If you step on a nail you will experience immense pain, and maybe even feel like you are dying depending on how large the nail is. All you will think about day and night is getting it out. But the fact is you can be completely healthy and have a great heart, good brain functioning, a strong immune system and strong bones and muscles, and still feel tremendous pain. It is because your body is healthy and functioning properly that it sends messages of pain to the brain because of the nail. If you step on a nail and don’t feel any pain then there is something seriously wrong.
In the same way, when there is a problem in a marriage there will be a lot of pain. It can be so painful that the spouses are unable to think about anything besides the problem. Unfortunately many misinterpret pain to mean the relationship is unhealthy and maybe even dead. However, it is because two people love each other that the other person can cause them pain. It is because there is so much life in the relationship that it feels like dying when there are problems. Even hatred toward your spouse means you love them. You are just hurt and angry, maybe even afraid. When you do not love your spouse there is indifference and lack of emotion.
People will do most anything to eliminate pain when they have it, but the problem is they don’t know what to do to fix it. Getting a divorce is like shooting yourself to eliminate the pain from the nail. It is going to result in a lot more pain than what you are currently going through even though that may not seem possible. Divorce is a mirage in a desert of despair. It appears as hope to end the pain. You travel toward it hoping to find water for your dehydrating soul, but when you finally arrive you find it is just more heartache. Divorce appears to be a solution, but instead it is a flood of problems that may bury your chances of finding happiness. If you can’t make your current marriage work, how much harder will it be to make the next one work with your current dysfunction plus added emotional baggage and possibly blended family issues as well.
I think people try to fix their marriages, but they just don’t know what to do. Typically people use rejection to try and change each other (ultimatums, conflict, anger, silent treatment, withdrawing, etc.). People do not become more loving when they perceive rejection, they become more hurtful and more hardened toward the other. So doing what seems like the natural way to get the outcome you want, actually results in the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Spouses can get caught in a cycle of trying to have the marriage they want, but using counter productive ways to accomplish this. They can both be very passionate and determined. They can use that passion against each other and devour the marriage with a quickness, but if they both start using that passion and determination to save the marriage in an effective way they could see tremendous results. When emotions are heightened people are not ready for a divorce. Their judgment is too clouded by hurt and anger to even be able to see the situation clearly. Their actions become about getting revenge or protecting themselves from further pain rather than making a wise life decision.
God uses unconditional acceptance to change people. And he designed marriage to be based on the foundation of commitment which is unconditional acceptance. This is what creates a safe environment for intimacy and respect. It is only when people feel accepted when they fail that they rise above it and become the spouse they have the potential to be. It is very hard to give others grace, because you aren’t God. But he can help you if you will lay down your pain and expectations and let him breathe life into your marriage.
I think if you just try to do it God’s way you will see the change that you have been striving for, but cannot make happen. You have to surrender you marriage to Him. Let it go. Don’t try to fix your marriage anymore, and don’t try to get a divorce. God will protect you, heal you, and restore you. I believe he can make your spouse the person of your dreams if you will do things his way. He can make a way where there seems to be no way. You have to do things you don’t want in order to get the result you do want. You can do this! You may be strong enough to carry the weight of your marriage on your shoulders, but will you be strong enough to lay it down.