Category: Divorce

Your Marriage is Worth it

Does divorce seem like the best alternative to you? If so, I hope you’ll read my book, Desperate Marriages. Divorce, unlike death, does not end contact with the other person, especially if you have children, nor is divorce a pretty picture financially. Research indicates that 73 % of divorced women experience a decline in standard of living.

One wife said, “Our marriage was bad, but our divorce is even worse. I still have all the responsibilities I had when we were married, but now I have less time and less money.”  The effects of divorce linger for a lifetime. So do yourself a favor, call a counselor, read a book, or reach out to a pastor. Your marriage is worth it.

 

Divorce and Remarriage

Q: Do divorced couples still have opportunities to speak each other’s love languages and happily remarry?

A: What I’ve found is there are a number of couples that have said to me, after they’ve divorced, they read my book The Five Love Languages and the lights came on. They looked back over their marriage, realized where they had failed each other, started dating and began to discuss this together, as well as speak each other’s love language. Then emotional love came back into the relationship and they were able to make a commitment to each other again and remarry.

Yes, I believe that many couples who separate and divorce could be reconciled if they learn to speak each other’s language and then spend enough time with each other to see that they are learning how to communicate love.

Do Your Child A Favor

When parents divorce, typically children feel intensely rejected. Children get angry at their parents for violating the basic rule of parenthood–parents are supposed to make sacrifices for children, not the other way around. Because we are creatures of memory, we may carry the pain of broken relationships for a lifetime.

After the divorce, most parents plan to continue good relationships with their children, but parent-child relationships are forever altered by divorce. As adults, they often fear that their own marriage will fail. And in fact, the divorce rate for ‘children of divorce’ is higher than for those whose parents stay together. So, do your children a favor, continue to work on your marriage.

The Answer is Learning

There are three radical and negative approaches to a troubled marriage: suicide, homicide, and divorce. The first two are considered unthinkable by intelligent, mentally healthy people. On the other hand, divorce is often seen as a humane way of ending the pain of an unhealthy marriage. Some have divorced two, three or more times and are still in search of a happy marriage.

When I did the research for my book: Desperate Marriages, I discovered that divorce does not solve problems; it creates problems—problems that never go away. The answer is not found in running but in learning. Learn what is behind your spouse’s bad behavior and then you can ask God for wisdom on how to respond. You can be a part of the solution.

Separation Does Not Equal Divorce

Sometimes separation is an act of love. Love says, “I love you too much to help you do wrong. I will not sit here and let you destroy yourself and me. Therefore, I’m moving out. If you want to make our lives better, then I am willing to go to counseling with you.  But I won’t continue to be a part of your destructive behavior.”

This is tough but it’s also love—Love seeks the well-being of another. In marriage love is doing whatever is necessary to help your spouse break sinful patterns. When separation is viewed as an effort toward redemption, it is indeed loving. For more on this topic, you may want to read my book, Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriage can be Healed.

 

Q&A: We are to the point of divorce. Can you help?

Question: My husband and I are at the point of divorce. Though he has agreed to look at some of your materials with me. Can you give us a starting point?

Answer: I would suggest you start with my book: The Five Love Languages. Ask him if he would be willing to read the first chapter this week if you read the first chapter. And at the end of the week, you will share one thing you learned and he will share one thing he learned. It’s a good way to get started. Then, if he feels good about it and you feel good about it, take chapter two the next week. Work your way through the book one chapter per week.

By the end of the book, I think you both will have rediscovered how to love each other, and how to stimulate warm feelings toward each other. Chances are he’ll be willing to share another book with you. Sharing a book is one way to stimulate marital growth.

Q&A: We are to the point of divorce. Can you help?

Question: My husband and I are at the point of divorce. Though he has agreed to look at some of your materials with me. Can you give us a starting point?

Answer: I would suggest you start with my book: The Five Love Languages. Ask him if he would be willing to read the first chapter this week if you read the first chapter. And at the end of the week, you will share one thing you learned and he will share one thing he learned. It’s a good way to get started. Then, if he feels good about it and you feel good about it, take chapter two the next week. Work your way through the book one chapter per week.

By the end of the book, I think you both will have rediscovered how to love each other, and how to stimulate warm feelings toward each other. Chances are he’ll be willing to share another book with you. Sharing a book is one way to stimulate marital growth.

Q&A: What should I do if my husband wants a divorce?

Question: We haven’t even been married 2 years yet and my husband is telling his friends he wants a divorce after every fight. Do you think he means it? What should I do?

Answer: Yes, the thought of divorce is in his mind. No one likes conflicts that end in ‘fights’ or ‘arguments’. When things don’t get resolved, we begin to think: “Oh no, I married the wrong person.” Then follows the thoughts of divorce. Of course, divorce is not the answer. The answer is in learning how to resolve conflicts. All couples have conflicts. Some couples learn how to listen with a view to understanding each other, then looking for a solution.

Other couples approach every conflict as an argument. They focus on winning the argument instead of solving the problem. In my book, Happily Ever After, I have a section on Solving Conflicts Without Arguing. I suggest you read it and discuss it together. If he is unwilling, then make an appointment with a counselor and invite him to go with you. If he refuses, then go alone. Bottom line? Don’t ignore the problem. Seek help.

Q&A: What should I do if my husband wants a divorce?

Question: We haven’t even been married 2 years yet and my husband is telling his friends he wants a divorce after every fight. Do you think he means it? What should I do?

Answer: Yes, the thought of divorce is in his mind. No one likes conflicts that end in ‘fights’ or ‘arguments’. When things don’t get resolved, we begin to think: “Oh no, I married the wrong person.” Then follows the thoughts of divorce. Of course, divorce is not the answer. The answer is in learning how to resolve conflicts. All couples have conflicts. Some couples learn how to listen with a view to understanding each other, then looking for a solution.

Other couples approach every conflict as an argument. They focus on winning the argument instead of solving the problem. In my book, Happily Ever After, I have a section on Solving Conflicts Without Arguing. I suggest you read it and discuss it together. If he is unwilling, then make an appointment with a counselor and invite him to go with you. If he refuses, then go alone. Bottom line? Don’t ignore the problem. Seek help.

Q&A: How do I learn to deal with my fiancé's first marriage?

Question: I’m engaged to someone who has a child from a former marriage. It bothers me. Will I ever get over the mistakes he made when he was younger?

Answer: Probably not. This is one reason why second marriages are so difficult. I don’t mean you can’t learn to deal with it, but it will always be a factor. Until the child becomes an adult, your fiancé will likely have some contact with the mother of the child. This creates all kinds of emotions in you, him, and the child. It is a reality with which you must live. I’m not saying you should not marry him. I’m just saying you need to be realistic and decide how you are going to deal with this reality.

Holidays, recitals, sporting events, graduations and weddings are always more complicated in a second marriage. I suggest you talk with some of your friends who are in such marriages and ask how they have handled these issues. Also, pre-marital counseling would be a wise investment. Don’t ignore your concerns. They will not go away with time. Finding answers to these issues is one of the purposes of engagement.

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