When You Know Your Marriage Is Over

When You Know Your Marriage Is Over – We all know a friend or family member who has experienced a separation or divorce. We listen to their heart-wrenching stories and think, “My God, don’t let something like this happen to my marriage.”

Since none of us wants to endure the tragedy of divorce, it is important to recognize the signs of a failed marriage.

When You Know Your Marriage Is Over

Although every marriage is different (it would be impossible and presumptuous to assume that every marriage follows a certain pattern), many broken marriages share similar trouble spots—certain mindsets or habits that slowly erode the marriage bond.

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By examining the ways the Bible encourages husbands and wives to act in marriage, we can identify 5 mindsets or habits that are signs of a failing marriage.

I know in my own marriage that when I start practicing this unhealthy way of thinking, my marriage suffers and there is a noticeable amount of strain. How about you?

For the health of your marriage, I encourage you to read this list of warning signs of a troubled marriage with an open and honest heart.

If you’re seeing some of these signs of a troubled marriage in your relationship, this post will offer some honest, heartfelt encouragement and resources that can really help.

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Before I start talking about the warning signs of a broken marriage, I want to address the obvious: physical or psychological abuse by a spouse.

Abuse is never okay. This is not only morally wrong, it can even be illegal in some cases. If nothing else, abuse is a huge sign of a broken marriage.

If you or a loved one is experiencing this marital problem, seek professional help immediately. FOCUS Ministries, a faith-based domestic violence center for women and children, suggests calling 9-1-1 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233) if you are in immediate danger.

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Is abuse grounds for divorce? If you are in a bad relationship, I encourage you to sincerely seek divine counsel regarding your particular situation; and above all spending time praying and fasting for answers.

Here are a few posts that offer some biblical insights for those experiencing domestic violence. You are not alone in this situation and there is hope!

We are called to love our spouses daily (Ephesians 5), whether we serve them physically or allow their opinions to be as valuable as ours when making decisions (Philippians 2:3-4).

I know, I hear you. We think, “Why should I serve him if he doesn’t treat me right, or if I know he doesn’t serve me in return?”

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But here’s the catch: Not being able to love “until” (until he treats you right, etc.) means you’re missing out on the wonderful example of sacrificial love God intended for marriage.

If you choose to love your spouse only when he loves you, you are not understanding the fullness of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.

And finally, failing to serve your spouse unconditionally will severely limit the intimacy between the two of you and stifle God’s desire to use your marriage to grow you in holiness.

Your partner doesn’t have to “deserve” your unconditional love. In fact, it is the definition of unconditional love and grace itself.

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These moments are a very real reminder that we are serving God Himself, not our spouses!

Let’s be honest – sometimes spouses say unpleasant things! Sometimes we just want our partner to change and agree with what we believe.

While I’m not advocating dismissing our feelings or giving reasons to our emotions, marriage is dangerous when we habitually choose not to consider our partner’s opinions as important as our own.

Why? Because friendship is the foundation of every marriage. A strong friendship is not an end in itself, but seeks to bless and help the other, which sometimes leads to sacrificing our own thoughts and desires in order to maintain peace or show love (1 Corinthians 13).

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Because of this, when we trivialize our partner’s feelings, we damage our friendship with our partner and potentially damage our marriage.

It’s normal to have arguments in a marriage (psst… a tip on how to set ground rules for fair fighting in your marriage). But the real question is, “do we face these unresolved marital conflicts, or do we just sweep them under the rug and pretend they don’t exist?”

I think of unresolved family tension as really dirty glasses. Every time we argue or have problems with each other, our glasses (the lens through which we see each other) can become foggy and covered with smudges, dirt, and other debris.

If we do not immediately remove these “stains” through forgiveness and reconciliation, it will certainly be difficult to love and serve them unconditionally.

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We need to make it a habit to address these issues immediately and continue so that our marriages can function freely and not be bogged down by unresolved conflicts.

I have found that our sex life in marriage is a good indicator of our overall marital health.

When couples are going through rough times, sex can be a wonderful healing balm. Many times I feel that sexual intimacy “resets” the connection in my marriage.

I share this to say that sex is an emotional (not just physical) investment in each other. When a couple turns sex into just a physical act (or doesn’t make love regularly), they short-change their marriage and relationship.

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Many of us allow this aspect of marriage to slowly erode, and frankly, it’s easy!

Besides being “too busy” or “too tired,” there are several other possible reasons for a lack of physical intimacy:

We cannot allow the enemy to use our busyness or emotional wounds to keep our marriage from this most important form of connection.

In order for our marriages to thrive, we need to prioritize sex with our spouses (read more about that here).

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We enter marriage with hearts full of hope and excitement because we’ve spent hours investing in our relationship (thought, date night, alone time to talk, etc.).

Then we get married, and suddenly as the years go by (and we get distracted by other good things like careers, kids, or even ministry), our marriage may no longer look so bright and shiny with optimism. In fact, when we channel most of our emotional energy into other goals, it can seem bland and just plain lame.

That’s why dates and regular alone time are so important! If we want our relationship to survive and grow, we must intentionally invest in it.

It’s too easy to let this happen! And we can make a thousand excuses, but we need to find creative ways to intentionally invest in our marriages.

Funny, Happy Marriage Quotes

If you see these signs of a troubled marriage in your home, I encourage you to take a few steps.

I get it – you’re hurting and you need to make changes in your marriage. But what can you do when you’re ready to make changes together to improve your marriage?

Maybe you’ve received some sage advice from a pastor or friend about what needs to change in your marriage, but you don’t know where to start or how to go about it.

Or maybe you have some goals in mind, but you need proven strategies for sticking to your marriage goals to make these changes in your marriage last for the long haul.

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Working on marital communication is a great place to start. After all, when we learn to communicate better with our spouses, we can see areas where our marriage needs constant maintenance or a little TLC.

If one of your marriage goals is to learn how to communicate better with your spouse, I recommend picking up a great marital devotional (here’s Instructive Conversations by my lovely friends Mike and Carly Kercheval).

This amazing couples devotional from my dear friends (and marriage coaches) Mike and Carlie Kercheval goes deep into important topics (everything from forgiveness to communication to sex) that are important to Christian couples. I love that it aims to help you create a healthy habit for better marital communication in 30 days or less!

The Kerchevals, certified marriage coaches, Bible teachers, and amazing married couples of over 21 years will provide you with a 30-day, step-by-step, proven learning process:

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Three sections in each service (including a Bible verse, Talk and Think questions, and a sample prayer) encourage couples to explore this marriage resource.

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