Question (from Facebook community): “When you’re not able to cope anymore {in your difficult marriage}, where do you turn and how do you get help?” 

Let me first say, that if you’re asking this question, it is definitely time you get outside help, and you are definitely ready for what that means. Because I need to warn you, inviting someone in to the intricacies of your marriage is going to be hard and it’s going to take courage, but it’s your best hope for turning this thing around. 

I’d start with prayer. God knows exactly what needs to happen in both your and your spouse’s hearts. He knows what people have the knowledge you need. He knows what books have the tips that can help. He knows it all. So ask him to lead you to your next steps.  

But then, actually do something 

Pray. Pray for your spouse and yourself. Pray for healing. Pray for a softened heart for both of you. Pray to be open to what God may ask of you. 

Read. Get your hands on a good book or two about marriage. But don’t just read it. Take notes. Put into practice what is suggested. 

Join a group. Your marriage may have issues that could use the help of the twelve step recovery process. I highly recommend Celebrate Recovery, AlAnon, AA, groups like this. The first meeting to walk into is the hardest, but once you’re in, you’ll be so glad you did. Bring a friend if you need to. 

Find a mentor. If there is a woman in your life who is a bit older or more mature in her faith, whose marriage you admire or who you know has walked through the fire of a difficult marriage, ask her if you can meet for coffee. Come prepared with some questions to ask her. Ask if she’d be willing to meet on a regular basis to help walk you through this season. Most women would be absolutely honored and humbled to be asked something like this.  

Counseling. I’m a fan of counseling. I’ve been in and out of it since college. There is something about a stranger being able to look into your situation that you’re up to your neck in and point out truths that you were too close to see. I’ve had a ridiculous number of life-changing epiphanies in counseling. And you might be surprised that your insurance covers part of it or how many have sliding fee scales, so don’t let fear of high cost prevent you from trying this. 

Go to your church. If you’re not in a Bible-teaching church, find one and start attending regularly. Then contact your pastor or Caring ministries and tell someone you trust that your marriage is struggling and you need help. This is their job. This is what they get paid to do. This is what they trained for.  

None of these things on their own, or combined, is a magic bullet. Obviously not, otherwise I wouldn’t be divorced. But they are all ways you can do your best to try to put the pieces back together. But you will need to be patient and persevering. A marriage does not, typically, turn around in a matter of weeks or even a few short months. It took however long for it to get to where its at, it will take time and work for healing to come and settle in. But I believe it’s possible because I’ve seen it. I’ve seen at-the-brink marriages be put back together. So for today, do the thing in front of you that brings you closer to God and closer to your spouse, and keep doing it until you hear otherwise from God.

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.


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