When Marriage Gets Hard, Avoid These Mistakes
Our extended family doesn’t have a very good happily-ever-after marriage rate.
We have a few family members that have been married and divorced more than three times.
Third time’s the charm right?
Nope…not at all.
We have parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents that have all walked through the valley of divorce.
Yet, most of them stood at an altar, with eyes hopeful of a magical, exciting, romantic, Prince charming and Cinderella marriage only to face painful, rip-your-guts-out divorces.
When people divorce, it’s never a pretty thing.
Divorce causes collateral damage.
Damage that continues for a lifetime.
Even after the major storm has passed, there continues to be ugly, messy debris that continues to linger.
The truth is, no one plans on getting divorced.
But another truth is marriage is tough.
And when the tough times come, many well-meaning husbands and wives make huge, very common mistakes.
Mistakes that we’re all tempted to make.
You would not believe the amount of responses I received to that article.
Email after email of wives who were considering walking away from their husband and kids — without any intention of coming back.
Moms of preschoolers and toddlers who were done. They were quitting.
And before they packed up their belongings, they went to Pinterest for advice (I know it sounds silly, but it’s true!) and found that exact article and decided to stay.
They just needed someone to encourage them to keep trying.
They needed someone to say, “Wait! Stop! Don’t make this mistake!”
But those wives almost made scary, ginormous mistakes that could have completely ended their marriage and their cohesive family.
I don’t want your marriage to be one of the divorce statistics.
I want your marriage to thrive and bloom into a home that your children always think of as “the Happiest home on earth.“
How can I help your marriage?
By encouraging you to avoid these mistakes!
(Note to wives in abusive relationships, please get HELP from someone you trust. The below tips do not apply to an abusive relationship.)
When Marriage Gets Tough, Avoid These Mistakes
Marriage Tip#1: Don’t make a huge, life-altering decision.
When you feel trapped…
When you can’t stand the sight of your spouse’s face…
When you want to run far away from your spouse…
When you’re so angry you could explode…
When you can’t think of anything good about your spouse…
When you’re so hurt you’re raw inside…
That is the time to refrain from making any huge decisions.
If you make decisions out of anger and frustration, you will regret it. Pinky promise. Take the day off to think, pray and calm down.
Drink coffee, eat some chocolate, watch a good movie, take a nap…whatever helps you unwind.
But don’t make any big decisions until you’re calm again.
Marriage Tip #2: Don’t gossip about your spouse.
Maybe you’re so hurt and angry you just want to vent to anyone, and everyone, who will listen!
But, when the smoke clears, you’ll be ashamed that you betrayed your spouse’s trust and belittled, degraded and slandered your spouse’s name to family and friends.
If you’re going to explode with anger and absolutely need to confide in someone, tell the person who can actually make a difference and change you and your spouse’s heart — the Lord Jesus Christ.
He will help.
He will listen.
He will help.
Anything you tell God in prayer will not be spread across the neighborhood and your spouse can show his or her face in public when you finally get your marriage issues resolved.
Marriage Tip #3: Don’t say the meanest words you can imagine.
When I get angry, I can really say some hurtful things.
I’ve regretted words said from a heart of hurt and anger.
Those words still haunt me today.I can’t take them back, but I can fill the future with loving and kind words.
And on days when I can’t find those kind words, it’s best just to stay quiet.
Though I don’t recommend giving your husband the silent treatment, (that’s ONE of the common mistakes wives make), I do recommend keeping your mouth shut until you can find words that aren’t painted with cruel strokes.
(Again, these tips do not apply to an abusive marriage. Please get help if you’re in that situation!)
Marriage Tip #4: Don’t walk out the door.
Most of the wives who confided in me about their decision to leave their husbands, told me they made the decision in a moment of heated emotions.
During our busy modern lives, we often let frustrations build and build instead of facing or praying about them.Add a splash of tension and a pinch of pressure and you end up with a huge explosion of powerful emotions.
This normally happens on the toughest days of your marriage.
And on those days, very few of us think rationally.
Very few of us are considering our marriage vows, our promises and our family’s future.On those tough days, choose to stay. (Disclosure: I do not ever encourage husbands or wives to stay in a physically abusive situation. Find safety and shelter first, then try to work things out in the future. Your safety and your children’s safety is of utmost importance.)
Marriage Tip #5: Don’t air your grievances to your children.
Your kids are always listening and they’re the perfect people to degrade your spouse to.
However, that will only cause your children turmoil.
Do not place your children in the position of choosing mommy over daddy or vice versa.
If your kids want to know if something is wrong, simply tell them, “Mommy and daddy are having a difficult time in our marriage right now and you can pray for us.”
Plus, find out how staying married makes you a better parent here.
Leave it there so you’re being completely open and honest with your kids, but avoid running down your spouse to your kids.
Marriage Tip #6: Don’t find comfort in someone of the opposite gender.
This is a classic, but common mistake married couples make!
They find a co-worker, neighbor or friend who happens to be of the opposite gender.
That person is there during a difficult time in your marriage and they’re willing to listen.
However, many times, because of your emotional state, you may be tempted to tell too much or to get too close.During tough times, it may be difficult to be committed to the boundaries you’ve established for your marriage.
Let me share a personal story with you…
A very good friend of mine who is an attractive, Christian lady, was struggling with a very difficult husband.
She often called me to ask for prayer and advice.
In one phone call, she let it slip that she was discussing her marriage problems with a male co-worker.
In one conversation she had just finished unloading her marriage problems to him.
“You’re an amazing woman.”
Danger signals went off in my heart and mind.
I immediately told her to distance herself from him.
She thought I was being over-the-top and told me not worry about it.
A few nights later she showed up at church looking bewildered and shocked.
As soon as she sat next to me she told me she was an emotional wreck.
That very same man who called her an “amazing woman” had asked her to stay after work to pursue a relationship with him.
He was a church-going, married man with five kids.
But he saw the opportunity of an emotional woman dealing with a tough marriage.
Oh, be so careful, dear readers!
The temptation is real.
These adultery and divorce stories don’t just happen in novels and movies.
They happen in real life.
MARRIAGE TIP #7: DON’T FOCUS ON YOUR SPOUSE’S FAULTS.
During tough times in your marriage, it’s extremely difficult to think of anything good about your spouse.
Even when you’re hurt, angry and confused, try to remember at least five characteristics of your spouse that you’ve always loved.
Focus on those when your marriage is tough.
It will help you remember that your spouse maybe isn’t as bad as you think!
Marriage Tip #8: Don’t go on a spending spree.
When some of us are angry, we cope by buying things our spouse wouldn’t approve of.
Pretty menacing, right?
If we strictly follow a grocery budget, we may race to the grocery store and spend double just to get back at our spouse.
Or, we may buy that expensive piece of jewelry or those outrageously priced shoes.
It might feel good to “get back” at your spouse while splurging, but you’ll feel the financial effects later and aggravate your spouse even more.
If you want your marriage to survive this tough time, definitely avoid this temptation!
Marriage tip #9: Don’t Send Angry Texts
After you’ve had another argument, it’s natural to want to pick up the phone and have the “last word.”
This only comes from a heart of pride…a heart that wants to vindicate itself and make the other person look guilty or feel shamed.
During the tough times, wait until you’re calm to send a text.
And when you do send a text, read it and re-read it before you send it!
I can’t be there to walk you through all your marriage struggles, but I truly hope you’ll find encouragement today to avoid these very common mistakes.
A lasting, devoted marriage that survives the tough times is precious, rare and completely worth the sacrifice and commitment.
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