Rescuing your marriage-reaching for resources

Welcome to the follow up to Rescuing Your Marriage-Looking Back from the Future. If you missed it, I encourage you to take a few moments to go back and read it, and to please think about stepping back from your willingness to walk away from your marriage. Instead you can flirt with the idea that there still may be a tool you haven’t tried yet.

 

I know that you are probably aware, if for no other reason, you need to rescue your marriage for your children’s sake. If you are not up to date on the long term negative effects of divorce on children, however, here is a tidbit from The Foundry, the blog of The Heritage Foundation:

As research on Heritage’s FamilyFacts.org illustrates, adolescents who do not live in intact families are more likely to engage in substance abuse, exhibit behavioral problems, have poor academic performance, and engage in risky behavior, including becoming sexually active at an early age.

In addition, children who do not live with both parents are more likely to experience psychological and emotional problems ranging from low levels of social competence and self-esteem to anxiety and depression.

Conversely, the positive effects of marriages that stay intact can extend for generations to come.

My heart absolutely breaks when I read this, knowing that you stand in a place where you are willing to put your children on this path fraught with potential peril, your little ones who you would never ever in a million years purposely put at risk.

And yet, here you are, so concentrated on just stripping off these stifling matrimonial bonds that you don’t realize you are simultaneously cutting your children loose from the safety cord that tethers them to the security of your marital relationship.

I know what you are thinking.

It’s over.

It’s not over until neither of you are of this earth any longer. Until then, the optimist within me believes there is way to breathe warmth, love and life back into your ice-cold marriage.

I don’t want to read a stupid book.

If I offered you wealth beyond your wildest dreams if you read a book or a blog that moved your heart and soul to join joyfully again with your mate, I suspect you would hit the trail to locate that treasure.

I don’t want to go to counseling.

If you just received the diagnosis of a deadly illness, I am confident you would not be quick to dismiss any idea out of hand, but instead you would try just about anything that hinted at a cure.

I don’t want to go to some worthless workshop.

If you were going to die unless you spent time away that would help you resuscitate your relationship, I have no doubt you would search in earnest for a great match.

I just don’t care.

I just don’t believe you.

I just have faith that here is a way forward through the frigid darkness. It’s a matter of finding what fits you, your spouse and your circumstances. Perhaps it’s a book that gives you the insight and hope you need. You might need the guiding light of a counselor or participation in workshop to translate ideas into action.

There is just too much at stake here to just walk away.

Michele Weiner-Davis of Divorce Busting recounts a story of her marriage and the long ago divorce of her parents:

Our children taught us the meaning of unconditional love and the gifts that come from selflessness and responsibility. They showed us what is really important in life– family. I cherished these lessons every day. But ironically, during this period of deep contentment and gratitude, something else began to stir inside me. I began to experience unexpected feelings of loss about my own childhood family. Increasingly I found myself searching for a way to understand what seemed like an inexplicable underlying grief. Although I thought I had made my peace with my parents’ divorce, I was coming to understand that my pain wasn’t just about the demise of my parents’ relationship. It was about the loss of my family.

Although I adored my two brothers, after my parents’ divorce, I had less and less contact with them. I had never before recognized how much my mother had held our family together. It was she who made holiday dinners and birthday cakes. It was she who filled my father in on our daily lives. It was my mother who was the hub of the wheel for my extended family and when she gave up that role, no one else stepped up to the plate. My father, traditionalist that he is, simply wasn’t prepared to take over my mother’s role as family magnet.

As she also notes: Whatever it is, you owe it to your children to leave absolutely no stone unturned if you are considering dissolving your marriage. Once a marriage dissolves, so too, does the family… forever.

I can’t say it any more simply or better than that, so I offer an assortment of resources to you-books, blogs, workshops-hoping something resonates with you enough to work your way towards the marriage you have always wanted.

 

Encouragement and hope from a couple who fought their way back from infidelity with God’s help: Sarah Markley of The Best Days of my Life

Showing Love Redux-What we pay attention to in our relationships flourishes

No stone unturned-Marriage saving tips

A list of Top 10 Marriage Books from Courtney at Women Living Well Ministries

The book Five Love Languages, The Secret to Love that Lasts, and a post: What love language do you speak?

Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage, by John Gottman

The uplifting movie Fireproof, about saving an apparently hopeless marriage, using the 40 day experiment from  The Love Dare book

Finding a counselor: Qualities to look for in a Marital Therapist

Family Life’s powerful Weekend to Remember, where you can learn marriage-changing principles

Remember as well that your local pastor can either counsel you or direct you to someone who can

 

Remember to keep your mind and heart open, as anything is possible, especially if you are ready to let go and let God into your life and marriage. Blessings in your travels and efforts as you head down this new path. My heart and prayers are with you.

 

Sharing at No Ordinary Blog Hop

Image credit-h.koppdelaney

 

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Comments

  1. What a great post. A good reminder and i hope many get to read it.
    Thanks for the visit, i really appreciate and i hope you have a great day.

  2. Thanks for coming by as well! We each do what we can, one post at a time to help strengthen and improve relationships!

  3. What a wonderful post! I just wanted to stand up and clap while I was reading it. I have been so disheartened by people close to me who believe that divorce is the best/only option for them and their spouse. I look at their children and just want to cry. My BIL and SIL divorced when my niece was 2. Sadly I find myself waiting for the fall-out in years to come. Thank you for offering so many resources here. This is so important! Thank you for sharing with NOBH. Blessings -

    • So many stories like yours, so many broken families, broken hearts and broken dreams. My heart goes out to each and every one of them. Thank you, Amy, for coming by and sharing.

  4. This stirs up a lot of emotion for me. My parents chose not to get a divorce, but to “stay together for the kids.” What happened, though, is that even though they remained physically in the same house, I believe that my brother and I are the product of emotional divorce. We lived with the fact that our parents would get a divorce after we were “out of the house.” And divorce, they did. 6 months after I got married. So, anyway, even though this was 11 years ago, it’s amazing how profoundly it affects us.

    • Oh, Jen, my heart goes out to you. I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for you and your brother. I also can’t imagine living with someone to whom I was already “emotionally divorced”.

      I am reminded of another piece by Michele Weiner-Davis of Divorce Busting. She wrote that the question-Do you think a couple should stay in an unhappy marriage if they have children?-
      “implies that once a marriage is unhappy, it will stay that way. This is an unfortunate assumption. We have come a very long way in the last few years in deciphering the formula for making marriages successful and happy. Couples can now take valuable relationship skill-building classes where they can learn how to transform an empty, unhappy marriage into a more loving one. It isn’t magic. When you have children, you owe it to them to leave absolutely no stone unturned if you are considering dissolving your marriage. Once a marriage dissolves, so too, does the family… forever.”

      I pray for you and the healing of your heart. I pray as well that your transparency helps change the mind and heart of a mom who stops by from one of “That’s it-I’m done” to “That’s it. I will fight like mad to save this marriage and my family.

      • Yes, I think that was the problem — my parents ultimately gave up. They tried but each of them would only give so much. Thank you so much for this response and for the email. I will be praying for married couples in this difficult place.

  5. Love your resources here, Kim! Great heart-felt post too, my friend!

    • Thanks, Beth. The closer the storm, the more heart felt the words, I think. It’s some of the best help I can give to the people I love who are in the midst of it…

Trackbacks

  1. [...] out the resources I listed in this post to jump start your [...]

  2. […] Rescuing Your Marriage: Resources. While I initially directed this post to folks whose relationships were in deep difficulty, many of the resources are applicable even if you are taking your marriage from good to great. […]

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