Is it ever too late to reconcile? That question is often linked to statements like, “Things Will Never Change!” or “My Spouse Will Never Change!” or “My Feelings Will Never Change!” Cindy and I learned a long time ago that when our thoughts go in these directions nothing good ever comes from them.
More importantly we’ve learned that it’s never too late to reconcile. We’ve seen that things, feelings and spouses can and many do change.
But most importantly, please don’t think it’s not possible. That’s because it is.
Too Late to Reconcile?
Every week we get emails and comments on the web site from people who say it’s too late. They’ve reached their breaking point. If you find yourself in that place today we can empathize with you. That is because we’ve been there ourselves. And we’ve found this is where God does His best work.
Two years into our marriage, thinking it was too late for us, Cindy separated from me. That’s when God showed up. Long story short: Cindy came to Christ first. She returned home, and eventually I surrendered my life to Christ. (If you’d like the whole story, here’s a link to the article:
• The Love Story of Steve and Cindy Wright
What We’ve Learned:
Here’s one of the first things Cindy and I learned that was a real game changer for us. It’s something that Mike and Debbie Breaux have said:
“If you fall in love with God—if you really fall in love with God, you’ll notice a difference in your love toward your spouse.”
You won’t hear this from most marriage experts or counselors. But Cindy and I learned that all of the formulas, tips, and marriage seminars in the world won’t be as sustainable over the long haul if you don’t have God at the center of your marriage.
Can you reconcile without God in the middle? Yes, it does happen, and it can happen. But to put your marriage on the most solid foundation possible, Christ needs to be in the middle of your relationship. He is the glue and is our Reconciler. Even if you are standing for the reconciliation of your marriage alone, there is power. Don’t give up.
“If you’re married to someone who avoids praying with you or is disinterested in spiritual matters, keep praying for your spouse. Know that when you’re feeling alone in the prayer closet, heaven is watching and the God of the universe is listening. You’re not alone! In fact, the spiritual realty is that when you pray —with or without your spouse —you’re joining Jesus in intercession. He’s seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for you (Hebrews 7:25) and He makes a terrific prayer partner!” (Cheri Fuller)
To Reconcile Our Differences
Secondly, the next thing we did was to take the “D” word (divorce) out of our vocabulary. We had both thrown the divorce word back and forth like a Ping-Pong ball. By taking that away it made us committed to finding solutions to every problem that came into our marriage. It was author Jay Kessler who said, “The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously.” It sure cleared our minds. When we stopped using the word divorce as a weapon, and a fire escape, we were more willing to look for alternatives. We explain this a bit more in the following article:
“Marriages can’t be healed overnight. But the direction of the marriage can. The pattern of destruction can change into a pattern of construction. For this pattern to change, a new commitment must be made. As long as divorce remains a consideration, even if a person hasn’t yet chosen it, he or she is usually paralyzed and cannot make the kind of commitment necessary to change the direction of the marriage.” (R. C. Sproul)
The third thing that strengthened our marriage is we became students of each other and of marriage. I have to admit that Cindy was way ahead of me on this for a while. But God gave me an “ah-ha” moment on what He expected of me as a husband. Yes, that does happen. It happened to me that all of a sudden I “got it.” And we hear of it happening in many other lives, as well. At that point I became motivated to do everything I could to show Cindy how much I love and cherish her. I became pro-active in showing her just that. I now make it a life mission.
To Reconcile Our Marriage
Lastly, the fourth thing that helped our own marriage get stronger happened when we began to understand that we had to learn how to resolve conflict in healthy ways. Marriage expert, Michelle-Wiener Davis said in an article:
“What separates people who make it over the long haul versus those who divorce is one thing only. Couples who stay together and have loving marriages learn how to work through their differences. They know how to manage their conflict.” (From the article, It’s Never Too Late to Save Your Marriage)
Once Cindy and I determined that we were going to change in this area, God began to show us the tools that could help us the most. We share them on this web site, hoping they will help you too.
Even in cases of abuse or unfaithfulness, God can change, heal and restore what may be broken. This also includes what the enemy of our faith has tried to rob from you with his lies. It is up to us, however, to cooperate with those changes. But if we are willing, it is never too late.
What do you do if you’re all alone in wanting to have a great marriage? Sheila Wray Gregoire says, “Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we should wait for someone else to do the right thing before we do the right thing.” Cindy and I can attest that if you are committed to doing the right thing in your marriage God is faithful to show you what to do and that it’s never too late to start.
Finally, keep in mind:
“Your marriage is not the least hopeful or most damaged marriage presented before God. Yours is not the one marriage that has God confounded, wondering how your marriage can possibly become edifying and strong. It’s possible. He does his greatest stuff with the least likely. The trick is to tackle circumstances without attacking the ones we love. God can help. He knows about love. Even in battle.” (Janelle Alberts)
Please know that we have so many resources waiting for you on our web site. They are ones that God has given to us to give to those who need them. Many of them are in the SAVE MY MARRIAGE topic. This includes posted TESTIMONIES concerning marriages that have been reconciled that you can read. There are also videos you can watch. Please take advantage of what we make available for you.
Remember, if you have the will to make your marriage the best it can be, and you believe God can help you—it’s never too late to save your marriage.
Steve and Cindy Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
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7 responses to “Is It Ever Too Late to Reconcile?”
First of all, I want to say how much I look forward to your weekly posts. Today’s, “Is it Ever Too Late?” really hit home for us. We have been at the brink of divorce — not once, but twice, after I discovered my husband’s infidelity. With the help of some awesome counseling at our church, and God’s amazing grace, we have stayed together. Last summer, we celebrated 42 years of marriage! I agree with everything you said in your blog — everything is spot-on! One thing that we began doing at the advice of our counselor was to look for ways to serve each other, both overtly and covertly, with no expectations. What we have found is that when we got our eyes off of pleasing ourselves, and on to pleasing each other, we found joy in our marriage again. The other thing is that we returned to praying together every night. There is something that happens in your heart, when you hear your spouse crying out to God. God has done an amazing, miraculous work in our marriage in many ways. We are beyond grateful!
Thank you Susan, for sharing this. You are encouraging everyone who reads this… including us. We can tell people that reconciliation IS possible, even when things go in a very bad direction. But the more they hear it from others who have experienced this, the more they realize that it IS possible. God bless you for sharing this, and may God continue to bless your marriage in amazing ways.
I’m absolutely devastated and destroyed. My bride has decided to pursue divorce. I’ve been on my knees 24/7 since May… we meet this Thursday for conciliation where she has already stated I will not change my heart or my mind. Help?
Joshua, I am so sorry for what you are experiencing. I want to encourage you to go into the section on our web site called SAVE MY MARRIAGE. There are several articles that may encourage you. And in that section you should also click on the “Testimonies” link and read some of those for encouragement. Cindy and I know couples who have been divorced for many years and then reunited and have very strong marriages today. Continue to seek God’s counsel from His Word and from godly people who believe in the sanctity of marriage. Sadly, today, we hear too often from Christians who are going through a divorce who have friends telling them things like: “cut your losses and move on.” Those aren’t the people you want to listen to.
There is also one place I want you to check out. It is a ministry called Retrouvaille. They put on weekend retreats for couples who are on the brink of divorce and they have an 80-85% success rate of getting marriages back together. They have retreats going on all over the country as well as around the world. Heres their web site: https://www.helpourmarriage.org.
Don’t give up Joshua. God is still in the business of bringing things that are dead back to life. Cling to Him and the truths from His Word: “Do not become weary in well doing; for you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
All I want is a prayer to save my marriage to the girl I love with all my heart – Lisa.
Hello. I am going through a rough time with my wife. She’s 46 and she has closed her heart towards me. I’ve never abused her in any way. I could of and maybe should have been a better husband but we’re here at this crossroads. She had an affair 8 years ago and seems to me that she really wanted until I caught her on line. I don’t ever think that I ever got over it because it was with my best friend. I’ve put her through hell and really made her feel badly.
I know my actions may have been harsh but she really hurt me. I recently caught her on line again chatting with another guy in our bedroom ” masturbating” with said stranger. After I saw her doing this is when she told me, I love you but I’m not in love with you. That hurt! She is resentful because we were going to move to Texas at the end of this year until I got a super job offer. This shook her to her core. Now she’s 50/50 with me and she wants me to give her time to figure out her thoughts/feelings. Your help in my marriage would be most appreciated. I love her with all my heart and I’m hurting right now.
My wife of 38 years left me three years ago. She returns all cards and gifts to unopened. I recently found out she is engaged. I’m desecrated beyond belief. Jesus has promised me that he will return her to me in his time not mine. I’m angry at Jesus, I know he doesn’t break promises. I’m at a breaking point that I may hurt myself.
What or how do I at the very least get her to listen to what I have to say? She is a pastor of a Methodist church and a very Godly woman. I’m running out of time and feeling desperate. Please help me. I’ve written an essay that is rather long. How do I get her to read it? Please help me. I love and adore her.