"He felt I wasn’t doing my share of keeping house and making our family schedule work for everyone. He felt he was carrying the load all by himself. We started to fight over small things — not really yelling at each other — but complaining, criticizing, and arguing all the time?’

Carl is nodding his head as his wife speaks.

"Frankly, I thought I’d made another mistake," he admits. "Even though I’d been really careful before committing to marriage, perhaps I hadn’t been careful enough. I was tired of trying all the time. I felt nothing was working."

What kept the couple together?

"Just one thing," Judy explains with a wry smile. "We had both decided this relationship was permanent. Whether it worked well or not, it was going to endure and last forever. Basically, we had agreed beforehand that, one way or another, we were both stuck with each other."

"If we hadn’t done that, I probably would have walked," Carl confesses. "Not to blame anyone other than myself, but things just weren’t working out." He goes on to tell the story of how he and Judy later converted to Christianity through the influence of some close friends and that, these days, God is really helping their remarriage thrive and succeed.

"But," Judy insists, "with or without God, and whether our remarriage was going well or going badly, we’d still be together either way. We looked each other in the eyes, spoke the words out loud in front of our children and our friends, and made a decision that this marriage — for better or for worse — was for always."

A Place for Relationship Investment

When a husband and wife insist their remarriage is permanent and irreversible, they have taken an important step toward longevity and fruitfulness. Knowing that each partner is committed, come what may, helps each person feel safer and more secure.

For those who have experienced the dissolution of a prior marriage, it is vitally important to reconnect with the "‘til death do us part" dimension of the commitment. When both members of a remarriage understand there is no escape clause—no way out, no option other than staying together — a powerful and positive signal is received in the subconscious mind of each partner. This signal is a strong agent of behavioral change.

When your remarried spouse becomes your "partner for life" in every sense of the phrase, your marriage becomes a place where energy is invested to make the relationship the best it can possibly be. It can exhibit just as much strength, endurance, and longevity as the best of "original" marriages — just as much passion, security, and richness in the minds and hearts of both partners.

Taken from Happily Remarried by David and Lisa Frisbie, Copyright 2005 by David and Lisa Frisbie; Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene OR; Used by Permission.

Since 1982, David and Lisa Frisbie have been co-executive directors of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies in Del Mar, California. Their biblically based ministry of encouragement and training for couples and families has taken them throughout North America and to more than 20 other nations.