by: Chris Broughton

 

Many married couples are struggling today with the feeling that are not getting back what they put into their marriage. They are tiered and want to simply thrown up their hands and say “Enough is Enough, I give up”.

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Chris Broughton, Author of 21 Days to Happily Ever After

So when is enough, enough?

Here is a letter I answered from a husband that was having that very struggle:

Dear Jim,

You passed me a question a couple of days ago.  Since it has been a couple of months since you stopped coming to our mentoring sessions, I was glad to hear from you.  I am a little worried however, by your question.  It seems you are ready to give and file for divorce.

In your note you asked:  I have to ask you a question: It’s a hard one so think about it…  If two people love each other, but they just can’t seem to get it together, when do you get to that point of enough is enough?

On the surface it seems that you are asking a simple question with a simple answer.  The problem is that you are asking it in a rhetorical way.  Per your suggestion, I thought about what you asked and how I could best serve you with my answer. So let me make sure I understand the question first.

You write,“If two people love one another”, I assume the two people are you and your wife.  So the people in your question are married to one another and are still in love.

And then, “but they can’t seem to get it together”, I am not sure what “it” is that they can not get together but I think you mean happiness. I make this assumption based on the fact that you did not provide any further details and this is not an uncommon complaint with married couples.

But your question is, “when do you get to the point of enough is enough?”. I think this means: “When do you quit trying to make the marriage a happy one”.   Again I make this assumption based on experience with a great many married couples that have been where you are… Gay and I included.

So the question behind the question is this: Is there a time when a married couple – where the husband and wife still love one another – should just give up trying to be happy together and get a divorce?

The short answer is: Never. Because marriage is a covenant (Genesis 2:24) and this is what God planned for marriage to be (Matthew 19: 6) and God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).  But let’s consider three possible alternatives for your situation:

  1. Stay married and never learn how to be happy.  This is a terrible option and I think that is where you are right now.  You are tired and want the unhappiness to stop.  You may have tried all sorts of things to get to a place of happy and are struggling with maintaining those things and your marriage.  Happy is important.  I acknowledge that and so does God.  I discourage this option, I know I could not live this way and I would never want you to either.
  2. Get a divorce – perhaps that will help you be happy.  Often there is a period of relief that comes with divorce but the cost is so high that I have never met anyone that was happy with these costly consequences:
    1. Are you ready to have your children call some one else Daddy? This comes with the divorce package and there will be no way around it.
    2. Do you think divorce gets you away from having to deal with your wife? Divorce does not break the relationship; it only changes the way you fellowship.  You will move from being equal partners working on a common relationship to an adversaries trying to reach personal goals.  You will have to compete with your wife and it will be unpleasant.  Any one telling you things like “My Ex and I get along great” is just lying to you.  If they get along so well why are they divorced?
    3. You children will suffer.  Children of divorced parent are 20 time more likely to be involved in criminal activity, on average do less well in school and will do less well in relationships than people that grew up in intact homes (even when the parents fight a lot).  Its just a fact and it seems cruel to bet your children’s future on thinking you will be the exception.  Sorry to be so blunt but there are so few exceptions to this fact that it needs to be considered.
    4. Are you ready to have your sin life on display? Divorce is printed in the paper and any rumors of fault that either of you may or may not guilty of will be talked about by people that barely know you.
    5. Are you ready for the feelings of failure and guilt that come with Divorce? Rather or not you are happy with the idea now, there will come a time when you will look back and regret having a divorce in your life.
    6. Finally, and perhaps most important, are you ready to discount God’s Word?  Jesus warned us that we can only be happy if we shun divorce and learn to be happy with our spouse (Matt 19:6-8). God hates divorce and I should too (Malachi 2:16).
  1. Stay Married and learn to get together God’s way and live Happily Ever After:
    1. This seems fairy tale on the surface but I know it is possible
    2. I have seen hundreds of couples learn a few simple tactics and come out of it happy.  I have already introduced you to a husband that was ready to be divorced because he and his wife could not get “it” together.  Today they are blissfully happy and are approaching their 50th anniversary.

I respectfully encourage you to consider option 3.  It may seem like a mountain too high but I know you can do this.  It will not even be the hardest thing you have ever done… it will however be the most rewarding.  When you and your wife do finally “get it together” there will be joy in your life that will reach your children, your grandchildren and everyone around you.  If nothing else, consider this an offering to God and he will reward you so greatly that “you will not be able to gather it all in… and Nation will call you happy” (Malachi 3:10-12).

So the answer to your question:  Enough is when you are living happily ever after with your wife.  This is God’s plan for your life and you will receive more joy than I can describe from it.

If you are reading this blog post and are struggling in the same way as this brother, it is my pray that you will consider loving you wife with the same love God loves you.  If you want help with that, please consider giving us a call 812-530-7292.  I am 100% positive we can teach you to live happily ever after as husband and wife.

Chris Broughton is president of Genesis 2:24 Ministries and author of “21 Days to Happily Ever After”.