Q: I don’t think I can take it anymore—yet I don’t want to get a divorce. What advice can you give me to help me stick it out?
A: Maybe you have grown weary in your marriage and parenting. You have tried everything you know to do, but your situation hasn’t changed. Your husband doesn’t seem to appreciate what you do for him. Your wife is never happy because you can’t seem to make enough money for her. You feel hopeless and discouraged with no change in sight. You may have given up.
Let us encourage you. God is working in your situation even though you may not see it right
now. Remember when Elisha and his servant were in the city of Dothan surrounded by the enemy army? The servant was terrified, but Elisha was calm. He prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” (2 Kings 6:17). At that moment, God opened the servant’s eyes to see that the enemy was surrounded by horses and chariots of fire. God was there all along; the servant just didn’t see him.
God calls us to desire what he desires above all things. Are you struggling to see what God is
doing in your marriage? Pray that God will also open your eyes to see that God is at work in your marriage. Realize that it is God’s job to change your spouse, not yours. Your job is to respond to the Spirit and choose to follow his ways even when you don’t understand what he is doing.
Admit to God your own hard-heartedness. Confess any pride that may be blinding you to what he is doing. A tender and sensitive heart will be ready to respond to God at the slightest nudging. Then act on what he reveals to you. Live it out by loving your spouse at the deepest possible level. As you guard your spouse’s heart, you and God are fighting a winning battle for your marriage.
Why You Might Be So Unhappy in Your Marriage
Doing the “me” thing. Marriage is a “we” thing, not a “me” thing. Maybe you have gotten selfish and set expectations on your spouse to fulfill and meet your needs, your wants, and your desires instead of thinking of his or her needs, wants, and desires.
Making comparisons. Do you ever watch another couple who look like they’re doing just wonderful—and burn with envy? You believe that they have it all together, they’ve got excitement, there can’t be a dull moment in their marriage. What’s your next thought? Of course, you’re thinking about your own marriage and comparing what you’ve got going. That comparison leads to discontentment and unhappiness. Ironically, that couple who looks great on the outside is probably in the same place as you and your spouse—just in other areas!
Boredom. Maybe you’ve bought into the lie that is told so consistently in our society that relationships must be adventurous and exciting at all times! You must be realistic in the fact that there will be times that it feels repetitive and times of newness! Boredom is not a reason to end a marriage—it is definitely something that can change when two people decide to add spark to their marriage!
*For more practical marriage advice, check out The Great Marriage Q&A Book. It's available in our online bookstore!