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Miserable Marriage
Photo: Nikolay Mamluke
Ten years later, they are miserable. I’ve recently had two conversations with women who feel this way about their marriages and their lives. As you can imagine, there are many painful issues in each relationship—unhappiness is rarely one-sided or simple to understand. However, in both of these situations, the women married young and never really had a life outside of wife and mother. They are now in their early thirties and realizing they have dreams of their own that have never been fulfilled. Unfortunately, the unhappiness that comes from self-neglect can often spill over and begin to erode other relationships with spouse and children. Communication between the members of the family begins to fail and life spirals down into despair.

I wish I could say that I had magical words to offer these women. I do not. And even the Lord does not sprinkle magic dust to instantly fix hurting families. But He does offer peace and fathomless love to all who rely on Him. I spoke of that to these women and I also gave some practical suggestions.

Practical Suggestions

1.  Counseling: There are many wonderful people whom God has gifted with the ability to counsel and actively listen to others. Finding a good counselor to see as a couple can be very helpful.

2.  Make time: When things become stressful, most relationships begin to feel like a chore. Making time to enjoy a few moments with one of your children or a date night with your spouse or simply time to drink a cup of tea alone and have a moment to think and breathe can work wonders for a tired heart.

3.  Know that the grass isn’t necessarily greener: As a child of divorce myself, I know that a broken family is filled with endless problems as well. While the leaving spouse may feel a sense of freedom and relief upon being out of the relationship, there is much pain that comes with dragging a family through divorce and the subsequent years of upheaval.

There are times when divorce is appropriate, but in many situations where abuse is not involved, the relationships can be saved with much prayer and patience and perseverance.
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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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