When I hear about families going through divorce, I feel an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. I have friends who have been devastated by divorce. Divorce is heartbreaking, all the more so when one of the parties is blindsided by the decision of the other to give up and end the marriage.
This seems to be happening more and more. Things get hard, marriage stops being fun, life gets serious, issues arise, and someone decides he or she does not want to work at it and he or she just leaves.
Is this happening to couples you know? It is happening to couples I know, and oddly, it is the women who are choosing to leave the marriage and seek divorce.
A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a friend who said she knew 10 couples who were headed toward divorce. In each case, it was because the wife decided it wasn’t worth the hassle to work at it; she’d had enough, and she was out of there.
I struggle to comprehend how a woman can give up on her family without fighting for it. Actually, I get angry. It seems like such an unbelievable display of selfishness. If you and your husband are fighting and having problems, don’t think you are alone in your struggles.
All marriages suffer and have problems — all marriages. In the situations I am speaking of here, there is no abuse. The reasoning behind the divorce has been because of everyday life: a husband and wife drifting apart and not taking the time and effort to do something about the “drift,” and the refusal to work through the problems and seek help.
When did our society decide that marriage was supposed to be all light and fluffy? Why are so many buying the lie that if you are not happy, you should just leave? Marriage is hard. Marriage is when life gets real. And each of us should have realized that going into it … better or worse, richer or poorer … remember?
I have had many women assume that my husband is perfect because it appears to them that our marriage is so good. I laugh and tell them our marriage is so good, but not because my husband is perfect. At his worst, he can act like an overbearing jerk. And I, at my worst, am a pouty little snot. But we know this about each other, and we work at marriage.
My goodness, moms; we spend our days teaching our children that the world does not revolve around them and that they have to learn to get along well with their friends and siblings. We constantly remind them to extend grace to others and to realize others are not always mean on purpose but that they just don’t think sometimes. Maybe we should remind ourselves the same thing when it comes to our relationship with our husbands.
So, if you have had recurring thoughts of disappointment and anger toward your husband and you are getting fed up, please allow me to mother you a bit. …
The world does not revolve around you. You need to work at getting along with your husband. You need to extend grace to your husband. Your husband is not being mean on purpose — sometimes he just doesn’t think.
Marriage is a covenant relationship, and God made it that way because He realized that left to our own, we would want to walk away. But a covenant is a commitment, so we must stick it out and work at it. If you need tips on how to work at it, spend some time reading the very helpful articles on the FamilyLife website or make plans now to attend a Weekend to Remember marriage conference.
If you need someone to talk to, I encourage you to call your local church or locate a Christian counselor. But don’t just give up. Divorce is not the answer.
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