When Marriage Becomes A Struggle

When Marriage Becomes A Struggle


Every week I receive another email from a woman whose heart has been broken and marriage is falling apart.  She’s either lost the desire to be with her husband or her husband no longer wants to be with her.

Hidden emails discovered by mistake. Sharp words that cut like a knife. Suitcases packed and sitting by the front door. Fractured relationships and broken dreams.

The stories have been numerous and my heart aches over each one.

I wish I had all the right words to tell her. A phrase or promise that would instantly solve all her marriage problems and make everything better. A perfect formula that worked for every couple – 100% guaranteed in every situation.

But  the truth is, I don’t. And, yet, I know the One who holds all the answers and often times, so does she.

Maybe your marriage isn’t on it’s last leg, but you realize things aren’t completely right either. Let’s face it … marriage can be hard at times and challenging on most good days.

There’s always room for improvement ~ whether you’ve been married two years or fifty-two years.

I’m certainly not an expert in any stretch of the word but I’m happy to share what’s work for me and my husband, Keith, as we’ve been married for over 28 years. Yikes, I can’t believe I’ve been married that long!

There have been many seasons in our marriage – good and bad: building our first home, raising kids, loss of family members, financial hardships, starting a business, health issues, moving eleven times…just to name a few. Even with all that I can honestly say we are more in love today then on the day we said, “I do.” Why? Because our love has grown stronger through the struggles just as our faith has grown stronger in the Lord.

So, what has worked for us? Well, it’s been a learning process with a few key elements: putting each other first, having realistic expectations, developing communication skills, laughing a lot, praying together, respecting each other, serving together, making date nights a priority, never giving up, encouraging one another, discovering a hobby we both enjoy, tithing, applying the Word and loving unconditionally.

Above all else, the glue that continues to hold our marriage together is our relationship with God.

We have chosen to make Him the center of everything we do. He is the third strand of our triple-braded marriage cord, not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Is our marriage perfect? Not at all. We are two imperfect people, living one day at a time. We make mistakes and can be selfish at times. But God has been so faithful to help us through the sticky times and to strengthen our love despite our imperfections.

It’s Your Turn: 

Are you struggling in your marriage? What do you wish was different?

Is your marriage healthy? What has been the keys to your marriage success?



  1. As I read this post so many feelings sprung up about my marriage. I love my husband but often question if he truly loves me. I have expressed to him that I feel he is with me for security and comfort but not love. I feel trapped often and alone…( I know God is here and loves me but I am in an unloving marriage).I think about leaving daily, but I remain for my children. We are together but separate…we don’t sleep in the same room or bed, he leaves and returns when I am asleep…its a lot and I have put so much into the marriage. I wrote him a letter stating I am leaving, not divorcing but separating because im so stressed I don’t know what else to do. I have prayed for answers, wisdom the right words but he is never really present to work toward better. I thank God for allowing us to be married but I truly question if we were supposed to be together. Could it be a situation where I stepped out of God’s will, now I have to deal with what comes? I am still waiting on answers. We just had our 7 year anniversary and he honestly didn’t care, which hurt me more. I know you don’t have all tge answers but I am desperate for a blink of hope!


    • Sniles,
      I sense the struggles and heartache in your words and want you to know I’m praying for your marriage today. You impress me as a smart woman who has faith, prayer life, and knowledge of God’s love, raising a family, and persevering through years in a marriage that has not turned out the way you had hoped it would.

      Although God can restore any broken relationship, He also allows freewill in our lives and I suspect you know that there is ultimately nothing you can do to change your husband’s behavior. However, the Holy Spirit can change your husband’s heart if your husband is already a Christian. With God all things are possible!

      You may want to consider a Christian marriage counselor. If your husband is unwilling to go, it could be very beneficial for you. It’s important to get help locally as you go through this process of restoring your marriage.

      I’m praying that God will continue to guide and direct you so that you know how to move forward. I praying that you receive His gift of peace and comfort today. Know that God has a future that is hopeful and full of purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11). He promises to work all things together for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).

      Continued prayers, Leah

  2. I had to suffered in my Christian marriage being controlled, receiving all kind of abuse and experiencing violence. The church that we attended would not helped me at all, as they turned a blind eye and I had to endured more abuse. Because they did not helped me save my marriage, I am now currently going through divorce proceedings (I am allowed to do this by God, as it is biblical (see Malachi Chapter 2 verse 16)). It seems that church is supporting my husband, but NOT supporting me. I will probably have to have lots of Christian Counselling, to get over the abuse that I did received. I do sometimes wondered is God real, because some Christians did not really understand that I was really frightened of my husband, but they just let me be continued to be abused. Some of them knew me years ago, but they only known my husband for a few months and they want nothing to do with me, as they had turned their back on me.

    • BJH, I’m so sorry to hear of the abuse you’ve experienced. Getting out and getting help was a wise decision on your part. It breaks my heart that your church did not support you. Unfortunately, not all Christian people represent God well. Some will take the Bible, pick and choose what they believe in, then make up their own theology. As Christians, we are to love, support, encourage and pray for one another.

      God is real and He loves you very much. Jesus died on the cross so that you could have abundant life. I’m praying that God will make Himself very real to you and that You would be open to receiving His love, care and guidance.

      Focus on the Family Ministry has a free counseling hotline that helps women who have been or are in abusive marriages. The number is 1-800-A-Family (1-800-232-6459 and here is the link to their website: http://www.focusonthefamily.com If you call, they can counsel you over the phone for free and then connect you with a counselor in your area.

  3. Wow! Perfect timing for me and a few of my girlfriends today. Seems like we are all going through tough seasons whether big or small right now!, thank you!! God has been giving me things to see or read at perfect times!! Too bad He doesn’t give me lottery numbers 😀 just kidding!

    • Jessica, I’m so glad to hear that God lead you to this post at just the right time. He’s amazing and so aware of what we need … exactly when we need it.

  4. We have been married for over 27 years. Our marriage has had many ups and downs, we do go to church and I believe strongly that Christ is my strength. Both of us have brought in a lot of baggage from our young lives. We have poor communication skills which leads to many problems including anger and abuse. We both suffer poor health and this also can be a heavy weight on the marriage. God has been the only glue that has held this marriage together.

    • Kathy, I’m praying for your marriage today and believing God can do immeasurably more than that you can ask or imagine – both in health and communication with your spouse. God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

  5. What a timely post Leah! Just this AM my husband and I were talking about marriage – we will celebrate 13 years on the 28th. (I can’t believe I’ll be married that long either!!) I’m grateful for how our relationship has grown, but know improvements can be made and trust God will do that. Like you say, keeping Christ at the center is vital! We continue to work on communication, which in some ways seems to be getting harder as our kids get older. One thing I’d add to your list is worshiping together, which is a challenge with 5 kids in the pew, but getting easier as they get older!! Thank you for this!!
    Praying for you as She Speaks takes place!!!

    • Happy Anniversary Jill! I hope have something special planned for your celebration. 🙂 Thank you for adding the important tip of worshiping together. For many women that is a luxury and something they long for. I’ll miss seeing you at She Speaks this year. 🙂 Hugs!

  6. Our marriage lacks good, honest communication. Having said that, in other areas we have grown so much over the past 25 years.

    • Heather, our marriage struggled from lack of communication for years. My husband is not much of a talker and I tend to talk to much. 🙂 We made a commitment to work on this area of our marriage and asked God to “nudge” us every time our communication (or lack there of) became a wedge in our relationship. It’s made a world of difference!

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