Marriages end every day because men and women believe a lie. Circumstances vary from one couple to another, but the lie is always the same. What lie do they believe? The lie they believe is that their marriage is over. And everywhere they turn they seem to always find voices that support the lie.
This happens when husbands and wives with troubled hearts going through tough times in their marriage reach out for help. And the people in their lives who try to help say things like, “it’s too late, your marriage is over.” “Your marriage is too damaged, you should just move on.” And “you deserve better than this. God has a better plan for you.”
It’s easy to find good advice on how to make a marriage last. Anyone married long enough to weather a few storms should have valuable things to say. If you ask enough people or read enough material you will probably get a wide variety of answers. So much so, It may be difficult to choose what is the best advice to focus your attention on.
Over the years since we started this marriage ministry, I’ve thought about this idea a lot. I’ve wondered as we prepared for teaching a class, or meeting with a couple for private coaching. Is there a single piece of advice that’s more important than anything else we share? Read more
I understand why some think their marriage is over when the love they used to feel for their spouse now feels dead. After all, it seems ingrained in our thinking if something dies you must get rid of it and replace it.
A lot of people view love as something akin to planting a tree in the backyard. If it dies you dig it up and replace it with a new one. Or, when a pet dies and you replace it with a new one. We do the same with a lot of our relationships with other people as well. When friendships fade and die off, we look for new ones. When leaders or mentors lose their place in our lives, we find replacements.
It’s no wonder we approach marriage with the same mindset as we do all these other relationships. The feelings of love can and often do fade. And there are times when those feelings can be outright flat lined, dead, completely gone. But does this mean the marriage has to be over?
The condition of your marriage depends on the connections you have with your spouse. If you have poor connections your marriage will suffer and struggle to survive. If you have good connections your marriage will grow stronger and stronger as the years go by. So if you’re wanting to save your marriage. Or, if you’re wanting to strengthen your marriage, your connection is the key.
For the longest time, I’ve been trying to answer a few questions about my own marriage. Such as, why did Janet and I struggle for so many years to keep our marriage together? Now that our marriage is strong, what has made the difference? And how is it that we clearly should have divorced on four different occasions, but somehow we survived each crisis? Read more
There are many husbands and wives who think their marriage was a mistake. They’re looking back with regret at their decision to marry. And they’re wondering now if there is some reasonable way they can correct their mistake. They don’t want to hurt their spouse, their children, or their family. But they just can’t imagine having to live with their mistake for the rest of their lives.
Maybe, this is the way you feel. Or, maybe you have a strong sense this is the way your spouse feels.
In either case, I understand this line of thinking. I’ve been there, on both sides. So I’m not here to pass judgment on anyone for feeling this way.
However, I do want to challenge this way of thinking and the reasonings that go along with it. Read more
Your marriage covenant is not an entitlement. And you should not take it for granted. You don’t get to say vows before a minister and expect that to be your guarantee to lifelong marriage. It takes more than that.
I believe many marriages are a lot less than they should be because people treat their marriage covenant as an entitlement. Their chase is over. They have what they wanted. Now they don’t have to give their marriage the same work they did when they were dating. When their former boyfriend or girlfriend had the freedom to walk away.
It’s easy to find yourself in a fight with your spouse without knowing how to let it go. You know you don’t want to be fighting. But the thing you’re fighting over seems too important, so you believe you must stand your ground. When this happens you need to know there are times when you have to lose the battle to save what you love.
There is a story in the bible that I think sets a great example for couples to follow. It’s a story that demonstrates the wisdom of king Solomon and how he resolved the conflict of two women. Read more
I will never forget the phone call I made that day. I was fighting to save my marriage and after weeks of sleeping on the couch because I refused to move out, I finally saw a glimmer of hope. Janet started showing she was willing to at least talk about our marriage and ask questions that sounded as if she was considering giving us another chance.
But for her to give us another chance, she needed to be free from this other guy. So it was then, after I started feeling this new hope, that I felt I needed to make a phone call and talk to this guy. If only, I could get him to back off and give her some space so she could make the decision that would be best for her and our children. Then maybe I thought, we would have a chance.
After all these years I don’t remember too many details of that phone call, except for two statements. As our conversation started turning into more of an argument I heard him say, “well you know, it takes two to make a marriage!” And before I knew it and without any hesitation, I answered back, “Yeah, but it only takes one to quit!”Read more
Do you want to know the reason it took 4 times of almost getting a divorce before our marriage straighten out? Do you want to know what had to change before we could have the marriage we both wanted? The thing that had to change was I had to stop trying to just smooth things over.
There was a cycle we were going through and it was because of the things I kept doing wrong. Time after time I kept finding a way to undo all the previous good I did to fix our marriage. Each time after we reached our breaking point I would begin to do everything I could to become a better husband. I didn’t want our marriage to end so I tried to change and I thought I was making some serious progress. But in the end, all I was doing was going through my own cycle.