series of questions and then within about 5 minutes – the gavel came down and our divorce was final. 

In that moment…our marriage died.

I stood up with shaky legs and walked out trying to be as strong and confident as I could be. 

I could have easily fallen on the floor in a puddle of tears or ran to the bathroom to throw up but this was not the time or the place.  And so, together we walked to the elevator and the four of us entered and awkwardly stood as we waited to arrive on the first floor.

Once we stepped out of the elevator, we walked through the lobby out to the city street and there my now ex-husband and I, looked each other in the eye and we said a very weak goodbye.  There was sadness in his eyes and I wanted to hug him but it did not seem right that I attempt to comfort him, while he was divorcing me.  And so, he turned and walked straight ahead crossing the street and I turned the opposite way and walked with my parents to their car.

That morning, our marriage of 19 years died and the man I had loved for 24 years walked away onto a new life path, separate from mine.

The year leading up to this day had been excruciating. 

There is no way that this keyboard can type and express the level of pain and heartache the previous year held. Someday I might tell those stories but for now…just know that there was not a lot of yelling and screaming or crazy…there were long level headed discussions in the kitchen about finances and the kids and what the future would look like. 

If you were to be a fly on the wall in our house that year, you would have seen him coming regularly to the house to visit the kids…and me. He would lay on the couch, while I cooked dinner and we would talk for hours or he would lay on the floor and play with the dog, while talking with the kids about their day, watching sports and drinking his sweet tea.  Then he would leave. 

We went on an overnight family trip to a water slide park and amusement park.   We talked, laughed and enjoyed ourselves as a family for those two days. We sat in a hot tub at the hotel talking about life – our past, our present, and our future.  But it was slowly slipping away…two best friends becoming two strangers.   

Sometimes I thought we were almost there – like he was coming home. He would stay the night and be emotional about his choice to leave…but then inevitably he’d be lured away once again. I was always one to follow his lead and since I knew another woman was involved – a woman I had known for 10 years, I knew exactly what I was up against and that I was on the losing end of this. But I did not want the divorce.

The day after our divorce was final, he left town and bought a home a couple states away and a new life of being a single mom began. He comes regularly still to visit and has a place nearby as well, but mostly – it’s just me and the kids doing life these days.

While the year of 2016 was the most painful year of my life – it did not hold a candle to how crazy of a roller coaster ride our family would be on in 2017.  Oh friends, I wish I could tell all the stories but it’s best I don’t.

But I’ll share a little about my own heart struggles next time.

Until then – know this…

When the bottom falls out…

God is the rock at the bottom.

He is a firm foundation to build your life upon. (Matthew 7:24-27)

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
~Psalm 23:4

If you are in a dark valley right now – do not give way to fear. God is with you. Let his presence be your comfort.

He loves you so.

Until next time — Keep walking with the King.

Courtney

42 thoughts on “The Day My Marriage Died (Part 1)

  1. My heart breaks for you. Thank you for sharing your story. Personally I am walking a dark road. I have many health issues some diagnosed and some not. I’m only 44 and been sick for 14 years. It’s hard being ill everyday not being able to do daily activities. I pray and beg God everyday for healing. Also my husband and I bought a house over two years ago. Unknown to us the has major foundation issues. We’ve been battling this whole time with a lawyer but progress is extremely slow and never ending. I just don’t understand and am so weary.

    1. Oh Kelly – I’m so sorry. I know how hard is it to to wrestle with unanswered prayer and feeling like you just don’t understand why things are not easier when you know God CAN do it!!! But his ways are higher than ours and trusting and resting in that truth is a walk of faith. Without a doubt – Kelly – Jesus loves you so much. He is with you. Keep pressing on and remain faithful even in the dark times. The enemy wants to fill your mind with doubt but we must stand on his word. He loves you! And I’m saying a prayer for you now.

      Lots of Love,
      Courtney

  2. I am so happy you’ve started this blog Courtney! Your bible studies and lessons, perspective and words have gotten me through good times and bad. I appreciate all that you do and for your strength and am grateful for your little section of the internet!

    1. Thanks Courtenay, can imagine the pain you felt but I understand now truly God was with you in those low & dark moments. You are up now and can share…more Grace as you serve our Master

  3. Kelly,
    Thank you for being open and honest. I too walked the same road of having my husband leave me for someone else. There is so many emotions that come with that road. But being faithful to the heavenly Father will produce great fruit and an amazing testimony that your children are watching you walk out. It’s been 10 years for me and God has richly blessed me. If you need someone feel free to reach out to me!

  4. Courtney- I have followed you for years and my heart breaks for what you have endured but still with grace and commitment to sharing God’s word and promises. I’m glad you are taking the opportunity to tell your story. It will inevitably help others. Peace.

    1. I agree with Emily. Thank you so much for sharing, Courtney. God’s peace and blessings to you.

  5. Thank you for sharing your heart Courtney. I understand what divorce in a family can do–it impacts so many; not just the two whose marriage has ended. I am a mature woman whose parents divorced before I graduated from high school. When my father decided to leave his family, it was a complete shock to everyone who loved him (similar to what you described about your parents).
    Your faith in God and your family’s love and support is the most important for healing and moving forward. I have followed you for years and have completed several of your bible studies. I regularly refer you to other ladies. You are doing an amazing job and I am so proud of the hard work you are willing to do for your children. Great testimony before others…to God be the glory!

  6. Oh Courtney this touched my heart in so many ways but especially right now. I just lost my job of 10 years unexpectedly last week, I am 59 years old and I feel so lost right now. I have always been a hard worker and this came as such a shock to me. I am a Human Resource professional but I am seeking God’s guidance for the next steps in my life. Please keep me in your prayers 🙏.

  7. I stumbled across your post today. I am praying about my own marriage. We have been married for 22 years, kids all grown, but he keeps telling me that he doesn’t believe in the concept of marriage. He doesn’t believe that one person should have to be forced to stay with one person for the rest of their lives. He says things like this, amd that we feel like roommates more than husband and wife. I love him so much, but I am seriously thinking about leaving because we are both unhappy. I want to fight for us and fix things but he seems to have no desire to make things better. I dont know what to do anymore. I’ve tried for years and he has off and on.

    1. I know exactly what you mean, I’ve been there too. I’ve prayed that I’d be the person God created me to be and the wife I was meant to be and have the marriage I was intended to have, and prayed this for my husband too. I still have hope and faith that we will be restored even although he has left four years ago. I want a supernatural lifestyle that touches every part of my life including my marriage. I just watched Global Prophetic Alliance ‘Power Hour’ episode on asking and answering questions on sex and intimacy. I’d recommend it. You can find it on Facebook or YouTube. It’s a bit of an eye opener but something that I’ve yearned for and knew was missing in my marriage. Invite the Holy Spirit into your marriage!

  8. Ohhhh honey. 💔🙏🏼 How hard for you. I’m so sorry. I’m so thankful for healing in Jesus, and I pray you’re finding it.

  9. I’m so sorry. I was in the same exact situation as you, except we were married for 22 years. I don’t understand how this is happening to so many families. But by the grace of God, He is carrying us through ❤️ Thank you for your courage to share with other women in the same situation. Hopefully they will understand that God CAN do miracles, and we need to trust Him in that possibility, but when it is completely out of our control, God does not abandon us ❤️

  10. I know this feeling so well. It has been four years for me. I just can’t find a way to get past it. I understand life is not fair and I know that God is fair. But I am so sad every day because I miss him and I miss my life. And I’ll never understand how he or she could do this.

  11. Thank you Courtney, for sharing your story and your heart. Your gentleness is evident to all!❤️ Your words are inspiring and encouraging to so many. Thank you for always being a bright light shining in our dark world, and always, no matter what, pointing us to Jesus❤️

  12. Dear Courtney, thank you for sharing. 💖 The pain you’ve walked through has certainly been unimaginable and I am in awe of how God has helped you keep bitterness at bay! I’ve struggled with singleness my whole life, and falter when trying to praise God in the pain. But you are a testament that God is good and kind even when circumstances and life is not. Thank you for being a living (spiritually and physically) survivor! 💖

  13. Hello Courtney, I have been following you on Instagram for years now, before you anounced your divorce on social media. I did not grow up in the church so when I was saved in my mid twenties I really didn’t know where to begin. I credit you for the study methods I have developed and still use now in my mid thirties. You taught me prayer, cause at 25 I had never really heard anyone pray before. I can’t think you enough. All that to say, I think you are one of the most amazing women on social media and I truly admire you and your courage. I remember when you first started talking about your divorce and that you were taking a break from social media, I felt like I had lost a mentor, but you came back and I can’t thank you enough for your strength to show up and do God work and to keep encouraging people all over the world, just like me. Thank you! And God Bless

  14. I so appreciate your vulnerability and courage to share your journey. I took my children and moved away from my husband, he was battling some demons, and my momma bear mode wouldn’t have my precious children exposed any longer. I thoroughly believed divorce was in my future and I was preparing myself to be a single mom. Happily (but with A LOT of hard conversations and lots of missteps) we were able to reconcile. It takes so much strength to face the unknown and I truly feel more Christian women need to share the valleys as well as the mountaintops. God bless

    1. Thank you for sharing this. I agree that more Christian women/ Christian couples as a whole need to share the valleys as well as the mountaintops. Perhaps in doing so, it may save some marriages. Or

      I’ve been married for 19 years. 23 years together. He has personal demons that he projects onto me that I can no longer bear. I am surrendering him to the LORD for real and filing for divorce.

  15. Thank you fir sharing Courtney. I was a newlywed (18 months married) when my husband decided he didn’t want to be “married” anymore. I fought hard for another 18+ months but ultimately the marriage ended. We had a house, wedding gifts (some still in their boxes) and a dog – it was easy to split that stuff up and move on in hindsight, but in the moment I was embarrassed and devastated. . 20 years he’s married to the ‘other woman’ that was part of our break up and has children and so I view that in a strange sort of way as a nice end…. I do not wish him or her any ill, but have some resentment and unanswered questions which I have let go thanks to help from above. I am now married to a Christian man who is trustworthy and an answer to prayer with two beautiful children of our own and so God really brought me through and down a path He had planned for me I believe. My 1st marriage is but a blip in my memory of almost a previous / other life. I’m grateful for that because I haven’t talked nor seen him in a decade or more and never need to. You and others have have walked thru the valley of a marriage ending with children and many more years together is a whole different level & hardly comparable to my situation yet similar emotions felt on the surface I’d imagine. I have followed you fir a few years now and am grateful for your Christian viewpoints and leadership. God has used you to touch many, many women in different situations. So thank you fir sharing your story here and showing this raw side- you are an inspiration and I’m grateful for your insight.

  16. Courtney,
    It sounds like we were both walking a similar path in 2016. My marriage ended that year as well when my husband and best friend of 20 years betrayed me with a woman we both worked with. But as Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, God had a plan for me. I just couldn’t hear or see his plan until he removed the obstacle in my life that now allows me to listen and obey my God. Not only has He been my rock and redeemer, but He has placed so many blessings in my life! I pray that God sends you all the blessings you need for your new path in life as well!

  17. Thank you Courtney for sharing this. I too, have walked and have been walking this same road for the past 4 years after 26 years of marriage. Sometimes it’s good in a sense to hear from others who are going through the same trial. I am also a single Mom of 2.

  18. Thank you Courtney for sharing. I too am a single mum and know the struggles and deep pain that is involved but through it all my relationship with God has become deeper and more meaningful. I thank you for taking the time to share your story and open your heart to others, in doing so it will not only be therapeutic for you but be a help and inspiration to many others. Bless you and all whose lives you will touch!

  19. Hi Courtney, I was at Moody when you were there ~ if I remember right, you were a freshman the year I was an RA (10W – that crazy but lovable group of girls!) and maybe were you on 9? Anyway, I’ve followed your blog for a number of years and was heartbroken for you and your kiddos after reading your story and have been praying for you thru the years. God has clearly put you in a place to minister to women around the world, and I have no doubt that you sharing more details like in this post will continue to reach those hearts that are hurting, just like yours. Keep looking to Jesus! (I’m also an OH girl, not that far from the Cleveland/Akron/Canton area!)

  20. Thank you for sharping your heart.
    My divorce was final July of last year after 18 years, my situation is a bit different but sometimes I still feel like I have disappointed Jesus for not trying harder. Keep writing, keep following Jesus.

  21. I remember the day I read that your marriage was ending… it felt like we were living the same life. My husband of 18 years was leaving me for his cousins wife and one of my best friends. The pain was intense and having to explain it to our 18 year old and our 8 year old was very hard. This happened in 2016 as well. But I have to say God lead me thru that dark road and I thank you for sharing your story and your pain. It drives it home that none of us are alone, we have God and we have the knowledge that everyone is going through something.

  22. Thank you for sharing from your heart, Courtney. Your writings brought back so many memories from over 35 years ago when my husband walked away from our marriage and our 18 month old daughter for another woman. I remember the conversations, the courtrooms, the feelings, and the wondering if God could ever use that broken time for His glory. He did. He is faithful, even when others are not. I was on church staff when this happened, and I saw the family of God wrap their arms around me, and minister to me until whole-ness came. I was blessed when God brought Paul into my life – and we will have been married 6 years in July. All those years. And God has restored and blessed. And it was “Good Morning Girls” that knit our hearts together! We did an Easter Lenten study together in 2014, which God used to set our relationship on the right path. And I’m thrilled to say that we continue to send each other our reflections from Scripture each day – 7 years of God’s faithfulness! May your day be filled with joy today!

  23. Courtney, thanks for sharing. I’ve followed you for a long time and wondered what happened. I can identify with the best friends growing apart… high-school sweethearts going on almost 20 years now, but feel like strangers. I feel we are on shaky ground & 2 kids. You are helping others in a similar situation by sharing your story, so please don’t hold back. I pray for your healing and peace❤️. My heart breaks for you and your children.

  24. This hurts my heart, but I know it’s nowhere close to the pain you have felt. Thank you for going out on a limb and sharing. You have an amazing gift to help others through hard times. God is using you to help others through this. I’m not saying God wanted this or planned this but I’m saying he’s using the cards you have been dealt to help others in your situation.

  25. I love you Courtney! I’ve been with you for quite a while and I admire your love and your strength! God bless you!

  26. You are a strong and beautiful woman.Through it all,I see and learn how to depend and trust God completely from every thing you share.God bless you and your children abundantly.

  27. Hello Courtney, I have been getting your emails for many years now and always enjoy them. You are probably wondering why a guy is getting your emails (I hope that I am not the only one!) and following you on most social media sites, but I think it. is aways important to see things from as many different perspectives as possible.

    I felt this blog post was very open and very brave of you, divorce is never an easy topic to discuss so openly… especially in the Christian community. As one who has been married to the same women for over fifty years, I do not know how it must feel but I know that it must have been extremely painful!

    I will continue to pray for you and your ministry!

    Blessings in the name of our Savior,

    Bob

  28. It breaks my heart that so many of us can relate to the subject of divorce-myself included. I have major guilt to this day that my marriage ended in divorce. I feel like I failed my son because he did not grow up in a complete family and I did not raise him as a Christian because I myself was not a Christian at the time (my husband wasn’t either and will never be). I just have to keep praying to the Lord to help me get rid of the guilt.
    As long as we stay close to Him, we will be okay. 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing something so personal with all of us.

  29. Courtney, you’ve been an inspiration to me for the 6 years I’ve been following you. You made studying the word interesting when I didn’t think it was.

    Thank you for being vulnerable to share your valley moments with us. I love the reminder that God is the rock at the bottom. I pray that God will continue to uphold you and your family with His righteous right hand. May you do greater things than you’ve ever done. I want to believe with you that your best days are ahead of you! May God continue to smile on you and be your strength on the days that are especially hard. So thankful for you❤️

  30. Thank you for sharing some of the reality of life, real experiences, and bit of hope for others going through similar situations. A ministry of compassion, hope, and encouragement is so needed in these uncertain times.

  31. You are an inspiration! God is using you to help so many women with your bible studies and books. Thank you for sharing your story.

  32. My husband passed away very unexpectedly three and a half years ago. I wrote a blog to express what I was feeling and it was so therapeutic. I then turned my writings into a book. I truly believe that God has his death as part of my journey so I can share with others.
    You will be fine becasue you are so close to God. He will guide you as a single woman and a single mom.

  33. Long time reader of your blog here, and sadly yet another woman who had her husband walk out on her for a nearly 20 year younger woman. I was married for 14 years to a man who I deeply believe was my soulmate. And while I’m not religious ( I’m deeply spiritual), I believe God had made us for eachother.
    I can clearly remember how loving and kind my ex was up until his midlife crisis began. I saw him clearly fighting some type of struggle within himself, and month after month, he transformed into a completely different person, one who was always angry, selfish, cowardly, and cruel.
    I encouraged him to get help and take card of himself, he instead began his affair.
    What he did to my daughter and I was beyond cruel.

    I am so deeply sorry to learn that your ex husband left you for another woman. I know personally how intense and agonizing the pain is from being abandoned. It nearly destroyed me.

    Praying for you and your family, as well as every woman/man who is going through a similar situation as we are.

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