3 Things to Remember Before You Call It Quits in Marriage

3 things to remember before you call it quits in marriage_thumb


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.



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.

  • Lyn

    What if it involves emotional and verbal abuse? How do I know when to give up?

  • Bubblygirl624

    What was the name
    Of the book recommended on focusing on changing yourself?

  • shannaemy

    Wow! We have a Creator of the Universe who created marriage. So many people today spend so much time ‘leaning on their own understanding’ and spouting it, compared to the time they spending seeking God to do a miracle in their own minds and hearts. Why do we care so much about what man thinks? Why do we care so much about what we think? Jesus said I AM THE WAY. That means He IS. My husband and I were separated twice, he filed divorce on both occasions. Marriage does not ‘take two’. it takes one. One who will seek God with all their heart, not move without Him, and let Him do ANYTHING He wants with their mind and heart, and fight on their knees. It takes one who will follow Him and nothing else. He will lead in a way we don’t want to go, a way that will seem crazy to the ‘norm’ culture. But His way works. My husband came home, and has not left again. That was 8 years ago. Our time of ‘discussing’ here would be better spent praying for this couple. :)

  • mels

    Lyn, that was my situation. I’d really encourage you to go talk to a pastor or counselor who has experience with abuse to get advice on how to proceed. I’m praying for you.

  • E

    I didnt even realize I was in a contract and he was in a covenant until now, and I wondered where I went wrong…we’re working it out though

  • C

    This scenario sounds like I could have written much of it….I didn’t realize there was another person on earth who shared my experiences as I always thought I was the one with the problem and just a rebellious wife (since I heard that all the time). Mine was like this for almost 19 years. I chose to leave after many years of prayer, misery, 2 different tries at counseling, and much uncertainty because of how I was raised and how it was affecting my kids. It was not a decision I took lightly. A marriage with physical abuse leaves visible scars but with emotional abuse and control no one can see your scars and it is much harder to help people understand what you live in and why you want away so badly. But abuse is abuse nonetheless and isn’t God’s will for anyone. I felt deep in my spirit that God released me to do what I needed to do for my own sanity. I have many other challenges now as a single 45 year old mom, but I am healing and getting back to my joyful self. Don’t let any preacher put guilt and shame on you because of what you feel you need to do. It’s between you and God. Seek Him first and He’ll help you know what to do for your situation.

  • mels

    I’ve made sure to pray about this before I’ve made decisions. And I’m at peace with my decision.

  • WillySunflower

    The passive aggressive ones are the crazy makers…I know what you are going through. I have this same situation except mine doesn’t talk about anything…he works, eats and watches tv…never any conversation….just tv. And affection…what is that? I don’t even remember what that is like.