So You Say Your Marriage is Over?

Today I want to speak to a certain situation that may or may not be the one you are in right now. But chances are if you’re not there now you may have been there before. And hopefully we can work together to keep you from ever going there again.

Where is this place I’m talking about? It’s the place where a husband, a wife, or both, come to a point that they want to give up on their marriage. It’s over. Let’s be honest, this is a very real place for a lot couples. I know because we have been there ourselves, on more than one occasion.

Becoming Best Friends for Life

How did we go from having a really bad marriage for twenty years to a marriage that has become everything we had hoped for? Well first of all, it took God’s grace, some counseling, and a lot of work. But along the way we discovered something very powerful, something we had lost through all of the fighting and communication breakdowns, we discovered how to be friends again. And the truth is we discovered how to be friends in a way we had never been before.

A funny thing happened along the way as we were making plans to split up for the last time. It was the night before Thanksgiving when we had our last big argument that ended with “we will just get a divorce.” But by the next day as we worked on the details of what we would do, we made a plan to wait until after Christmas and our son’s birthday in late December. It was then that we started behaving like mature adults. We were both hurting and we were sad, but we started to cherish our last remaining days together.

A Wrecked Car and a Valuable Marriage Lesson

There is something special about a first car, especially if it was a car you could be proud of.

My first car was a 72 Plymouth Duster with a V-8 engine and a stick shift in the floor transmission. It was sky blue with two flat black hood scoops and white racing stripes on each side. It was not the fastest car around but it sure was fun to drive. It was the only one around and anyone who knew me knew how much I loved it. The car seemed to be made for me.

100_0296

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was sixteen when my Mom bought me that car and I was still driving it a year later when Janet and I started dating. During the eighteen months we dated I even taught Janet how to drive it. She had always been afraid of straight drives.

Two Words That Were Worth Every Tear

I will never forget that Sunday at church. It was a little over five years ago, yet it seems like yesterday. It was a day when two words moved me deeply, two words that made every tear I had ever cried worth while.

 

838284_70352398

I was standing in front of the pew singing and worshiping the Lord. It was a holy atmosphere. The music was loud and the songs flowed seamlessly one to another. At times I stood there with my eyes closed as I embraced the Lord’s presence. Other times when my eyes were open I could see people all around me worshiping the Lord in their on way.

As my eyes scanned around at all the people I was sharing this experience with, I looked up and behind the worship team was the choir. There in the choir was my wife Janet. She was singing her heart out with her hands lifted up, caught up in the presence of the Lord. And I knew she loved every second of it.

How to Solve 90 Percent of All Marriage Struggles

How does it feel when you want your spouse to understand you? To understand the reason behind the way you think or feel. They may not agree with you. Their opinion may be different from yours. But you want them to at least understand your perspective. You want them to understand why you see things the way you do. What you want is for them to have empathy.

Solve 90 percent

Research Shows

In Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott’s book, “I love you more,” they said, “Research has shown that 90 percent of our struggles in marriage would be resolved if we did nothing more than see that problem from our partner’s perspective. Empathy is the heart of love.” 

They went on to say that, “When we empathize with our partner, we will never look at him or her the same way again. That’s the magic of empathy. It brings more understanding. And understanding brings patience. And patience brings grace……..grace primes the pump for the unnatural act of forgiveness.”

9 Ways to Keep from Losing Hope

We all need hope. No one wants to live life without it. Anyone that has it, tries to hang onto it. Anyone that has lost it, wants to get it back.

When we want to do anything significant in our lives we have to have hope stirring in our hearts. That includes having a great marriage. And if we want our marriage to overcome all of life’s struggles, we have to have hope for what our marriage can be and hope for where our future will take us.

9 ways to keep from losing hope

Hope is something we are naturally inclined to. We just have it without any effort to create it. It is formed out of our desire for something and our belief we can have it. It’s the image we carry in our hearts of what life should be and what life could be.

Committed to a Covenant

Commitment in marriage is an absolute essential for a marriage to last. It’s the promise we make to each other, “until death does us part,” that gives us the hope of going the distance of being married for life. And when we are challenged with very difficult circumstances we find out how committed we really are. In Life decisions, I talked about my own hopes for a lifelong marriage and how commitment has seen me through some difficult times. All marriages start out with this vision of going the distance of being married for life.

committed

But, have you ever questioned the reason for saying wedding vows? Could it be that the vows themselves are indicators of what challenges a marriage will face? For better or for worst, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, are just some examples of what we have all said. We said these vows as a way of swearing our commitment to each other through whatever circumstances we would face. We swore our commitment in preparation for the tough times. No one ever swore their commitment for something that is easy, fun, and always enjoyable, there’s no need for it. But when we commit ourselves to something that promises to challenge our commitment, we swear a vow to ensure our commitment.

Life Decisions

The decision was made. I was only thirteen years old, but it turned out to be one of the biggest decisions of my life. At the time I didn’t know how important the decision was. I wasn’t aware I had made a “life decision,” but I did. I had made a decision that would set the course of my life. A “life decision” that would determine who I was and how I would live.

Life decisions

As I watch my mother lie in bed for two weeks overwhelmed with grief because her world had just fallen apart when my dad left, I knew right then when I married, my marriage would be for life. I knew I never wanted to hurt the way she was hurting and I knew I would never be the one to hurt someone else that way. Right then and there I made one of the most important decisions of my life, I made a “life decision.”

Jack’s Boots

It was my choice for him to leave and with reluctance, he agreed. Jack and I had done this many times before. We knew the routine; we knew how to break up. This was the fourth time and we knew it was final, no question in our minds. There was no slamming doors, no screaming, no ugly words, just a sad calm. And the occasional turning away from each other to gather ourselves as tears would run down our faces.

Jack's boots

There was always a cloud of sadness to see him leave and we always cried together. I could never understand that. Many times we could not go through with it, so we would stay together. Although this time the fighting had ceased and we had been trying to rebuild, we found we were too wounded and numb to even know how to rebuild. We knew it was final, it was over, he was tired and so was I.

We had been through nineteen years of fussing, arguing, fighting against one another and not understanding one another. Over the years we had beat upon each other emotionally so bad that the only hope for a bright future was to go in separate directions.