How to Stay Together When Your Family and Friends Want You to Divorce

BY: - 15 Jun '17 | Marriage

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For years, my husband Don and I had an extremely rocky marriage. During those tumultuous years, I confided in a lot of girlfriends. I told them everything he did and did not do. I was painting a picture of him that had them not speaking to him or wanting to be around him.

When things were at their worst, I ran my mouth. Straight up. I even convinced myself that I was going to leave him. As I plotted to leave him, these friends were right there to encourage me to follow through with it.

For a while, I felt like they understood me and my pain. I felt that they knew me way more than my husband. I even allowed another man to fill my head with lies of what he would do for me when I left my husband. You see, I had a loveless marriage. I made a choice to stay for the kids’ sake. This is my truth.

After years of this plotting to leave Don, I decided to ask God how this was going to go down. God said, “Pray for your marriage”. Needless to say, I did not want to do that.  I wanted God to say, “go down to the courthouse and file your divorce papers.” But, that was not the answer I received.

I remember clearly hearing Him say, “Your husband is your ministry.” That response shocked me to my core because Don still was not acting right. We were still arguing. We were still on and off again not speaking to each other. I was still holding back on sex and being affectionate. I was still telling my friends how terrible he was.

It took me several more weeks to make up in my mind that I was going to stay. Once I did that, I was motivated to tell my friends. I was extremely nervous because I knew this was a complete 180 change from what I had been saying for years. I did not know that some of them would be slightly disappointed by this latest development. I thought they would be happy, but some were not, especially my single friends.

I had friends replay some of the things I shared in an attempt to make me upset with my husband. Others questioned why I would stay after all we had been through. Others let me know they thought it was a stupid idea. An ultra-independent friend told me that I was a slave to my husband and that she was disgusted that I allowed a man to control me.

This experience taught me several things about myself and about people. Some of those things are:

  • Seek God first! His ways are truly not our ways.
  • Everything that goes on in your marriage does not need to be shared
  • Everybody has an opinion of what they would and would not do. Follow your heart!
  • Don’t share your marriage drama with friends and family unless they support your marriage
  • Some things your single friends will not understand
  • Divorced friends are sometimes the hardest critics for staying married
  • Confide in one or two friends who will pray with you and tell you the truth about yourself
  • Make sure you have people who believe in marriage in your corner
  • When friends start to talk bad about your husband, shut them down
  • When your mother starts talking about your husband, shut her down too
  • Your husband is not as bad as you think he is

Guess what? Those same women who encouraged me to leave are no longer in my life. Guess who is still here? My husband!

Marriage is not easy but it is doable if you see the good in your husband. In turn, he will cherish and love you back. Had I listened to these women, Don and I would not be looking at celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary on June 12th. God is faithful if you are faithful.

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About the author

Tanya Barnett wrote 15 articles on this blog.

Tanya Barnett is a relationship strategist, speaker and the “Real” Wife Coach. She is the author of Being a Wife Just Got Real: Things I Wish I Knew, Before I Said, I Do”. She founded the Real Wife Movement™, where she equips single and married women with tools to create strong marriages and families. She is also the founder of Forever Free Books, a mobile literacy nonprofit, which delivers free books and story time to low income children in their neighborhoods and communities. She is a marathoner, triathlete and a serious book lover. She and her husband, Don, have 3 awesome kids.

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5 Things Every Wife Needs Her Husband to Understand

BY: - 19 Jun '17 | Communication

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If there is anything almost nine years of marriage has taught me, it’s that I can’t get my husband to read my mind. Yep, despite my best efforts, that brotha just can’t do it. Consider it a shortcoming if you must, but I realize that he’s just human.

My husband is actually human.

Shocking, right? After all, didn’t he get the memo that marrying me meant that he needed to meet my needs without instruction? Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit. I never expected my husband to be a mind reader. As nice as it sounds, it’s not possible. I mean, I can’t read his mind. And sometimes when I try, it doesn’t work out too well. I’m better off just asking the right questions and gathering information.

But with what I have figured out over the years, I’ve come to appreciate that there are a few important things that I just need my husband to understand. And I can’t assume he will just figure these things out on his own. That’s unreasonable. I’ve made it my business to communicate these things to him.

And can I tell you something?

Those conversations have made all the difference. They’ve allowed me to be clear about where I stand on certain issues, and they’ve given my husband the opportunity to understand where I stand.

After talking to a few married friends, I realize that most women want their husbands to understand the same things…because even though each marriage is unique, we all have our commonalities.

Here are five things every wife needs her husband to understand.

A little appreciation goes a long way.

This should go without saying, but I think wives need to say it to their husbands to avoid resentment. Your wife needs to be appreciated, verbally and through your actions. And when you show her appreciation, she remembers it. She appreciates you for expressing it. She is thankful you recognize her efforts. Your appreciation goes a very, very long way.

Honesty is the best chance you have at repairing damage.

If you’ve done anything to damage your marriage, don’t lie about it. Tell your wife the truth. Yes, tell her the truth even if it’s painful for her to hear. You see, the only thing that will hurt her more than hearing the truth from you is discovering it on her own. And that’s usually what happens. Be honest, deal with the consequences, and give your marriage a fighting chance.

Some decisions just aren’t about you.

When you marry someone, two lives are joined forever. There should be a mutual interest in growing together. But don’t forget that your wife is her own person. She was whole before she met you. Her decisions about her dreams and goals and passions are not always about you. They often have nothing to do with you. Sometimes, she just needs your love and support, not for you to fix things. Let her sort through some things on her own. She will come to you when she needs help.

You need to give one hundred percent.

People tend to say that marriage is 50/50, but I think that line of thought can land you in trouble. In order for things to work, consider thinking about your marriage as a 100/100 partnership. Expect your wife to give one hundred percent and you plan to give one hundred percent as well. You get what you give, so give your marriage everything you’ve got.

Love is essential, but it isn’t enough.

It’s important for a woman to feel loved by the man she chose to spend a lifetime with, but love alone isn’t enough. Are you communicating with your wife? Are you building a vision together? Are you showing her appreciation? Do you respect her? Do you listen to her? Do you go on dates with her? Remember that you can’t build a happy marriage on love alone. You need a stronger foundation than that.

BMWK family, what are some things you wish you wife or husband understood?

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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