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Fight for your Marriage
Because I write a syndicated column, and because of this blog, I receive a lot of emails asking for advice. The funniest--though also serious--email recently was this one about what to do when your husband stinks! Thanks for all your suggestions. Consensus seems to be: take the direct approach and tell him to shower and brush his teeth. Works for me.

Most of the emails, though, are of a very different variety. It seems that the majority have to do with custody issues, and they're often written by the non-custodial parent. They're heart-breaking. I'm changing some details here, but I remember one where a teenager has been raised by a parent to have absolutely no responsibility. They're now wanting to drop out of school, and there's nothing the non-custodial parent can do. He wants to know how he can make his daughter learn to be responsible, when he only has her two weekends a month, and she doesn't want to come over anymore because he's too strict.

Another woman wants to know what to do because her ex-husband is bribing her teens to come live with him. He'll pay the child support he now pays to his ex-wife directly to the kids if they move in with him. This is actually a common tactic; I've had several people write me with that one.

What can I say? The truth is that at that point there is very little you can do. Your situation is a mess. It needs a major God intervention. Sure there are little things you can do around the margins, but on the whole it's one stinking heap.

Inside, when I read these messages, my most common thought is that I wish they had worked on their marriages before it got to this point. Divorce is no fun. You can never really get rid of an ex-spouse, and they will become a burden to your no matter what.

I know sometimes divorce is inevitable. I have a friend who left her husband last year because she found out he had been sexually molesting one of their daughters. My mother was divorced because my father was having an affair, and refused to give up his girlfriend.

Most divorces, though, are simply because people have grown apart and believe there is something better out there.

I don't think there is. Don't wait for right person to come along; become the right person for your marriage, right now, and you will find your relationship growing. Don't wait for him to change; you change.

I know that's tough. I know it's not easy to be in a marriage when you feel alone. But trust me, you don't feel as desperate now as many of these divorced parents do when they have so little control over their kids.

That's why so much of what I write is about marriage. Sure kids are important, and we have to raise them well. But without a solid foundation in our marriages, we're stealing something precious from our kids. We're stealing their stability, their relationships, their understanding of commitment. Don't do it. Love your husband.

Tomorrow is my edition of Wifey Wednesday. Please stop by for some really practical marriage advice. Listen to today's podcast about how to make sure kids don't come between you and your husband. And if sex is really an issue for you in your marriage, you can do something about that, too. On February 4 I'm having a big internet party for my book, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight: Help for women who want to feel more in the mood. Sign up for an email notification on the day about all the great contests that are happening!

I love marriage. I think almost any marriage can be turned around with prayer and the right attitude. And if your marriage is going fine, don't settle for that. I want a great marriage. Don't you? Let's use this online community for encouragement and advice to spur us on towards that great relationship! It is possible, it's His design, and it's just around the corner.

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 7:07 AM , Blogger Tracey said…

I wanted to go to counselling with my x and he didn't and he go asked for the divorce. I didn't fight it though. He actually had the nerve to expect me to pay for half...long story short.....that didn't happen. Anyway....I agree with you.......this guy is wonderful and yes I did think the previous guy would change. So when I was dating this guy, everyday I asked myself, "If he never changes and has all the habits and quirks he has today, could you live with that." The answer was always yes. We've been married for almost 6 years.


At 9:28 AM , Blogger Kris said…


Several years ago, my own marriage went through what very well could have been a deal-breaker. My husband had an affair with his best friend's wife. I had limited contact with his best friend as we broke contact between families permanently, but one of the last conversations we had was about whether marriage was worth fighting for. He didn't believe it was, he thought the pain was just too great. Well, yeah, it was. I went through the same pain. But my husband and I fought HARD for our marriage. It took three long years and a LOT of pain to be truly healed. Unfortunately, in that three years, the other family has gone through a nasty divorce, had bitter custody battles, and been bankrupted, all because they would have rather fought for divorce than marriage. It's sad.

I'm SO glad the Lord showed my husband and I that our marriage (and our kids' futures) were worth the pain. I wish others could see past that pain to the blessing that a healed marriage can be.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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