Whether you’re considering packing your suitcase or reading this while you cool off from a recent scuffle, this post is for you. Take a look at these 10 reasons to give your marriage another chance before you go making any decisions.
1 Your husband may not be as bad as he seems
Almost on the daily here at Living the Sweet Wife, I get emails and/or comments from wives telling me how their husband is the absolute most evilest person alive. But when I get those emails and read how awful these husbands are, I think to myself, “If they’re so evil, how on earth did they get you to marry them??” Were these women completely hoodwinked when they walked down the aisle? Or did their husband make a complete 180º lifestyle change somewhere down the road? To be honest, I don’t think either thing happened. I think many women out here, including you and I, marry men with flaws. I’m going to venture out there and say that most of these men aren’t evil. Most do not mean to cause us harm. But we have a funny way of seeing their actions as if they are in fact, evil and trying to cause us harm. I don’t mean to say that I don’t believe these women when they come to me. I am blown away by some of the sadness a lot of these women have to endure in broken marriages. But in many emails I get, I see the words I used to describe my poor, innocent husband with when I was the most unhappy with him. And to be honest, although he had flaws, I was pretty much just making a huge deal out of how a normal human being acts.
2 You might be worse to live with than you think
Having made point #1, it took me a while into our marriage to realize that I can be just as “evil” or worse than my husband at times. At times I, myself, am lazy, selfish, quick to anger, judgemental, harsh, and many other bad habits I like to catch him doing. Except usually in those moments I turn into a bit of a self righteous victim rather than a forgiving, understanding wife and friend. It can be really easy to forget that I do many of the hurtful things my husband does to me sometimes (because those specific actions often don’t look the same, but they stem from the same inward problem, and justifying and explaining my own actions is a lot easier than justifying his).
3 Leaving your spouse might not make anything better
I hear many wives say, “I deserve to be happy!” and they believe that leaving their spouse will let them live a life they’re missing out on. I do want to make it clear that this does not apply to women in abusive relationships. I’m speaking to women who are safe, but hurting. What these women need to know is that leaving a marriage will not always solve the problems you are facing. Even if you one day remarry, many women fall into similar relationships the second time around as well. Don’t give up just yet. You have options other than leaving.
4 Making it through hard times can make your relationship way better than it was before
I am so encouraged when I speak with women or receive comments from you all telling me how you’ve been married 20, 30+ years and have admitted to your relationship not being all sunshine and daisies. Some of you have even made it through affairs and now have a thriving relationship. Wow! I find that just so amazing. Going through difficult times can give you and your spouse the opportunity to learn! You can learn more about each other (the true colors fly when the going gets rough), learn how to handle a difficult situation, learn how to avoid similar situations in the future, and teach others how to work through similar hard times. Going through hard times doesn’t need to be hurtful to your marriage. It can be a time where you reassess what is important and draw close to your spouse again.
5 God never promised a life without suffering
This is something that’s very taboo to talk about, especially in today’s culture when we’re all, “I need to love me first,” “I deserve this,” “I don’t deserve that” bla bla bla. This is something that God opened my eyes to not long ago and it has changed my perspective on EVERYTHING. The other day I received kind of a trippy comment on one of my posts:
God wants us to be at peace, if you will, therefore that is what matters most… God doesn’t want us to suffer. I can only presume this must be confusing and ever so difficult… You have the answers within yourself ( easier said than done ), so I understand that. Although this may sound like a Cliche, look to God and you know well, here on “Earth” life which isn’t easy because nobody ever said it was… I
God bless, ________”
I don’t always have time to respond to all the comments but I couldn’t let this one slip away. My response was this:
Thank you for reading and commenting! I definitely agree that God wants us to have peace. We can have so much peace through Christ. What I can’t agree with, though, is the suffering. Jesus warned us that we, as Christians, will indeed suffer for bearing Christ’s name (calling ourselves Christian). In Matthew 16:24 Jesus says, “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.’” The thing that separates a Christian’s suffering from someone who doesn’t have Christ is the peace that comes from Christ that remains through the suffering. Many people don’t like to think that God intends for us to suffer, but it is, in fact, what separates us from those who don’t know Christ.
6 There are ways to get creative and make it work
The other day I read this on one of my favorite blogs to follow, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum:
“Realize that we are never without options.
[The] idea that we are helpless to change our situation is just simply false. It is not biblical and it is not true.
It may very well be true that you are helpless to do something if you want to maintain a certain standard of living or if you want to keep your family happy with you or if you want to stay living in the same house (or keep homeschooling), but that’s not the same as having no options. That’s just choosing to limit your options yourself.”
I love that so much! Sometimes it will take getting a little uncomfortable in order to make a necessary change in your relationship. If you’re afraid to confront your spouse and “start something” and you’d rather live in the pain of his hurtful actions, you’re limiting your options. If you don’t want to seek counseling because it’s embarrassing or you think it will be difficult to try and make things work, then you’re limiting your options. You always have options.
7 People are depending on you to make it work
It’s true that your children depend on you and your husband for support and protection. But to add to that, they also depend on you to set an example for them for how they will make decisions that will affect their relationships in the future. If they see you respecting your spouse and giving him the benefit of the doubt, they will be more likely to do that. If they see you sticking it out through the hart times and making the effort to make necessary changes within your relationship, they will be more likely to do that in the future as well. God has given you your marriage relationship to be an example to the world of His love for us, the Church. When a married couple abandons their relationship and covenant to each other, the picture that God intended for us to display is smudged and poorly represented to the people around us. Let your marriage put the love and forgiveness of Christ on display for others to see and understand more clearly through you!
8 There are people who want to see you succeed
Many times the success of a marriage simply comes down to your support system. I am friends with a beautiful young couple whose marriage almost didn’t make it. They had some organic difficult problems within their relationship which were hard in and of themselves, but that’s not what almost made them get a divorce. This young couple (with kids) kept hearing from both of their families that they’d be better of if they got a divorce. (Keep in mind that this was not an abusive relationship and there was no affair). At first, it was hard not to listen. I mean, after all, they are family. But after a while of separation, my friends decided to move away from their families together to get away from the negativity and work on their marriage together. They’ve received help for their marriage and are now living happily with a supportive, positive support system!
I always tell wives to be careful who them complain to. (To be honest, it’d be best if you just brought the issue up to your husband, but) if a wife feels like she needs to talk to someone about her marriage, make sure it’s someone who respects your husband and your marriage and wants to see you both succeed. It can be very easy to hear the advice and words that we want to hear, especially when we’re hurting. Make sure you’re listening to people who won’t always necessarily side with you, just because that’s a lot easier than telling someone the hard truth.
9 God get’s the glory when two different individuals are able to set aside their differences and live in a peaceful, god-loving relationship together.
This pretty much says it all. In fact, this is a huge thing that sets Christ-followers apart from the rest of the world. When a group of people come together, having nec tot nothing in common, save their love for Jesus, and are able to live together in peace and love and forgiveness, others notice. That’s not normal! And it won’t always come easy. But somehow, in Christ, it’s possible!
In Acts 2 we hear about a ton of people getting saved and receiving the Holy Spirit. I’ll quote a small part of the chapter for you (verses 44 & 47):
“Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as anyone had a need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.”
10 Forgiveness is never deserved, but always Biblical
If you think of your marriage as having a score sheet, chances are someone’s going to lose. And what will you do then? Eventually, there IS going to be a point in your marriage when your spouse doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. And in that situation you have the ability to cast them out, to hold it over their heads, or to forgive and move on with your relationship. When Christ died for us in order so that we could receive forgiveness, we didn’t deserve one ounce of that forgiveness. We had the word “UNWORTHY” stamped across our foreheads, but He died anyway so that we would be able to receive forgiveness. Why? So God could hold it over our heads? No, so that he could have a relationship with us and move on. Forgiveness is never deserved, but always Biblical.
Do any of you have any experiences where you almost walked away, but decided to stay anyway? What made you stay? What made the relationship work? Share your own stories in the comments below and don’t forget to share with a wife who might be in need of a pep talk!
Love you all,