“Who is responsible for the success…or failure…of your marriage?” Not every couple wants the pastor to help. Some have secret agendas to justify their actions.
I’ve often thought about the people who have made confessions to me after they ended a marriage. Though they did not come to me early on, I’d hear transparent comments about their previous manipulation.
One husband once confessed, “I just wanted out of my marriage no matter what was said. I was dead set on using anything I could to divorce her. I was having an affair.”
A gal told me, “I actually deprived my husband of sex with the hope he’d commit adultery. When he did, I told the church elders of his adultery and they approved my divorce. I mislead the elders.”
Many people have a need to confess.
Their deception eats away at them.
They need to get it off their chest.
When such folks would divulge the truth about their unscrupulous actions, it caused me to wonder about the others who were meeting with me.
Did they have a secret agenda?
I even think of those who make comments our blogs and Facebook. When people scroll through our topics, do they look for information to help them make personal adjustments to improve their actions and reactions in the marriage…or for information that bolsters their position and justifies blaming their spouse?
Healing or Hurting
Do they want to make a copy of a blog so they can re-read it later and begin applying what spoke to their hearts?
Or do they make a copy to send to their spouses to read, since they see their spouses as having the problem?
Would you let me ask a personal set of questions, like I am your older, caring brother? In fact, let’s suppose you sat with me and said, “Big brother, ask me any question you think I need to hear.”
Okay, where are you at in this juncture of your marriage, given you are discouraged with the relationship and wondering how you will really be happy?
Are you looking for information to:
- tickle your ears, telling you what you want to hear?
– bolster your position against your spouse?
– judge your spouse as the one to blame and the one in the wrong?
– justify physical separation and even divorce?
– say publicly, “Even Emerson couldn’t help us?”
Or are you looking to:
- open your heart to God’s truth, knowing He is patient and gentle with you?
– own up to your side of the marital equation though your spouse has their own serious issues?
– honestly share your inadequacies in the marriage, rather than argue that you are not at fault?
– find the many good reasons for staying together, defaulting to the positives about your spouse?
– resist saying, “This is our last resort?”
By the way, if you do use the expression, “the last resort,” let it be about my home, not your marriage. My mom would be pleased and tell you to bring your swim suit.
I believe most couples truly seek advice and help because they want to heal their marriage. They are prepared to take the responsibility.
For those exceptions–those who want to place the responsibility elsewhere–perhaps it’s time to rethink your motives and remember the reasons you were drawn to your spouse in the first place.