Before You Leave Your Marriage, Consider These 10 Practical Tips
It’s never too late! Yes, it’s never. I know your marriage may almost be falling off the cliff or it may have even fallen already.
You might be in a marriage where you and your spouse feel no love for each other anymore, communication is hard, you feel stuck with your partner and can’t wait to get rid of them, you are only there for your kids or there is always an excuse for you not to be with your spouse.
It may have started because she cheated or because he was irresponsible or because she never understood your principles and beliefs or even because he is involved in substance abuse. Now you feel hopeless, you resent your partner and you feel like stabbing him/her and moving on. But, listen to this!
From creation, it has never been God’s desire for a marriage to fail. He ordained it and desires to be glorified by it (Gen. 2:18, 21-25, 1 Cor. 10:31). Marriage is to be enjoyed and not endured. Now, you may say, “Oh, I’ve messed up real good, even God is angry.” But like I said earlier, if you operate a failed marriage or are a victim of one, it’s never too late to start all over. Crying over it and blaming others doesn’t help anyone. Doing something does! But what are these things? Before You Leave Your Marriage, Consider These 10 Practical Tips that can help reconcile you both and save your union.
1) INVOLVE THE FOUNDER OF MARRIAGE:
God ordained marriage and it is never His desire to see it fail (Gen 2:18, 21-25). It is good in His sight. However, if your marriage has failed, then you should know that the essence of Christ’s coming to the world is to save (John 3:17). He is the Savior of the Universe. Don’t you think He is more than interested and willing to save something He Himself ordained? If you look up to God and commit that marriage into His hands, He will save and restore it.
Prayer is one of the most remarkable ways to involve God. He wants you to pray (James 5:13). As a concerned spouse who is willing to see his/her marriage work after many setbacks, it is important you involve God. Who better can tell you how to revive a machine if not the manufacturer himself?
Yes, it is indisputable that God desires you to live out His perfect will in marriage, but when you fail, know that God is not a God who just leaves you to the cruel hands of fate because you made a mistake. If you call to Him, He will surely have mercy on you and He will save you (Rom. 10:13). Clergy, friends, and even children can intercede for you and God will surely answer in due time (Ezek. 22:30). Also, the Word of God is God speaking directly to you, listen to Him (Jn. 1:1).
2) BE LIKE CHRIST:
You are called a Christian because you are (to be) like Christ (Eph. 5:1). Why then the title if you don’t live it out? Ask yourself, “My marriage has failed. What will Christ do if He were in my shoes? Will he just abandon it and run away? Will he curse the man or will He commit suicide?” I’m sure after asking yourself, you will realize that these thoughts would not be anywhere in Christ’s mind. And You have His mind as a child of God (1 Cor. 2:16). So why don’t you act like Him?
When your husband comes back home and begins to pick up a fight with you, be like Christ and repay the insult with blessings (1 Pet. 3:9). Choosing to forgive, to love even when it hurts, to let down your ego, to give up your will, to not revenge, to not divorce, but rather, to keep pushing and praying requires a Christ-like attitude. You may be weak on your own but God is strong (2 Cor. 12:9). His Holy Spirit is mighty at work in you and He makes the journey easy and worth it.
3) TRUST RIGHT:
A problem shared is a problem half-solved. But in some cases, a problem shared is a problem added. Even there are hurts that can be relieved as one talks to another, just like iron sharpens iron (Prov. 27:17). Remember, you have to mind the iron sharpening you to ensure it does not deform you.
Not everyone who seems to care is trustworthy. Neither is everyone the balm of Gilead. Of course, it is important to speak out and not conceal your problems to yourself alone. But friends that are carnal are not worthy of your time, tears, and trust. If I need advice regarding my school work, I don’t ask truants. If you desire salvation in your marital relationship, then friends, clergy, and counselors who are uncompromisingly godly should be your confidants. Remember to place your trust infinitely in God who has no human failings (Ps. 22:5).
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4) LET GO:
“Let it go!” “But it hurts!” True, it does hurt, but holding onto the pains of yesterday never guarantees the happiness of today or tomorrow. If you’re a partner who desires to save your failed marital relationship, then you need to take the first step. Forgive yourself! Yes, forgive yourself! Tell yourself you made some mistakes but it is high time to move on. Then you go ahead and forgive your partner. You first forgive yourself and then your partner. The Bible tells us that forgiveness of others is the key to us receiving God’s own forgiveness. God will not forgive you if you don’t forgive yourself and your partner (Matt. 6:12).
If God still sees you as a ‘debtor of love’, how then will He intervene in your marriage and save it? If you keep seeing your partner through the lens of his/her imperfections and the hurts inflicted on you, then salvation for your marriage is still far away. You need to take a bold step. Forgiveness is not easy but it is possible with God’s help. Don’t forget, God forgave and still forgives you not when you were (are) good but as a sinner (Rom. 5:8).
Believe me, you are not His definition of perfection, but He did, anyway. You too can. Just tell God, “Dear Lord, forgiving him/her seems difficult but you forgive me always even when I don’t deserve it. I really want your blessings in my marriage. Please help me.” This works; always.
5) SAY NO TO NAYSAYERS:
Whenever you want to do something, remember that some people are just born negative, sad to say. Your desire to save your marriage does not make the whole world overwhelmed with applause for you. On the contrary, especially as a Christian, you have to deal with the negative statements of others just as Jesus did (Matt. 12:24). For example, you may desire to forgive your wife who cheated on you and all the surrounding voices echo: “You’re such a fool,” “Be a man!” “Show the fool who you are.” Now you’re left confused and wondering which step to take.
You should know that not everyone who claims to love you really does; some are just with you for the benefits they enjoy, or perhaps for something they need. Who knows if the spouse you wish to reconcile with has been the door standing in the way of them exploiting you? If you truly desire to save your marriage, then the ‘focus’ post sign should be right in front of your eyes and the ‘No’ post sign held high enough for every naysayer to see.
6) YOU MAY NEED A MEDIATOR:
As a spouse, if you notice that your marriage is failing or heading in that direction and you have tried everything in your power but it seems futile, you may consider involving a third party. Mediators can initiate dialogues and the other spouse who may not be willing to listen to you might likely give a listening ear if someone he/she holds in high esteem speaks to him/her. After a mediator listens to both parties, they may likely proffer solutions that may salvage the marriage. As a mature child to parents operating a failed marriage, being a mediator is not out of place. Our Lord Jesus who is God’s Son mediated on our behalf (Heb 8:6, Jn. 3:16).
Rather than siding with a particular parent and mistreating the other, it is necessary to sit your parents down and discuss the problems each may have concerning the other. The parents may likely see reason with their children and reconcile for their sake. As a child, I believe your first responsibility is to honor your parents (Eph 6:1).
Working to see your parent’s marriage work is a form of honor. Their divorce or separation does you no good. I have watched a movie where children of parents of failed marriages teamed up and got their parents into the love cycle once again. Clergy, concerned godly friends, and relatives can also step in and play the role of a mediator to save a failed marital relationship.
7) SEEK COUNSEL:
Counsel is good advice. One of the ways to save a marriage is to seek a counselor. It’s not a bad idea to reach out to experts in the relationship field. Many of them have had similar experiences or have counseled others experiencing the same. Reading books, posts, articles like this, audios, podcasts, and teachings on ways to save a failed marriage are part of counseling and could also prove quite helpful. Watching movies that tackle this issue like ‘War Room’ is a good idea.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to seek counsel in the right places and from the right people as a child of God. Not all marriage specialists or relationship experts are for you. Some can lead to your doom. If you desire a change in your marriage, then godly counselors should not be missing in your quest (Prov. 24:6).
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8) REMINISCE OFTEN:
Sometimes, when I feel really bad about myself, I go back to my old pictures, writings, and accomplishments and I feel very refreshed and happy afterward. So also, in a failed marriage, it is necessary as a spouse to think about the ‘good old days you may have had with your partner or places you visited, movies watched, songs sung, and clothes worn that initiated the ‘sparks’. Revisiting these past experiences makes it easier to relive them again.
It makes you remember that your spouse has not always been a beast, he was a prince formerly and you are now spurred to help him become Prince charming again. When David was depressed in the Bible, he thought about the former days of God’s goodness and he was encouraged to trust God again (Ps. 42:6-8). If you enjoyed a romance movie with your spouse in your youth, try re-watching it today. It will be a good remedy to help you see the hidden ‘rights’ in your partner not only his/her evident wrongs.
9) YOU’RE NOT PERFECT:
It is easy to think we’ve got it all figured out and our spouses are the wrong ones. In reality, no one is perfect. We only strive for it with God’s help (Eccl. 7:20, Phil. 3:12). Dig deeper, ask yourself where you have also gotten it all wrong, and work on it. Naturally, everyone thinks his/her own way is the best or he/she is always right but it is not always so.
You may think, “Oh, my partner is a cheat.” But your partner might also be thinking, “Hmm, why is she always shabbily dressed?” Now, I don’t mean you should start dressing irresponsibly to please your partner; it must be God first, before your partner. But, assess yourself, if truly you dress shabbily, then you should consider dressing better. Your partner may not notice the little efforts you’re making or the change in you immediately, but with consistency, you will eventually save your marriage. As you trust God to work on your partner, remember that God needs to work on you too.
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10) THEY NEED YOUR HELP:
Inasmuch as you feel your partner is to blame for your failed marriage, I think it is time for a rethink. For a spouse involved in substance abuse, of course, you don’t expect such a person to think vividly enough to care about marriage or even think of saving it. What such a person needs is rehabilitation and someone to stand by them. Who knows, if, by the time he/she is sane, the marriage may work. If he/she is irresponsible and manages money badly, why don’t you create another better template for managing finances in the home?
If your partner faces spiritual attacks, rather than despise him, dump him, or deride him like Job’s wife did (Job 2:9), you might consider praying for and standing by him. The problem might not just vanish like vapor suddenly but it is worth noting that slow and steady wins the race. Trust God as you help your partner; following God’s leading. You’ll be surprised at the outcome of your marriage.
To end this, patience is a virtue and also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. As a person concerned to see your marital relationship successful again, it is necessary you have this virtue or fruit. When you embark on a journey to save your marriage, you should bear in mind that your partner may not be as ready as you are. To however reap the fruits of a successful marriage, the fruits of the Holy Spirit, including patience, have to be grown and nurtured.
Again, before you leave your Marriage, consider these 10 Practical Tips by actually doing what you could and leaving the rest to God. By God’s grace, your marriage will be saved. And when it is, remember that God gets all the glory. I love you but God loves you more. Cheers to a successful marriage.
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