Why divorce is not the answer

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

Divorce has become all too common in our culture today, but that doesn’t mean that it is good. Is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married? Here’s why divorce is not the answer in a difficult marriage.

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.

These days, this seems to be happening more and more, to the point where it’s becoming normal in our society. 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 anymore. Sometimes he or she just up and leaves without even attempting to resolve the conflict.

Is this happening to couples you know?

It is happening to couples I know, and oddly, it is usually the women who are choosing to leave the marriage and seek divorce.

Is it better to divorce or stay unhappily married?

A few weeks ago, I was speaking to a friend who said she knew 10 couples who were headed toward divorce. TEN! 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?

Yes, 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?

Divorce is not the answer 

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.

Yes, there are situations where abuse and other serious issues are at play. If this is your situation, please get help.

But if this is not your situation and you’re living with recurring thoughts of disappointment and anger toward your husband or are feeling 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.

Want to know what God’s Word says about your marriage?

“And the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Mark 10:8-9

The Bible says that 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 help on how to work at it, talk to a trusted, wise older couple, your Pastor, a Pastor at a neighborhood church. But please seek wise counsel somewhere. Don’t suffer and stew in silence.

If you need someone to talk to and don’t know where to start, I encourage you to call your local church or locate a Christian counselor. But don’t just give up on your marriage or your spouse. There may still be beauty in your story and relationship that is yet to be revealed.

Divorce is not the easy answer and it’s not God’s plan for your life. Please don’t take this decision lightly.

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  1. thank you. It's so nice to know that it's okay for me to be frustrated (and angry, as you commented you also feel) towards couples who are considering divorce. I agree, giving up your family is selfish and often revolves around pride. Thank you for speaking to my anti-divorce mindedness and reinforcing it's effects. and what a perfect analogy, we tell our kids to forgive and forget … and then teach them that if marriage is hard to run away.

    1. I respect your opinion. I even agree with you on some points. I do agree people give up too easily and when things get hard they would rather quit. However, in my case I tried all I could. Our marriage was fine before I had my son, but after he was born I learned my spouse was not a family person. He did not have a father in his life and thought because he made majority of the money that was all he needed to do. Often he made me feel bad because I did not make as much money as he did. He was all about his career and hardly spent anytime with us. We talked hundreds of times about this and how we could do more as a family. I prayed and prayed not only for our relationship but for him personally. Long story short after almost three years of trying to work things out it just fell apart. I don't agree that you must always stay in a marriage. I was severly depressed and my son suffered because of that. I am much happier now and so is my son. My ex-spouse and I get along alot better and he seems to be more willing to be involved in his son's life than when we all lived together. Divorce should not ever be the first choice but please don't judge others unless you have walked in their shoes. Surely you don't believe women who are abused mental or physically should stay in a horrible marriage,especially with children. I know that I am a better person now and my son will have a better mother because I am no longer married to a man who will not put his family first.

      1. So why didn't you just wait for him to get it. Apparently he gets it as he's more involved. Few divorces are about abuse or adultery. Most are because one person can no longer wait for another to get it.

        You chose to judge your husband, deeming him unworthy to be your husband, but then you ask folks to not judge you. You are being judged because you set the standard by judging your husband unworthy.

        I'm sorry you find the judgment unbearable. Consider that your husband may have felt the same way, your judgment of him was likely painful to him as well.

  2. divorcedmom says:

    No divorce is not the answer.. but sometimes it does happen.. sometimes it is out of our hands.. sometimes we fight and fight for our marriages and he leaves anyway. I am at peace with my divorce now, I know God knows I did all I could. I am picking myself up and moving on with GOD's help. He does understand and he does forgive.

  3. I realize this post I wrote brings welcomed thoughts to some and hurtful thoughts to others, my heart behind the post is that marriage is worth fighting for! God tells us that He hates divorce. I know, support and love friends who are divorced, my words are not to condemn in any way those who have divorced. My words are meant to point out to those considering divorce or judging their spouse that they may need to rethink a few things and seek help. Those who appear happy and whole have issues to, they just work through them and this is something I pray those reading having issues would seek to do too. Help is out there – the ministry of FamilyLife exists to help build strong marriages and families! The bottom line, before seeking divorce seek help for restoration.

  4. Joanne NunyaBeeswax says:

    My husband has been in prison since 1992 wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not do. The system destroyed our lives. I was not going allow it to destroy our marriage. I just can't understand how people can walk away after they vowed to love someone for the rest of their lives. My marriage will survive this.

  5. BrokenButHealing says:

    I love this post. It pulls to light the truth that has become our world. The phenomenon of women leaving is beginning to be recognized in many cases as the female mid-life crisis. In the past, divorce was highly discouraged, and women had little choice. So, this crisis was suppressed. Or, at least in many cases hidden behind medical suppression. But, today’s women have freedoms, and knowledge. And, this has allowed this trying time in their lives to bound free. Often with unrecallable choices, and devastation. And, society was not prepared for this. There is much known about the male mid life crisis. And, the society and culture have managed to help curb the wild instincts that could lead down the road to divorce and heart-ache. But, the female mid life crisis is in reality more powerful and life changing. And, it is only beginning to be recognized. Women wake up, and realize that they are in the rut of mid-life. And, until the world helps them recognize this point in life and discover how to find purpose and meaning that is all there own, families will suffer. Anyway… awesome blog.

  6. What about when your husband is an alcoholic and refuses to get help. How long must you wait around before giving up. I’ve offered to do anything I can do to help , counseling, etc, I feel like divorce is the only option for me to have a chance at a happy life and stop the codependency also.

    1. So establish boundaries. You can do a ton of stuff other than divorce to lovingly show him you mean business. Running away may not be the only option. Unless you choose to view it that way. But then that’s your choice and you need to accept it, not justify it by blaming him.

    2. My father was a full blown alcoholic. He could not find employment after University, and after hundreds of rejection letters, he became severely depressed and drank to numb his pain. Instead of my mom judging him, she loved him more. I remember her making his favourite meals, encouraging him, taking him out for walks. One day he woke up, quit drinking, pulled himself together and restarted his job search. To this day he is forever greatful to my mother who stood by him. When he found a job, he encouraged her to retire early to pursue her dreams. He treats my mom like a Queen because of what she did for him. Support your spouse, your best friend , your lover through thick and thin. They’ll remember you for your strength, kindness, support etc. And your marriage will come out stronger.