I’m About To Give Up On My Marriage, What Should I Do?
The answer to that question is simple… ask the Marriage Counselor!
Many couples that end up in the divorce court do so unnecessarily. Although each situation and set of circumstances is different, before you decide to throw the towel in, take the advice of the wise counsel of Dr. Stephens.
Don’t Give Up Before Having a Good Talk
Question: Dear Dr. Stephens,
My husband does a good job providing for our family. Any time the children or I need something, he makes sure we get it. The problem I have is my husband spends very little time with me because he works so much overtime. Although it doesn’t seem to bother the children, it disturbs me quite a bit. I’m beginning to doubt his love for me since he seems to enjoy working more than coming home to me. If things don’t change soon, I might have to leave him and get a divorce because I need more out of this marriage. I know I might not be thinking straight right now because I’m angry right now because he just went to work again. Help me think through this thing and tell me what you think I should do. Sincerely, Mrs. O. W
Answer: Dear Mrs. O.W.,
Divorce may seem like the easy way out... but it is not! Even though you may feel emotionally detached from your husband or angry because of his work schedule, a divorce is not the answer.
A divorce can create new problems that will be much more challenging than the ones you’re faced with now. So whatever you do, pray and exercise patience as you try to develop the coping skills needed to work through your current emotional crisis. Now that I’ve said divorce is not the answer to your problem, I want you to consider something else.
Even though you might not believe your husband cares for you very much, he may love you very deeply. Yet, he may not express his love in ways that you appreciate and understand.
Take for instance, the long hours of overtime he works. Some men attempt to demonstrate their love for their wife and children by working long hours so they will have extra money to buy the things the family needs or wants.
This is the only way some men know how to say, “I love my family.” However, based upon what you said in your letter, love is not what you’ve been feeling lately. And that’s not fair to you. A man should always try to be responsive to the needs of his wife.
But if you don’t openly communicate your needs to your husband, he may never know what you really need from him. So before you give up on a man who is so diligent in his efforts to provide for his family, I encourage you to sit down with him and let him know how you really feel about the overtime he works.
Let him know that you admire and appreciate his desire to meet the financial needs of the family.
But then let him know about the other things you need that money cannot buy. If you need more romance, say so.
If you need more verbal stimulation and interaction, then say that. Even if you just want him around the house more often to help you feel more secure at night, say so.
In summation, I believe your husband deserves an opportunity to respond to the concerns you have about his excessive overtime.
But when you sit down to talk with him, be prepared to compromise a little and offer suggestions about how you and your husband can work together toward a solution that fits your lifestyle and his career.
And please don’t attack him with angry, critical, threats and accusations. It’s not time to fight. It’s time to work together.
Verses to Remember:
(1 Tim 5:8 KJV) But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
(Isa 1:18 KJV) Come now, and let us reason together....
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Dr. David Stephens is the founder of David Stephens Ministries and the Marriage Success School. The focus of the MSS is building strong marriage and family relationships through books, tapes, seminars, family conferences, and marriage enrichment classes. Dr. Stephens also writes a newspaper column that focuses on family life issues. When time permits, Dr. Stephens hosts television programs seen on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Dr. David Stephens earned his B.A. while matriculating at Knoxville College. He later earned his Master of Pastoral Counseling and Doctor of Ministry degrees. Dr. Stephens is also a Certified Christian Marriage & Family Therapist. David and his wife, Angela, are natives of Birmingham, Alabama. They currently reside in Selma, Alabama with their two children, Victoria and David Jr. You can visit Dr. Stephens website by logging on to: www.marriagesuccess.org
These are excerpts from the book “Ask the Marriage Counselor” by Dr. David Stephens, © 2004. He is a relationship coach, seminar leader, and a Certified Christian Marriage Therapist. Readers who are interested in receiving a weekly installment of his column, free of charge, can contact Dr. Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org. To schedule a seminar or keynote speaking, please contact him by email or call 334-874-9611.
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