For the love of God, would you please stop using divorce as a way to solve marital problems!?
For the last few months, I’ve been giving relationship advice on my website. People have been submitting their questions privately, using an alias to protect their true identity, and I respond directly to their email address. Nothing gets posted online.
And let me tell ya…yall got some ‘issuzzz’! I’ve gained a new respect for what it takes to create and sustain a successful marriage. Because these people don’t live in the fairy-tale world of the ideal marriage situation. You know…man and woman meet, they fall in love, get married, have some babies – go through some troubles along the way – and live happily ever after.
Nawww…homie. Real, everyday, ordinary, good people are dealing with real gut-punching issues like adultery, abandonment, lose of affections, his children don’t like the new wife…and her children don’t like the new husband – type issues.
And to their credit, those that have reached out to me for advice are trying to find a way to solve their problems and make their marriage work.
But the thing that’s gets-my-goat about their problem solving methods is how easily they talk about divorce as being an option for solving them. So let me make this crystal clear to everyone…if you’re going through problems in your marriage like the ones mentioned above; or if your spouse won’t listen to you, is too controlling, isn’t freaky enough, or won’t communicate with you, let me tell you like I told all of them:
1. STOP Using divorce as a Problem Solving Tool!
Divorce is not a problem solving tool. It is a marriage ending tool. And you don’t solve problems within your marriage by ending your marriage. That’s like getting a cut on your leg and amputating it to treat the wound.
Do couples get divorced? Of course they do. Is divorce sometimes necessary? Yes indeed. Even Jesus gave just cause for divorce under certain circumstances (I’m not discussing that topic now, but if you want some references, see Matthew 19:1-12 and Mark 10:1-12).
2. STOP Using the Threat of Divorce as Leverage to Extract Compliance!
If you want to stay married and not end it; or if you want to solve the problems within your marriage and not escape from them…then you must STOP considering divorce as the solution to your problem. Especially those of you in your second marriage…because you have precedent. You must STOP using the threat of divorce as leverage to extract compliance. You are being manipulative and using coercion to get what you want. And that’s evil.
3. STOP Using Divorce as an Excuse Not to Mature as a Man or Woman!
Grow up! Become a loving husband and loving wife. Be more understanding an empathetic of your spouse’s thoughts and preferences. You don’t always have to have your way. That’s selfish and you’re devaluing your spouse.
4. STOP Using Divorce as an Excuse to Quit When Marriage is Harder Than You Think it Should Be!
It’s only harder than you think it should be because you have a pre-defined level of effort you planned on exerting. And now that the demands of marriage require you to learn more and grow more…you want to quit. STOP using divorce as an excuse to quit! Use the fact that you’re married as an excuse to find a resolution!
Yes…it’s hard. Yes…she makes you mad. Yes…he hurt you. Yes…her children are coming between you and your wife. Yes he violated your trust.
If you want to fix it…and not end it, then take divorce out of the equation and get some help.
Fa-real tho…the reason why some of you married couples can’t fix these problems is because you don’t know how. I mean…really…who taught you how to solve marital problems. Your mother? Your father? Some workbook you read in premarital counseling? There are a host of professionals, relationship coaches, ministries, etc… that are dedicated to helping couples work through their problems and keep their marriage together. Do this for me…use them! Set aside your pride and use them! What do you have to lose…but your marriage.
So for those who are going through some ‘issuzzz’…but want their marriage to work, cut out the divorce talk. It’s not a problem solving tool. It’s a marriage ending tool.