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Old 1st December 2006, 03:09 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 662
Re: Unhappily married to wrong person

Dear Karene,

Marriage isn't supposed to be a prison and it doesn't have to be one either. Most couples go through a stage of disillusionment when the reality breaks through the positive emotions we have when we court. None of us are perfect and many of us find that the way our spouse is can grate and make life difficult. Feelings of love can disappear and we lose hope. It is easy to assume we have made a mistake.

I speak from experience as David and I are very different. He is the creative visionary who likes to start new projects, but finds it hard to finish them. He likes to leave situations open to see how they develop, while I like to make decisions and have things sorted out. New projects frighten me and I can become anxious, but I am the finisher. He see the big picture, I worry about the details. We once did a couple profile and it recommended that we seek counselling, but over the years we have worked through the effects of our differences and we make a good team. Our beliefs and values are compatible, even though there may be some small differences between us.

There have been times when our differences in personality could have shipwrecked our marriage, but we managed to work through them, partly with the help of Marriage Encounter which is similar but not the same as the Marriage Course. Marriage Encounter helps couples to share their feelings with each other in a safe way and through this to experience how special and valued they are to each other. The comfort and hope this brings and the tools it gives for every day life enable us to take the rough with the smooth times. It also taught us that marriage is not about whether our partner is best for us but about whether we can be the best we can for them. That is challenging – to take responsibility for being the most loving wife or husband we can be.

There must have been more that attracted you to your husband than just fear of being left on the shelf. You felt positively towards him at some point and that can be recovered. If you identified some of the issues on the Marriage Course did you work on those or did you just decide the differences were insurmountable?

There is hope for you and your husband to make your marriage work and be happy, but it requires both of you to decide to do it. That might be to provide a stable loving home for your children, but it might also be because you believe that there is hope for the two of you. Feelings are not good things to use to guide important decisions. We need to get deeper to our values (such as commitment and hope in God's grace).

Your children are bound to be feeling upset. You and your husband have torn their lives apart when they need the security of two loving parents living with them and loving each other. That may sound harsh, but that security is what they need. It doesn’t mean you have to live a life without stress or argument. They also need to see that when things go wrong people can work through their differences. They learn so much from their parents and the way they relate to each other.

You may be feeling uncomfortable or angry at my words. You may be feeling guilty as you read them. Guilt usually means that our behaviour is not living up to the standards that we set ourselves. In God's eyes every sin is forgivable and Jesus died to take our guilt and condemnation away, but he didn't take away the conviction we experience when we do things that hurt others. He does give us the grace to face difficulties and to put things right when we can.

Going back to your husband can either be a prison sentence if you don't face the issues between you or it could be a wonderful opportunity for you all to make a fresh start.

Have you considered finding someone to look after the children and taking some time with your husband to consider the possibility of a future together. Can you find it in your heart to accept that a friendship between you might develop into a closeness and commitment and love for the future?

Do come back in response and we keen explore things further if you would like to.

all the best

Liz is offline   Reply With Quote