You've finally found it.
If you are looking for what to do right now to help you continue standing for your marriage:
- even when you've lost all hope,
- even when your spouse is gone,
- even when everyone else is telling you to give up
Then you've found it.
This isn't an all-inclusive list, but it's pretty close.
Furthermore, this list wasn't written by me. This list was not written by someone who overcame marriage crisis in the past. This was written by someone who is currently in the middle of fighting for her marriage, even though her spouse is gone.
Maybe your spouse is gone physically. Maybe your spouse is gone emotionally. It doesn't matter, you fight for your marriage the same way.
This comes from someone fighting on the frontlines now.
Here are 17 Ways to Stand for Your Marriage even When Your Spouse is Gone
1. It doesn't always take two to save a marriage.
One may be out the door into the arms of another. It doesn't mean the end. Focus on you. Change you. Get your groove back.
Work on your PIES (improving Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, Spiritually).
2. Understand feelings are fickle.
He/she says he/she doesn't love you anymore (or loves you but isn't in love with you). Just because he/she says that now, that doesn't mean it will remain the same. Stand anyway and see #1.
3. You cannot control ANYONE but you.
He/she will make his/her own decisions, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. No amount of manipulation will stop it. Work on YOU. See #1.
4. You WILL get through this.
If you are a Christian, lean into Jesus and allow him to sustain you.
5. Divorce doesn't necessarily mean the end.
There are many restoration stories that confirm this. If a divorce happens and you know you are meant to keep standing, then keep standing.
6. Get legal advice.
It does not mean you have to file, it does not mean it will end in divorce. It's wise to seek help in protecting you and any children.
7. Read, read, read the articles at MarriageHelper.com/articles/.
Listen to the podcasts on MarriageRadio.com. Get as much knowledge as possible on what is happening and why.
8. Recognize that your emotions are real and legitimate.
Recognize that acting out of those emotions could very well be a death sentence for your marriage. It's HARD, but making decisions above your emotions is paramount.You might not be able to control what you feel, but you CAN control how to not let them rule you.
9. Be thankful.
There is always something to be thankful about, even in the midst of horrible circumstances. Being thankful changes your perspective and your mindset. Wallowing in despair won't solve anything (I say this in love and understanding, because I know how gut wrenchingly awful this is).
10. Do not allow your spouse's actions and words to determine your stance.
I say it a lot, but you have to keep looking UP and not at what he/she is doing. The wayward spouse is in a "fog" of sorts and most likely doesn't even know what he/she wants.
We don't know (and cannot judge) the heart, so it's best to find your strength in God and keep on keeping on, no matter what the other does.
11. Time, time, time, time, time.
Let me say it again: TIME.
The victory will not be won in our timeframe. And when it doesn't happen as quickly as you'd like, do not give up.
You will grow weary, you will want to give up, you will get hurt, you will want to walk away from it all from time to time.
Let God do what He needs to do in him/her and more importantly, in YOU. This journey isn't easy, but God will sustain you if you keep looking to Him.
12. Feed your soul and spirit.
Find things that make you happy and DO THEM (exercising wisdom of course – do NOT go looking for another relationship, it will only complicate things significantly).
You can't use the Word as a weapon of warfare (and this is a SPIRITUAL battle remember) if you don't know it. Feed your spirit with the Word, with good teaching, with good books, with worship music. Even when you don't feel like it. Allow it to build your faith.
13. Choose your counsel very wisely.
Most will NOT understand your stand. Most will (in love) try to dissuade you. You may lose friends or family over it.
Find those who are trustworthy that will stand and pray and believe with you.
14. Choose who you tell things to very carefully.
Don't "poison the well". Yes, he/she is doing the wrong thing and hurting you. Be the bigger person and don't blab about it to everyone.
It may push your spouse further away and prevent his/her return. Its not worth it. Vent to God, write a journal, post in Marriage Helper's private Facebook group filled with people standing for their marriage. See #13.
15. You can do this and your stand is WORTH IT.
Even if he/she doesn't come back, you will grow. There are things you can only learn in the hard seasons. In the end, no matter what, you will be in a much better place in yourself if you do the right things. See #1.
16. Think about what you're thinking about.
Are you dwelling on the negative, the lies of the enemy … or on the positive, on Truth? You cannot dwell on negativity and have a positive life. The battlefield is in the mind. See #12.
17. Don't try to read into your spouse's actions.
There is no logic. You will drive yourself crazy over analyzing. Worry about you. See #1.
Pretty powerful, huh?
The author of this list didn't come up with this by herself, sitting alone in her house one day. She came to understand these 17 principles by surrounding herself with the people that encourage her to stand for her marriage and by investing herself (with finances and with time) in learning the best things that she could do to save her marriage.
That's the importance of community.
That's the community we provide at Marriage Helper.
So, if your spouse is completely done with your marriage, don't do this alone. Don't even attempt to. Join a community of people that will support you.
This article was originally posted here.