Pat and I had repeated the divorce discussion on a quarterly basis for fifteen years. Tired of the loneliness and conflict, I just wanted him gone. Those living the Perfect Marriageor at least pretending they were, found it easy to judge.
When I meet with a husband and a wife whose marriage is unraveling, I initially feel as discouraged as the two people sitting in front of me. Puzzling over the impasse, I pray for insight, any insight that might reverse the deterioration of a marriage. Often, and quite unexpectedly, a light switches on in my mind: God can mend this union. Yes, He can. He alone can.
In either case, I pray that the following tips shared here will be a practical help to you, and that God would use this offering, combined with His grace and power, to make a difference for good. This article is intended to share helpful tips based on my personal and professional experience that allow couples to have a growing, nourishing marriage that will last for life.
The tips below reflect a blending of the two that I have seen make all the difference in a couple staying happy long-term in their marriage versus ending up shipwrecked on the shores of divorce and misery. Tip 1: Make sure love is more than a feeling Love is typically experienced at the feeling level early in a relationship. The Greeks called this Eros love. In a new relationship, physical attraction combined with outward personality qualities provide the fantasy for romantic love. I say fantasy because early in a relationship, it is impossible to know someone deeply.
In his book, Getting the Love You WantHarville Hendrix theorizes that we are attracted to someone who has the outward qualities that represent someone who will meet all our unmet love needs. Further, he adds that we also pick someone who has some of the negative qualities of formative love objects parents in the hope that we can master getting love from a familiar feeling person who is limited in giving the love we require.
Whatever the reason, romantic love tends to fade as we realize that not only is our spouse not going to meet all of our needs, but they will also at times be a source of frustration to our needs. Agape love is a selfless love that gives whether the love given is returned or not. This type of love is commonly associated with God. In Matthewwe can see an example of it demonstrated between Jesus and Peter. I have found this a great model to apply to marriage.
Doesn’t god want to save my marriage from divorce?
Sacrificial love with a vision of what the person could be if they felt loved in the deepest parts of the heart. The tendency to criticize and demand that our spouse change more to our liking tends to produce short term at best. In my experience, the returns on this kind of marital investment are too numerous to count. It just requires a belief in the power of sacrificial love.
The common theme between all of these marriage killers is that they focus on keeping the marital problem on the outside of the person experiencing the marital difficulty.
How to deal with your devastation and loss: worship.
In Jamesthe writer takes a much more inward focus to solving relational conflicts. The practicality of this verse is amazing! This verse teaches us to put into words and name our desires, and entrust them to God first. This process alone helps us take ownership of things occurring on our own boundaries without making another person solely responsible for it.
Having faith about God meeting our desires is naturally a much Save my marriage christian stable place to negotiate with our spouse Psalm Further, when we name a desire, we can then consider how God may view fulfillment versus what we would come up with on our own. For example, when my wife talks to me in an elevated tone, I feel disrespected. God may view it differently. My wife has commented many times how having the heart of a servant in the middle of a conflict softened her heart and made her want to be humble. Tip 3: Put your marriage first, second only to God Marriage is a sacrament that God expects us to put our faith in as something that is deed to help and fulfill us in this life.
Learning to honor and commit to a person unselfishly sets the foundation for a good marriage.
Intimacy is meant to be harnessed in an exclusive marriage relationship, not attained with self-interests as the priority. In this passage, the running water symbolizes our desire for intimacy as it flows from us looking for a place to contain it. It talks about the importance in exclusivity in our investment.
Life is busy with work, kids, money concerns. It is easy to make our marriage relationship an equal or even lessor priority in terms of time and energy. Twenty years later, when the kids leave, they struggle, realizing they have not built intimacy through the neglect of their marriage. Even without these dynamics, a marriage will deteriorate all on its own if it is not made a priority.
It must be sown, cultivated, and watered to reap a harvest of intimacy.
Save your marriage alone
How, practically, can we make our marriage a priority? Here a few practices I have found helpful over the years, but this list could go on:. Finally, if you are stuck in your growth together with nothing working, make getting professional help a priority. Repetition of the pattern is deed to maintain balance within the relationship, but may lead to dysfunction. For example, a husband who is self-absorbed may leave his wife without any room in the relationship to share her thoughts and feelings in a meaningful way. Examples of dysfunction could be: excessive eating, over-involvement with kids, an affair, depression, angry conflicts, or asking for a divorce.
The first step in changing a pattern is knowing what part you play in it. Because family patterns tend to work on a feedback loop, initial efforts to change will encounter resistance.
Practical tips to save your marriage
The good news is that if one of the spouses can persist in their efforts to change their part of the pattern, the other spouse will naturally be pointed toward change as a new balance point is set in the marriage. Using the example above, the wife may start being honest about what she needs for a fulfilling romantic relationship. It will never be enough. If the wife can maintain an open but firm stance, the husband will have to choose: increase my emotional availability to get balance in our romantic life or stay the same, suffering the consequences.
What is frequently overlooked in this passage is the expectation for a mutual commitment to growth and spiritual commitment. Providing simples tips to save your marriage is not meant to imply that fixing marriage problems is an easy endeavor.
The above tips reflect simple principles that can be quite involved and complicated in applying to your individual situation.
People have complicated life histories and dynamics that they bring to their marriages. Often couples are dealing with dysfunctional patterns that have built up over decades.
If you would like help applying Biblical principles like those above to your marriage situation, please at Bellevue Christian Counseling so that one of our trained therapists can work with you to help you save your marriage. When a couple is committed to one another in a caring relationship, there is a natural progression in their physical Before we begin, allow me to lay some groundwork.
4 tips to save your marriage
While I have gained a lot of insight into the psychological dilemmas that couples face through secular study, my worldview about marriage as an institution is shaped through my faith as a Christian. Like us if you are enjoying this content.
References Gottman, John. Why Marriages Succeed or Fail.
Can god save my marriage?
Hendrix, Harville. Getting the Love You Want.
Benjamin Deu. Barney Armstrong. In office and online counseling is available if needed.