Apr 242013 0 Responses

When a Marriage Falls Apart

If two people want to make a marriage work, they can.

I’m yet to see a situation where a marriage couldn’t be restored. Yet what two people can do, one person cannot do. On a regular basis I see a marriage in ruins where one person wants to do everything in their power to make it work and the other wants to do nothing but end the marriage. When only one wants to do the work, the marriage is doomed.

Not every marriage will make it. No matter what we do, we cannot cut the divorce rate to 0%. Some marriages will fail. Many people who never dreamed they would get divorced, end up with a marriage that doesn’t make it.

Here are a few things to consider if your marriage falls apart:

Move slowly. Speed kills. Never rush into a major decision, especially one such as divorce. Sometimes time will encourage the other spouse to make an effort on the marriage; sometimes it won’t. Either way, you need time to make sure you are not rushing a decision. Rarely do I meet someone who regrets taking an extra month or two to decide what to do. I often interact with people who regret a rash decision.

Don’t trust your heart. Hurting hearts shouldn’t be trusted. The deeper the hurt, the greater our chance for deception. Do everything you can to make rational decisions instead of choices based solely on emotion.

Don’t listen to your friends. They mean well, but friends rarely give good marriage advice. They lack the experience necessary to give wise counsel. Everyone needs friends to walk beside them, but we need to follow the advice of knowledgeable people. Find an expert and follow their advice.

Seek joint counseling if kids are involved. Even if the marriage ends, parenting will continue. A couple must find a workable way to communicate and interact on behalf of the children. Seeking assistance in creating routines and lines of communication can go a long way. While it is difficult, a few joint counseling sessions can save a year of trouble.

Find a safe community. The great danger of a broken marriage is isolation. We were created for community, yet we drift toward being alone. While a community can’t replace a spouse, it can provide relationships which can empower us through dark times. As tempting as it might be to avoid everyone, choose some people and force yourself to be around them.

Wait before starting a new relationship. The only thing more foolish than spending money while grieving is getting into a serious relationship while grieving. Divorce is like a death (only worse because the person is still alive, has half of your stuff, and might start dating someone you hate) so grief will be present. Grief interferes with eating, sleeping, and our ability to reason. We are in no state of mind to make major decisions. As difficult as it might be, wait a year before entering into another relationship.

There are few things more painful than divorce. The most important thing to remember in the midst of the darkest hours is don’t make it worse. By following these few steps we can begin heading in the right direction.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone whose marriage has fallen apart?


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