After years of arguing, stony silence, broken promises, and tearful prayers, many married couples face the question – is this marriage worth saving?
Dr. Gary Chapman says: “Without a doubt.”
In the moment, divorce can seem like the best path for you and your spouse. How can we think long-term in marriage despite present pain? Should a couple consider separation, even for a short time? Dr. Chapman offers his thoughts.
“You do have some immediate emotional relief when you separate. It feels better. You breathe deeper. There is a sense of emotional freedom – because you’ve left the battlefield. And yes, it’s more peaceful. But you don’t win wars by leaving the battlefield.”
Dr. Chapman references a few primary causes for divorce:
• Lack of intimate relationship with God
Because we’re sinful by nature, we need to be connected to the source of love, so we can learn to love others in a selfless way.
• Lack of intimate relationship with spouse
In the beginning, Adam was alone. God said it was not good. “God’s answer to that was the creation of Eve and the institution of marriage. It’s the opposite of being alone; we’re sharing life physically, mentally, socially. When you have that in a marriage, you’ve got the ideal, that’s the heart of what it’s all about. But it takes work. People tend to feel like if they’re in love with each other, there won’t be any work. But we’re fallen!”
How can we rebuild a relationship?
While some marriages may be difficult to salvage, there are a few steps you can and should explore.
• Find out and speak your spouse’s love language
• Seek counsel and accountability from an older godly couple
• Spend time alone with God and repent of your own sinful habits and actions
• Pray with your spouse
Gary’s book on this subject is One More Try: What to Do When Your Marriage Is Falling Apart.