Did you know that the divorce rate is almost 50%? Seriously. That means that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. In today’s short #MarriageMonday, we’re identifying 8 questions you can ask to start putting more energy towards saving your marriage than ending it.
Mark: It seems like it’s nearly daily that we hear about another marriage breaking up. What’s so hard for me is knowing that a large percentage of those divorces don’t really need to happen. In a lot of cases, couples simply allowed the slow fades in marriage to draw them apart from one another. Eventually, it just felt to them like more work to come back together than to call it quits.
Jill: Sometimes it’s folks we know and sometimes it’s folks we only know about. However, there’s often one common denominator that we’ve observed: These couples often spend more energy on pursuing divorce than they spend on pursuing marriage.
Mark: I understand hopelessness. I really do. If you know any of my story, I also believed at one time that divorce was the answer. Looking back, however, I can now see that I spent way more time in my head focused on ending our relationship than I did on healing our relationship. I didn’t believe it could be healed so I quit trying. In doing so, I nearly destroyed us. (If you’re thinking about leaving your marriage, here’s something I’ve written for you.)
Jill: What goes on inside our head and our heart really makes a difference in what goes on inside our marriage relationship. So what would it look like to start giving more mental and emotional energy to connection in your marriage? Here are some questions you can ask yourself today to move in that direction:
- Am I focusing more on what my spouse does wrong than what my spouse does right?
- Am I spending a lot of energy trying to change him/her?
- What if I took the amount of energy I’m spending on the wrong things and put it on the right things?
- What if instead of securing the services of a lawyer, I secured the services of a marriage counselor?
- What if we took the money it will cost to divorce (average $10,000-15,000) and invested it into getting help for our marriage instead?
- Have I spent the time needed to really figure out what’s going on inside of me that’s contributing to the dysfunction or frustrations in our marriage?
- Have we read books, gone to marriage retreats, and sought out the help of someone who can help us hear each other better?
- Am I being honest with my spouse about how I’m really feeling?
Mark: Even if your marriage is in a good place, asking yourself what you’re focusing on most can make a big difference in how you see your spouse. By intentionally taking inventory of where your thoughts are at, you can identify where some growth opportunities are in your heart.
Jill: And if your marriage is in a hard place, please don’t give up before giving it all you’ve got. Healing is possible! Your marriage is worth your energy, your time, and your investment.
We’re curious: Which of these questions stands out the most to you? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more marriage resources? Start with No More Perfect Marriages!
Do you feel like your marriage is hanging on by a thread (or you want to make sure it doesn’t get there)? Consider our Marriage 2.0 Intensive that we host at our home in Normal, IL. We only work with one couple at a time. We’d love to work with you!
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Have I spent the time needed to really figure out what’s going on inside of me that’s contributing to the dysfunction or frustrations in our marriage?
This is probably the hardest one for me but the most important. Identifying the “buttons” and their relationship to my past and what they could mean to my future. It is hard to crack that hard shell but very important. When a man starts to share his feelings all kinds of things start to happen. Walking away from a self focused life can also help with a greater trust and obedience to our heavenly Father. Actually focusing on the presence of Jesus. God has a totally different plan for us today than we do. I wonder how He is going to solve this one?
I love what you said about walking away from a self focused life…so important…especially for marriage!