Response To: “My wife of 10 years has recently asked for a divorce. … Is it even possible we can work this out or am I holding on to false hope.”
I’ve recently gone through a similar situation with my wife. We have been married 9 years, and things basically have gone down hill from the day we got married until about 6 months ago.
Things aren’t perfect, but definitely for the first time I have hope about our marriage, that it can really work, and that it can really be more than just getting by but actually great.
Basically years of my going to counselors, her going to counselors, us going together, each of us going on and off meds, reading books, etc didn’t make for any kind of lasting change.
Here are a few points, let me know if you have questions about any of them and I’ll go into further detail. None of them really work on their own, but build off each other in no particular order
– I had to realize was that there was nothing I could do to change her, I could only change myself. Trite but true.
– I had to decide to love her whether she love me or not. Even if she never love me, I would first love her.
– I had to decide to love her even if she never changed or even if she changed for the worse.
– I had to decide I was in love with her and not what she did or didn’t do.
– Notice these are all DECISIONS, at no point did I guage success on anyone’s feelings. Feelings eventually catch up with whatever you DECIDE.
– Look it up, the bible says in two places “Husbands, love your wives”. Eph 5:25, Col 3:19. We are told to love our wives. God wouldn’t tell us to do it if we couldn’t. We can do everything He says we can do because Jesus strengthens us.
– It is NOT about what you can GET out of the relationship.
– It is ALL about what you GIVE into it.
– Relationships must be built. You must contribute love into the relationship.
– If each of you are expecting the other person to fulfill you, then you are each taking from the relationship until there is nothing left.
– A relationship is only built if both are contributing love into it. You may have to contribute in faith until you rebuild the trust. Do not expect your wife to contribute until she begins to trust you.
– If all you have to give is of yourself, then you will give yourself out. Draw your strength, hope, shelter, and love from God. He will fill you to overflowing, and out of the abundance of your heart direct that love to your wife.
– You may be right or have legitimate grievances. You must decide which is more important: to be right or to rebuild your relationship.
– Take responsibility for your actions and for your house. Do not pass the buck. The buck stops with you.
– Take this on like a project you might be assigned on your job. Realize that you will need a plan, a way to measure progress, milestones along the way, and a definite goal.
– You must fight for your marriage harder than you’ve fought for anything in your life. Do not stop or give up.
– Your wife is NOT the enemy.
– Direct your anger and battle at the true enemy that seeks to steal your joy, kill your relationship, and destroy your marriage.
– Reconciliation. Your wife may forgive you, but forgiveness does not mean immediate reconciliation of trust.
– You can love and forgive someone, but that does not mean you trust them or approve of everything about them immediately.
– Trust can only be earned and/or regained over time.