Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Inspiring Persistence

I am in contact with multiple marriages right now that seem hopeless. Usually I am in contact with the person who doesn't want a divorce.

I am puzzled about how to inspire people to not give up even when it looks hopeless. In many places on this blog I share bits and pieces of my journey when things seemed so hopeless in my marriage. Everyone's journey is different, so what works in one situation maybe different than what works in a different situation.

My wife sometimes says it best to people, "Never, never, never give up." This from a woman who at one time wanted me to give up on our marriage, and tried very hard to convince me that there was no way she would reconcile with me.

So often I hear people in bad situations who really don't want to be divorced, to say that maybe a divorce will end the pain. My observation from others, both in person and by reading, is that the pain is still excruciating. Yes, down the road they may get remarried and have a good marriage, but usually there is a tremendous amount of pain to go through to get there. Those who jump back into a relationship too soon often experience even more pain if that new relationship breaks up.

One story that inspired me from Divorce Care when things looked hopeless was from a man and woman who had married quickly on the rebound from their divorces. They testified that they had a wonderful courtship and then seven years of hell before their marriage really got going well.

I wondered to myself how much progress Sharon and I could make in seven years if she would reconcile. Thankfully, she did reconcile with me. We have been back together just over three years. Lots of the old issues still resurface from time to time, but what is different now is that we have the tools to work through those issues, and each of us is getting more stubborn about not wanting to tip-toe around issues to survive but to work through the issues.

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