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What to Consider Before You End the Marriage

MsDora is a Certified Christian Counselor. Her views on premarital and marital issues are influenced by her Christian beliefs.

Think twice, three times, one hundred times if you are unhappily married and considering divorce. Can you really make a wise decision before you talk with an honest divorcee or sit with a divorce support group and hear from those who can view divorce from hindsight? They can present alternatives that haven't crossed your mind, and you’d be surprised at the many salvageable opportunities for your marriage.

Think twice, three times . . . if you are unhappily married and considering divorce.

Think twice, three times . . . if you are unhappily married and considering divorce.

Perhaps you're tired of the cheating, abuse, drug or gambling addiction, or whatever is the disruptive behavior in the marriage. Or perhaps, your spouse is simply not contributing to the happy life you promised each other. Here are some questions to consider before you end the marriage:

  • Are you certain that divorce is the only way for you to be happier?
  • Are you considering divorce as a way to hurting your partner for the wrongs that he or she has done?
  • If so, do you think that hurting your partner will ease your hurt?
  • Can you justify your actions to the children and to your viewing public, especially those who look up to you?
  • Have you considered that the crisis in your marriage can be an opportunity for you to demonstrate genuine love and the importance of family?
  • Have you tried everything including counseling with a professional or a trusted friend?

With the right attitude, the spirit of forgiveness, and surrender to divine intervention, the following questions may show you how to replace marriage meddlers with marriage menders.

Photo by Jeff Klisares

Photo by Jeff Klisares

What Changed?

Incompatible differences (often cited) are usually difficult to identify because they are not tangible.

  • Difference of opinion?
  • Difference in value system?
  • Difference in moods and desires?

All you're sure of, is that something changed. Truth is, you have gotten to know your spouse better, and some of the details are surprising. The surprises are mutual, and usually the one who reacts more is the one who is more naïve.

At first, you spoke glibly about what you had in common. Now that you live together, you see more ways in which you are different, and you are magnifying the differences over the similarities which are still there. You can learn from the divorcees; they will tell you that concentrating on enjoying life together could minimize those irritants or render them non-essential.

Besides, who wants an exact copy of himself/herself for a mate? There would be very few reasons, if any, for laughter. Truth be told, incompatibility gets more blame than it deserves. Companionship can acquire a perfect blend, even if not a perfect match.

What About Commitment?

Double vision magnifies the differences. When you desire intimacy, and you think of a face other than your spouse’s, your vision becomes distorted.

  • Why does the spouse who previously seemed aggressive now seem nagging?
  • Aren't the traits you once called "financially responsible" the same traits you now call "miserly?"
  • When did the "attentive" behavior change to "clingy?"

These changes in vision are caused by your internal conflicts created by a wandering eye. You begin to compare the two visions in your head.

Looking for a reason to distance yourself, so you can have room to entertain the affections of someone else? Get a grip. It is not unusual for a married person to see attractiveness in someone other than his or her spouse. Be mature enough to remember your commitment to your marriage. Look again at your spouse and remind yourself of everything that attracted you in the first place. Also remind your spouse that those features are important to you.

Is Survival Possible?

Many marriages get into trouble because outsiders are allowed to butt in. The over protective mother, the suspicious mother- in-law, the dependent siblings, the high school buddy who wants to maintain the long-standing friendship relationship should all be put in their proper places--outside the marriage circle. The marriage union is comprised of you two--plus God--against the rest of the world, no matter how well-meaning the intruder might be.

If the couple agrees that advice is necessary, find a professional or close friend who enjoys the trust of both partners.Never share your problems except to get help. Set boundaries around your privacy and respect them. Often it is the betrayal of trust more than the disclosure of private information that causes the problem. Still, if this happens, don't hurry to leave the marriage. Your problems are not unique, so don't bother to feel embarrassed. Every marriage has some type of problem. Forgive, reconcile and make a greater effort to strengthen bond between you from from external interference.

When people know whatever they know about you, and they see you still pulling together, they will realize that you are determined to stay together. The world needs to see such determination.


"Love never gives up."

"Love never gives up."

What Else Can You Try?

There is no guarantee that every dysfunctional marriage can be restored to the heaven-on earth condition, but it is a responsible and mature decision to try.

Try love as it is described in the Christian Bible. “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always ‘me first,’ doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” (The Message, 1 Corinthians 3-8). It takes a strong human being with a supernatural spirit to love like this. This is not a dare. Just saying, be careful and prayerful.

Still married? Then, with divine help and a sense of commitment, you still have the potential to be happily married!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: My husband is too violent and he is not responsible. What can I do?

Answer: "People whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed." This quote is from HelpGuide on domestic abuse. Take it seriously and practice zero tolerance for violence.

Protect yourself by removing yourself from your abuser's space, or by demanding that he leaves until both of you have had professional counseling. That's your responsibility. If you do the right thing, he might learn responsibility from you.

© 2011 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dammy on April 15, 2019:

Your Article just made me rethink me getting a divorce.. Thank you so much for this as it tend to happen to a lot of young newly weds like me

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 02, 2018:

Thanks, Sarah. It was my very first article on HubPages. (The title changed a few times). Happy that it is still relevant.

Sarah Spradlin from Little Rock, Arkansas on August 02, 2018:

This is a great article that many should read.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on February 09, 2018:

Thank you, Dream for sharing that wonderful testimony. Hope many readers will benefit from it.

DREAM ON on February 08, 2018:

I have been married for 16 years. I married when I was 37 years old. Many of my friends married before me. I didn't find the love of my life. We found each other. Every day I think back to the all the times we spent together and later to each day we were married. When you fill your life with love there is little room for anything else. I am no marriage expert but I enjoy being married and I love to talk about it. There are many reasons that can cause people to stop loving the person they are with. I have to much fun and wonderful inner joy to experience to let anything , or anyone get in between us. When I go to bed every night I don't hold any feelings back and my wife will always know how I feel and how blessed I am to have her in my life. I found your hub very informative and important. Thank you for writing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on October 16, 2017:

Victor, thanks for the encouragement. Better to consider slowly and carefully than have regrets afterwards.

victor from India on October 16, 2017:

You've analyzed the practical issues of married life very sincerely. Many stumble and damage their life seriously without any foresight, during the time of crisis. Their wrong decisions cause them to face multiple dilemmas.

This post actually cautions the married couple to consider the consequences before deciding to move away from their life partners.

Keep doing the good work. Hats off to you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 10, 2013:

Thank you, Indian Chef. Your points are all good, but especially the one about the children. Blessings!

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on September 10, 2013:

Every marriage go through lean phases and that is time when it demands extra care and love . It is so easy to break a relationship but keeping it is hard work. What is guarantee that next one you find would be better than last one. You may end up even worse. Also kids you brought in world is your responsibility, and they deserve house with both parents. Very useful blog. Voting it up, sharing on hubpages and awesome.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 11, 2013:

LoveDoctor, I agree with you that infidelity is difficult to handle. Forgiveness calls for supernatural effort, and both partners need forgiveness.

lovedoctor926 on August 10, 2013:

very good advice. I agree with your points. In my opinion, it's hard to trust someone who has been unfaithful. I'm sure that you can work at it again if you seek marriage counseling, but it would probably take time.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 10, 2013:

Thank you, Mathi. Glad you stopped by.

mathira from chennai on August 10, 2013:

Sensible and practical advices,MsDora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 03, 2012:

Thanks, Cherry. This was my very first hub and I still stand by the words I wrote here.

Cherry Ann from New York on November 02, 2012:

wow very informative and great points for anyone thinking of a divorce. You laid it down simple and with truth.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on August 21, 2011:

Thanks Emily C, G'lady and everyone else for a great start. As I approach my first 100 followers, I'm looking back at those who commented on my very first hub. I appreciate you more than you know. For real!

Emily C. on June 03, 2011:

Great job, Dora! I'm happy you are now doing what you've always wanted to do. Keep it up!

G'lady on June 03, 2011:

Thank you God! She is writing again. I love your level-headed writing. Thank you for being with me through my divorce. Your presence and spirit of love led me straight to the arms of God. I look forward to hearing more from you. See you next week!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 02, 2011:

Thanks for all your encouragement. I appreciate you. Will you please add one more favor and click FOLLOW MSDORA at the right of the article. That would be very helpful. Thanks!

myshaw on June 02, 2011:

This is a great article. Please continue writing.

Margie Richardson on June 01, 2011:

Very nice article! My husband and I have been married 29 years this coming August, and we went into it with the thought, "Divorce is NOT and option!" ~meaning that with God as The Glue, we would work out any marital problem we'd face. Communication with each other and with God is the key to a successful marriage.

M. Skinner Britt on June 01, 2011:

Very perceptive; I will forward this article to my daughter who recently married, smile.

justme on May 31, 2011:

Very timely. I will definitely introduce my friends to your articles. In addition I will pray that you will have the strength and courage to keep writing many more.

Rodney Dunneback on May 31, 2011:

You said it all very well, to many let there emotions rule there decision making. All would do well to read the sage advice in the book of Proverbs.

Roswitha LaGarde on May 31, 2011:

Loved you article! This can help so many people! Two thumbs up.

Wilson on May 31, 2011:

This article has a really good advice for married couples. I hope many couples would read this, it would save marriages. Will share the article with others. Keep up the good job Dora!

pennyancel on May 31, 2011:

Since our 60th wedding anniversary is coming up in July, I would just say "know when to just be quiet and when you respond to anger, just talk quietly." This isn't always easy, but it ususally works.

Jean D. on May 31, 2011:

So glad you are sharing your talents once again. I've missed your messages.

MsDora on May 31, 2011:

Thanks l.moore. Will always remember you for giving me a good start.

l.moore on May 30, 2011:

great article, wish i had read it before i was divorced. really good advice.