The Day I Almost Walked Out On My Marriage

The Day I Almost Walked Out On My Marriage September 27, 2017

day i almost walked out on my marriageI was done. Finito. Tapped out. I felt like a single parent. When my husband wasn’t traveling for work, he was at work. I was already raising the kids and doing life by myself. I felt like he was only a paycheck. It wouldn’t make much difference if he physically brought it home or sent it in the mail.

I complained to a girlfriend. She asked me a question which not only shocked me and made me mad, but also put my perspective of my marriage in check.

Instead of asking yourself if you should get a divorce, ask yourself if you’re putting everything you can into your marriage?

Pffssttt! Say what? I did everything from housekeeping to the horizontal hula. And I’d had enough. I didn’t realize my attitude had shifted from one of unconditional love to one of performance and expectations. My girlfriend told me to put the brakes on and challenged me to ask myself some hard questions before scampering into the long line of failed marriage statistics.

Maybe you’re in a hard place in your marriage. Maybe you’re tired of waking up and going to bed alone. Maybe your husband’s job feels more like a mistress than the source for your family’s livelihood. One hundred percent of marriages hit hard spots. And half of them end in divorce. Marriage is tough. What should you do when your happily-ever-after starts to crumble, and you want to look for a way out?

Ask yourself hard questions. Asking hard questions takes your focus off the problems and puts it on solutions. When your marriage feels like a mess, it’s easy and even natural to want to place blame. But the only behavior you can control is your own. Are you giving your marriage 100 percent? Lots of people go into marriage with a 50/50 attitude. I went into marriage with that attitude myself. I felt like I was giving more like 96.8 percent, and he was only giving 3.2.

Fifty/fifty sounds like a great model. It never works. The 50-50 attitude focuses on receiving. What is he doing for me? When my mindset changed from 50/50 to 100/100, my focus shifted from receiving to giving. Changing my attitude from performance-based to unconditional love, changed my perspective.

Are you looking at love as a feeling or a decision? Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t a feeling. If you’re relying on feelings, you’re going to stay disappointed.  Marriage requires work and a mindset. Love is a decision. I have to choose to love regardless of how I feel.

If times are hard in your marriage, consider these questions before deciding on divorce:

1. Have I done everything in my power to improve my marriage?

2. Am I letting past emotional baggage affect our relationship?

3. Am I comparing my husband to my friend’s husband?

4. How will divorce affect my kids?

5. Do I consider love a feeling or a decision?

6. Am I more concerned with being right or do I want a resolution?

7. Am I keeping score?

8. Is divorce really the best option?

That hasn’t been the only rough spot in my marriage. Marriage isn’t about what he can do for me. It’s about giving it all I’ve got and letting God take care of the rest. When things get tough, I have to remember to ask myself the hard questions before thinking about throwing in the towel.

What could you do right now that would have a huge impact on your marriage?

Need skills to build intimacy?

  1. Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian,, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.

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34 responses to “The Day I Almost Walked Out On My Marriage”

  1. I was in this exact space earlier this year. My marriage only got better when I decided I wanted it to be better. When I chose to be kind, affectionate and understanding of his job that keeps him away things got so much better. When I put his needs above my own and let God handle the rest things got so much better. Keep fighting, our children will be better for it…is what I tell myself.

  2. After 23 years of marriage I know it’s not easy. The challenges can be overwhelming, the obstacles sometimes seemingly insurmountable. I have asked myself the hard questions and the answer has always remain the same. Do what I can and then some more then trust the rest to God.

  3. We don’t realize how much control we have over the atmosphere in our marriages. It’s hard to put our needs aside sometimes and focus on what we can do to make the relationship better. I agree with you about the children. They will be better off in the long run. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of your story with me.

  4. So much truth here!! I love it!! My husband and I often talk about how we never realized love was going to be a decision rather than an emotion in our marriage! Thank you for a great post!

  5. Very good piece. I am 12 yrs into my second marriage. Marriage is hard no matter how long you have been married. I retired 2 yrs ago and husband retired 6 months after. It has been the same learning experience as when we first got married, life is always changing.

  6. Thanks. Congratulations on your retirement, Victoria! Thanks for sharing and reinforcing marriage is tough under any circumstance but is also so rewarding.

  7. Murder yes, divorce no! JK!!

    The secret is to never fall out of love with each other at the same time!

    This is a great post, Positively GREAT!

    Good advice.

  8. Great post Sheila, there is always sacrifice in LOVE, we must be willing to make them to have success in marriage. Thanks

  9. Anyone who says marriage is 50/50 will not make it. Only when we give it 100% do we have a chance for it to work. God meant marriage to sanctify us and create unity and harmony without selfishness.

  10. What a great friend you have! Many would encourage someone to just leave but your friend helped breathe life back into what you felt was hopeless and now you are being a great friend to others too by being honest about where you were.

  11. Agree the blame game doesn’t work and I also have to remind myself that feelings aren’t facts. There are plenty of times when the best solution is to hesitate, take a breath and think things through.