Have you tried everything?

Recently I posted a short reading I used in a sermon entitled “Before You Say, ‘I Quit‘” Apparently it hit a nerve with several people, because that post quickly became my most viewed post. I have been reflecting about the reason it is so popular and have only come up with one answer – a lot of people are ready to quit in their marriage. Many people find themselves in a season of frustration and doubt in their marriage.

To couples who are on the edge of quitting I usually ask one singe question, “Have you tried everything you can to save your marriage?”

There are two essential parts to this question:

1. Have YOU tried everything? Don’t tell me what your spouse has or has not done. You can only control your actions. Accept responsibility for your actions and do the work to improve.

2. Have you tried EVERYTHING? The old saying is that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. And yet, many of us try the same things over and over again in our marriage. Have you been to counseling? Have you taken a vacation together? Have you been to your pastor? Have you read a book? Have you been to a conference? Have you done anything? If you tried something in the past and it didn’t work then try something different this time.

Now I know some of you have tried everything. We would need to have a personal talk about what to do now. But most people I meet are stuck in a cycle of blame. They blame their spouse and/or they blame some singular technique they tried that didn’t work. My single question to people cuts to the heart of the issue, “Have you tried everything you can to save your marriage?” “Have you?”

One thought on “Have you tried everything?

  1. I wish I could say I have tried everything. I would feel at peace with the choice my husband made to divorce me and leave his family. It was all done with e-mails and face book posts. He had met someone. That is how his children found out. I love this man but I didn’t tell him. No, we didn’t go to counseling. We did not go on vacations together. The last time was 25 years before our divorce. Yes, I did go talk to my pastor. My husband did not. He was never home and spent little time with his family. His friends and his hobbies were more important than his family. At least they seemed to be. I don’t know the real truth. I wish I did. Now I will never know. Because he moved away and all there is a text sent every other month to his children. That is all the contact we have. He married 1 day after our divorce was final. So I wont get my chance to see if we could have worked things out. I wish more than anything I had that chance. No, I don’t fully blame him, I also played my part, I do blame him for throwing away more than 30 years of marriage without giving it his all. And for not sitting down and having that conversation with me. I know this sounds lame but I love him deeply and didn’t think he would ever leave me. I wanted the chance for BOTH of us to give it our all before calling it quits. I really didn’t understand exactly how serious the situation was between the two of us. I didn’t know how he felt and I guess he didn’t know how I felt. So, I pray everyday that I can find peace with what has happened, I blame myself for many things, I have heard he seems to be happy and I guess has pretty much forgotten about his former family. And that really hurts, We did love each other I think we just lost our way. So I say do everything you can, and don’t give up until you have. And once you have, and both of you agree than at least you WILL have peace in knowing you did everything you possibly could. Praying to God and still looking for my peace….

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