Our society is all about instant gratification. We want it, and we want it now! Furthermore, when we get it, it better be on point. We are accustomed to entitlement and are quick to hold others accountable for causing us the slightest displeasure.
This insistence on perpetual satisfaction might work for you at the Wal-Mart customer service desk, but it’s less likely to work in marriage. Surrendering expectations, demands, and personal agendas is difficult, and a major reason why staying hitched has proven to be the challenge of a lifetime for most couples.
We’d all like to believe that we are people of infallible faith and that the need for quick satisfaction is for worldly folks who don’t have our capacity for long-suffering. Yet, when you consider that approximately half of all marriages end in divorce, it is clear that many of us have bought into the world’s microwave mentality and want the perfect marriage quick, fast and in a hurry.
We’re willing to give marriage the old college try, but when the road gets rough, we’re ready to send it back to the manufacturer for a full refund.
The only problem is that when it comes to holy matrimony, God is the manufacturer and the refund policy is pretty strict. When considering whether or not to break your vows, you must count up the costs. To be clear, let’s look at 10 not-good–enough reasons to call it quits.
1. They Don’t Make Enough Money
It is important for your spouse, particularly your husband, to provide. However, be careful not to mistake making less money for a lack of ambition. Many people don’t discover their calling until much later in life. Sticking with your mate and supporting his/her dreams might be a wise investment in your own future.
2. They’ve Let Themselves Go
It’s not fun to watch your spouse decline in physical appearance. You want them to stay the sexy, thin, and well-dressed person you fell in love with, but it doesn’t warrant divorce. Physical appearance can always be worked on and is not a good enough reason to discount someone’s inner qualities.
3. Bad Habits
Smoking, drinking too much, dropping f-bombs, etc. are all not easy to accept. Yet, a supportive, encouraging, and praying spouse might do more to inspire change than divorce ever could.
Watching someone mope around, blame others, and play the victim can be annoying and seemingly intolerable. Yet, this is where a committed, positive, and uplifting spouse can be the example for a mate who’s lost his/her way. Divorce is likely to contribute to the issue, rather than resolve it.
5. They Don’t Understand Me
We are all changing, growing, and expanding mentally, emotionally and spiritually with each passing day. This ongoing transformation means that there will be times, maybe even years, when your spouse just doesn’t get you. That’s okay! Keep teaching your spouse about who you are rather than being angry that it’s not instinctual.
6. Lack of Emotional Support
This is a common complaint, particularly for wives. Men are not naturally emotional and they tend to show their love through task-oriented accomplishments. You can work on asking directly for what you want and need emotionally. In the meantime, go to God, friends, and other family members for that support. I believe most men grow emotionally with age and experience. Raising children also helps this process. Don’t rush to divorce before you give God a chance to move.
Time tends to fix an issue of immaturity far better than divorce. If you refuse to condone or enable immature behavior, it will likely self-correct with age. If you married straight out of high school or college, some immaturity is to be expected.
8. A Bad Attitude
Your spouse’s unpleasant demeanor could indicate an unresolved emotional history that might be helped with your understanding and support. If your spouse knows that someone is willing to take the time to understand their issues without judgement, it could be what inspires introspection and a new attitude.
9. They Don’t Pay You Enough Attention
We all want our spouse’s undivided attention. However, part of maturing is accepting that sometimes other responsibilities take priority. Before you decide to walk away, be sure that your desire for more attention is not rooted in your own impaired self-esteem.
A selfish mate can make anyone want to bounce, but if you are serious about that ‘for better or for worse’ thing, showing him/her the error of their ways is the only way to go. God’s love is what ends up helping us get outside of ourselves, a spouse’s love has the power to do the same.
Related: Divorced couples can teach us a thing or two about marriage. Click here to read all about it.
Here’s the thing – if God can stand with us through all of our foolishness, why do we struggle to show our spouses the same grace? Though there are circumstances in which stepping away from your marriage for your own safety and healing is necessary, too many of us are bailing too soon, assuming that perpetual happiness is possible with a better mate.