Don’t Divorce On a Friday: 7 Ways to Save Your Marriage
- Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Your mate tells you they don't love you anymore, asking for time to "find" themselves. Maybe you've just traced the clues leading to finding your mate has been having an affair. Maybe you're well past an immediate crisis, and now face an impending court date legally ending your marriage.
Wait. Slow down. Unless you stop and consider everything, you may begin a downhill slide that can pull your marriage even further out of control. Even though your situation appears hopeless, and you feel incredibly helpless, there are things you can do to save your marriage.
While the stats may be alarming, many marriages can be saved. You don't need to stand by, helplessly riding an emotional roller coaster, bracing for the next brick wall. You can take control of your life.
I make this audacious statement because I've seen hundreds of marriages saved by taking certain identifiable actions, and likewise I've seen many make matters worse by taking equally identifiable actions. If you will take the time to learn these patterns, you place yourself in a powerful position to change the direction of your marriage.
So, the obvious question is, "What are those identifiable actions?" Even asking this question means you are ready to stop and consider where you are and how you got there. You are ready to allow this crisis to become an opportunity for growth, taking these powerful steps to save a marriage on the brink of divorce. No matter what stage of disrepair your marriage is in, these steps—one for every day of the week—are powerful. Take one, each day of the week, and repeat as needed.
Here we go...
Don't use ANY coercive actions, including arguments, persuasion, Scripture or other means, to talk your mate into staying in the marriage. Yes, this goes against natural inclinations. When threatened we want to browbeat our mate into staying in the marriage. We use statistics, persuasion, coercion and even Scripture to implore them to stay. However, this doesn't work and in fact turns our mate off and pushes them further away. They will run from such intense, harmful action.
Do offer your loving presence and accept it if your mate feels the need to leave the marriage. Be respectful, kind and gentle with them, perhaps even empathizing with their desire to leave. Be stable, predictable and safe as they wrestle with their feelings, occasionally letting them know your desire is to save your marriage and will take remediable action to do so.
Don't set boundaries you are not ready to enforce. Don't make idle threats. Don't tell them you will inform their family, employer and neighbors about their actions. Again, this only pushes them away. They will feel your manipulation and resent it. This "nasty," desperate side only gives them more reason to leave.
Do set boundaries. If your mate doesn't want to stay, encourage them to leave. You must feel their intent to heal your marriage, and if they cannot offer it, they must leave. Let them know you must be treated with dignity, and if they cannot do that, it is best that they do leave. This show of self-respect will make a powerful statement to your mate.
Don't enlist family members, friends or other acquaintances to take up an offense against your mate. This makes a powerful statement to your mate—that they are wrong and their actions shameful. If you really believe they are this ‘bad,' and gather others into your corner, they will want to be away from you all the more. Such actions only make reconciliation more difficult and breed resentment in your mate.
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