by Kent Darcie
January and February have the highest number of filings for divorce every year1, but most have nothing to do with affairs or abusive situations. Two thirds of these filings are made by the wife2. Nationally acclaimed clinical psychologist, marriage counselor, and author Dr. William Harley, Jr. writes, ” Simply stated, women leave men when they are neglected.
“I hurt all the time because I feel alone and abandoned.”
“My husband is no longer my friend.”
“The only time he pays attention to me is when he wants sex.”
“He is never there for me when I need him the most.”
“When he hurts my feelings he doesn’t apologize.”
“He lives his life as if we weren’t married; he rarely considers me.”
“My husband has become a stranger to me, I don’t even know who he is anymore.”3
Do these words sound familiar? Are the divorce papers already hidden and you are waiting to get through one last Christmas? Have you ruled out divorce, but resigned yourself to the fact that “things will never change?” Have you allowed eight deadly words to creep into your mind—”maybe mom was right when she got divorced?”
Marriage is hard work. You know that, but you feel like you’re the only one making the effort. Battle fatigue weighs heavy on you and “that promise” is fading fast. “That promise” is the one you made to yourself that your kids would never go through what you did when your parents divorced. Now your thoughts whisper that you all would be better off without all the yelling and grief.
WARNING! There is a battle going on, but it is not in your marriage—it’s for your marriage!
“Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.”4 Satan knows where to strike and how to provoke. He can stir up hurts and anger with a simple look from our spouse. “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.”5 Take steps today to heal your heart and win your marriage back… biblically.
1. Pray – Throw out your net again
But I’ve BEEN praying and nothing is happening!! That’s similar to what Peter said to Jesus at the end of a long night of fishing.
“When he [Jesus]had finished speaking, he said to Simon [Peter], “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.”6
It may be tough and disheartening now and you may feel like you don’t have one more ounce you can put in to it, but pray for the Lord’s strength. Throw out your net again.
2. Understand – learn about your spouse and yourself
Review the resources on our resource page. If you are an adult with divorced parents or married to one, read a book on how the parents’ divorce impacts the adult child and their marriage.
3. Take Action
Do the good things now you are going to end up doing for someone else anyway in the future. Again, do the good things now you will willingly do in the future for someone else. Basically, if you do divorce and meet someone else, you are going to treat them well, do things for them, eventually love her, respect and honor him. DO IT NOW!!! Save yourself, your spouse, and your kids a lifetime of fractured holidays and everydays. Don’t make them go through what you still deal with because of your
One excellent source for effective marriage tools is http://www.loveandrespect.com. This site has tools to help you learn how to unlock the biblical power that true love and true respect can have on any marriage or relationship.
4. Enlist a Pastor, counselor, or friend for help
Share your real concerns with you pastor or other leader. Seek a biblical counselor that is committed to marriage and reconciliation—unfortunately not all of them are. A simple test is have they covered these issues regarding divorce? Most do not and you and your kids deserve all of the facts!
In addition to a Pastor of counselor, find a friend of the same sex who is committed to marriage and the word of God. Walk with them through this process. With God all things are possible, but we need someone to remind us of that sometimes.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO QUIT! Now is the time to take the steps to break the cycle of divorce!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 NIV
1 Rushefsky, Carolyn. “Divorce attorneys say January is one of the busiest months for filings.” January 8, 2008. Smart Marriages. http://www.smartmarriages.com
2 Block, Lee: “Why Women File For Divorce.” Huffington Post. www.huffingtonpost.com. Accessed October 6, 2012
3 Harley, Willard F. PhD. : “Why Women Leave Men.” September 23, 2010. http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8111_leave.html; Accessed October 6, 2012
4 1 Peter 5:8. New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
5 James 4:7-8, ibid.
6 Luke 5:4-6 New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society.