Q&A: Thinking of separating from my spouse

Q: My wife and I have been married for almost 3 years – but we’re both unhappy, and frankly we’d each have plenty of other options. What would you say to us before we split up?

A: The fact that you’re even asking the question, instead of just divorcing, is a good sign. We’d suggest you consider this: two-thirds of unhappy couples who stay together say their relationship is significantly better within five years. To achieve that, it’ll require you and your spouse to make some strategic decisions.

Let us share an illustration from classic literature. In Homer’s epic work, Odyssey, Odysseus encountered the mysterious Island of the Sirens. These creatures’ enchanting voices were so beautiful, they distracted sailors from their journey, imprisoning them forever. But knowing the dangers, Odysseus put wax in his crew’s ears. He also ordered that he be tied securely to the ship’s mast to prevent him from being lured away by the creatures’ seductive melody. Odysseus commanded the crew to stay true to their course no matter how bad their circumstances seemed.

Marriages in our culture have become transient. Too often, we’ll throw out relationships at the first sign of trouble. But marriage is a covenant – a deeply binding commitment designed to help us weather our most difficult circumstances. It’s a vow requiring us to “tie ourselves to the mast.” You have to dismiss the voices seeking to lure you away from your marriage or convince you that divorce is an easy answer to your troubles.

If your marriage is unhappy, it’s not too late. Commit your relationship to a course of growth and healing. Before long, you and your spouse may discover the relationship you’ve always dreamed of. We have plenty of resources available to help – even if your marriage is foundering on the rocks. For more ideas, explore our Articles.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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