As I read the Scriptures today about marriage and divorce from Genesis through Revelation, one things that stood out over and over was the concept of "one flesh". God mentioned it in Genesis as part of the creation story, it was referred to in Malachi as part of why God hates divorce, and Jesus referred to it in Matthew and Mark. I remembered that Paul referred to the concept of "one flesh" as a reason not to go to a prostitute because you would be "joined" to her.
At this time, I don't have an exegetical study on this concept, but from my experience of being separated for 16 months from my wife, I became more convinced that there truly is something special about the "one flesh" bond between a husband and wife. During our separation, and especially after my wife's announcement of her plans for divorce, something just snapped inside of me. There was a bond between us so deep that just the thought of not having her in my life totally unglued me. Even when I tried to put her out of my mind, it was next to impossible. Everything seemed to remind me of her.
She paid the majority of our bills during our marriage. I still remember sitting in my office one day and looked at her signature on a check and started crying. During that time I stayed in our RV parked in our farm shop about 100 yards from our house. The night she told me she was getting a divorce, I blew up in a rage and left for a couple of days.
Shortly after I came back our kids went on a mission trip. My wife and I were barely speaking other than with a counselor or a mediator present, but while the kids were gone, I was still thankful that in spite of our estrangement, we were still staying in close proximity on the same property. I knew deep in my heart that there was a very real bond between us, and I had a strange sense of peace that is next to impossible to describe.
As I have participated over time in various Divorce Care and other groups where people have openly shared about separation and divorce, I have become more convinced than ever that whatever this "one flesh" bond is, it is very real and very powerful. The reality of that bond is why I think separation and divorce are so devastating to people. That is probably why God says "I hate divorce."
I think this bond is sort of like gravity. It is not something we can taste, touch, see, hear, or smell, but we know from experience it is as real as the chair we sit upon.