Sometimes you need to be willing to risk what you have in order to get something better. I’m not talking about leaving your spouse on the hopes of a better one, though that’s the message the world tries to peddle. Rather, I’m talking about getting a new marriage, with the same spouse. Often, in discussions with spouses, I find they’re terrified of making a move, because they’re afraid of it getting worse. But, you need to be able to risk what you have in order to grow. This is a concept that comes up many times in the Bible, not only in terms of salvation, but in daily life.
I get emails almost every week from husbands and wives who say it is unbearable to stay in the situation they are in now. They’ll tell me how intolerable their sexual frequency is. They’ll share how their spouse’s behavior is causing them to be depressed to the point of leading to unhealthy behaviours of their own. Yet, many will do nothing about it. Why? Because they’re not willing to risk the hell they are in for a potentially better marriage, with the same spouse. A lack of sex is better than no sex and a fight. A lack of creativity in the bedroom is better than a sexless marriage. A lack of communication is better than a divorce. Always the focus is on the negative potential outcome.
And yet, I’ve rarely seen a marriage improve without one spouse, if not both, getting to a point where they feel like they just stepped off a cliff. A point where there’s no turning back. It’s do or die now, because the words are out of your mouth, the email has been sent, the text has been received … there’s no undo any more.
And you know what? Sometimes it does get worse first. Sometimes it doesn’t get better. But, to be honest, it doesn’t usually get much worse. Rather, more often, the couple goes through some challenges and emerges stronger, with both spouses happier in the long run. I’ve seen it again, with husbands who have admitted porn addictions, wives who have admitted affairs … even one couple where the husband went to jail. Granted, his “jump” was sort of forced … but it still ended up being the best thing for their marriage. I know, because they tell a lot of people their story, of how God used a prison sentence to heal their marriage.
The thing is, most have so little to lose, and so much to gain. Most are miserable in their marriage. They don’t want to continue, and yet they do, for fear of losing. And what do they have to gain potentially? A real marriage. A godly marriage. A marriage that can be a positive in people’s lives, instead of a drain on everyone it touches.
And I get it. I remember being terrified. I’ve sent the email that ends with “I understand if you don’t want to be married any more”. I’ve been there; I went over that cliff. And yes, it’s easier to say after you’ve gone over it, years later when you’re safe and sound, with a thriving marriage. But, it doesn’t make it any less true.
So, ask yourself: isn’t it worth the risk? Or would you rather be safe and sound in a marriage you know could be so much more?
If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there. And if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians. If they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.” – 2 Kings 7:4
5 thoughts on “Growth takes risk”
I took the leap with my wife and it worked. We have the best marriage we have ever had.
Wow. Thanks for this post JayDee. I really needed it today (and every day of my marriage). Getting ready to jump!
You’re quite welcome!
I agree with the other two, great post.
Who says that a leap has to be like taking a bitter medicine? If you approach your spouse in a kind fashion who knows what good actions may take place.
If you are not sure how to approach him or her, try this on for size.
Find a book on the subject you need to address. As you read, highlight that sections which you want to bring up to them. Then ask them to read that section and to discuss with you what the author is saying. This is not to manipulate him or her, i is to address a subject in a different light.
I used this many years ago to learn why my wife communicated in a certain manner. I am quick to give answers and she is extremely thoughtful and “digests” an idea for a while before commenting. I thought she was resisting talking with me when she was actually being very conscious or my feelings.
If it about sex, then read Kevin Lehman’s “Sheet Music” or “Sex begins in the kitchen” or any number of books written by women authors.
A plug for my book – Cracking The Marriage Code – Amazon as each chapter shares with you how to apply this principal to many parts of your marriage.
The point that Jay Dee makes is spot on “Make the leap!” Find a way to discuss the tough areas of your relationship. Your marriage IS stunted by that segment of your communication. Growth takes risk and EFFORT!
I was just laying in bed, wide awake at 4:00am, next to my sleeping husband trying to remember the last time we had sex. I was scrolling through Facebook and found this post. The answer is it’s been 4 weeks. Granted, I’ve been sick with a bad cold/flu and recovering from back surgery about 3 months ago. I get it, not ideal situations but he acts like it’s no big deal to go that long with no sexual activity at all, nothing. Before the back problems got bad, he was happy with once a week, usually Saturday morning, always the same. I’m bored and want more. I’ve tried to have a discussion but he always says he’s afraid of hurting me. He never asks if I’m hurting, never shows that he’s interested at all until Friday night. He’ll go to bed saying “wanna sleep naked?” Then he wakes me up Saturday morning always with the same moves. He’s already ‘ready’ but I am far from it. I’ve just woken up, need to pee, and I’m always slow to get moving in the morning . I need more and he knows it because I’ve told him again & again. More frequency, more creativity, more seduction, more passion. I’m on that edge. I don’t know what to do next. It’s Friday night. There was no question about sleeping ‘naked’ which means another week goes by……. At this point, I almost welcome no sex over the same boring unsatisfying sex we’ve been having, when we have it at all. Time for a leap for sure!