Marriage Missions International

How to Save Your Marriage Alone

Christian psychiatrist Paul D. Meier says that there are “only 3 choices for any person involved in an unhappy marriage: (1) get a divorce —the greatest cop-out and by far the most immature choice; (2) tough out the marriage without working to improve it —another immature decision but not quite as irresponsible as divorce; and (3) maturely face up to personal hang-ups and choose to build an intimate marriage out of the existing one —the only really mature choice to make.”

In your case, the moment of truth has come, for your partner probably has already ruled out the second option and chosen the first without even considering the third. The question is, “What will you do?” Surrender to the pressures of the world’s way of thinking and the emotions of the moment? Or make a choice based on confidence in the eternal truths of Scripture?

The stakes are higher than one may realize at the time. One choice clearly leads to the bitterness and defeat of divorce as well as lost opportunities for blessing. “Divorce is more painful than death,” a woman told me, “because it’s never really over.”

Dr Meier says that when couples run away from their problems by divorcing and remarrying, “then there are four miserable people instead of just two…. Why spread misery?” he asks. “Bad marriages are contagious! Numerous psychiatric marriage relationships get divorced —no matter how good their intentions may be —they nearly always remarry into the very same type of neurotic relationship they had before.”

When you choose the pathway of irrevocable commitment to your mate and your marriage —regardless of how troubled your relationship may seem —you will find that choice leading you into a place of agape love and peace and personal growth. These are just some of the rewards, for the chances are very good that you will also be able to enjoy the blessings that God has wanted to bestow on your marriage from the beginning.

I am not suggesting that the healing of a marriage is an easy process when one partner resists it. But are any easy choices open to you, after all? Torn relationships involve pain, whatever you do about them. As Peter points out in his first letter, it is far better to suffer (if suffer you must) for doing right, than for doing wrong. He makes it clear that God’s favor and blessing shine on the one who patiently suffers, if necessary, in order to do His will. Meeting your marriage problems in a biblical manner is productive rather than pointless, and whatever hurts your encounter will be less damaging than the long-term effects of divorce would be.

“The very word divorce should be cut out of the vocabulary of a couple when they marry,” a woman with a restored marriage said, “because God’s way is so much better for anyone who is willing to give it a try.”

Another woman, considering the turbulent events of the past year that had driven her to grow emotionally and spiritually while she “loved her husband back” to their marriage, said, “It’s been all gain for me. I’m a different person now. The process was humbling, but it was worth it!”

A man said, “During the time when I was trying to win my wife’s love and hold our family together, sometimes I got so tired of rejection that I didn’t feel anything except a determination to do what the Bible said and leave the results with God. The only thing I was sure of was that somehow God would work it out for my good because He promised that in His Word. I never imagined the love affair He has actually given us. He really does do more than we can ask or think!”

While these comments from the far side of the problem are encouraging, I understand that the feelings you may be experiencing right now within the problem are less than pleasant. Many others have been where you are now and can empathize with what you are going through: shock, hurt, rejection, emotional confusion, temptation to bitterness, and of course, pressures from all sides that sometimes make you want to give up.

My heartfelt goal is to help you clarify your thoughts, stabilize your emotions, and learn to behave in a consistent, purposeful way that will save your marriage and bring a new dimension of love into your relationship.

So, if you are willing to make a commitment to your marriage based on the eternal principles and promises of the Word of God, you can take heart and let hope grow in promises of the Word of God, you can take heart and let hope grow in proportion to your commitment. Contrary to what the world believes, one person can save a marriage. In fact, most of the people I counsel belong in this category. Even when both come to see me, one is usually dragging the other along, in a manner of speaking, and only one really cares about the outcome in most cases.

Marriage counselor Anne Kristin Carroll says, “If you think there’s no hope because you are the only one in your relationship who wants or cares enough to try to save your marriage, you are wrong!” She adds, “In my experience most torn marriages are brought to new life, new vitality by the interest, basically, of only one party.” This has been my experience as well. I have seen numerous marriages saved when only one partner applied biblical principles in a whole hearted commitment to the mate and the marriage.

Some have not been saved. Usually this is because the individual is convinced that nothing will change the partner —that the longstanding problem of alcoholism or financial irresponsibility or whatever cannot be solved, and he or she simply gives up.

Occasionally, the partner desiring a divorce has developed such a strong emotional attachment to another person that it is not broken off in time to save the marriage. Often, however, this infatuation ends while the divorce is being delayed and the unfaithful partner thanks the committed mate for standing fast and preserving the marriage.

In a relatively few cases, one partner pressured by family and “loyal” friends, develops a deep bitterness toward the other and is actually encouraged in this hostility by parents and even, sometimes, church members so that efforts at reconciliation may be unavailing.

But in the great majority of cases, the outcome depends squarely on the committed partner’s ability to behave consistently in accord with biblical principles designed by the Author of marriage. So, in a very literal sense, it is all up to you. You need not expect your partner to do anything constructive about the marriage if he or she wants out.

Clarifying Your Thoughts

When the Bible says, “Gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:13), it means to get your mental powers in a state of alertness for proper action. You must do this without delay. Often the Lord will provide the opportunity for some quiet, uninterrupted Bible study and prayerful consideration of God’s plan for your situation. You may also learn some important things about yourself during this time.

When one husband moved out, his parents lovingly helped the wife by keeping the children several weeks while she prepared mentally and spiritually for the challenges ahead.

One young wife was ready to dissolve her marriage until a friend in her garden club led her to the Lord. “I only knew two Scriptures at the beginning,” the wife said, “but they were exactly what I needed: ‘God is not a man, that he should lie’ (Numbers 23:19) and ‘With God nothing shall be impossible’ (Luke 1:37).

“With those truths as a foundation I began to study the Bible, desperately trying to dig out God’s purpose for marriage and all that He had to say about it. I found out for myself that if I were to obey Him, then I would have to become committed to my marriage and my husband, even though he was involved with another woman and we were on the verge of divorce.

“Coming to this decision didn’t make things any easier emotionally at first, but it did show me a clear path of action, and the situation actually became less complicated because there was no more confusion about what to do! I refused to sign the divorce papers. I had gathered evidence identifying the other woman and proving my husband’s unfaithfulness. I destroyed it all. I didn’t need it anymore.”

A University of Chicago professor described this generation’s dilemma with the now familiar quotation: “We lack the language to teach what is right and wrong.” But the Bible-believing Christian caught in an emotionally fraught situation does not have that problem. The language of God concerning divorce is plain enough for any reader. For example:

For the Lord, the God of Israel says: I hate divorce and marital separation, and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly [with your marriage mate] (Malachi 2:16 AMP).

He replied, ‘Have you never read that He Who made them from the beginning made them male and female’. And said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder’ (separate) (Matthew 19:4-6 AMP).

As you try to gain clarity of thought concerning your marital situation viewed in light of the teaching of Scripture, I suggest that you read the first five chapters of the book, Love Life for Every Married Couple and search the Scriptures that have to do with marriage. Let me remind you once more of the eternal principle that undergirds the biblical counsel we offer: It is God’s will in every marriage for the couple to love each other with an absorbing spiritual, emotional, and physical attraction that continues to grow throughout their lifetime together.

It should be crystal clear that God intends for you and your mate to picture the love-bond of Christ and His church and that you must beware of substitutes who sometimes find their way into the vacuum of a troubled relationship. Obviously, infidelity and divorce are paths that move away from God’s plan and blessing. But when you pour yourself into restoring love to your marriage, you can be sure that the force of His will is at work with you in the process.

It is important to fill your mind with positive biblical input: biblical counseling, preaching, and teaching; good books and Bible-study tapes; and friends who will affirm you in your commitment to your marriage. You need to take in truth from those who are as committed to the permanence of marriage as the Bible is. And don’t listen to anyone else! Develop tunnel vision in this area as Proverbs 4:25-27 commands:

Let your eyes look directly ahead, and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet, and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil (NASB).

You need to maintain this total mental commitment to the truth or you will be swamped by waves of human opinion and bad advice, sometimes from seemingly religious people.

One young man came to me, confused because he had been told to do nothing to win back his wife. He had been told to concentrate on his vertical relationship with God. I said to him, “This is true, but you can please God only when you are doing what the Bible says you are to do. You must be right in line with God’s Word. We have no other direction for this life. When we are in total accord with the Word, then we can relax and God has the freedom to work with us. He always works with us on the basis of the information that we have from His Word. So the more you know of the Word of God concerning marriage and love and His abhorrence of divorce, the more equipped you will be to let God do His full work and have His full way in your life.”

“I had to take a stand on this matter of outside influence,” a wife told me. “Everyone has been anxious to give me advice about my marriage. I refuse to discuss it with people who hold an unbiblical viewpoint, or people who try to turn me against my husband, or people who make me feel sorry for myself and encourage weakness in me. I can’t afford to be around worldly friends anymore. They tear me down; they tear my husband down. They may mean well, but they are so misguided. I want to be with people who will stand with me and support me when I might falter.”

When your mind is settled, your thoughts clarified, and your commitment made, you will find that you no longer lie at the mercy of outside events, reacting to every new circumstance with fresh pain and bewilderment. Instead, your viewpoint becomes, “This is what I am going to do, no matter what, because it is God’s way to do it. I can count on His wisdom, and I can trust Him with the results of a course of action based on His Word.”

“I’m not standing by my marriage anymore on the basis of what the outcome will be,” one woman told me. “People urge me to dump my husband, give up on him because he’s made my life miserable; they tell me I deserve someone better, that I wouldn’t have any trouble finding someone else to love me.

My answer is that marriage is sacred; marriage is permanent; I am committed by my marriage vows; I am one flesh with my husband; and then I really shock them! I tell them that even if there is no happy ending for our marriage, I will not regret the stand I have taken. I will know that I made the right decision and followed the only course possible for me. I will have done all that I could.

“But my trust is not in what I am dong,” she added. “It is in God and His Word. He has a perfect, loving plan for my life, and He’s wise enough and powerful enough to carry it out, if I cooperate by following His counsel. So I’m going to keep on obeying Him in my marriage and I’ll leave the results with Him. I am at peace with that.”

[Marriage Missions editors' note: The authors, Dr Ed Wheat and Gloria Okes Perkins go on from this point to include a lot more valuable advice. For many different reasons, including honoring their copyright privileges, we need to shorten this article. Plus we think you need to obtain the book yourself because of the additional advice you'll benefit from reading. But we do want to end this article with some practical advice that was given at the end of this chapter hoping it will spur you on to start this journey towards saving your marriage, even if you have to try to do it alone.]

A happy wife wrote me a note of thanks for my counsel which gave her the courage to stick with her marriage. She said, “One little thing you said to me meant so much. You said, ‘So what if your husband doesn’t tell you he loves you right now!” I knew you were right. I really wasn’t that important. This wife found that putting up with a little rejection was worth it in the long run in order to have a revitalized marriage.

I have talked with many women who tell me that when they do not feel their husband’s love, the Lord has a way of loving them that is almost tangible. “Like being in the sunshine, just feeling the warmth of His love,” several wives agreed.

A lovely young wife carried that a step further in her own trying situation. She said that it was often difficult dressing to go out for the evening with her husband because she knew in advance that he would not treat her the way she longed to be treated. So she developed the habit of thinking of the Lord Jesus as her friend and escort of the evening. “It helped me tremendously, she said. “I looked my best for Him, I behaved my best for Him, and I was constantly aware of His steadying presence with me!”

In summary, you need to give love to your mate biblically, emotionally, and physically whether you receive a response or not. This is altogether possible through agape love. One wife, whose husband was involved with another woman, said, “I tried to show him that my love for him did not depend on how he treated me. I still showed him physical affection. I said to him sometimes, ‘I love you, no matter what you are doing right now, and I believe the Lord means for us to be together.’ I sent him little cards with appropriate messages that messages that expressed my caring while we were apart. And, do you know, when we reconciled, I found that he had saved every one of them!”

I asked some wives who had been through the experience to give me their list of do’s and don’ts for any woman trying to save her marriage. Here are the excellent suggestions they compiled:

• There can be no growth in your relationship as long as there is doubt as to your commitment to your marriage. Make your commitment!

• When your husband withholds his love, trust the Lord to meet your emotional needs. He won’t let you down!

• Give your husband honor, love, and biblical respect even though his actions do not deserve it. Give him warm acceptance no matter what. The more hopeless your situation is, the more your loving behavior is apt to be accepted as genuine.

• Don’t try to reform your husband. Just love him.

• Live one day at a time.

• Don’t try to do it on your own. The Lord is with you!

• Don’t be bitter against anyone in the situation. Never turn your children against their father. Forgive!

• Don’t ask family or friends to take sides against your husband.

• Don’t discuss your intimate marriage problems. Don’t give fuel to gossip. Confide in the Lord, your counselor, and perhaps a close Christian friend whom you can trust to keep silence.

• Choose your biblical counselor wisely. Never discuss your problems with a friend of the opposite sex.

• Spend as much time in the Word of God as possible.

• Concentrate on yourself, redeeming the mistakes you made, and asking God to show you how to change, rather than concentrating on your partner’s failures.

• Do not separate. Encourage your husband to stay in the home, no matter what.

• Do not give your husband a divorce. Do all in your power to delay or prevent it. If you must consult a lawyer, make it clear to the lawyer that it is only for your financial protection and that of your children. Find a Christian lawyer who will help you preserve your marriage.

• Spend your time with people who will encourage you in spiritual growth.

• Do not overcompensate with your children. They need your love and stability while their father is gone, but they still need discipline. It will be hard to build a new love relationship with your husband when he does come home if the children are out of control.

• Do not try to defend yourself from gossip or criticism. Keep your mouth shut. The Lord will fight for you and you will hold your peace.

• Remember that the most innocent thing you say will get twisted. Avoid loose talk and do not listen to tale-bearing.

• When you do anything (large or small) to pull the marriage apart, you are going against God’s will. Let that be your guideline for all decisions.

• Don’t expect your husband to change overnight when he does come back home.

• The hardest time may be when you are reconciled and you have a tendency to fall back into old habit patterns. Don’t do it!

• Hope all things, believe all things, and endure all things.

The above article goes on to give more helpful information including a first person narrative expository of the love story of Hosea, from the Bible. This article comes from the book Love Life for Every Married Couple, written by Dr Ed Wheat and Gloria Okes Perkins, published by Zondervan Publishing. This book details the process of rediscovering the joy of marriage through practical counsel involving communication and an understanding of each other in our sexual make-up. Physician Ed Wheat will help you improve your marriage through sharing, touching, appreciating and focusing healing attention on your mate. Answering physical, psychological and stress-related questions in a Christian context, Dr. Wheat demonstrates how to bring your feelings of love back to life.

They also have a shorter version of this book which is a mass market paperback titled, How to Save Your Marriage Alone, written by the same authors. You won’t get all of the information that the other book gives on sexual issues among other topics. This book just concentrates on the above subject.

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181 Responses to “How to Save Your Marriage Alone”
  1. Ada says:

    (ENGLAND) Hi all I have been inspired by all your stories, I’m currently going through a difficult period in my marriage. My husband is having an affair which he denies; he sleeps out every weekend. Since the beginning of this year he has not spoken to me, it’s almost like he hates me, I have no idea how things came to this point and he never wants to talk about our problems. We were trying for a second child which I’m desperate for. My confidence and self-esteem is at breaking point. He now says he wants a break without any explanation, I’m truly a broken hearted woman! I’m trying so hard to make things work but I’m in this marriage alone, I feel so betrayed, so lonely, unattractive and very unhappy. Please pray for me, I’ll also have you all in my prayers.

    • Sandria says:

      (USA) Dear Ada, I will be, and I’m sure others will be praying as well. I know that this is a difficult time for you. I sense the deep pain you’re going through in your words. Know that The Lord is acquainted with your grief. No one on this earth understands more than He. Every pain, every tear, every slight and rejection you experience does not have to become bitterness to your soul. There are no formulas to trusting Christ. Just a continual taking it to Him in prayer, tears, and honest emotions.

      Stay in the word. Read, devour, call to memory what is given for us for reproof, edification, correction. I know first hand what you’re experiencing, but know that this road we are on is the road most likely we’ll see Jesus on, the long, hard, rugged road. Stay on it, narrow, not broad is the road to heaven. Encourage yourself in the Lord. He’s not blind, for He’s the God that sees.

  2. R says:

    (USA) About a week or two ago it was one of “those days”. As a husband fighting for your alone can be a very emotionally painful journey of endurance and there aren’t too many guy friends we can call up and vent to like women so easily can.

    There have been a handful of times I’ve been ready to quit the fight at saving our marriage alone because my wife’s rejections are just too emotionally intense to deal with and it leaves me feeling unhealthy for myself and my children. The other day was one of those days I felt just about ready to throw in the towel and quit fighting. However, everytime I reach that extremely low desperate point the Lord moves quickly with an affirmation of some kind to keep fighting and to not give up.

    The other day was my mom’s birthday and I was in a Christian bookstore…looking around at all the Christian wedding and baby birth stuff felt like small daggers sticking my heart…books on making marriages happy, healthy…etc. I circled that store 3 or 4 times looking for the right gift for my mom but all I kept thinking about was the hopelessness desperation I was feeling about my wife’s constant rejections and my feelings of just wanting to give up and let go.

    Suddenly…out of the corner of my eye I notice a very small book on the bottom shelf of a bookrack that seemed oddly out of place. I bent down to make out the title… “Saving Your Marriage Alone” by Ed Wheat it said.

    I just about broke down in tears when I read the first couple of pages as they clearly described almost prophetically what I was emotionally and physically going through at that exact moment of time. God can’t show up in more REAL than that!!

    This small book I would agree contains the “magic bullet” if there ever was one to save any Christian marriage – even if only the one fighting is a Christian as the Bible clearly says the unbeliving spouse will be sanctified by the believer. Living out the supernatural instructions in this book however, are not something anyone can walk out easily and they will not experience immediate results or quick pain relief. This book can’t be read once and then applied – you’ll have to re-read it and re-apply the instructions constantly to keep your mind renewed and to keep building the momentum towards reconciliation.

    Make no mistake, this magic “bullet” will kill you. It will involve you being mocked by the enemy and all powers of the dark forces unseen that are hell bent on destroying your marriage, yourself, and your Seed because they know the threat a Christian family presents to their work in the world; they will spit on your progress, hurl insults at you in the mirror, they will place a crown of shame and depression upon your head, they will beat you with your wife’s rejections, they will ask you ‘where is your God?’ after your hundreth prayer gone unanswered, they will pierce your side by tempting your wife to destroy your character through gossip and half-stories about your relationship, they will hammer nails through your hands and feet keeping in attempts to demobilize you in your reconciliation efforts, they will let your raw scarred bleeding body hang naked for all the world to see upon a wooden cross made for criminals.

    You can choose to try escaping and running away or you can give up complete control to the God of Resurrection and truly fulfill your earthly calling as a husband…giving up your spirit/will, committing it to God’s sovereignty, and die to yourself so that God may be glorified in the life of your Bride, trusting Him with the final results of whatever happens with your marriage, truly by forcing your flesh and mind to excercise your sincere Christian faith, relying 100% on His Promise, believing it will come to pass when He deems appropriate, that “He makes all things work for the good of those who love him and who are called according to His purpose.”

    I’m writing these words to myself more than anyone else who reads this comment. As tonight again is one of those nights where my flesh is failing and just wants to “let the cup pass”.

    You would think after God showing up so clearly the other day in the bookstore I’d be on fire with fresh motivation. Unfortunately, my wife continues in her current state of indecisiveness (going on 5 months of separation) as to whether to work on reconciling or divorce (she filed divorce a couple months back already). One day she acts like she wants to be with me and almost ready to try at reconciling…the next day she ignores and coldly rejects me stating she’s confused and torn (and refuses couples counseling, and says she’ll do personal counseling but has yet to set an appointment).

    So right now, this very moment, I have the option to do what Ed Wheat talks about in his book…to trust and rely on the instruments (God’s Word) since the fog won’t allow me to see the flight path outside. I don’t know which way is up or down, and the turbulence seems never ending, but I know the instruments are telling me to unconditionally love my wife despite her rejections, to carry my cross and love her truly as Jesus loves the Church. I must remind myself there was NOTHING unpainful about the journey to Calvary and to embrace and endure the agony of our present situation knowing that God in the end will be pleased and glorified as a result.

    If you come across this comment and feel inclined to pray for my situation I would greatly appreciate it. Please pray the Lord will give my wife discernment and clarity, that He continue to put a hedge of protection around our marriage and children, and that He would help my wife discern “counsel” from well intended friends and family who offer destructive advice contrary to the will of God for marriages. That He would use this time to continue to break and humble me and help me to grow into a man of God, godly father, and godly husband that He desires I become and that He draw my Wife’s heart closer to Him and help her to grow in her walk with Him.

    Thank you for your prayers!!!

    • Jenny says:

      (USA) Your situation is indeed difficult and I prayed for you as I read it. You may also want to get “Praying through the Deeper Issues of Marriage” by Stormie Omartian and use it as a basis for your prayers. It is very scripturally based and has prayers of protection for the relationship and for each individual. The final chapter is on “When Hope Seems Gone” and has many helpful scriptures. As she says, “God’s desire is to change everything” in your situation, including both people.

      Even if your wife won’t go to counseling with you, or on her own, it might be helpful for you to go alone. It could encourage you a lot.

    • Robert from United States says:

      Reading your post makes me feel that you have heard my every thought for the past 10 months. My wife of 14 years moved out on 5-13-13; two weeks later I discovered that she had been having an affair with married man that’s on my team at work. I was crushed. I confronted him and informed his wife. He’s gone back to his wife (after me stopping several attempts of contact) but my wife remains an emotional wreck.

      My wife moved back in the house in early November due to financial limitations, but filed for divorce at the 1st of the year. Her behavior is EXACTLY as you have described your wife’s; one day she wants to work on the marriage, the very next day she wants a divorce. She has rejected me so much that now it hardly phases me. It’s only by the strength of God that I’ve been able to endure it and stay on the path. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have days where I feel like giving up, because l do, but God finds a way to carry me back in the ring for another round. Just remember that God loves you even if your wife doesn’t!

      I don’t know what God has planned for but I trust in Him that it is great. Stay to His word best I can, that’s my plan.

    • Lehua from United States says:

      I see that this post is from a while ago but hope all is well and that you are still strong. I lose my motivation to fight several times a day but the remember Ephesian 6:12 and it helps me to remember that wanting to give up and negative thought is the devil himself trying to break us. Thank you for this post. I am still praying that you stay strong.

  3. Lisa says:

    (USA) I felt so alone in my stand to bring my husband back, until I found this site, Thank You. I asked my husband to leave a year ago, when he did I begged for him to come back, but by then all friends and family got involved; my side was against him and his against me. So he didn’t. It has been a year; I’ve begged, I’ve cried, I’ve yelled…he doesn’t want me. Now he has a girlfriend. I’m holding onto air, and praying. I only have hope left. We were together 11 years, married 4, with an amazing 5 year old. I just ordered the books you suggested about saving my marriage alone and am using all the advice on your website. Thank you again.

  4. Sandra says:

    (USA) My husband and I have been married a little over a year; we didn’t date long, maybe four months before we got married and he was deployed in Afghanistan. I love him so much. He drinks too much so I have tried to control him regarding that; I always threatened that I’ll leave him if he did, we are mostly happy when he’s doing what I needed him to do and I see the error in my ways. I just get so scared that he will go out, drink too much and get killed; he totalled our car last year. I love this man so much, he left and is now seeing someone I believe, but am not ready to walk out on our marriage. I thought I was but am not. And I finally told him that I missed him today and to not give up on us, he says that we are not compatible. So please put us in your prayers, I love my husband and I want him to come home, he means the world to me and it is too bad that he had to leave for me to realize that!

    • Sandria says:

      (USA) Dear one, I will, and I’m sure others will be praying for you. Put your trust in Christ’s finished work on the cross. He wants that we turn to Him for everything: comfort, strength, wisdom, friendship, and the list goes on and on. I think it saddens His heart when we turn to ourselves, and others for what only He can and wants to give us.

      Make Him your priority, fall in love with Him, and most importantly give Him the fear of losing your mate. That fear paralyzes us, and keeps us focused on the temporal things of this life. In other words we are eternal creatures, but we don’t live like that, and that’s where we fail. Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, Matthew 4:4. Get strong in Him, you’ll be alright.

  5. JLP says:

    (AUSTRALIA) Divorce is ‘irresponsible’ and ‘immature’? I feel Paul D Meier’s statements are overly simplistic and judgmental. Christian wisdom encourages kindness and understanding.

    I myself, have a difficult marriage but I believe it is fixable. There are some marriages however that are nothing short of cruel & unusual punishment and I don’t believe the good Lord condones these or would expect a person to suffer their whole life through them. Yes, I’m referring to the extreme cases, but when people in these situations are at their lowest point and visit a Christian website for advice it bothers me that they are told it’s immature and irresponsible to consider a better life.

    • Tony says:

      (UNITED STATES) JLP, I think you are missing the context here. What he says is here: “Christian psychiatrist Paul D. Meier says that there are ‘only 3 choices for any person involved in an unhappy marriage: (1) get a divorce —the greatest cop-out and by far the most immature choice; (2) tough out the marriage without working to improve it —another immature decision but not quite as irresponsible as divorce; and (3) maturely face up to personal hang-ups and choose to build an intimate marriage out of the existing one —the only really mature choice to make.’”

      I don’t think the author is talking about cases of abuse here, where the person wanting out is in danger. My take on this, based on the context of the entire article, is that if you divorce simply because you are unhappy, you are making a selfish choice.

      Even you suggest that most marriages are fixable. You say that in extreme cases, which would imply they are rare, most marriages are fixable. Since most divorces involve cases that are closer to the author’s description of simply being unhappy, than they do the extreme cases you mention, I think the author’s chastisement of those who take the easy way out is earned by those who abandon their vows and inflict hurt and pain on their spouses and children in the name of their happiness. So from this vantage point, the author totally nailed it here.

  6. Wendy says:

    (UK) My husband left me a few weeks ago, came back to me to say that he had missed me. During that time away I had people from all over praying for me and my husband. Yesterday, he said that it wasn’t going to work, he didn’t feel anything for me anymore, and like someone else has experienced on this forum, he has taken some furniture and moved out. I do want him back, but he has got to want me and to come back for the right reasons.

    My friend from Church came around last night to pray with me and talk to me. I am finding it hard not telling people but I’m telling the right kinds of people that believe marriage is sacred and shouldn’t be destroyed. This website has helped me to see hope out there and I’ve ordered the book, which is now really cheap online. In the UK it is 1p to buy. Hopefully it will be worth it, fingers crossed!

    • Wendy says:

      (UK) I am blessed today, I have found a Christian counsellor in my area :) It would normally 12 weeks to see a generic counsellor! My Christian friend who came around advised me to go to our local diocesan website and search on there. I am blessed also having found such a good friend who will help me through this.

  7. Silvya says:

    (USA) Don’t lose hope. I fullheartedly recommend all couples to watch this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3saGxNMwpE

  8. Nugent says:

    (UNITED KINGDOM) Thanks Silvya for your reply. This forum is quite quiet, but I have been to other forums that call themselves Christian but they don’t give any real advice. I have just downloaded the e-book from the video with a 60 day guarantee that it will work or my money back. I have started reading the chapter on how to save your marriage alone and I am connecting with God at every available opportunity.

    This e-book promises to change it around within 60 days or your money back. I know God wants us to be patient, but I can’t work at my marriage if I am only communicating by text and my husband has already left. He needs to be back here so we can work at our marriage and make it stronger. I’ve not given up hope, it’s the only thing that is keeping me going at the moment. I’ll let you know how I get in. God bless xx

  9. Ezekiel says:

    (BOTSWANA) I thank God for this site. It is encouraging to hear that I am not alone in the struggle. My wife of 8 years has left me. She says she does not want me anymore as I cannot provide for them. She has men calling her at home on her phone. She denies having a relationship but everything points to that. I really love her very much and I don’t want my son to grow without both parents. She has hardened her heart so that she does not want to listen to anyone, even our pastor. It’s by the grace of God we are still married. According to her desire, we should be divorced. I am praying and believing God for a turn around and believe I am going to be a testimony that God can change and fix any problem in any marriage. Please pray with me.

  10. Dave says:

    (US) I have never felt so lost and confused. My wife and I have been separated for over 6 months now. We have two young children. I am doing everything to to show my wife I care for her and want to work on our marriage. Last night we had a long conversation on the phone and I asked her to start praying for our marriage. She told me no, she will not. I am just asking, how does one keep hope with a situation like this?

    • Sandria says:

      (USA) Hello Dave, In an answer to ‘How does one keep hope in a situation like this?’ You don’t! Because our hope is not in the situation, but in The Lord. Your eyes are off of Him, that’s why you are losing hope. Get back in the word, in prayer, in the body, and keep marching.

      We cannot be a people that live by bread alone (having our needs met, even if it seems right), but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Will we as His people love Him though He slay us, as Job said? I hope so, for our sakes. Keep your eyes on your Father, He loves you. Sandy

  11. David says:

    (USA) Just keep on praying. I was married for 24 years when my wife walked out of my life 26 months ago. I was so devastated, I had no where to turn to but God. I gave my heart to him and received his supernatural gift of salvation, love, joy and peace. I put myself in a praying church, attended every revival I could. If a church door was open I went. My prayer request every time was for my family and marriage to be restored. I never gave up. I sought God first. Gave it all to him. That was the hardest thing because we as people think we can fix things ourselves, and we just can’t. We don’t have the power. But God does. When he sees your determination to serve him and love him the most, and asking him to keep his promisies… he will.

    But you have to remove all doubt. Stand on what the Bible says. God will give you the desires of your heart if you love him with all your heart first. I praise him every day now. My wife has now given her heart to him, and now for a few weeks have been reunited. God restored the love and then some… a love beyond your dreams. My 19 year old daughter gave her life to Christ Easter Sunday, and my 24 year old son has been in church with us the Sundays since. Nothing but God can do what has been done in my family. Seek God first and don’t give up. When he can see that, he will fix the rest. But you can’t go at it with half your heart; you have to give it all to him. The Bible says he hears the prayer of a righteous man, or a sinner’s plea. I will keep you and yours in my prayers.

    • Wendy says:

      (UK) I went and bought that eBook but wished I didn’t. It didn’t tell me anything that I didn’t already know and I am now embarrassed to have been taken in to buying this eBook mentioned above. I’ve now received the book Love Life for Every Married Couple and that book is worth every penny! It includes the chapter “how to save your marriage alone” as well.

      I still want my husband back and am trying hard at the moment to keep positive. I’m having my ups and downs and today I’m on a downer. As I have said before, this website is very quiet and I’m wondering if there’s any forums that anyone else can recommend that will keep me uplifted. God bless x

  12. Amberley says:

    (USA) My husband moved out October 2012. I did not see it coming. We went from being happy and trying to have a child (or so I thought) to living apart with in a matter of a month. I couldn’t figure out where things had went wrong. Then in January 2013 I found out he had been having an affair. I have tried to stand by his side and love him unconditionally. We had continued to communicate and see each other and have relations until a little over a month ago. At that time he cut off all communication. He won’t speak to me, see me or let me have any contact with my step children also.

    Neither of us have filed for a divorce. I don’t know what to do. I can’t even see any hope for our marriage without communication. He seems so angry and hateful the few times we’ve spoke. I pray every day. My friends pray for us. My family prays for us. I’m on the prayer list at my church. I am and have honored my vows since he has been gone. I’ve told him I have forgiven him and that my love for him is unconditional. He says that too much has happened to ever save our marriage. What do I do? How can I take any steps towards rebuilding our relationship when he refuses to have anything to do with me? Any suggestions will be very much appreciated.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Amberley, I’m so sorry for the painful time you’re going through in your marriage right now. I can’t even imagine the depth of hurt and confusion you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you. In your comment, you ask for suggestions. I hope others will make some as well as the ones I’m going to make. But in praying about your situation, I perceive that the fact that your husband hasn’t filed for a divorce tells me that he isn’t wanting to break all ties off with you. There’s something to be said for that. Personally, I would remain faithful –guard my heart (because you are or could become vulnerable to someone who charms you during his time of feeling rejected)… I would continue to pray, and NOT file for divorce. If it is to be filed, let him be the one.

      Remember your vows, even though your husband has shown by his actions that he has either forgotten his or he chooses to ignore them. You promised “til death do you part.” That’s a pretty long time. So even though this SEEMS like a long time that you’ve been waiting, I believe you should keep waiting until HE does something more. He won’t wait forever. Don’t go after him and don’t press him on this matter. Pray, wait, and see how God could unravel this thing. God will continue to talk to him, as you pray. But your husband has a choice. He can continue to reject what God tells him he should do (God gives us all that freedom) and what deep in his heart he knows he should do, or he can eventually see your faithfulness and finally turn around from the sinful direction he is traveling. We all have choices to make. He has made some bad ones. We need to hope that eventually he will make good ones.

      Meanwhile, keep yourself busily involved in good and safe things. Guard your heart and keep yourself open to watching how God can resurrect even something as dead as your marriage appears to be right now… even without communication. His hand is not shortened by this. You shouldn’t FORCE communication on your husband, even though it makes no sense not to be talking at this time. But eventually, if he ever comes around, you will BOTH need to work on making sure that it doesn’t shut down again in the future, and you will need to find a way to put protective relationship hedges into place so your marriage is more affair proof. But for right now, don’t put your focus on what you don’t have with your husband, but rather on what God is doing in other areas of your life that you can participate with Him in, and wait all of this out, as He is working.

  13. Ayeen says:

    (USA) Thank God for the wisdom I have gained from reading this website and your comments. My husband and I had a fight and did not talk for over a month. I have asked him to end the fight or discuss divorce. I made it clear that I don’t want a divorce and still love him. My husband was the one who brought it up. He finally started to talk to me but many of his actions shows he is either using me for his physical needs or he has too much pride as he still appears bitter towards me. He doesn’t say “I love you” to me. He leaves to work or places without saying goodbye. He does not wear his wedding ring. My husband had always been the type to let pride stand. I am so sad but I am hopeful and I believe that God will bring back the love we once had.

  14. Dave says:

    (USA) Very nice song, I thought I should share this one as it gives hope for all of us who is struggling to save our marriage. God bless all.
    http://youtu.be/ECGZz5ScfL8

  15. M K from United States says:

    Any advice/suggestion/encouragement is welcomed. My husband went through a few months of depression. He finally told me 2 months ago that he wanted to separate, that too many things have happened in our almost 20-year marriage and that he has been unhappy. We have 4 children together and he broke their hearts when he told them. I do not agree with separation or divorce (although he hasn’t said he wanted to divorce) and have been praying ever since. He still has not left our home or our bed and I’m sure it’s confusing for the children.

    Although he hasn’t left he still says it’s inevitable and he’s treating me differently. He’s been doing a lot of feeling sorry for himself, dwelling on the negatives only, drinking quite a bit. For me it’s been a lot of confusion and living in limbo waiting for the other shoe to drop. He’s seeing a counselor now. We both went initially but the counselor was not interested in assisting with reconciliation and instead encouraged him to do what he feels he needs to do, so I stopped going. I’m glad he is still going, he has a lot of issues stemming all the way back to his childhood that he needs to address.

    I thought we were happy all these years so this is hard for me to comprehend. I love him with all my heart. All this happened to coincide with a promotion into a highly stressful job for him. It feels like all the stress he’s feeling is falling on the shoulders of his family who have been trying to hold him up, as if it’s easier for him to walk out on us than on his job. I’m at the point where although I’m still believing that we will be reconciled by the grace of God, that it may be easier to just ask him to leave since it’s what he wants. But I feel that once he leaves the home reconciliation will be more difficult. He would move in with a family member. He says that even though he moves he will still always be at our home. Then what’s the point?? This is so confusing!

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      MK, This is so very sad… I’m so sorry that you are living in the midst of such confusion and heart-ache. It’s difficult to give you “advice” because we aren’t there to see all that is going on. But I’m guessing that you are dealing with someone who is so caught up in depression, that it has overtaken his reasoning. I encourage you to read the articles we have posted on depression (in the “Mental and Physical Health” topic). Depression does strange things to our reasoning –things that make no sense. And then when you have a counselor who is complicating matters more than helping them, it’s especially difficult.

      All I can say is to encourage you to try to not judge him as much as you can right now. Put your eyes on what God can do for you during this time as you pray for your husband –that he will get the help he REALLY needs. Give grace when you can, but don’t enable poor behavior. Just try as much as you can to stay out of the fray of the non-sensical things that your husband may do. Realize that this is not about you but a biochemical thing going on in your husband that has taken his reasoning hostage for right now. Keep praying for wisdom on how to handle each situation that comes your way. You need a LOT of discernment and God’s loving grace to hug your heart right now.

      Again, I’m so sorry for the hurt you are experiencing. I pray for you and for your husband and for your family. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ –to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11) Remember always and never forget: “The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

  16. Amanda from United States says:

    My husband is asking for a divorce. He says we just don’t get along. We have been married 8 yrs and for 7 yrs he has been caught up in a drug addiction. Ever since we were married he has fought this. Now he is sober and is on dating sites. During this time I’ve been praying. God showed me I was angry, bitter, and unforgiving to him. I would always bring up his past. He would tell me he wanted our marriage the way it used to be when we would laugh and have fun.

    The 8 yrs of helping him fight his addiction wore me out. Our 3 kids hardly know him because of him going to rehabs & leaving us at my parents. My parents aren’t the best help. They try to get me to hate him and tell my kids awful things about him. I’m praying for restoration in me and a renewed mind & spirit. I know God’s got this. His will is not for divorce. Mark & I have been through so much to not keep going.

    We have a counseling appt. on Tues. I am praying that we have the $$ and nothing hinders us from going. God is good!! I know my husband has a tendency to run away from problems. But I’m standing firm. If he chooses divorce I told him he could but I would not sign the papers. He then said he didn’t know any more if he did. I’m praying that his heart of stone would become a heart of flesh and that there would be forgiveness in both of us toward each other.

    We weren’t the healthiest people mentally when we got married but we both came from Christian families and we both believe in God. May our Almighty God in Heaven turn all of our messy marriages into messages of hope for the future!! Everyone have hope in Jesus!! Even if your husbands leave or divorce you. Know God has a plan and keep praying for them. My parents went through a divorce when I was 10. 4 yrs later they remarried and they have been together ever since. Now I’m 31. So trust God that if your husband leaves and you continue to do what is asked of you by God and pray that he will restore you and your marriage. Trust him Trust him.

    It’s possible that God is separating you to so he can show you where you need to be purged of wrong things and spirits. Like me, I’m being shown that I’m angry & bitter. And my husband asking or even thinking of a divorce makes me understand the reality of my selfishness. See all things you are going through as a chance for you to spend more time with God and to become what he wants you to be. Let his light shine through you. Your husband will see the change. Remember who you were when you two met? That’s what your spouse is looking for. Don’t change for your spouse. Change for God. Do what pleases him and put his kingdom first, then everything else will be given to you.

  17. Priscilla from United States says:

    Our Story: I read all your stories and my heart breaks. Me and my hubby may not have the years invested as some of you but the love invested is the same. He’s my best friend. And I heard the dreaded I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore, and he tells me he can’t trust me with his heart anymore. I admit I may have not always been the nicest (I regret that everyday – but it was because of other circumstances from childhood that didn’t have anything to do with him), but I didn’t leave or step out of the marriage.

    I love him now just as much as I did when I met him 8 years ago and as we approach our 3 year wedding anniversary getting ready to file for divorce after being separated a year, my heart aches with pain. It feels like death. There are no words to describe this terrbile feeling of raw hurt and pain. Honestly I don’t think there ever will be. My whole future was with him. Now I don’t know what to do. We spent the last year going to church every Sunday together, and a program called Retrouvaille, which helped a lot in ways of communicating.

    We were spending 3-4 days a week together up until 3 weeks ago when he asked for the divorce. He says theres no one else but that he wants to be selfsih right now and logistically this will be better for us in the long run. I asked why and he goes because I have so much anger and I can’t trust you with my heart again, to not hurt me. I spent the last year doing a complete 180. Everyone has taken notice, our friends, family, and coworkers. He even noticed and said while he sees the changes he doesn’t think they are going to be lasting changes and that it’s going to be what it was before.

    I don’t know how to show him that it’s not true, that this marriage is my only priority besides God. I sometimes wonder why God won’t heal my marriage but will heal others. Others that have gone through far worse than ours. My husband still cries for us when he talks about this with me, and I don’t know how to get to his heart again. I feel so lost and helpless like a little kid lost without a mother to save them. I need God now more than ever, and I just need him to tell me what to do because every fiber in my being, in my heart and soul is screaming that this is wrong, that we are making a mistake.

    Commitment means staying loyal to the things you have said long after the mood has left you. And I try. Every day. Every day I feel like I fall short and that’s why God won’t fix it. I have nightmares of him making a life with someone new and having a family, surrounded by my in laws, whom I love very much (and I’m closer with his family than my own and I dont know how he can just tear that apart). He knows unfortunately medically my time for children is running out and I’m not even 30 yet. That’s all I ever wanted, kids with him. We’ve talked about it from the first day we met. We bought Disney timeshares for the family we were so excited to have and now I see it all slipping away, and my heart can’t take it, because I can’t save it. I ask God every free second to save it, and heal it.

    Someone told us two weeks ago, we were watching you two for hours, the way you talk and laugh, and incredible connection, don’t lose that. That same night he asked me for the divorce. I don’t understand and I wish God would explain it to me. Humility brings about great change, and while I have had mine I pray for his. I will also pray for all of you, and know that someone out there in the world is pulling for you both, that someone cares just as much as you do, that someone feels the incredible pain you do, and when you cry is crying with you, not just for themselves but for you too and hopes that just as much as they hope for God to heal their marriage they want God to heal yours.

    I trust Him. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. I ask everyday for God to make me strong in spirit and I will ask the same for you. He says if any two people on earth agree on something, He will do it for us in heaven. So today I’m going to agree with all of you here. That God is going to heal our marriages, and it may get darkest just before the dawn. No matter where you’ve been or where you might currently find yourself, it’s not over, when God is in it, there is no limit. With Him nothing is impossible. Hold onto to him now. Ill be praying for every single one of you, your spouses, children, and family members. Try listening to “It’s not over” by Israel Houghton and “I believe” by James Fortune, and let these song bring you Faith, Hope and Love to endure and Hope all things with God.

  18. Lissa from United States says:

    My husband is still struggling with his feelings after fighting for our marriage for a year. He says he has tried to force himself to love me again especially since our family is growing. He says he just can’t get it back and it’s not healthy to hold on to something that is not there. I know God has the power to restore my marriage and my family. I know he is at work on the prayers I send up and I will praise Him and recognize His many blessings regardless of my husbands free will.

  19. Maria from Hong Kong says:

    I have been endured for 12 yrs after divorce in order to save the marriage. Despite all those custody court cases and all the traumatic days I went through, I was still holding onto God’s promises. I may not be perfect in God and his eyes, but in time I was emotionally when things went wrong. He was with a lady since last May and the son hates it very much. He also promised the son that he only needs a partner and has no intention to get married even to a Pastor or psychiatrist. My son had suicidal thoughts last December claiming he was in a broken family. His dad doesnt care, mom isn’t happy etc. Suddenly, two weeks ago, he got married secretly without informing the son. Now, he got married, shall I still stand for the marriage? It seems that only if he’s dead, I can remarry written in the Bible… Please let me know what to do.

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