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Friday, January 2, 2015

Stay In A Bad Marriage?

First...my definition of "bad" for this post ends at "abusive". One should NOT stay in a marriage that in which physical or emotional abuse is present. Period.

But what about the marriage that just doesn't seem to work? Where you're always at odds, never really on the same wavelength. One - or both - of you are afraid to really say anything beyond mundane comments about the daily routine, because anything deeper invites argument.

And you can't remember when it was different.

What do you do? Do you stay, or do you call closing time, and move on with life?

There are good reasons to leave. You've got one life on Earth, and surely God doesn't want you to spend it shackled to an antagonistic stranger?

And the older you get, the harder it gets to find someone else, and commit.

If there are children, surely it';s better for them to have the chance to live in a happy home?

And so on.Lots of good reasons.

But there are some good reasons to stay,as well.

  • You made a promise before one another, he community, and God. Nowhere in the wedding vows is there an escape clause that allows you to split because of "irreconcilable differences".
  • You're probably as much of the problem as is your husband or wife, and if a new relationship begins it's likely that similar problems will develop, unless you're marrying the functional equivalent of a therapist.
  • The world's a hard and lonely place, and kids need to see that couples can stay together, and that they don;t bug out when things get - and stay - uncomfortable.
  • It can get worse, but it can get better, too. People need to be understood, and if, instead of bemoaning your difficult life you make an effort to to truly listen, and try to understand...you may uncover your spouse's problems. And you own.
  • Someone always gets hurt; there is no pain-free divorce. Incomes (usually but not always womens') go down, and aside from rejection a wife may be looking at incipient poverty.
Even when the marriage is dull or "scratchy", there is a lot to be gained in staying with it.

What do you think?

And if you have a moment, please drop in at my other blog, "Starting The Day With Grace".


  1. Due to growing up in an abusive household I would never suggest one stay in an abusive marriage. It damaged our young minds and it took the Lord working in my survivalist heart to heal. I ask my mother at one point, why do you stay with him and she said, you will understand when you grow up...I still don't understand. She lives now in the guilt of her poor decisions even though we three kids never put guilt on her. I have scars not wounds anymore, thank God and He never waste a thing, even our pain. Your points to stay in in a marriage are important to talk about when a marriage if falling apart. God is in the restoring business, He restored our son marriage after he walked out on his wife and two young children. We understood why he walked out but did not agree with it. They remarried after two years BECAUSE our son came to the end of himself and got his heart right with God which in turn helped him put his marriage back together. Both of them were to blame for their marriage falling apart, the divorce was all my son doing. We as his parents chose to love on them both and pray that our son would be miserable which he was. all the points you wrote were factors in him coming to the realization running away did not take away the hurt and pain, it only added to it. My husband and I have been married 50 years this past Oct. Those years without the Lord were terrible..how we stayed married is nothing short of a miracle. You word, dull and scartchy are mild words for what can go wrong in a marriage. One thing that God has taught us is we both had to make forgiveness a lifestyle in our marriage. This is a great post and I am going to report it on my fb wall. Thanks you.

    1. Thank you, Betty. Your story means a lot.

      My wife and I were also divorced and remarried - and the fault was on me. God is, as you so rightly point out, a restorer!

  2. Point #2 is right on. We think our new dreamboat will make our lives perfect. One of the many problems with that train of thought is that we're still imperfect, and we drag all our stuff with us into the next relationship. What a recipie for disaster.

    I encourage my clients to keep working at their marriage until they can stand before God one day and say that they left no stone unturned.

    God help us all ...

    1. We do need His help!

      I like the way you put it, Linda - to make your clients accountable to God. It puts marriage in the right perspective.