To the Spouse Who’s “Checked Out” of the Marriage

To the Spouse Who’s “Checked Out” of the Marriage October 25, 2016

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You tell yourself there is no hope for the marriage.  You tell yourself that you are out of options.  Out of love.  Out of trust.  You can’t bear to even look your spouse in the eyes anymore, because you’ve checked out.  It’s over…or, at least, you’ve resigned yourself to that thought.

The space between the two you has been growing for awhile.  But, you both ignored it and called it “life.”

The years passed and took your feelings with them.

Until one day, you just couldn’t talk anymore.  The marriage started to feel like an old, itchy sweater that is three sizes too small.

Your spouse said he/she wanted to get help and work on things.  So, you reluctantly went to see a marriage counselor, and life seemed a little better for awhile.  But, the two of you still struggle to even talk about anything that doesn’t have to do with the daily routine.  It’s exhausting to you.  And, you’re pretty sure that he/she is exhausted too.  But, he/she won’t give up.

Why is that?  You can’t seem to figure it out.

“Why can’t he/she see that it’s over?” you frustratedly ask yourself.  

But, deep in your heart, you’re not even sure that it’s over either.

You know that you aren’t really out of options…love…and even hope.  You’re just so tired.  And, you’re at a loss of what to do next.

You don’t even feel like you know him/her anymore,and the thought of rebuilding what’s been lost seems too daunting.

But, what if that’s not the goal?  What if you’re not supposed to “rebuild” what is lost?  What if you both are supposed to mourn it and do your best to start anew?

What would that look like?

4 Keys to Making REAL AND LASTING Changes in Your Life

You are right.  Things between you will never be the same again.

You’ve said things.  He/she has said things too.  Things you both can never take back.  And, it’s heartbreaking, but this doesn’t mean that it is over.

You can forgive him/her.  And, you can seek his/her forgiveness too.  But, only if you try.

You both made promises to one another, and now, you can recommit to those promises.

Just because the two lost your way doesn’t mean that you both can’t get back on the same path–the path of commitment, love, respect, and trust.

You can pray.  Even when you don’t have the words, God hears you.  He knows what you’re going through, and He cares about your marriage.  But, things won’t change on their own.

Be willing to get help–in a church church marriage class, at a crisis marriage retreat, through an online marriage course and support group, and in marriage counseling.

Please don’t give up, Friend.  Your spouse, your marriage, and your family are worth the fight.

Humble yourself and seek God.  He already knows what you’ve been struggling with, but He wants to hear you tell Him.  Let it all out.  Surrender your marriage to Him.

Ask Him to restore it–not to how things were but to what He wants your marriage to be.  Ask Him to help you to be a better spouse to your mate.  Pray for God to bless your spouse and help him/her through this time too.

Be willing to do whatever it takes to fight for your marriage, and you will be so glad that you did.  You’ll never know what’s waiting on the other side of this struggle if you don’t work through it together.  Your marriage can truly be better than it ever was before, but it will take some time, work, forgiveness, and patience.

Don’t walk away.

I know things feel super awkward and uncomfortable right now, but the words will come.  The walls will slowly come down.  Fight the temptation to retreat during the long pauses.  Instead, lean into those moments.

Go to your spouse.  Grab his/her hands.  Look him/her in the eye.  Open up your heart.  And, begin again.

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