Category: Separation

When Your Spouse Walks Out

When your spouse walks out, is there still hope for your marriage? Separation does not equal divorce. Separation may be the valley of restoration, and the pain you feel may be the labor pains that will give rebirth to your marriage. What happens will be determined by what you and your spouse say and do in the next few weeks and months. In a very real sense, separation calls for intensive care, much like that given to one in grave physical danger. The condition of your marriage is ‘critical’. Things can go either way at any moment. Be assured, God is concerned about the outcome. Begin each day with prayer for His wisdom. When you ask, you will receive.

 

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.

 

Is There Ever a Time to Stop Loving Your Spouse?

A lady once asked me that question. She then said, “My husband physically and verbally abused me for eight years. He refused to work. I supported the family for 7 years. Then I got sick. Even then, he refused to get a job. I just got tired of it, so I left him. Was I wrong to stop loving him?”

“I’m not sure you stopped loving him,” I said. “This may be the best loving you have ever done. He may even get a job.” “Oh, he’s already promised me that he will get a job and be kind to me if I come back.” “Then let’s see if he follows through,” I said. “If he does, and is willing to get counseling, you can rebuild your marriage.” Sometimes it is tough love that brings a spouse to genuine repentance.

Separation Does Not Necessarily Lead to Divorce

It’s my conviction that separation does not necessarily lead to divorce.

Separation forces us to admit that we have serious problems. When we examine divorce, we realize that divorce doesn’t solve anything. In fact, it creates more problems. The best of our options is to seek reconciliation.

The Christian who makes this choice has all the help of God. God instituted marriage. He knows that marriage is not easy, but He also knows that He wants to use the pains of marriage to build us into more Christ-like people. When this happens, then the potential for a renewed marriage becomes real.  Are you asking God to use your present pain to make you more like Christ? As you grow in your own intimacy with Him, you will have His wisdom in what you should do in relating to your spouse. Your actions cannot control your spouse, but your actions will influence your spouse, for better or for worse.

Does Separation Equal Divorce?

I know that when couples separate, they’re not likely to be thinking “growth”.  Murder maybe, divorce—most likely. I really believe that separation can be a time of tremendous growth. Look, the two of you made some unwise choices that brought you to the point of separation. Now, with the help of God, the two of you can make some wise choices that will lead to reconciliation.

But my spouse is not willing to change! Okay, then are you willing to change? Are you willing to let someone help you examine your marriage to see what went wrong? You can’t make changes until you know what changes need to be made. Are you willing to admit that you may be just a small part of the problem? And your spouse may not always be the mean evil person they are today. God has changed some pretty rough characters in the past. Your spouse is not beyond the hand of God!

Q&A: Contemplating separation

Question: After 15 years of marriage, we are contemplating separation. We are both Christians but have had many battles, one being depression. I feel I’m done. Is there hope?

Answer: I understand how you might feel like giving up. Depression that extends over a period of time can be difficult to deal with for both of you. However, there is help for those who are depressed. The most successful treatment involves both counseling and medication. I know that some Christians want to stay away from medication, but the reality is that often there is a chemical basis for the depression. Successful treatment then requires medication.

I also know that you may have tried medication and it has not helped, but don’t give up. Different medications help different people. Talk with your doctor and try another medication. However, don’t omit the counseling. Many times the depression is fed by relational issues. This is where a counselor can be very helpful.

Q&A: Contemplating separation

Question: After 15 years of marriage, we are contemplating separation. We are both Christians but have had many battles, one being depression. I feel I’m done. Is there hope?

Answer: I understand how you might feel like giving up. Depression that extends over a period of time can be difficult to deal with for both of you. However, there is help for those who are depressed. The most successful treatment involves both counseling and medication. I know that some Christians want to stay away from medication, but the reality is that often there is a chemical basis for the depression. Successful treatment then requires medication.

I also know that you may have tried medication and it has not helped, but don’t give up. Different medications help different people. Talk with your doctor and try another medication. However, don’t omit the counseling. Many times the depression is fed by relational issues. This is where a counselor can be very helpful.

Categories