After posting last week about the 6 warning signs of a marriage in trouble, I’ve revised a post from the Persevering Marriage series to offer further hope.
Do you think your marriage is stuck in a rut?
In every marriage relationship, problems seem to pile up. Then just when one problem gets solved, another crops up in its place.
Don’t wait until you feel like your marriage is in quicksand with little hope of being released from its grip—
Over the span of our long marriage, we’ve had many ruts we couldn’t get out of on our own:
- Transitions resulting from Dennis’ military assignments (11 in 22 years)
- Our son’s cancer diagnosis that ended his life 3 years later
- Financial crises
- Difficulty with teenage children
- Dennis’ depression
3 Ways to Unstick a Stuck Marriage
1. Seek professional help.
Some of these periods were so difficult, we got stuck. This isn’t working was a constant thought. We chose to seek professional therapists.
Although Dennis and I are committed to our marriage, at the time, the obstacle seemed too huge for us to tackle alone. There was just too much hurt, anger, and misunderstanding.
Family Law Specialist Stacey D. Phillips suggest you make sure the therapist is a neutral party who can help you sort out your differences together and fix what is broken.
It is not unusual for two people in a close personal relationship to be blinded by their own insights. An outsider, who is qualified, can help both of you identify your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses. From there, you can begin to renew your relationship from a healthier perspective.
Dr. Brent Bradley and Dr. James Furrow offer 10 warning signs your marriage may need couple counseling. They advise couples not to feel ashamed if they need to call in a professional:
Human relationships—and especially marriages—are very complicated; and often our beliefs about how they should work are full of misunderstandings.
2. Become a student on marriage.
a. Participate in marriage seminars and small groups.
We’ve attended Married for Life groups, A Weekend to Remember , and a Love After Marriage workshop. There are great resources for marriage improvement. Check them out to find a good fit for your marriage.
We diligently pursue marriage workshops, group studies and classes in our community and church.
b. Read books on marriage together.
Do you have a favorite book on marriage? Please share in the comments.
c. Watch YouTube or DVD teachings on improving your marriage.
Check out Barry and Lori Byrne, Mark Gungor, Dave Willis. Search for Christian Marriage topics and you’ll find a plethora of teachings.
3. Search for Marriage Mentors.
Do you see a couple whose marriage bears good, productive and lasting fruit? Ask them if they’d prayerfully consider mentoring you. Many of us didn’t have good marriage role models growing up. Learning from couples whose marriages you would like to imitate is a way to enlist help for your own.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that it makes us sad when couples come to us for marriage counseling as their last resort. Usually they’ve struggled for so long and so hard, one of them has already checked out of the marriage.
If only they’d come to us sooner.
If every couple quit when marriage got difficult, Dave Willis says, 100% of couples would be divorced. Challenges in your marriage are an opportunity to work together; not an excuse to give up on each other.
Great marriages don’t just happen…they take work. Always. For a lifetime.
Get the help you need to get unstuck!
You are loved,