Here at Focus on the Family, we routinely receive heartbreaking messages like this one: “My spouse just told me he or she doesn’t love me, and we shouldn’t stay married. What can I do?”
If your marriage has encountered a similar problem, you may have the same question. The answer, according to counselor and author Dr. David Clarke, is to implement an aggressive strategy of “tough love” as soon as possible.
That means you have to show strength and take decisive action. Typically, that includes steps like confronting the problem, setting up healthy boundaries, and insisting the two of you receive couple’s counseling.
But above all, he says, remember this: never chase, beg, or plead. Acting soft with your spouse puts you in a position of weakness that could cost you your marriage. You see, if your relationship has deteriorated to the point where your spouse is ready to take action, you have to be willing to take action as well. Weakness on your part will only drive them further away.
Standing firm when your emotions are fragile can be tough. That’s why you need to surround yourself with friends and family who can help you have the courage to stand your ground.
It’s also a good idea to seek out a counselor who can help you make good, strong decisions. Marriages in crisis are why we brought the National Institute of Marriage (NIM) under the umbrella of Focus on the Family. Our goal is to provide couples with the wisdom and healing they need to bring their marriage out from under the water. And it works.
So if you’re feeling hopeless because your spouse is contemplating divorce – or maybe they’ve even filed the paperwork – I encourage you to give our National Institute of Marriage a call at 1-866-875-2915 or visit online at nationalmarriage.com. God can intervene and transform your marriage in ways that may seem impossible to you right now.
In the meantime, take a few moments over the next couple of days to listen to our broadcast “Finding Restoration When Love is Gone” with guest Dr. David Clarke. He has been counseling couples and families for almost 30 years. I think you’ll find his insights both inspiring and informative. This two-day program is full of practical steps you can take to move your broken marriage in a positive and healthy direction.
If you need immediate guidance on what your next steps ought to be, I invite you to speak with one of our counselors at 1-800-A-FAMILY.