In a trying marriage, should spouses persevere or opt out?
THERE is no marriage that is a bed of roses. There are always ups and downs. With this in mind, in trying periods, should spouses persevere or opt out?
On WhatsApp Conversation, these are what those who joined the conversation and our expert said on the issue:
To answer this question, one has to consider the gravity of the marital issue. Some issues are life-threatening and one of the partners may harm or kill the other. If the issue can be solved amicably or does not center on infidelity, the partners could persevere. So, to opt out or to remain in the marriage involves a critical consideration of the matter.
I do not think there is a right or a wrong answer to this. We need to know when perseverance is needed and when it is time to leave. It is dependent on the situation. I think separation is required sometimes, especially when the marriage is life-threatening.
A trying marriage is the best moment to show “Test of Love,” by standing by your spouse during this period through comfort and support with words from the Scriptures. Whosoever opts out in the process is not worth a partner. These periods could be tasking, challenging, insulting, abusive, the list is endless. It only takes the grace of God to scale through or not being abusive or over-reactive during the period.
It depends on what is happening in that marriage. Some levels of toxicity should not be endured for any reason. Marriage is not always bliss. One should not run at the first sign of discomfort. However, when that situation is adversely affecting your mental and physical wellbeing and there is no likelihood it would change soon, opting out is the better option.
That means there has been a problem from the scratch. What is the probability that the marriage would work out if both spouses persevere? I suggest opting out. Without God’s intervention and a marriage counselor, the chance of making up is as thin and feeble as a strand of wool.
I believe marriage is a thing of choice and not a compulsion. Relationship, just marriage, is a state of interdependency. If you decide to marry, why would you not want to persevere? There is nothing that would not end. Surely, the darkest nights would end and the sun would rise again. It is not healthy to be in an abusive relationship. Moreover, abuse varies. But, note that there is nothing new your partner wants to show you that he has not before. You were overwhelmed with love or you feel he or she would change. And the ones that stay because of their children, I hope they are not dead or grief-stricken at the end.
Perseverance is very important in marriage, and it should not be a one way thing. It should come from both man and woman. Still, I disregard perseverance in a violent marriage because this could cause loss of life if the victim does not opt out on time. Cheating could be forgiven once and twice. But, the third time is not a mistake. I would advise the victim to opt out because that shows the marriage is no longer working.
Persevere because of the children, if it is not affecting their lives. Though it is not all that easy, when it is life threatening, opt out.
I guess we should try to elaborate on the word “trying” because it may be in different ways. It could be in a way where the husband did not have enough to cater for his family, cheating wife or husband, or childlessness? But I do not think there should be a reason to stay in a marriage where there is no love, or an abusive marriage. It can cause depression and more harm to the person affected.
It actually depends on the type of challenges the marriage is going through. I would say some challenges are not worth the wait. Like an abusive marriage, I would advise opting out rather than staying—enduring on the long run and losing your life or having to leave your children for an abusive man to cater for is not worth it.
What kind of trial is it? Abuse of any kind? Opt out. Infidelity? It is generally up to the innocent party to decide if they could forgive or not. If you do not think you could, opt out. There is no mutual understanding? You would be amazed the number of problems that are solved by communication. So, persevere.
Remilekun Olabiyi, a nurse, is our expert on this issue. She noted that when a couple enters into the covenant of marriage, they are no longer two but one—let no one separate them, for God has joined them together. Marriage is intended to be a lifelong commitment, not a temporary solution for loneliness or other emotional needs.
God hates divorce and did not intend for couples to separate once they are married. Separation, whether legal or not, involves division of couples. This is supported by both the Bible and the Quran.
Separation is not the ideal solution. However, because of some challenges, it is sometimes necessary. In an abused marriage, for example, such spouses should immediately seek help outside the home and separate from the abuser until appropriate solution has been provided for all parties.
At this time, prayer and the help of a counsellor would be appreciated for necessary steps towards the restoration of such a marriage or family. Marriage vows should not be taken lightly, and separation should not be undertaken casually. This is not in God’s perfect plan for marriage and family, even if it has become acceptable in our culture. During trying times, live happily with the woman/husband you are blessed with.
Next week on WhatsApp Conversation, we would be treating: How would you handle your partner’s infidelity?
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