Regrets! We all live with them. But when the regrets involve something as important as marriage, it can seem like you’re dealing with a life sentence, in the worst prison possible. If you’ve come to the place where you believe you may have married the wrong person, you can feel panicky, trapped, depressed.
“What have I done?”
“Have I ruined my life?
“What can I do now?”
These are all typical questions that are asked by many, many spouses. You certainly aren’t alone. But please try not to panic (beyond what you may have already experienced). Let go of the squeeze you may have on the panic button, or the “I don’t care at this point; I just want to be released” button, and consider a few things first.
Something that Thomas Whiteman and Thomas Bartlett write in the book “The Marriage Mender”) is important to note:
“Many people who divorce are surprised by the level of conflict in marriage. They expect the romantic stage to continue their whole lives. They fail to negotiate anything because they think they shouldn’t have to. As they see it, conflict indicates that they married the wrong person.”
To the Extreme
It’s easy to take our thoughts to the extreme when we’re so unhappy. But lets not forget that God says in the Bible says, “Come, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). This is a good time to apply added reasoning. It’s a good time to explore more possibilities other than panicking or dumping out of a marriage after these thoughts invade your thinking process.
I’ve seen many, many spouses, who thought there was no way they would ever find love within their marriages again (myself included), and yet they did… I did. Never in a million years did I think that was possible. But it was and is. I can testify that love CAN return, or start anew. When God is in it, it’s amazing what can happen.
So, to face this dilemma in a way that explores “reason” and added thoughts. Lets work through some possible scenarios that could be taking place.
First, don’t close your mind to real possibilities.
When something happens to us —especially something as important as thinking we’ve married the wrong person, we can think that this situation is irreparable. In most cases it truly isn’t. That is, UNLESS those who are involved close their minds to working THROUGH the situation, and walk away.
On this point, here’s something that author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said to those though they married the wrong person:
“I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person. But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person.”
So, open your mind to whatever possibilities there are that explain what you are feeling right now. Through the process of being open, God can teach you things you may never have known otherwise. And it very well may be that God wants to grow you in ways He knows are important. These are ways that will be important to you, and important to others.
Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom.
I know that sounds simplistic. But remember that God promises us that if we ask, He will give it (see: James 1). And while asking, request that the Holy Spirit guide you as your Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
You may have already been praying, but added prayer can definitely help.
While opening your mind and asking for wisdom, pray as the psalmist did,
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
At this point, consider that one possibility could be that you are going through a very typical stage of marriage. It’s one in which, you and your spouse need to work through some issues, if you are going to survive this season of marriage.
We all go through various stages of marriage. To help you consider whether this could be a certain stage you have tumbled into, within your relationship, please go into the Newlyweds and Beyond topic. Read what we have posted there, which applies to your stage, season, passage, phase (or whatever title) of marriage.
This mission of loving the spouse, will take time and extra effort.
Yes, it will take extra time and effort. But don’t you think it’s reasonable to take the time needed considering that you entered into marriage, vowing that you would love, honor, and cherish your spouse for the rest of your lives? It’s now the appropriate time to go an extra, extra mile in doing your “due diligence” on this issue, rather than living with regrets for the rest of your life.
One article you may want to start with, which is talked about in the linked article article below is something I recommend highly that you read and prayerfully consider:
If it’s a “stage” you’re going through, then work with the Lord as your Counselor, to do what you can to survive that stage well. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once something appears to be broken, it is. We’ve got a lot of testimonies posted in the “Save My Marriage” topic, which say otherwise. And my husband and I can attest to the fact that even though love appears to be gone with the person you are now married to, it CAN and DOES come alive, if some very intentional work is done.
We’ve been there and have done that. We are SO glad we did (and are doing) what it takes to cause new growth —both within our marriage relationship and within us as individuals. It has been WELL worth the effort.
Work beyond the stage of “I don’t want to” to get to the “I will” stage.
We have a lot of articles, tools and recommended resources posted on this web site available to help you get to a better place in your marriage. But the main requirement is the “want to” or the “heart to.” If you close your heart and don’t want to, all of the “how to’s” in the world won’t help you. You just won’t do what it takes to get beyond this problem.
But I can tell you that even if you don’t want to, if you confess that fact to God, He still can work to change your heart. (Again, I’ve been there and know from personal experience.)
If your spouse doesn’t have the “heart to” either, there are still some things you can do. Work on your own issues first, by praying for him or her. And then apply the applicable advice given in the Save My Marriage topic. It’s sure worth the extra effort!
And then below, there are links provided for you to read a couple of articles. These articles may help your reasoning process, as you consider what you can do now and in the future.
I hope this has helped. Even if you aren’t persuaded, at this point, allow the Lord to work further in your heart. Look to Him to point you to the HIS way of doing things, rather than the world’s. Please know that some things are better “cured” over time.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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