Your marriage vows have been broken. Or your spouse has lied to you, abused you, neglected you. What can you do? You have entertained divorce. But, that seems so painful, more painful than reconciliation. And you think about the possibility of working on your marriage and seeing what would happen. It's a risk. It's even scary. You've prayed. You've wept. Can your marriage be saved? Can God do something to bring healing? Can you forgive? Can you trust him/her again?

I want to guide you through some steps in this course: Healing Your Broken Marriage. Steps which when applied to your life and relationship will help you regain hope and work towards reconciliation, putting the past where it should be: in the past, and moving forward.

If you know Jesus Christ, then, pray and ask Him to help you through this process and this journey. With Christ you and your spouse can begin again, put the affair, the issues and the hurt behind you. When you became a Christian, Jesus gave you a clean slate, helped start over. He forgave all of your sins. Your spouse is a sinner as you discovered early in your relationship. Maybe you can begin now to consider the idea of forgiveness.
There are three steps I want to bring you through. Hope, Grief, forgiveness and rebuilding trust.

Step one-
Hoping Again:
What will give you hope that you can work through this trauma with your spouse? On a human level, you and your spouse have no doubt worked through trials and disappointments in the past. You have both probably forgiven each other for hurtful words, unkind actions, disrespect, forgetfulness, conflict. Most couples work through issues. Maybe you haven't worked things out as satisfactorily as you would have liked. Maybe you are still holding on to some resentment and feelings of disappointment. When your spouse lets you down, you remember the many times he/she has done this in the past..... so, the pain is pretty deep.
There are two considerations here. Your ability as a couple to work through issues in the past can give you hope for the future. But, your deep resentment about the past will greatly dim the hope you might have.
So, here is where you can begin. You can start with God. He is the author of hope and the One who can give you inner hope even when things appear pretty bleak.

Consider these scriptures:

  • Ps 25:5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
  • Ps 25:21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
  • Ps 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
  • Isa 49:23 Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed."
  • Rom 15:13 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hope from God springs up like a fountain, even when life is at it's bleakest.
  • "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Cor 5:17 (NIV)

It's ok to be broken. It's ok to grieve. You must go through that process to come out stronger.
Hemingway wrote: "The world breaks everyone..... but, many are strong at the broken places". Will you try? Can God give you the strength to work through the brokenness? Are you willing? God is ready to help you. In Matthew 19:26 "Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (NIV) Do you believe this?

Read Part 11: Healing Your Broken Marriage by Grieving

© copyright 2001 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC

If you and your spouse are separated, I would recommend that your read this excellent book: Hope for the Separated: Wounded Marriages Can Be Healed by Gary Chapman.