In 2015, my marriage was on the rocks. We had been kicked out of our rental house because the landlord wanted to give the house to a family friend. We had two young kids at the time and were far from any family or friends. My work situation wasn’t the best and my wife had left her job to stay home with the babies. We couldn’t even have a conversation without blowing up and getting into a fight. Contemplating divorce is not where we wanted to be—but there we were.
During one fight, I remember walking out the door and going for a walk because I couldn’t take it anymore. When I returned, my wife asked me a question I will never forget: “Do I need to take the kids and go to my parents so you can figure all of this out?” I didn’t want to be in that place. I didn’t get married to give up. Fortunately, we fought for our marriage and we made it. Here are 3 questions to ask before you leave your wife.
1. Why did we get married?
Getting to a place where you can ask this question without sarcasm is key, especially when contemplating divorce. Really dig deep into all the reasons you are together in the first place. Doing this forces you to remember the genesis of your relationship. You may be reminded of all the reasons you love your wife or you may see the cracks in your relationship’s foundation. Either way, this question, when asked in a healthy way, will force you to evaluate the past. This question is not to find or cause blame; it is simply to bring meaning back to your story so you can move forward.
2. What is our current reality?
This question challenges you to examine what you can control in the current situation and what you cannot control. It wasn’t until we asked this question that I found out the source of my wife’s frustration. She wanted a home and was upset that we hadn’t found one yet. Our reality was that the housing market in our area was out of control and we simply couldn’t afford to compete. This was out of my control, yet to her, it was my fault. It wasn’t until we discussed this that we could see—it’s not me against her. It’s me and her against the problem. This question forces you to identify the real issues.
3. Where do we want to go?With no pathway, you stay stuck in your current reality.
On our wedding day, we all have hopes and dreams of what life will become. When those plans do not work out, this causes us to lose sight of our goals for the future. When we finally sat down and discussed our future together, we were reminded of the goals we had set. We put a target on the wall for where we wanted to be in our marriage and in our lives. When we ask this question, it forces us to evaluate the future. Knowing where you want to go allows you both to see a pathway forward. With no pathway, you stay stuck in your current reality.
Sound off: What worked to save your marriage?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to have a long-lasting marriage?”