top of page

Separated but Living Together

There are roughly 6,500 languages in the world. You're more than likely living in a place where most people speak your language, dare I even say, with almost the same accent. Yet you can feel like no one understands you.

Still, you're in a place with everyone who looks similar to you—with the same skin hue, experiencing the same struggles, following the same patterns, in the same mundane job, going to the same predictable church service, and taking the same curated (fake) pictures for the gram. While we're all leading separate lives, is it really our commonalities that bind us and the difference that set us apart? Or, could it be that we're all in the same trenches, together, although we may live apart?

I used to work for a company, and I felt it was time for me to move on. Well, it was no surprise that they asked me to return their uniforms, keys, cell phone, and computer. That is to say, "Push out, sis! 'Cause, you don't live here no mo!" In other words, I could no longer have access to or benefit from the perks as I was the one who decided to walk away. Don't get me wrong, if it was the other way around, the same would apply. Imagine you quit a job, and they still asked you to come in, but the catch was you were not getting paid and had zero perks? Yes, I know, they done lost their cotton-picking mind. I can only presume that's what it might look like when one severs ties but stays where they used to reside.

Togetherness and separateness exist side by side in us. Well, maybe just some of us. Personally, I like being with and around someone, but I also want to be left alone. The fact that many couples on the path to separation or divorce find themselves living together because they are unable to afford two separate residences is an unfortunate reality. From the outside looking in, this might seem absurd, but it's not that far-fetched. Seriously, were you even ever in love if your ex hasn't lived rent-free in your mind for an extended period of time? #youarenotalone

Although there can be no real connection if there is too much distance, it's possible to be distant in close proximity. I'm sure many of us can attest to the chess move known as the 'silent treatment.' Still, when two become one, the steps to disconnection become that much harder. The paradox of intimacy is that separateness is a prerequisite for connection. But once that soul has been tied, buddy, you'll need the jaws of life to detach. It has many of us wishing we had listened to God when He said, "Aht, aht, wait!"

Anyhew, since the toothpaste is already out of the tube for many folks, let's discuss three types of Separation: Trial, Permanent, and Legal Separation.

Trial Separation

Let's call this a time-out. Put your face to the wall and not a peep outta you. But in all seriousness, a "trial separation" may be an option if you and your spouse want a break from each other while you decide whether or not to divorce. Legally, not much changes during the separation since all marital property laws still apply. Meaning whatever you buy while you are not here is still ours.

This scenario reminds me of when Hagar got sent away the first time. When she first became pregnant, sweet-girl had the nerve (like any good sidechick would) to think that she was about to occupy a permanent position because she filled a temporary need. There she was taunting Sari, who, like many of us, wanted to back peddle on the move that was our own bright idea. Can somebody shout, backfired? (See Genesis 16)

Often, we don't consider all the possible plays in motion, nor can we determine what another person's actions may be. Certainly, Sari never imagined, not in her wildest dreams, that a servant(wife) would have the audacity. Pissed, Sari then rolled up on Abram and was like, "Now you done had ya lil fun, gat this wench believing she runs the joint! You need to put this heffa in her place, Sir!" Abram, unbothered, replied, "Look, Miss, she's your servant! Handle ya, business mum!" Whew, chall, that was all the endorsement she needed. You thought the supervisor on your job was a miserable hag, but Sari activated beast mode. So much so that Hagar was like, "Pregnant or not, bump this, I quit!

Anyway, sis runs into an angel who asks her two pertinent questions: "Where have you come from, and where are you going?" I could see her now, gearing up for this sob story, "See what had happened was..." But here's the kicker; the angel was like, "No, no, no, turn right around, go back and submit to the person you just told to kick rocks!" #errrrr Honey, it was about to be the ultimate 'Now look, there is only one woman in this house,' if there ever was!

Translation: Yeah, you can live here, but you abide by my rules. Then when row day comes, stay in your half of the house. Don't touch my cereal or my juice. BUT since you here make yourself useful, aye! Pay the bills, fix what's broken, lift the heavy stuff, take out the trash—you know, generally speaking, be what I need, when I need, and how I need. Capeesh? And another thing, in case you were wondering, intimacy is out of the question! So get it out ya mind, neow! But isn't that how we treat our relationship with God?

We only want to separate church and state when it's convenient or benefits us.

Permanent Separation

It's like defaulting on the phone contract you got during a promotion. Not only do you have to now pay for the device, the monthly price just went up. #yesterdayspriceisnottodaysprice Yes, you can stay with the carrier, but that deal no longer applies. When you live apart from your spouse without intention to reconcile, but you are not divorced, the law considers you permanently separated. In my mind, and I could be reaching, but a permanent separation is the same as divorce to me. 'Permanent' suggests unmovable, lasting forever.

I'm fairly sure God didn't want just to oust Saul, but mister was doing for more! Blatantly not following instructions, dipping and dabbling in things that went against God's ordinances. It really only took one false move for Saul to be rejected. #dealbreaker Even though he was rejected, he still remained King; God just wasn't on his run. And that's what I call a dangerous situation.

Sometimes though, even when it's our own stupid fault, we mourn a situation longer than we should. Woefully reminiscing on all the feel-good moments while we cry our eyes out to the latest Adele track. #funtimes Samuel was said person, all in His feelings that Saul was no longer the chosen one. After all, he was the one to anoint Saul King. Sorta like how women be there the whole time while a dude had nothing. The minute there's the come up, and he makes a different choice, Miss Ride or Die can't understand what the other chick has that she don't. #whyherandnotme

"How long will you mourn Saul, for I have rejected him?" asked God. (1 Samuel 16:1) Similar to our friends who be like, "Girl, seriously, you still moping over that ole scallywag?" #smt Let me give it to you from the SSUV (stop-slapping-up version). How long will you mourn, homeboy? How long will you mourn the loss of 'the good' job? How long will you mourn the friends that left? How long will you mourn the repossessed car? How long will you mourn the demotion? How long will you keep checking back on something that you said you left to God? And how long do you intend to blatantly not do what God asked you to do under the guise that you aren't ready? How long!?

Separated spouses are solely responsible for paying any debt they take on. In a similar fashion, spouses who are permanently separated do not share in any property or income acquired by the other spouse. It's like you'll have a prenup with a 'no dumbness allowed' clause. Should you do that one thing, you get zilch, nada—I mean nothing. #nakedyouborn #nakedyoushallreturn

Legally Separated

This is what I like to call the 'hedging your bet' fund. Not quite insurance but in-case-tion—you know, in case it doesn't work out. It's like the ex who says, "So we can't be friends then?" After he done cheated on you. "No, N•E•G•R•O, we can not!"

The legal separation process differs from divorce or marriage because while you are no longer married you're not divorced either. So technically, you cannot marry anyone else.

My church girls know we don't want to leave God totally, but we like to make sure the hem of His garment is in close proximity. The poster child of being lukewarm, and you know how God feels about that. Like, 'Yea, I wanna be married, but I wanna be single too. We wanna do the bare minimum in the relationship but get maximum benefit. We don't wanna put out (if you catch my drift), but we wanna be fawned upon and cooed over like we're the cutest newborn baby. No, sorry, luv—your new baby smell has worn off. Your neck smells good and pucky at this point.

Now, don't @ me; I'm single never been married but logically, being legally separated makes no sense. But there's something about being lukewarm that even to this very day, we can't seem to shake its hold.

You know who liked to be legally separated? Those humans, known as The Children of Israel. Arghhhh, every time I read about them, I get more annoyed. And I get annoyed because the saying holds true that the thing that bothers you most in others is the thing that bothers you about yourself. Translation: No, I don't want to be with you, but I don't want to leave either. Amma, stay right here in this house so you can be just as miserable as me, all while complaining about everything you do that irks me. #bigyikes

At first, leaving Egypt made sense. One minute they were grateful; the next minute, they were complaining. "Oh, we hungry!" So, God sent Mana and Quail. "But now we thirsty too!" BAM—water from the rock. #alkaline "You know what, we sick of you and this imaginary God Moses!" So they made a golden calf. But there is no betrayal like when your own, who should know your struggle complains—nothing like when your partner is the one leading the coo against you. #theenemyofmyenemylivesinmyhouse Here comes Miriam (his sister) and Aaron (his right hand) siding with the complainers. Translation: Dude bought the whole table, chairs and the feast. But you just showed up, ate, drank, belched, wiped your mouth, never even said "thank you!" or offered to help clean the dishes.

It wasn't enough that the plagues didn't harm them. It wasn't enough that they literally had a personal GPS, cloud by day and fire by night. #googlemapswho Still, it wasn't enough that the sea didn't drown them, but for these ungrateful pariahs, enough was never enough. But there they were on the cusp of getting into the promised land, and BAM! "Ohhhhh, those giants are too big!" Translation: That looks like hard work. Or, huh, you expect me to give you my whole check for the down payment on the house? How dare you ask me actually to work, I mean actually contribute after all these years?" If 'look what you gonna get when you tired of what you got,' was a person.

Legal separation means both parties are stuck in a halted position. If either person lingers in that position too long, one will eventually get weak and potentially become a casualty of war. At that point, you might as well conclude, the only way out is death. Unfortunately, for a whole generation, that was precisely how the story ended. None of those adults who left Egypt made it to the Promised Land, including Moses.

That's divorce, the severing of the two that became one. It is impossible to be separated and still be whole. If you remove a limb from your body, bit by bit, it dies and can't be reattached. While the body itself can live, it is no longer functioning at full capacity. Translation: After a separation, those two people are never the same. Bruh, as a single person, I just have one question, "How you'll out here doing life at odds with your partner?" But the better question is, "How can you have a partner without first forming an alliance with God?" Look, I'm not an idiot; I'm well aware relationships are hard work, but it's even more work when there is no common denominator.

I don't care who you are or where you're at, or what homie did to you; I'm telling you to fix it! NOTHING extraordinary can be accomplished alone. But don't take my word for it, Matthew says, "Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19) #andtheylivedhappilyeverafter #theend

14 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page