We spoke last time about reasons for divorce that involve sin on the part of either the husband or wife. Today I’d like to discuss marriages that fail not because of sin, but for other reasons.
Most of the time, when a marriage fails and sin is not an issue, the couple cites “irreconcilable differences” on the divorce decree. This covers a broad spectrum of issues including money problems, sexual problems, no longer wanting to be married, and no longer seeing eye-to-eye on important issues. The good news is, most of these problems can be fixed, if both partners in the marriage want them fixed.
The first step would be to talk to your Church leader and see what advice/counsel he has to offer. He will most likely encourage you to seek marriage counseling, which can be tremendously helpful.
If counseling doesn’t work, and you’ve entered into a period of fasting and prayer, you may still feel that you need to divorce.
There are times when men and women cease to get along, where, through no real fault on either side, the compatibility disappears. Of course, everything possible should be done to recreate that compatibility. It’s important to remember that the relationship you start the marriage with will not necessarily remain the same for twenty, thirty, fifty years. You won’t always feel your heart beat faster when he comes in the room. Your feelings will mellow. After being together for a certain number of years, you’ll see each other as fixtures. This is not a bad thing. It’s good for you to recognize that your spouse is a fixture in your life. Where the danger comes is when you take that fixture for granted.
I’ve been with my husband for thirteen years, and it’s true that my heart doesn’t race every time he looks at me, like it used to. But it races often enough to keep our relationship interesting, when we spend time together talking and doing things we both enjoy. That is a key, right there. You must spend time together, sharing thoughts and feelings in a nonjudgmental way. You need to cultivate those interests that brought you together in the first place.
If, after all this, you decide to go forward with the divorce, that is your choice. The Church, while it may counsel you to stay together or counsel you to separate, has no deciding say in your situation. You will be encouraged by your leaders to carefully pray about it before moving forward. If you feel, through the promptings of the Spirit, to get a divorce, then you are doing the right thing. If you feel that getting a divorce is not right, you will be given ideas for how to improve your marriage and given strength to combat those things in your relationship that are difficult to bear.
Don’t forget to check out all the great blogs in our Marriage section here at Families.com.