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Fighting to save your marriage can be a lonely endeavor. Especially when you seem to be the only one fighting for it. You spend all of your time reading books and articles on how to be a better wife; you drive yourself fifty-shades-of-crazy doing every possible thing to take better care of yourself, the kids, and your home, but your efforts go unnoticed. The burning sting of rejection is maddening. And no matter how hard you try to hide it, you can’t. Your anguish is written all over your face, and it pours out like vinegar from your lips whenever you open your mouth to speak. You desperately want to save your marriage, yet you are left feeling exhausted, defeated, and lonely. So, what does a woman do when common logic, your best friend, your mother, and even your dog tells you to just give up and move on? Do you heed their advice and wave your little white flag in surrender?
Don’t give up on him just yet sister! As long as there is still air in your lungs, there is still hope for your marriage!
I came across an article this morning that completely blew me away. This article revealed some attitudes and behaviors that I have been blind to and completely unaware of. Attitudes and behaviors that I clearly still need to work on if I want my husband to notice that I am serious and completely and totally 100% committed to saving our marriage. You can read the original article HERE.
6 Steps You Can Take Right Now to Save Your Marriage
- Decide if your marriage is worth being saved.
- Build your faith and stay positive
- Learn how to control your explosive emotional outbursts
- Don’t talk to your spouse–instead, talk to God
- Don’t do/say things to get a reaction out of him
- Accept what God allows
If your husband tells you that he wants out of the marriage, or even if he says that he wants to remain married yet seems to show little to no effort in saving the marriage, that obviously means your marriage is over right?
Well, not necessarily…
If you are not a woman who has a strong faith in the Lord, then there is absolutely no point in reading this post. The things that I’m going to talk about in this post might sound ludicrous and even downright ridiculous to the average individual. Why? Because we live in an era with a society that will look at you and say: “What’s wrong with you?” “You are crazy.” “You do realize that you are just wasting your time, right?” “He isn’t worth all that.” “You’re stupid, you’re dumb, you’re weak”—and any other unsolicited comment that someone has made about your decision to fight for your marriage.
It is YOUR decision; that means, what anyone else thinks really doesn’t matter.
In the article, the author mentions that she watched a documentary where a man “very up in age” had been married for over seventy years. The interviewer asked him, “For you to have been married for over half a century, can you please tell us what the secret to marital longevity is?” His answer was so simple that it blew her away. It blew me away too. Why? Because sadly dear sister, I’m a fool. I am guilty of doing the exact opposite! So what did the man answer? He answered, “The key to making your marriage last is to keep everyone else out of it.”
OUCH! What a slap in the face that was for me!
Who is everyone else? Your mother, your father, your siblings, your kids, …and guess who else? Yep, you guessed it! Even your best friend. It is the people who are seemingly closest to you, those whom you feel you can trust with even your darkest secrets, that have far too much to say about you, your marriage, your husband, and especially, your decision for your marriage.
Sometimes, in times of crisis, our worn and weary emotions take over. And in desperation, we may seek wisdom, counsel, and advice from a trusted friend or family member, a pastor or elder within our church or anyone whom we feel may be able to shed a little light on our very dark situation.
When you decide to stay and fight for your marriage, even when your husband is all the way out, (or if it seems that he is), it is your closest friends and family, who will think you are a fool, and that you are wasting your time waiting for someone who is not going to change.
But guess what, sweet sister? It is NOT their decision! Nor is it their marriage, or their life! It is your decision! Your life! Your marriage! You do NOT need anyone else’s stamp of approval in order to prove that you meant the vows that you made before God and man (til death do you part)—even if you or your husband have previously broken your vows, your marriage is still worth fighting for.
The key to making your marriage last is to keep everyone else out of it.
Know this, sister, there is absolutely nothing that you can do that will change your husband or his mind. Think about it for a moment; if there were actually something that you could have done to change him or even his mind, you would have never gotten to this point. This is why it is absolutely crucial to your marriage that you understand: you cannot control your husband, you cannot control his actions, nor can you force him to abide by the vows that he made. There is only ONE person who you can control. That person is yourself.
Here are six steps that you can take today to help save your marriage, even if your husband has decided that he wants out of the marriage, (or it seems that he does.)
Step 1: Decide RIGHT NOW if Your Marriage is Even Worth It to You
Even if your husband tells you that he wants out of the marriage, (or even if he is acting like he wants out), you still have a choice to make. You must decide for yourself whether YOU want to be in or out. But before you make that decision, you need to decide two things:
1. Is it worth it to hold on?
2. Is God trying to shut a door that you’re stubbornly trying to force open?
I cannot answer these questions for you, sweet sister. These are two questions that are meant to be discussed with your heavenly Father in prayer. Ask Him, and wait for clear direction from Him.
In my situation, my answer is a clear and resounding, “YES”. I have invested nearly 25 years, (more than HALF of my life) in my marriage. Despite that pain and tears and how many times that I have messed up, I can’t just throw in the towel so easily.
Step 2: Build Your Faith & Stay Positive
Even though it takes two to be married, please don’t underestimate the power of a strong, determined, faith-filled woman who prays for her husband and marriage. In this case, we have to emphasize faith-filled. Without faith, this will never work. The reason why faith is so important here is that without faith in God, you are looking to your husband to do what he’s supposed to do as a husband. You are placing your hope (faith) in him. You hope that eventually, he will come to his senses and do the right thing. But as he lets you down time after time after time, you will eventually begin to lose hope in him, and thus lose hope in your marriage.
Though easier said than done, and something that I struggle with immensely, it is critical to remain positive. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Use words that are uplifting, encouraging, and edifying, not words that bring further damage and destruction. Practice remaining silent if you have nothing uplifting to say, especially if you are angry or upset about something that your husband has said or done that may have been hurtful to you. Though this may be hard to do at times, especially when you are feeling anything but hopeful and positive, a negative attitude coupled with a negative situation is a recipe for disaster and destruction. So, try to remain positive and hopeful about your future, whether it entails a future with or without your husband.
Step 3: Control Your Emotions, Don’t Let Your Emotions Control You
This was another slap in the face for me! I must admit, this is where I struggle most. As a woman living with mental illness, emotional regulation is one of the many symptoms that are a daily battle for me. Controlling my emotions is not as easy as painting my toenails!
The threat of divorce can be very scary, frustrating, and unbearably painful. One of the most difficult things to do during this time is to control your emotions, especially when your entire soul feels like one huge open wound that your husband is continually pouring salt into.
Control your emotions, but DO NOT suppress them. Suppressing your emotions (not giving them any voice or expressing them in any way), will only cause those emotions to build up like water being forced back by a dam, eventually, the damn will break, and all of those suppressed emotions will explode and we will probably see you on the next episode of Snapped.
You can express your emotions while still remaining in control of them. When you feel anger building up inside you, you must decide the best way to express that anger instead of allowing the anger to decide for you. When you feel the heavy weight of sadness caving in your chest, you must decide the best way to express that sadness instead of just holding it inside. It is perfectly okay to cry—but try not to do it in front of the kids. And it is perfectly okay to scream, curse and smash things to bits if it helps you to release pent up anger and rage (but again, try not to do it in front of the kids).
Step 4: Don’t Try to Resolve the Issue by Talking
I hate to break it to you sister, but talking to your husband isn’t going to change a thing. If talking to him could actually fix things, wouldn’t everything be resolved by now? I would surely hope so! But instead, talking about things only winds up in bitter arguments and knock-down-drag-out bar-like fights. And this is when all of those bottled up emotions get the best and the worst of you both as anger wins and ugly, hurtful words shoot out from one another’s lips like firey arrows between the two of you, piercing into each other’s core, raging through your minds like venom from a viper’s fangs.
And talking to your best friends, family members, or coworkers is only going to make matters worse. Please stop and read that sentence again sister! I was a complete and total fool for sharing my marriage issues with family, friends, and even pastoral counselors. Instead of counseling me, and praying for me and my marriage, or helping me find solutions that would heal my marriage, more problems were created as my marriage and family problems became the talk of the town and Sunday sermons! Save yourself from the added trauma sister and go to God and God alone with your marriage issues. Don’t bring your woes to family or friends. All they will do is give their opinions about what they think you should do. And when you don’t take their advice they will shun you for not heeding their advice, and hate your husband for how badly he treats you.
The sad part is, that if your marriage is restored, you’re all smiles. However, the people who know the intimate details of how badly he hurt you will still hate him. I can personally guarantee that this will dramatically hinder healing within your marriage.
TIP: Instead of talking to other people about your marriage, why not bring your marriage to God and talk to the One who can actually fix things for you? Try this: everything you want to say to your spouse, say it to God through prayer. When he hurts you, cutting you deep into the depths of your soul, tell God and only God about it.
Here’s an example:
“God, did you hear what he just said to me? I am his wife! How dare he talk to me like that? Did you see how wrong he just did his kids? If I try to talk to him, he’s just going to shut me out and say, ‘See, that’s why I don’t want to be with you. Nothing I ever do is good enough for you.’ But God, even you see that he’s not even trying. He says he’s giving 100%, but God, you and I both see that he’s not even giving 10. He’s too concerned about her, running around, playing daddy to her kids while he’s ignoring his own children. He thinks the grass is greener on the other side, but it’s just a matter of time before they hit some stormy weather as well. God, you know what my husband is doing is not right. Please fix this situation, God, because I don’t know what else to do. Help us, God. Help my marriage.”
When you put your hope in God, it doesn’t really matter what your husband is doing or not doing, because your hope is in God who will never leave you or forsake you. This may be difficult for you sister. It is for me too! But you need to take your focus off what your husband is doing and put your focus only on God, and what all you need to accomplish in your own life while you are waiting patiently and expectantly to see how God is going to resolve the situation.
Here’s What Talking Turns Into…
Step 5: Get Off the Crazy Roller Coaster Ride
Do not try to do or say anything to get a response from your husband. It just won’t work. At least not in the way you hope it will. Stop calling him all the time. Do not bother trying to come up with a plausible excuse as to why you called him when all you really wanted was just to hear his voice. Stop trying to lure him back into your bed simply because of the fact that he is still having sex with you makes you feel like you have a 1-up on the other woman (if there is another woman). Stop wearing overly sexy clothes hoping you will get his attention. Have some dignity! Have enough self-respect not to go begging and pleading on your knees, crying and begging him to come back to you. Sister, you do not have to beg and plead and cry for a man to be with you! Getting off his crazy roller coaster will give you an insurmountable level of peace while you ride out the storm and wait for God to move in your marriage.
Step 6: Accept What God Allows
I cannot see into the future, and I do not pretend to have a crystal ball. I have no idea whether your marriage, (or even my own) is truly over or not. But what I do know is this; as long as there is still air in our lungs, there is still hope. Often in life, we find ourselves in situations where we feel like if we don’t get our way (like our marriage being saved), then somehow that means God has let us down. Even if you follow this the advice in this article to the T, praying incessantly for your husband and your marriage, he might still decide that he wants out of the marriage and file for a divorce. And when he does, there’s nothing you can do but go on with your life. Did God fail you? No. God NEVER fails us. In cases of chronic and unrepented sins such as adultery, pornography/sex addiction, or abuse/violence, to save you from further harm, it may not have been His will for your marriage to continue. In this case sister, you must accept what God allows.
If you have found this article to be helpful to you, please be sure to click HERE to read the original article that convicted me of my shortcomings, opened my eyes, and inspired this post.