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Should You Try to Save Your Marriage

There are many of you who are in a very difficult place right now. Your marriage is in trouble and all you know to do is stand your ground and believe for the restoration of your marriage. You’re in one of the greatest challenges a person can face in life. And I know some of you ask yourself how much more you can take.

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I want you to know Janet and I admire and appreciate every one of you facing this battle. It takes a lot of courage and conviction to take this stand. As many of you know I have been there, and I know too well how difficult it is.

Your story may be different that what I went through, but I still know the delicate balance you have to walk between heartache and hope. One minute your heart is so torn and broken you don’t think you can go any further, then the next minute your heart is so alive with the hope of your future as long as you can just hang on a little longer.

I know there are times when your spouse has a lot to do with how much heartache or hope you feel. You hang on to every little word and every little action trying to read into which direction your spouse will take. And then there are times when your spouse gives you no reason at all to hope but yet you have hope anyway.

And because I’ve been there I also know that your decision to stand for your marriage is yours and yours alone. I heard lots of doubters telling me I should just divorce my wife, and I heard a little bit of encouragement telling me to keep believing.

But I have to be honest with you, my standing for our marriage did not come from a conviction where I felt I had no choice, like God expected it from me. My standing for our marriage came from two other strong convictions.

First, I strongly did not want to ever go through a divorce. For me the possibility of divorce was the worst thing I could possibly face in life next to a death of a child or something that tragic. So I don’t know if it was the fear of divorce or the deep desire to be married for life, either way I wanted no part of it.

Secondly, I stood for our marriage out of my strong conviction that my wife was heading in a wrong direction. And if I didn’t stand for our marriage, her life could have been in jeopardy or at least filled with more heartache and disappointment.

So for me to stand or not stand for our marriage was a choice God gave me. I believed it was something He was asking me to do but was not demanding me to do. I felt the assurance from the Lord that my life was going to be okay as long as I held onto Him no matter what happened to our marriage.

There was even one time when I was worshiping the Lord and I felt the reality of divorce trying to grip my heart so bad I could hardly stand it. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and said His grace would see me through it. From that moment on the fear of divorce no longer tormented me.

So we write here on this blog, posts on Facebook, and tweet on Twitter a lot to help encourage those of you who are standing for your marriage. We believe in what you’re doing and we will continue to stand with you.

While at the same time I hope we do not come across as condemning or judgmental toward anyone who decides they can no longer stand. We are not blind to the fact that a lot of  marriages will not make it.

It is not our job to decide whose marriage should be saved or not. Nor is it our job to say how far people can go in effort to save their marriage. Our purpose is to share hope and encouragement to those who want to save their marriage in the same way we would encourage someone to pursue a dream, regardless of what the circumstances look like.

This type of encouragement may seem naive and foolish to some. But for anyone who has ever been faced with an impossible situation and seen it work out the way we have, they know what seems naive and foolish can actually be the best move they ever made.

I stood for my marriage and even if it had not worked out I would not have regretted giving it every possible chance I could. What I would have regretted was if I had given up on my marriage and then later realize it could have been saved if I had held on a little longer.

So this choice is yours. It is a choice you make between you and God. No one else can tell you what you should do. While at the same time, no one else will be accountable for the choice you make.

But if you’re looking for encouragement to keep standing no matter what the circumstances look like, then you’ve come to the right place. This is what we are here for. This is what Redeeming Marriages is about along with sharing truths to prevent marriages from breaking down in the first place.

 

Question: Is there something we can do to help you stand for your marriage? Let us know in the comments or contact us via email, we love hearing from you.

 

31 comments

      • sj says:

        I was reading this adhesion and was struck with how you said you really didn’t want a divorce. That was one of your biggest fears. I’m standing for my marriage bc i believe that’s what God has called me to do. My husband is in unrepentant sin now and as much as i pray for his relationship to be restored to God i also fear our marriage restoring bc of the pain of working through multiple affairs, lying, and some other really difficult things. Does that make sense? I want my marriage but its also my biggest fear. I wonder if other standers feel that way sometimes.

        • Shelly Willis says:

          I think I am in the same place you are. Cheating, lying, selfishness, and many other things was the root cause of my husband and I separating about the 1st of November. After 2 months of struggling and getting mad at God for all these things my anger finally went away leaving me wanting my husband home and wanting my marriage again. After pouring what was in heart out to him he is now saying he can’t forgive himself for what he has put me through and wants me to move on with my life. That he hasn’t changed and he will never change and that I can’t trust him. I don’t want a divorce but now I’m scared to try hard to get us another chance. I don’t know if I can handle all the heartache again…but yet in the same breath I do not want a divorce. I am once again I am at a loss for what to do…

          • SJ says:

            Shelly,
            I’m so sorry you are going through this now too. It is so painful. A few days after I wrote that comment I found out some new information that revealed my husband had been lying even more than I ever imagined. He had been saying the same things to me months earlier, that he wants me to move on, how he can’t forgive himself for what he’s done, and that he doesn’t know if he can ever change.
            If he’s saying those things, then its likely that he’s not ready to give up whatever lifestyle he’s living in right now. Which means you might have to just wait for now. See how God moves. You don’t have to make a decision to reconcile or divorce right now.

            Do you have anybody, maybe your church, thats stepped into this situation with you? Thats made all the difference for me and even though its been the hardest, most painful time in my life, the Lord has grown me in ways that I am so thankful for.

            I totally understand the anger. The Psalms have been everything to me the last 6 months. I pray them all the time and its so comforting to see that God can take our anger, he can take our sadness and tears. We can be real with Him.

            For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

            (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)

          • jackandjanet says:

            Shelly,
            We are also sorry you are going through this in your marriage. We know the pain is great and there can be lots of confusion to work through. So please take the words of encouragement and advice SJ has given here. Just take some time and make sure you hear from God concerning your marriage. He will either give you the courage and instruction to keep standing or He will give you the courage and instruction to move on. Let His peace guide you and keep you!

            • jackandjanet says:

              SJ,
              Thank you for sharing your wisdom. It is clear God is walking you through this. So glad you have found your hope and your strength in Him.

          • rt says:

            I am a newly wed and husband no longer wants to be married. We have not made to the one year mark and he already wants out. The fear of divorce does cause much pain. I am hurting inside and wish my husband would come around, but I know that he needs space and is getting his own place in a month which is forcing me to move as well. I am in totally shock and disbelief.

            • Roxanne says:

              That sounds hard . I hope you continue to pray and love your husband through it all and I hope he is convicted by the holt spirit . Rt I will pray for you to find strength and so your husband finds wisdom and understanding . I know God sees your struggle and wants you to trust Him . I am going through divorce with my husband but I hold on to knowing that God is good and if I follow there is no way I will miss many blessings to come . I hope you find peace through this hard time . May God be with you every step .

          • Roxanne says:

            I’m so sorry. I. Going through a similar situation in which my husband keeps telling me he has failed as a husband (I cheated and he blames himself) , a father (he aborted a baby) and a man . I take accountability to these things because I should have been there for him all the time so he wouldn’t have to make thoes hard choices that leave unspeakable pain. We got back for a little and his guilt is what I believe drove us apart . (This sounds like your husband may be feeling This too). My husband doesn’t want to take responsibility (doesn’t come home at night , doesn’t see our future , doesn’t want to have a job that supports us, doesn’t want to wear a wedding band) . I believe that you can’t change someone’s heart . Only God can . When I pray for my husband , I will also pray for yours . I hope you will find peace in the Lord through the most painful of days. Unreturned love is the most damaging of any pain I have ever felt. Blessings .

        • Cathy Carson says:

          I totally understand. Being left and standing has been the biggest heartache. What if he returns and it’s just too hard? But if I believe God can restore our marriage, then I also know he will guide and bring peace through every step of the process. It’s still scary!

            • Roxana says:

              It’s most certainly ok. In fact , it was refreshing to see this . My husband and I are divorced . He gave me the finalized papers a few weeks ago. I believe that God can do anything and you are right . God can give you peace and strength that you have never known before . It’s very scary to let go and let God , but it had been a blessing in my life . Lately God has laid it on my heart to continue to pray for my husband . I stopped a few weeks ago because I have been holding resentment against him in the way I was treated in the divorce . I didn’t ask for a single dime and he still managed to insult me and hurt me even more . I never would have thought I would be able to lift myself off of the floor a year ago, let alone be … Happy. I still feel the loss and pain from time to time but what gives me hope is that God is not finished with his work in me ! God is not finished with the work in my ex husband ! I believe that he can take it 180 degrees and turn my ex into a God -loving and fearing man . Looking at all that my ex has done , I can’t even remember the kind person underneath of it all . I can’t ever love him without God loving through me . Although I can’t be there for him physically or emotionally , I can support him with prayers . In the meantime , I will pray because it is against spiritual ware-fare that we are in battle against. I have made a vow to be his helper until death do us part. My advice is to pray for him . It is really the best that you can do !! In the meantime , God will ever you tasks and a purpose , so you are not just waiting !! God takes care of the orphans and widows and if a man leaves , he leaves you a widow in a figurative sense. It is hard being alone at times but you got a GOD that WILL not leave you broken and helpless . Blessings, sister . Please don’t give up and don’t hold on to pain and hate . Praying !! ???

  1. Vanessa says:

    I love my husband Patrick very much.. in the last year he had befriended someone who doesn’t share the same marriage/family values as he does. . And had since been introduced to drug and had shut me and his family out. . I pray every night for God to deliver him and help me be the wife he wants me to be… today I was feeling very down and the struggle to keep believing was like the weight of the world… I believe in miracles and believe that God wants to do one in my marriage.. I wanted to thank you because I needed to read that today… thank you for the encouragement. ..
    Vanessa

    • jackandjanet says:

      Vanessa, we are glad this has encourage you. Your situation is a very difficult one, but we know God will keep you strong and guide you on this journey. Miracles do happen everyday and we pray your marriage will be one of them. Please stay in touch and let us know of your praise report.

  2. Justjulie says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I just spent the last 5 minutes crying over my divorce two years ago. My husband was a drug addict and emotionally, sometimes physically, abusive. After years of holding on in faith and fear, I let go. So I thought. 3 years since separation and 2 since divorce, my heart still breaks for what could have been. I share this because people should know that just because you are “free” from the marriage, you may not feel free. It’s not always the relief you think it will be. I know I am “better off” because he no longer inflicts new pain on me, and I know from a distance that he remains a broken and destructive person, but I still hurt. I still have a difficult time moving on. Pray seriously about your decision, either way. And don’t have unrealistic expectations, either way.

    • jackandjanet says:

      Justjulie, thank you so much for this comment. We know your decision was not an easy one to make and we know no matter what there is still a lot of heartache and pain. Your wisdom is heard and we are glad you shared these words. We pray for your healing as you continue to move forward with what God has for you.

  3. April says:

    I really needed this today…i have been having hope until today but its something in me that just cant give up. We are seperated for now and he has told me right now he’s focus is getting his life back right with God but recently he has told me that he doesnt want to be married anymore. I know the promise God has for us and i just cant let that go but i most admit it gets hard. Thankfully though God has given me so much peace and joy during this dark moment. I wake up with so much confidence in Jesus knowing that he’s right here with me. My personal relationship between me and God has grown and streghten in such a way that I am in awe of how much His word really works when you apply it to your life. I couldnt get there until i had to sincerely repent for my sins to God and to my husband for my actions and my heart do to him being unfaithful. It hit me so hard becasue I took my focus off God and felt as though my husband could do no wrong. I held so much hurt, resentment, jealousy (the other woman), stirfe, unforgiveness that it started to change me. So when I stop pointing fingers at everyone else and let God truly deal with me and my heart I am at peace. He has decided that he doesnt want to go to church with me so he started going to another. We have faced difficult times earlier in our marriage and we have tried to face life in our on strength and I realized that when we do things how much worser things get so I have no other choice than to try it God’s way. I have no one to talk to expect God and that is ok because I know he’s not going to tell anyone and I can be real and honest with him without feeling bad. He is changing me and right now thats all that matters and thats all I can change is myself. I am leaving my husband and marriage totally in God’s hands and in his timing He will make all things beautiful. Thank you all so much for your stories and blogs because they have really been such a great help to me. I come on here everyday to be lifted and encouraged that if God could do it for all these peoples He can do it for me. Bless you all

    • Val says:

      God has been and will continue to be my best friend in my standing for our marriage, I pray in Jesus name He give you an added measure of faith and hope today now and forevermore in your stand for your marriage, Amen.
      Your comment resignates close to my heart and where I am in my life right now. I feel like like this is my cross to bear but I never feel alone because I know, God loves me and my beloved husband and our Heavenly Father cares about what is dear to our hearts.
      You are not alone, God Bless You and your spouse …

  4. victoria says:

    There’s no cheating. He just left. His heart is hardened and he said he doesn’t wanna be with me anymore. He moved back home with his parents. He said someday we can be friends, he would try to pray for God to change his heart, but he isn’t making any promises.

    • April says:

      If God can turn kings hearts know that he can change your husband’s heart. I have been there with my spouse where his heart was so cold and hardened. things he would say to me would cut so deep thats only because i didnt put on the armor of God daily! After I let my husband and marriage go and gave it totally to God He begin moving on my behalf He was working the entire time behind the scene. Find a scripture for your marriage and you stand on that begin to pray the word over your husband. We are not totally restored but God is moving PTL he is back home with me and things are getting much better between us. Remember who the really enemy is and it is not your husband. This is a spiritual battle that you are in and let me tell you prayer works! Not only do is change your situation is changes you! Im praying for you all be bless!

  5. Louise says:

    I asked God tonight if it was time to let go. I was married for 17 years and had an affair. It tore my husband apart. He divorced me and I did not fight it because of the deep-rooted guilt I felt and I just didn’t want him to hurt anymore. We reconciled a few months after the divorce. I truly believe that God was able to put love back in my heart for him. I am pretty sure he reconciled because he didn’t want to see the kids hurting anymore.
    Here we are 5 years later and he is not in love with me. He has never forgiven me and holds deep resentment towards me. He says he is extremely unhappy. We get along very well, enjoy talking to each other, exercise together, sleep together, and on and on. A year ago I found out he was having an affair. At one point, he told me we should sell the house and go our separate ways. I begged and pleaded and pushed him further away. Then I started praying and practiced unconditional love towards him. The affair ended- not sure how- and he stayed. Here we are several months later and I am struggling because I am trying to accept that he doesn’t love me.
    Tonight we talked about our situation and he told me he would never love me again. I asked him to consider trying to work at our relationship and he said no. He thinks that we have been working on it but we still have so many unresolved issues. I don’t want to give up on reconciliation. I will keep loving him no matter what. I guess I am wondering if ther is a point where I should just let him go? I want him to be happy, I just always thought I could make him happ.

  6. Val says:

    Thank you – I appreciate your support and encouragement. Your insight and the information you share is most helpful for me. I take so much comfort in knowing I am not “standing” alone. Knowing I have God and knowing others who have been through and survived gives me unlimited hope … God Bless you and your ministry

  7. Judith says:

    After 24 years of marriage my husband is wanting out. He tells me he loves me but not in love with me anymore. He works out of town and recently started going out with the guys he works with. He only comes home for the weekend once a month. I have told him how much I love him and he knows I don’t want a divorce. We have 2 children ages 13 and 10. I want to go see him and talk to him face to face but I am afraid I may push him further away. I feel the distance between us is not helping. I pray for him and us several times daily. I get so many mixed feelings.

  8. Roxanne says:

    Thank you . After 5 years of pain and hurt , my husband and I are seperated . I am the one who wants reconciliation. I found these articles to be very helpful. I am standing for my marriage for the exact same reasons . My husband may not be the most successful , in fact he is so disappointed in all his failures that’s why he wants to quit. My husband isn’t adventurous , or amusing most of the time . In fact we are polar opposites . He likes the couch and I get restless sitting still . All that aside , I know his soul . I felt it and I can’t stand to see him go the wrong way and add to all the hurt he has caused himself during our separation . It’s ironic because when we split in 2013 I went the wrong way and cheated (multiple occasions) until the holy spirit convicted me . My husband’s prayers and hope is what I believe stopped me . Then he gave up hope 2 weeks before this conviction and cheated on me .ONCE , just once and got the girl pregnant . He later asked her to abort the baby. After that he has turned so far from God and I know his soul is in a bad place . I want to do the same that he did for me . PRAY. If I can’t be beside him offering encouragement , its my life goal to ask God to lead him out . I care about him and I feel it is my duty , which I take seriously and with honor to lift him in prayer. I just know God will work on him and even if my husband never comes back to me , I know that God will bring him peace and forgiveness . I just want my dear husband to be free again and to love God .

  9. Cathy Carson says:

    I needed this encouragement so much right now. In June, we will reach 5 years of separation. April 14 was are 32nd anniversary. We have 3 children and 1 granddaughter. I know, without a doubt, God’s best is for our family to be whole again through a healed, God centered marriage. It is so difficult sometimes! Some important things are happening, as I seek God’s direction. James tells us that when we seek wisdom from the Lord, we shouldn’t doubt and be like a wave tossed about in the ocean. I read that differently than I ever have Friday. If I ask God what I should do and He says stand, and I say, “Was that really you God?”, where is my faith? Recently, I’ve heard it said that finding joy by following God’s will is being the best version of yourself. I’ve considered standing my situation. I’m starting to believe it’s more about who I am, a standing wife. Just as God has called me to serve him through music, as a teacher and choir director, I believe He is calling me to be a standing wife and will show me the joy in that! Thank you again for the encouragement.

  10. Gene says:

    I’m here in the thick of it. Thank you for being here. I got served papers out of the blue on June 21. No reason given. Just 2 affidavits from my wife and 16 year old daughter stating that I am dangerous due to mental and emotional instability. That they felt that when I received the paperwork I would plummet emotionally and then become volatile posing a treat to them and myself including suicide. With no history of such behavior I couldn’t understand it. Now I have found out that my wife’s uncle is saying that with his 18 yrs in the domestic violence Dept that he knows what he’s talking about and that I’m fixin’to escalate and that I’m capable of anything. My daughter has also been encouraging my wife to “stick to it” with the divorce. So I’ve had a rough 2 months having not been able to talk to the 2 most important people in my life knowing that their scared of me do to an outside source whom they trust because of his “experience” and relationship. I stand with God, He is using this time to grow me to be the man he wants me to be and I continue to raise my family to Him for healing and restoration. Thank you for adding your prayers to ours.

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