Which Is Easier: Quitting Your Marriage, Or Fixing It?

quit or fix

I’ll give you my short answer right up front – In the long run, it’s much, much easier to make your marriage work than to give up on it.

That probably sounds counterintuitive, especially if you’re in the middle of the messy daily slog of a damaged relationship. And it runs counter to what you’ll hear from many of my marriage-counseling colleagues too:

Don’t feel guilty about ending the marriage; there is no shame in divorce. Ever.
Walk away if you feel it’s time.
If you feel you would be a better version of yourself without your partner, then go.
If you are miserable, it is better for you both to walk away…give
 each other the chance to experience a new beginning.

I grieve when I hear these.

Marriage is a sacred contract for good reason ''I grieve when I hear someone say it’s easier to end a marriage than try to save it''. Click To Tweet

Would you go into a business partnership with someone you thought might walk away at any moment? Of course not. You make a contract holding both of you accountable to not letting this happen.

In business, we contract. In marriage, we commit.

We commit to work through the problems in sickness and in health.

We commit even though some days our spouse is a jerk.  And on the days we’re the jerk.

We commit whether all our needs are being met. Or not.

We commit knowing there will be days we simply do not feel the love.

We commit because marriage is more than a contract. It’s a pathway to living up to who we want to be. ''In business we contract. In marriage, we commit''. Click To Tweet

If you quit, what will you miss?

This may not be the feel good answer you want to hear,  but when you endure hard days in your marriage, you grow.

Every marriage has potential walk-away moments.  In fact, any relationship of depth has those moments. Mine certainly has.  Yours will too.  Leaving may feel like a quick fix,  but in the long run, it doesn’t solve the problem. Or make your life better.  If you leave, you’ll simply repeat the destructive cycle over and over again, missing out on the growth that comes from enduring the hard days.

Growth comes from productive pain.

I teach my clients that un-productive pain is the cycle in which nothing changes or gets better. It just hurts.  If you’re unhappy with your marriage and considering divorce, that’s probably where you are right now.

Productive pain is similar to losing 20 pounds. You make the decision. You start to restrict your calories and increase your activity. It’s hard but you stick with it, working through the pain to get your desired result. You grow from productive pain. It has a purpose.

''Productive pain is pain with a purpose''. Click To Tweet

Now am I saying every marriage can be saved? Absolutely not.

If there is ongoing abuse, you need to leave the relationship. But most marriages can be saved.  And not just saved to survive. They can become partnerships of healing – for yourself and others.

Let’s be clear: There are painful times ahead

But let’s choose productive pain over the unproductive kind.  One ends in personal growth, a stronger marriage, and a deep connection that lasts. The other ends in agony, divorce, and a likely repeat of this vicious cycle.

The commitment is worth it. I’ve seen it in my life and the lives of friends and family. When things get hard, I’m going to honor my commitment and fight for my marriage. The alternative is far worse.

If you feel the same, but don’t know how to make your pain productive,  give us a call or schedule an appointment with us online. We can help you figure out what’s going on in your marriage and teach you how to fight for it.

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2 thoughts on “Which Is Easier: Quitting Your Marriage, Or Fixing It?

  1. My wife left me after years of me ignoring there was even a problem but before she started a relationship with another man. I tried everything to get her back – to prove to her I was listening to her – but instead of proving to her that I could be different, it proved to her I was still not listening to her. She just wanted out. About 2 years of utter hell, I’m closing on the divorce I still don’t want and will probably lose my job because I lost my focus at my job and like with my wife, I’ve lost all confidence with my employers. I don’t want to give up, but at this point, it’ll be easier if I give up then continue to work on a marriage that my wife does not want.

    1. Jack, my heart breaks for you. You are in a tough place. Over my years in practice, I’ve talked to many clients who have had to face a similar reality. I cannot tell you whether “giving up” is the right answer or not. That is a decision only you are qualified to make for yourself. That said, whether your wife decides to reinvest in the marriage or not, your goal should be to make yourself a better you going forward. To understand the past and how it impacts your present. And to make changes that will positively impact your future and how others experience being in relationship with you. These are all things my coaches teach their clients. If you’d like to talk to a coach and see how our services would be a good fit, please call my office and ask to arrange for a free consultation. I wish you better days ahead. Warmly, Kim

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