3 Things to Remember Before You Call It Quits in Marriage

3 Things to Remember Before You Call it Quits in Your Marriage

 

Over the years, there have been several questions that have surfaced on my blog more than any others.  Though spoken in different ways from different people at different times, these questions usually go something like this:

“What if I’m the only one putting any effort into my marriage?”

“What if my spouse never gives, but always takes?”

“I’m so lonely in my marriage. I want to call it quits. What should I do?”

For some, calling it quits means living in the same home, but giving up on any hope of a healthy marriage.  For others, calling it quits means separation or even divorce.  Before travelling down one of those roads, I’d like to remind you of 3 vital things.

1. Remember your vows.
“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish ‘til death do us part.”  The day you and your spouse were married was the day you promised all these things as you stood before God, before your family, and before your friends.  Remember, this commitment you made was meant to be lifelong, and calling it quits would break that unconditional promise you once made with all your heart.

2. Remember what marriage is.
Marriage was never meant to be a contract to be broken, but a covenant to be cherished. Here is the clear difference between a covenant and a contract.

Covenant

Contract

Based on unconditional love between God, a husband, and a wife Based on conditional consideration between two people
Sacrificial Action (i.e. I’ll do it no matter what you do) Reciprocal Transaction (e.g. If you do this, then & only then I will do that)
Based on Mutual Commitment Based on Mutual Distrust
Seeks to Give Seeks to Get
For Life For Now

In a nutshell, a contract is all about what you get. A covenant is all about what you give.

3. Remember the purpose of marriage.
In 8 Mistakes I’ve Made in Marriage, I shared that in my early years of marriage, I felt like an important part of Susan’s “duty” as my wife was to make me happy. I was a bit more focused on me than on us. I didn’t think so at the time, but now looking back I relied on Susan to lift me up when I was down, to help me upon command, and to meet my physical needs when called upon…just to name a few.

Did you ever think, “Once I get married, then I’ll finally be happy”?  It doesn’t take much experience in marriage to discover that this simply isn’t true.  The only person who can ever provide ultimate joy for you is God, not your spouse.  Perhaps realizing this truth means changing your expectations of your spouse. Ultimately, marriage is not about happiness, but about holiness. It’s a holy union between God, a husband, and a wife—a union established to glorify God.  

Are you thinking about calling it quits in your marriage? Have these things I’ve reminded you of helped? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. 

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Mels

    I’m pretty sure it was. He was seen with another woman a few weeks after we separated. And yes, we’re divorced.

  • Mels

    I am divorced now. And he’s STILL pestering me by mail!

  • Mels

    Divorce is never good, but sometimes it’s necessary, like in your case and mine. I stayed for almost 10 years-and it was hell, even from the beginning.
    And, for everyone on here who wants to use the statement that “God hates divorce”, needs to read their Bible-because God divorced Israel. So, clearly divorce isn’t always sin.
    Good luck with everything-sounds like you’re divorcing a narcissistic/personality disordered individual.

  • Mels

    Having gone through a similar marriage, and now being divorced-I’d rather be divorced than have stayed in such a horrible, abusive marriage. And, please read up about abuse being a Biblical reason for divorce-because everything I’ve read, says it is. However, only you can make the ultimate decision of whether to stay or leave.

  • Tisha Gee

    Thanks 4 your support & understanding. .waiting on divorce decree!!!!

  • Theresa

    What do you do when your husband as nothing to do with you? And you find out that he is going the internet thing looking at women and talking to them.We have been married for 37 years. But 8 years ago I was raped. And since than our married has went down hill. So now I have this to on my mind. Ready to end this marrage.

  • Topcat

    :-Pquit

  • Mels

    I can’t imagine what you must be going through emotionally, after having been violated like that. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I hope you have access to counseling, if you haven’t already.
    I don’t know your situation, but I’ve learned from my own experience that I couldn’t change my spouse. I can only change myself. Your husband needs to do his part in order to restore the marriage, but he needs to decide that for himself.
    Have you considered a trial separation?

  • Layla

    I agree with Mels, I hope you were able to get some counseling. It’s true that he hasn’t been a model husband. Perhaps he didn’t know how to support you after the rape? Maybe he needed a little support or counseling himself. He does deserve prayer, though, as do you. Why don’t you pray for him? Ask God to turn your husband’s heart back toward you. And ask Him to heal your heart, too. Whole marriages are God’s desire for us. He knows and sees what’s going on and He is able to heal you both and restore your marriage. I am praying today for both of you.

  • Jim Bard

    My wife and I have been married going on 21 years this coming July 15th, 2016. I have been selfish, vain, controlling, thoughtless, and prideful throughout. I had an affair in early 2014 and ended shortly after it started in July 2014. I told my wife about it, and others things i had done, on July 25th, 2015, because I couldn’t live with the failure i had become to my God, wife, children, and friends. I love her and my children very much. Many people can’t understand that, saying “How can anyone who does such a thing possibly love the family?” It isn’t about not loving my family. It is about a spiritual problem that I have in my faith with my God. I believe wholeheartedly that a marriage is a covenant and have believed that ever since I read “The Love Dare”. I understand that a covenant can’t be broken like a contract can be. I was asked to leave my house and did on July 27th, 2015. We have 7 children, 19,17, 14, 14, 10, 9, and 4. 4 are biological, 3 adopted. The 19, 17, and 14 year old biological children instantly wanted nothing to do with me ever again and haven’t spoken to me since the day I left. The 14yr old(adopted), 10 yr old, 9 yr old(adopted), and 4 yr old(adopted) did want to spend time with me and have had that opportunity up until Nov. 25th, 2015. Throughout my times with them, since this all started, I had growth in my faith some, yet was still some of my old self. I kept professing that I was different and was bound and determined to prove it. Well, I did and didn’t at the same time. I never yelled at them, I had one on one conversations with them, we went places and did things, but I still had inappropriate age related conversations with them about what our friends or family members might be saying in a negative light towards me. i retaliated back by accusing friends and family about similar things that they were doing that would be no different than what I did, said, or thought, all this in front of my kids, putting them in between my wife and I during this very difficult time. I was warned not to do this, but still did not heed the Holy Spirit’s conviction to tame my tongue. My wife has now stated that none of the kids want to see me anymore and i consequently have not seen them since Nov. 25th, 2015 as stated above. It is now Jan. 14th, 2016, coming up on two months since seeing any of my family with no hopes it seems of this working out. How do I help her see that no matter what I did, that this covenant of marriage we entered into, is worth fighting for, keeping together, rebuilding stronger than ever by the help of The Almighty! I don’t want to quit. She seems like she wants to. No communication except to bash me over and over again about what I’ve done, or to pay a bill, or whatever it is that she needs accomplished. I am letting God love her unconditionally, as He does to all, through me. All I’m asking is for her to let God love me unconditionally through her. Love is not based on circumstances or conditions or time. Love is eternal, love is perfect, love is forgiving, love is more powerful, Love is God. If she or I aren’t showing these things to each other, then we aren’t letting God work in our lives. I want to help her. I want to love her. I want us to be together again for God’s glory. I don’t want satan to win the battle. I want God to finally be #1 instead of me. I want our marriage to be the most important relationship on this planet. She is an amazing woman. I wish I never had these issues of my past so she could’ve been cherished as the priceless gift she is. I fear that I will never have that chance again and it shouldn’t be that way because marriage is a covenant, not a contract that can be torn up, ripped in two, shredded, etc…. God instituted a sacred union that I violated. That doesn’t mean that it is destroyed. It just means that I need to help fix what I messed up to the best of my ability and let God do the rest. I have lied to her, I have put myself first, I have damaged our marriage and hurt our kids. These things are hard for her to get over, I understand that to a certain point, but do not fully understand how she feels and never will. I have done nothing but read many books since then to grow spiritually and emotionally with a lot of success, yet see the occasional backslide from being human. I do not go out. I do not see anyone else. I don’t want anyone else. My mistakes seem like they speak otherwise, but they don’t speak what in my heart. My mistakes were in the past where they will stay. I miss my kids. I miss my wife. I miss her smell. I miss her hair. I miss watching her cook in the kitchen. I miss watching her study school work in on the bed. I miss watching her love on the kids. I miss her two crooked pinky fingers. I miss her droopy eye. I miss watching her get dressed. I miss watching her exercise. I miss her period! I knew what I had and listened to a lie and acted upon it. She and the kids are the most amazing thing I’ve ever been gifted with. Can anyone help me?

  • Barbara Rivera

    God hates divorce. If we are married, then we have made a covenant with that person before God. Even in cases of adultry, God can restore. Pray, pray, and pray some more. God hears and answers.

  • Kathy Hutchinson

    He is having an affair dear. No man leaves for 24 hours at a time, or goes out every time he picks an argument, without having a woman to run to. Time to do some snooping, unfortunately.

  • Jack L

    My wife and her sister wear Christ like a shiny new medal of honor. They flaunt Christ for all the world to see. My wife and I are ending our marriage after 38 years together, and I still don’t know why. It came as a real shock. I always trusted her and gave her the freedom to be herself. I was faithful and thought I met her every need. A year ago, this month, we renewed our wedding vows ahead of all of our family and friends. She seemed so happy, so was I. I waited on her hand and foot, and gave her all of the attention I could. I always reached out to her as she would walk by. I often gave her kisses on the neck as I would walk past her. She recently had knee surgery in early December. I had made the mistake of allowing her sister to live with us. NEVER do that. It was the biggest mistake of my life. When my wife had knee surgery, I was there all the time. When she came home, I took care of her all night long. I helped her get out of bed and on the commode and back. I dumped the commode and cleaned it and returned it to her bedside. I stayed awake all night long watching over her and taking care of her rubbing her wherever she needed with lotion. I would make breakfast for the three of us and do the dishes before going to bed in the morning. I would get up around mid day, and make lunch and make sure she didn’t need anything, and then go back to bed. I got up around 5pm and made dinner for the three of us, and the day started again. This is how I treated her for 38 years. This all happened in early December. She would talk to my family on the phone and tell them what a good husband I was. Three days after Christmas, her sister started yelling and screaming because our Daschund went to the second floor where she lived. She screamed at my wife for trying to get the dog, then at me. When I told her to stop, she threatened violence against me and reminded me that she had a gun. This was the third time in four months, and I wouldn’t tolerate it any further. I ordered her to leave. She went to the 2nd floor with my wife for an hour and she came back down without my wife. She gave me an ultimatum that I couldn’t live with. If she left, then my wife would leave too. My wife had chosen her sister over her husband, and made no effort whatsoever to stop the threat, and she left with her sister. Our entire marriage was happy and wonderful until this happened. She now accuses me of being a wife beater, a cheat and an abuser. We never had police problems, no 911 calls for help, no trips to the emergency room for assistance, no police or doctor’s reports for injuries. She has her own income, but walked away from the bills we both are obligated for, and is seeking everything we have and wants me to pay for everything, including her lawyer. The day after they left, she informed me that she wanted a divorce. Doing your best and giving all you have just isn’t enough sometimes. When one of the two decide its over, there is no going back. I apologized for offenses that didn’t happen, and read quotes from the bible to make my point. I repeatedly asked her to come back to no avail. Nothing was left of our 38 years together. She is spreading her poison wherever she goes, none of our friends will have anything to do with me. Where is God now? Living up to my marriage vows meant nothing. In the end, she abandoned me for her sister. She even rejects counseling that is available from the court.

  • Mels

    Jack, I’m so sorry that you’re going through all of that. Regardless of the reason for divorce, it’s ugly and HARD.
    I hope you realize that you can’t change her heart or her mind-only God can. Pray for her eyes to be opened to the truth.
    And you’re right–at the end of the day, it takes both people willing to do the work to save the marriage. If one person chooses to give up and walk away, there’s nothing the other person can do about it.
    And, my ex made up false accusations about me as well, when in reality, he was the one doing the very things I was accused of. I think they do that, to justify their own sinful behavior.
    Just remember God knows the truth, regardless of what others say or believe about you.
    Praying for you!

  • Kellyb

    Have you read “the surrendered wife” by laura doyle? It might change your perspective, help you focus on self care, relinquish intimacy-killing habits and control, and restore respect and intimacy. :)