On a typical wedding day, the bride and groom are very happy. Family and friends do everything they can to “not worry” the happy couple. But it doesn’t stay that way, does it? Sometimes, we have to navigate a health crisis, a job layoff, or a pandemic—maybe even all at once (looking at you, 2020). When this occurs, relationship pressure can build until it explodes, and the stuff that comes out can be harmful and maybe even cause a marriage breakdown. So what can you do? There’s hope.
Sometimes, it may not be an event that triggers a marriage breakdown. We might just feel ourselves drifting apart. We allow our jobs, family members, and even our children to get between us. The things we did to win each other over are a distant memory. We don’t make our spouse a priority, and we hardly make attempts at investing in them emotionally. Carrying each other’s burdens and struggles is something we no longer do (Galatians 6:2 NIV). We allow our spouse’s way of doing things to cause a relational breach that we choose to ignore. The gap grows, and before we know it, we’re strangers living under the same roof. It’s often in these times that betrayal, in some form or fashion, occurs.
But your marriage breakdown isn’t the end of the story. While it takes work to rebuild a marriage, your relationship is worth the work. Before you start implementing a plan to repair your marriage, you have to ask yourselves this question: Is our marriage struggling because of something upon us or something between us? Here are a few ways to start turning things around.
1. Stop. This is where you stop everything and set aside time for each other. Get real, and get honest. Let your defenses down and seek to understand things from your spouse’s viewpoint. He/she is different than you but no less valuable or important. Do your best to identify the problem. Are outside pressures overwhelming your marriage, or have you allowed resentment, distance, and a lack of connectedness to come between you?
2. Go back. Once your defenses are down and you’ve identified what’s going on, remind yourselves and each other what brought you together in the first place. The marriage relationship often gets neglected. We think our marriage will just take care of itself. It won’t. If we want a healthy marriage, we have to invest in it intentionally every single day.
3. Rebuild. This step often includes bringing in wise people to help you rebuild your marriage. Finding a Christian counselor to help you and your spouse see things through a new lens could make a huge difference. Seeking out wise couples to mentor you and encourage you in the hard things—not just telling you what you want to hear—can also be incredibly beneficial. It might be time for you to bring in your LifeGroup and have a conversation about how your marriage is really doing. In addition to bringing in the right people, you’ll also want to spend time praying for your marriage and praying with one another. Ultimately, you and your spouse have to do the work and push through the pain in order to have the marriage you’ve always dreamed of. But no matter where you are right now, it is possible.
Experiencing a marriage breakdown doesn’t have to be the end of your marriage journey. It takes a significant trust in God to rebuild what is broken. But even when we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13 NIV)! So don’t lose heart as you embark on making your marriage what you always dreamed it would be.
Resources to Help Your Marriage
- Start the From This Day Forward Bible Plan
- Watch the From This Day Forward Series
- Watch The Vow Series
- Watch the Relationship Goals Series
- Start the Healing Your Marriage When Trust Is Broken Bible Plan
- Start the Rebuilding a Marriage Better Than New Bible Plan
- Ask for Prayer for Your Marriage
- Find a Married LifeGroup