Divorce Shame and Healing.
Divorced people not only heap feelings of guilt, failure and shame
upon themsleves, they are also very sensitive to, and acutely aware
of, the suspicion and judgement of others. It is either, "Why did
they do that terrible thing?" or "What did they do to deserve that
terrible thing?" A no-win situation.
Single people are also stereotyped as being desperate, leading to
isolation. Pastors are instructed at Seminary to avoid single women
(I was once married to a pastor so I know this to be true of his
pastoral training). Yet personally I know of six pastors, Baptist,
Anglican, Presbyterian and a Brethren Theological College lecturer,
who had to leave the ministry because they all had affairs - with
married women! These pastors simply had no control of their egos or
hormones - no moral strength.
It is very old fashioned to always blame the women; as I remember,
it takes two to tango. Single people don't need this isolation and
stereotyping. In the absence of female pastoral workers, male
pastors need to get on with spiritual nurturing, professionally and
in full self-control. Then maybe single people would be less
vulnerable to suicide and other desperate acts.
The isolation of divorce and sole-parenting is agonising. I cannot
overstate that. I have been on my own with my four children for nine
years, with no child support and no respite (my husband left for a
new life in South East Asia). My marriage experiences have left me
content to be single, not because I do not long for an intimate
relationship with a man, but because fear is by far the overriding