I’ve been reading comments in my difficult-marriage Facebook page and some of them make me sick to my stomach, some of them scare me, some of them send me into flashbacks, and some of them leave me yelling in my head leave him! What these dear women who are trying to do the right things are living through on a consistent basis absolutely breaks my heart. I have promised myself and God and them that I will never tell a woman that she should leave her husband. I haven’t done that yet (even when I’ve wanted to at times, I must admit) and I don’t intend to break that promise now.
However, there comes a time when it’s time to try something different.
There’s a popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
Have you begged your husband a hundred times to stop drinking? Let me guess, he’s still drinking. Do you know why? Because alcoholics drink.
Have you tried to explain to your husband a hundred times what you really meant? Let me guess, he just smirks, walks away, and basically “wins” yet another argument, and you’re left wondering what just happened. Do you know why? Because there is no reasoning with someone who is not reasonable.
Have you cried yourself to sleep a hundred times after sex? Let me guess, because you feel like a hooker? Do you know why? Because this isn’t the way it was supposed to be.
Sweet ones, I cannot tell you what to do. I will not tell you to leave. But I want you to answer this question honestly: is your marriage the same or maybe even worse than it was a year ago, despite your continued efforts to fix it?
If you’re answer is yes, then it’s time to do something different and new.
Here are some suggestions:
If you’ve been to the same counselor for the past few years and you tell her the same thing every week and she gives you the same advice every week, and nothing is changing, it might be time to try a new counselor.
If you’ve been looking for bottles of alcohol or receipts around your house to prove what you already know deep down – that your husband is drinking and lying about it – and you keep telling him to please stop, and nothing is changing, it might be time to walk through the doors of AlAnon.
If you’ve been telling your husband to stop yelling at you and to stop calling you names and every argument ends in yelling and name-calling, and nothing is changing, it might be time you set up some actual boundaries. (Remember, telling someone what they can and cannot do is control; setting a boundary is telling someone what you will and will not live with. Check out Boundaries in Marriage.)
Or, if you’ve been going this whole thing alone, and just arguing and crying, and your marriage has never changed and you have no hope at all, it might be time for you to bring someone in for the first time, like a counselor, a mentor, a church leader you can trust.
If you keep doing all the same things, you will get all the same results, I guarantee it. Actually, let me correct that statement: things like this – abuse, addiction – tend to get worse when left unchecked, so if you keep doing all the same things, you will more than likely find yourself getting worse results as time ticks away. God wants so much more for you: healing and wholeness and joy and abundance. Don’t keep doing the same thing. Ask Jesus what new thing he wants you to try today.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.