If you’re married, your vows may well have included those very words. Or at least something very much like them. And you either repeated those words, or said, “I do.”
So, do you? Still?
I am definitely not launching into a theological discussion of marriage and divorce. And I know the pain that many have experienced who have gone through divorce is only imaginable by someone who has experienced that same tearing apart of one’s very soul.
But think about this: If you ARE married right now, what would it take to get you to leave your spouse?
Something looking greener in another pasture?
Your spouse doesn’t cut their hair the way you like it?
Your spouse doesn’t look as pretty or strong as they once did? Or they lose some physical or mental ability?
You get bored? Or tired? Or unhappy?
Your spouse doesn’t change in the way you thought they would?
There’s not enough money to live the way you wanted?
Your spouse is weak? Or lazy? Or doesn’t understand you?
There are many serious, very serious, problems that some experience in a marriage: infidelity, abuse of many kinds, violence, addiction, pornography, and more. And NO ONE is fully able to judge what is going on in another’s life.
But the presence of unhappiness, disappointment, or even conflict doesn’t necessarily mean your marriage is not working, and cannot be saved. It may be that it needs to get better. It may need some help. But you’ve invested this much already: is it bad enough to walk away?
There are some marriages that can’t be saved. But I hope you will fight! Don’t give up just because it gets tough. There are no magic answers, but there IS help. Search for it. Pray. Talk to people who have a lasting marriage like the marriage you want, and find out how they did it. Read – about doing marriage well.
Take a breather. Step back and honestly evaluate what is within your power to change. You can’t control your spouse, and your behavior is never an excuse for someone to abuse you. But you CAN learn to fight fair. You CAN learn to set boundaries in a healthy way. You CAN learn to forgive. You CAN take responsibility for your own attitudes and actions. You CAN learn to love – extravagantly, wisely, and well.
You CAN learn to be responsible for your own happiness, regardless of what your spouse does or doesn’t do.
And finally, you CAN, with time, hear God’s voice and experience His intervention in your life and marriage.
What would it take for you to leave your spouse? How are you fighting to save, or improve, the marriage you have? I’d love to hear from you.
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