This month I learned of 4 couples heading to or already going through a divorce. For some reason this brought me to tears. While CMM recently had 32 couples who signed up to enhance their marriage, there were at least 4 (that I know of) heading the opposite direction. I could say it brought me to tears because divorce is so painful and avoidable, or that divorce is selfish and the lazy route, but none of that was the case. It brought me to tears because I know what it feels like to see no hope in sight.
I know what it feels like to communicate about everything except your relationship.
I know what it feels like to know that your relationship is coming to an undeniable end.
I also know what it feels like to just sit and wait for (as the old folks would say) the other shoe to drop.
We (Sheldon and I) always used to say divorce is not an option and we would love to stick by that. The reality is divorce is not only an option, but people choose that option every single day.
So, what can you do when the option becomes way too real?
- Pray hard, pray often but most importantly pray together. Pray for your marriage, pray for your love and understanding, and pray that God helps you to see what you can change about yourself. Pray for don’t prey on your spouse. Love through prayer and believe God to do the work.
- Reset: We used to reset by taking a trip. We would go a couple hours away to a hotel where no one could find us. We often used Canada as our getaway because it’s close, and our phone plan forced us to pay an arm and a leg for calls. With us being the cheap couple we are, we chose instead to turn them off. This allowed us to only have one another to talk to, and no outside distractions. Know this can be both good and bad, so we had to make a no-argument rule as well.
- If a trip is not an option, a stay-cation is the next best thing. Create a mini paradise in one of the rooms of your house, and make it your retreat for a night or two. Recharge and relate to only one another. Play a good board game, read a good book together, watch a good movie and just enjoy one another. Don’t forget to hold hands, caress and love on each other as well.
- Date Night Routine. Incorporate a date night into your weekly routine and don’t deviate. Many couples fall apart because they’re so busy making time for others, they forget to make time for themselves. One of my favorite go to date nights costs little to no money. Put the kids to bed, spread a blanket on the floor, and hold a picnic right in your living room, bedroom or other open a space. The most important part is making time for one another. Purposeful, intentional, uninterrupted quality time is key.
- Finally I will always advocate for an impartial third party to help the two of you work through your issues. This could be a therapist, counselor, priest or pastor, but it needs to be someone who has no horse in the race. You need an individual who won’t take sides nor give unprofessional advice. Seek this professional through research and prayer, then allow the counseling process to take place. I say this meaning, don’t be so guarded or insecure that you don’t share, you over-share, or just act like you don’t care. Hey Imma poet and I didn’t know it (that was meant to make you smile).
Remember your Christian Marriage Matters and we are available for you if a marriage and family counselor is what you’re looking for. Reach out so we can help to create a plan where “Divorce is not an option”.
Therefore, what God has joined together let no man separate.
Mark 10:9, New International Version