When Dawn* got married, she began reflecting on her parent’s divorce. She assured herself that her marriage would be different. In her mind, marrying a good Christian boy was the recipe for a pain-free relationship. Divorce would never happen to her.
But she soon realized that marriage wasn’t always easy.
“I had a Cinderella syndrome. I was looking for my husband to be my perfect prince charming to come and save me from my hard life. I thought since I found a man who checked all my boxes, my marriage would be perfect and we would live happily ever after,” Dawn said. “I didn’t realize that I was setting him up for failure by putting him on a pedestal.”
When their marriage hit rocky times, both Dawn and her husband committed to fighting for their relationship. Dawn never wanted her children to feel the heartache of split holidays and court dates she had known as a girl. So, she asked God to help her break the cycle of divorce. But how?
First, she had to wrestle with the lies Satan was whispering to her heart — lies such as:
- I’m not lovable. Dawn feared that if she didn’t measure up in her marriage, her husband would walk away. She thought she had to be perfect.
- The next conflict will be my spouse’s breaking point. She felt that she had to end disagreements quickly to avoid more conflict. She didn’t understand her husband’s way of handling conflict and would often become frustrated when he wanted time to process the issue.
Cling to God’s promises
But God revealed His truths to her: She was not lovable because she was perfect but because He was. And He would never leave her. Hebrews 13:5 says, “he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ ”
She also realized that her husband could not save her, but Jesus could. He already had. And He was with her in the fight for her marriage.
Commit to fight
After more than 30 years of marriage, Dawn has learned some important lessons: “At some point, you may be tempted to say, ‘This is it. I am done.’ And while there can be affairs and circumstances that warrant that, when it comes down to it, as long as abuse is not involved, there is always hope,” Dawn said.
Here are some ways you can fight for your marriage.
- Spend time with Jesus every day. It’s not just about living a moral life but about knowing God and letting Him transform you. Without Him, you can’t say, “I am just going to do the opposite of everything my parents did.”
- Love freely. You don’t have to be guarded just because your parents scarred you.
- Set boundaries that will help you avoid the temptation to look for love outside your marriage.
* Name was changed.