Dr. Gary Chapman never asks troubled couples, “Do you want to work on your marriage?”
Wanting something is a function of the emotions, and emotions rely on desire to get things moving.
That’s why Dr. Chapman asks troubled couples, “Will you work on your marriage?” The will involves decisions, not feelings. If a couple can say yes to that question, then good things can happen with the right guidance.
Some couples are headed for a divorce because they don’t know any other way to resolve their conflict. No one has ever explained to them how a structured time of separation can be a positive step in the right direction. Or if the idea has crossed their mind, they don’t know how to make it work practically.
Another problem is fear that their mate will interpret separation as abandonment. But, done well, separation is an act of love that can lead to restoration. It says to your spouse, “I love you too much to let you destroy yourself, me, and the kids. I’m not abandoning you. I’m telling you that I can’t be a part of what’s happening to our family. If you’ll get some counseling with me, we can work toward becoming what we hoped our marriage could be all along. Until you’re ready to do that, we can’t live together.”
It’s tough love. It’s a wake-up call to say, “Our marriage isn’t healthy, and we’ve got to do better.”
You don’t have to let your marriage struggles go unchecked or endure a bad marriage for five, 10, 20 years only to give up and say, “I’ve had enough.” Our radio program, “Holding on to Hope During Separation,” will show you how to intervene in your marriage to bring about healing and new life to your relationship.
Dr. Gary Chapman is a best-selling author, a speaker, and the director of Marriage and Family Life Consultants. He’s always one of our most popular guests. Tune in for our conversation on your local radio station, online, or on our free phone app., and visit our online store for his book “One More Try.”