Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

When Your Marriage Is In Trouble

Divorce happens. It's real. Sometimes it's unavoidable when one person isn't willing to work on their part of the marriage anymore or a spouse just leaves or it becomes dangerous to stay. But perhaps more tragic is when there truly is some hope, things could be fixed and the couple just decides to give up because it's too hard or "I've tried too long" or they never really knew how much better things could be.

And if you've been divorced my thoughts today aren't about beating you up for your circumstances or decisions. Most every family today has been directly or indirectly impacted by divorce including my own. And like I've already suggested there are myriad reasons, situations and individuals involved in hurting marriages and why people ultimately divorce these days. There are no easy answers.

However, I do want to ask couples who might be in trouble to at least ponder a few key thoughts before they would ever decide to divorce or even explore it as an option. First, have you done your part to make things better?  I counsel with many couples and so often the discussion centers around what the other person has done or continues to do.  "If he (or she) just wouldn't ____________, our marriage would be great."  If you each own your own part of the problems you'll lower some of the angst right at the outset and maybe be able to see a possible resolution.

Second, have you together taken advantage of every resource available to help you make it?  Counseling, books (I Don't Want A Divorce is a great one), mentoring, conferences, and the like all have the potential to help you sort through the issues that are putting the most strain on your relationship.  Some of you may say, "Well, we don't have the time or money for all of that."  My response is, "You can't afford NOT to do some of those things! The consequences can be dreadful and lifechanging."

Third, ask yourself, "How much of our thinking has been influenced by the world around us and the media?"  Television, some talk radio and movies glamorize and laugh at broken relationships while modeling that most of the culture is single, runs around and loves every minute of it. Think of a favorite drama or sitcom where the leads are married and much less happily married.  There aren't many. Don't buy into the fantasy that just getting divorced and living as your own person again is the answer.  Hollywood wants us to believe that but it's not.  Look at the lives of most of the actors.

Finally, consider where you and your spouse are spiritually.  Do you pray for each other?  Have you committed to pray about your marriage for an extended time? Do you both have a personal relationship with God? Does your faith impact how you treat each other?  This can become a time when you both get drawn back to God or to Him for the first time.  When you have Christ living in you, you have greater resources to draw from when times are difficult and you don't look to your spouse as much to be your source of life, worth and value.

So if you're sensing or even overwhelmed with marital problems, will you at least make sure you've done everything you can first to make it?  Your kids (if you have them) need a loving mom and dad who are together if possible and there is a better way.  Let someone and God help you. Keep climbing.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment