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Do You Feel Really Alone in Your Marriage?
I write a lot about marriages. I want to save marriages. That's why I'm writing The Good Girl's Guide to Sex--to try to help get marriages off to a good start!

But I'm quite aware that many of my readers would love to save their marriage--but their spouse doesn't seem to see it the same way.

I've received two heartbreaking emails this week, and heard the story of a close friend who is going through a rough time, too, and it made me think I need to say something to those women, too. So I did! I thought I'd start video blogging some of my posts, and this seemed like a good one to start on:

If you want to save your marriage:

1. Remember, just because it's awful now doesn't mean it always will be.

Of people who rated their marriages as a 7 or 8 on a 1-8 scale, with 8 being lousy, 78% rated it as a 1 or 2 5 years later. Things often do get better! Just because your marriage is in the toilet does not necessarily mean it's time to flush it.

2. Get some mentors

But what if you've been waiting and it's not improving? Surround yourself with a great Christian body. Find one or two great mentors or counselors to tell the whole story to who can give you wise counsel. I knew one woman who was sure her husband was being verbally abusive to their daughter. He wasn't. He was just stricter than she was (she didn't believe in limits). She needed someone outside to show her that.

At the same time, sometimes drastic action is necessary. Find a good Christian mentor to help you.

3. Get a hold of James Dobson's Love Must Be Tough.

Written for those whose spouses are having affairs, it's still a great book for many marital issues. When your spouse is doing something that endangers the marriage, the answer isn't to be a doormat. It's to change the dynamic in your relationship so your spouse feels the consequences of his actions!

Watch the video for the two heartbreaking emails, and if you have any good advice for those women, do leave a comment!

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At 2:58 PM , Blogger D.L. Diener said…

That was beautiful. And that wave of how great or awful things are rings true with me (my marriage).

Sending love and prayer for the women in those e-mails.


At 8:35 PM , Blogger Jennifer said…

Boy, that's a hard one!

(And, Shelia, I have to say I did not watch the video because of slow internet tonight).

The spouse that has given up can eventually change! Or the one that is trying to make it work but irritating the given up spouse may not know how to stop.

But continuing to try to make it work when the other has no interest is painful for everyone. And if they have not been unfaithful yet, how long do you think it will stay that way in our current society?

If you have given up, have you told your spouse? Have you given you two a chance to try to work it out? Are you communicating? Or are you nagging? Or have you just shut down?

Get them to tell you WHY they have given up. That answer may surprise you!

If one spouse is not willing to work it out then someone is probably not following Biblical principles. Or they were not in the past and it's the other spouse that is so hurt they don't want to keep trying.

I've know people that have waited for years and years! Occasionally there has been a change, but boy, how often has it just led to more damage???

I'm one for a call to action. If they refuse to go to counseling, if a separation does not work, if there is no repentance and they are unfaithful or abusive, then let them go.

Don't enable them to continue in their sin without any consequence.

But often, if there is a call to action IN LOVE, then the response will be positive.


At 11:31 PM , Blogger Tara said…

My advice would be to get ahold of the ultimate comforter and councillor, Jesus Christ. Read the word of the bible together, pray togehter, and attend a spirit filled church. God can put any broken marriage back together. he can do anything!


At 11:34 PM , Blogger Sheila said…

Tara, I totally hear you. But a lot of women have a problem with the "together" part because the husbands just refuse. And that's what's tough, is that you feel like you're in this alone because the husbands won't pray, won't go to church, and won't even talk about it.

Everybody needs God, but I think we need Christian community, too! If you're in a crisis marriage, DO talk to God, just like Tara said. But get other Christians around you, too, because you'll need help and you'll need good counsel. So find a great church that works hard for marriages!

And Jennifer, I totally hear what you're saying. I've seen a lot of marriages where people have waited and waited and nothing has happened. I'd only caution that I don't think it's our role to leave--but if the other does, then I think we are free.


At 9:21 AM , Anonymous Wendy said…

I agree with Sheila, in that I don't believe it is our role to decide what the consequences of our spouses sin should be. In that frame of mind, you would be essentially trying to play the holy spirit in your spouses life, and that is not our role. Also, OUR time frame is NOT God's! We cannot determine how long is "long enough", that is God's job, not ours. My marriage would have been over ten years ago if I listened to that kind of counsel. Praise God, I didn't, even though people supported my leaving if it was my choice. What people don't realize, is, divorce is NOT a choice for a Christian marriage. If my marriage ended, it would be because the person in sin ended it, and that is not going to be me!

Thanks Sheila, your video was a blessing <3


At 11:41 PM , Anonymous Bonnie said…

Love, love, loved the video. What a fun way to "read" a blog post. Please do more in the future, I enjoyed this so much!

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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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