Finding the Way When Your Marriage is Broken

Is your marriage headed in the wrong direction? Adjusting course might seem impossible, but there is a way. Maybe today is the day to pull out the map of God's word and begin  to be transformed as we learn about his heart and pattern for  our lives and marriages.

One summer when I was in college, I spent several weeks doing door-to-door book sales in Tennessee with a friend. One night after heading back home to Michigan, I found myself going around a loop in Indianapolis. I took a wrong turn and exited to get oriented. I found myself in a broken neighborhood where there were boarded up houses. I kept driving and I hit every red light. It seemed like I’d never escape this city.

After an hour, I figured out my bearings and got back on track. While I grew frustrated with my situation, I came to the point where I admitted that I had made a navigational error. I eventually took the time to evaluate my situation and seek the guidance of the map (pre GPS and iPhone days). Then I followed its instructions and made my way back home safely.

Reflecting back on this little experience has reminded me of the simplicity of the Gospel and the power it has in my life and marriage.

Recognize the Warning Signs

Sometimes we find that our marriage is not on the path we planned when we said until death do us part. Whether we’ve developed bad habits, undisciplined lifestyles, poor communication, sinful addictions, or are harboring bitterness and resentment, we can easily become discontented with our spouse. Suddenly, we might find that our marriage is not in a place we anticipated when we said I do.

Those frustrations are the first warning signs that your marriage is going down the wrong path. You’re quickly headed to a destination that will bring you great pain if something doesn’t change. The good news is that if you find yourself lost in your marriage, know that you can arrive safely to the Ever After that you always dreamed of.

When Mark wrote his Gospel, Israel was not in a good place. She too was lost as ever. Stripped of her prosperity and security in her land, over the centuries she was raped and pillaged by the powerful nations of her day. Where was God? What happened to His promises? Was God’s relationship with His people over?

God Sees You

Mark writes to Israel in order to encourage them. To let them know that God sees them circling the dark streets of their “Indianapolis.” To let them know that all is not over.

In fact, His love for them was about to shine greater than ever.

In Mark 1, Mark is acting like a GPS when he writes of everyone from Jerusalem and Judea repenting and being baptized. Baptism and repentance were on the road map to get back to the Promised Land. The Messiah was near, and Israel’s relationship with God would change forever.

Looking at the map ultimately would lead Israel to Jesus Messiah, and Israel’s road home would be found in the person of Jesus Christ. The same is true for our marriages today.

If you’ve woken up recently and found yourself circling in the darkness and isolation of a broken marriage that you just cannot seem to fix, know that there is hope for you. This hope is ultimately found when you and your spouse fix your eyes on Christ.

The Path to Healing

For me to get back home that dark night in Indianapolis, I had to read the map, compare it to where I was located, and start doing what it said. This is what Israel had to do. This is what we all have to do in our marriages today.

Your path to healing begins with Christ who loves you unconditionally- when you buy in to the fact that He is working in your midst, even when you cannot see beyond the darkness of the storm in your life. It begins by experiencing that gracious love and forgiveness and then ultimately pouring it out on your spouse.

Loving your spouse when you’re on a broken road might mean seeking guidance from those who’ve successfully walked the path before us, who have a long history of reading and applying God’s roadmap. It means starting to make decisions that will bring life to your marriage. It means admitting where you’re wrong. It means saying, “I’m sorry. I hurt you when _____. In the future, I will ______. Will you please forgive me?”

Your destination to a healthy marriage is in sight. Are you willing to do what it takes to get there?



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  1. Great post…and I think one can go further…

    We live in a disposable culture; I mean, when was the last time you saw anyone in a mended piece of clothing? And when was the last time you fixed a broken dish, rather than throwing it out?

    We look at our lives and marriages this way too, I think. “I hate my life!” comes from a ‘break’ in one or two parts of life, and we let the damage expand to fill the rest of the space.

    I’m writing this from the perspective of being told I’m going to die soon, and painfully. I don’t hate my life; while I don’t enjoy the pain (and there is a lot of it) there are also blessings I’d be loathe to lose.

    And besides…if we don’t continue to love what’s broken, how on earth can we expect God to continue to love US?

    I hope this isn’t self-promotion, but my blog post that went live this evening deals with this very subject – it’s called “Broken But Loved”, and can be found here –

    1. I agree completely! I hope you will continue to see the beauty of the journey you are on, and find peace in the Lord’s presence!

  2. What about when only 1 person cares? Been married for 12 years. My husband hasn’t said he loves me since 2009. Never compliments me, encourages or supports me. Barely talks to me even. Works a lot. I feel so alone. I tried talking him. He’s refused counselling. I’d give anything for him to just hug me. He doesn’t even say goodbye when he walks out the door. He just doesn’t care and I’m so very weary. I’m 100% committed to him. Just so very hurt. It’s sad, but, just watching couples simply hold hands or a husband put his arm round his wife makes me jealous and sad. I love my husband. I’d give anything to have it returned. He doesn’t allow me to show him affection either. I just don’t know why to do.

    1. Hi,

      First, let me say that you are anything but “Just A Mom.” You are a gift from God, clothed in beauty and deeply loved by your lover Jesus Christ. You are the daughter of the King and a princess in His kingdom. Highly prized. And highly sought after by the God who loves you. You and every other mom, wife and woman need to know that. Your husband, we men, are not worthy to call you our wives. So when God brings two together, it is one of the greatest gifts and acts of grace that we will every know on this earth. But for some reason, that greatest gift can seem like our heaviest load, our deepest curse.

      And so, I grieve with you that your husband is not prizing you like he should. Or at the very least, what he is communicating does not make you feel sought after. It makes me sad. It hurts my heart. And is too common in our culture and in the Church.

      With that said, it is difficult to know how to respond. First, right now I would encourage you to deeply cling to Jesus. He, more than anyone, knows what it is like to not be prized and even to be shunned. He knows what you are going through. He loves you. He prizes you. And more than anything, this is something that you must believe above everything else you know. Prize him more than your husband. Prize Jesus more than your marriage.

      I am not sure where you live, but if there is opportunity, do your best to get connected with others who are seeking to strive after Jesus as deeply as you are. People who are willing to love you. To encourage you. And to rebuke you when you are wrong. To speak the truth in love.

      As you specifically consider your marriage, consider this: My pastor taught me to “draw the circle around myself.” To “clean up my side of the street.” A broken marriage is the result of the sin of two people (But we know that not all sin is equal in its damage). This means that we need to confess our part in our failed marriages. E.g.- I have not loved you well. I have not prized you like I should. I have prized you more that I should. I made you an idol. I have pursue other loves. I have neglected your. I have enabled you. I have not encouraged you. Etc.)

      Confession is simply agreeing with God. We agree with our own sins; we are acknowledging where we haven’t lived in a way that will bring the life that he desires for us. Before you approach your husband again, I recommend praying for a Godly friend or counselor who will be truthful and loving with you. Who will not justify your sins or encourage your to be rash, but will be tender with you as you share your own wrongdoing. Who will encourage you because we all mess up. Sometimes we are too hard on ourselves in certain areas. Sometimes we are deficient in our evaluation of harm that we might have caused others. Our counsel we receive must have a good understanding of this and not simply dismiss your wrongdoings or overstate them. But to have a level head.

      Share your confessions with your counselor and get an idea of the true state of harm you caused your husband. And then approach your husband. What we are dealing with here is conflict resolution between you and your husband. Here is a link to a series my pastor did not conflict resolution. It is seriously the best stuff I’ve heard on this topic and can easily be applied to your marriage:

      After you approach your husband, it might not go well with you or your marriage. It all depends on how he responds and how things are communicated between both of you. If you cannot get any progress on your own, it may be beneficial to “widen the circle” (Matthew 18:15-17). See also the following link to consider:

      But through this process, which could take years (hey, it often takes years for our marriages to get in the mess we make them, so don’t be discouraged or surprised if it takes time to get out the hole we have dug). It doesn’t always take a long time; sometimes when two begin to break down walls that have been built and to communicate well, a broken marriage can make some ground quickly in its healing.

      But notice what we are doing here. We are seeking out God’s ways. Not our own. Our broken sinful nature says, “I don’t need help; I’ve got this on my own; I’m my own king; It’s all about me; Me, me, me and me.” Getting your marriage back on the right path simply starts at you seeking the right path- God’s words and His truth. But, obviously, it will at some point require both to do that.

      My article was written from the perspective when two people can acknowledge that the marriage is not good and are willing to turn around and seek a better route. When there is only one who understands this it is much like my wife trying to convince me that I am driving the wrong way. Sometimes it takes miles of frustration and a lot of pain to convince me that I need to turn around. And sometimes, in life one has to come to a complete disaster and may never recover because he or she drove their marriage off a cliff.

      That is not what God desires for any of us (So, obviously from the get go, we want to be careful who we drive this car of life with). But remember, your marriage does not define you. God’s love for you does. So, no matter what happens on your marriage journey, remember that. Do not strive to “fix” your marriage. Strive to love your God who loves you and to receive his love. And as He fills your heart, allow God to use your life to encourage your husband as best as you know how. You cannot control a stubborn man or an ungrateful one. And that is not your goal.

      Love him as best as you can and let him be free. He will be accountable for how he receives your love. You don’t have to convince him. You don’t have to beg him- nor should you. Pursue Jesus and he will be at your side. Be faithful at your part and cling to Jesus- even if your marriage doesn’t recover. I’ll be praying for you.

    2. I have been married for 10.5yrs been together for just shy of 12yrs. My husband was the complete opposite. He constantly told me he loved me, always complimented me … but on May 12th after being in treatment for PTSD for 2.5wks he began communicating excessively with a woman who was also in therapy & announced he wanted a divorce. He has since moved out, filed for divorce and has become extremely nasty towards me.

  3. My marriage of almost 15 years is coming to an end soon. I am a Christian, he is not. My husband has cheated on me more times than I care to count and I have tried to fix our marriage. I have turned to a pastor, to counseling to find out was wrong with me, to counseling with my husband. He is currently living with a woman and they say they are getting married. We are still married. I hit my knees daily and through the trials of the past 2 years I have grown closer to God, but my heart still breaks over what I see as a failure on my part.

    1. Hi Tab.

      Thank you for sharing. I can only imaging the frustration and despair that you must feel. It breaks my heart to see marriages crumble.

      I humbly refer you to my reply to “JustAMom.” It touches on a lot of what you have shared. And I want to encourage you to find freedom in Christ from any shame or guilt from your own wrongdoings in your marriage. He has a deep and abiding love for you and you are not defined by the success or failure of your marriage or your choices. God gives us his word “so that it may go well with us” (Deut. 12:28). He is not an angry old man looking to whip us every time we fail.

      I wrote this status update this morning. It might encourage you during your struggle:

      May God Be With You,


  4. What if the man you married isn’t who you thought henwas? I married someone I didn’t inow well (big mistake) thinking he was just shy and reserved. Turns out he is a child in a man’s body. I’m more like a mother than a wife…coking and cleaning for him and always having to tell him to do things or they just don’t get done. If it weren’t for our young daughter I would have left years ago.

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for sharing. At first I thought my wife was playing a trick and put this comment on here! 🙂 Just kidding! In all seriousness though, I write that because you are not alone. Your situation is more common than you could imagine. I would refer you to my comments above to other readers and take from them what is applicable to you. For example, start by drawing the circle around yourself (see above for an explanation). (For you part of this might look like being careful not to enable bad habits or behaviors that your husband might have in relation to household chores.) Get involved in loving Christian community (if you aren’t already) of friends where you can be authentic and share your struggles, in a community that will spur you toward love and good deeds, speak the truth in love, encourage you, rebuke you, admonish you, etc. The idea is that both you and your husband can get involved together in a group where he can too have male friendships that will do the same. It might start, though, by you meeting with other married women who are serious about their relationship with Jesus and their marriages, and then getting their husbands to reach out to yours. But if your husband is like minded with you and desires to have a great marriage, then it will be a lot easier to get him to pursue the path that will bring both you and him the blessing of a great marriage. But the advice is the same. To get back on the path to a great marriage we need to to seek after the One who created marriage in the first place. Blessings to you!

  5. I have been married for 3 years and I still regret it everyday. I’m Christian and my husband is not. He was divorced with kids and this is his second marriage.
    I feel so disrespected by him, he is so selfish only cares about him and his kids. I want to run away but I have a daughter with him. I pray (today did fasting) to to be married is the hardest thing. He does not change at all and I want to give up. This is horrible. I tried everything and no change. What do I do?

    1. I don’t know what to tell you. But I lost my family to divorce. Nothing is impossible through Christ. He will protect you and your child. I’m praying for your whole family from Texas.

  6. My husband walked out on me and our 3 small boys in 2003. Moved in with the high school girlfriend he tells me he never stopped loving, after having had an on again, off again affair with her the entire time we were together. He hasn’t visited his children in 5 years now and the only contact we have with him is in the form of the child support checks he begrudgingly sends once every month or so if he remembers. He’s involved in a lifestyle I’m just as glad my kids aren’t exposed to. But he’s never asked for a divorce so I’ve never filed because I was raised to believe that divorce was evil. But living like this – raising 3 sons alone, no man in my life or any real hope of ever having an adult relationship again – it’s incredibly lonely. Some days it’s hard just to get out of bed. Sometimes I feel like getting the divorce just so I can be free to find love again. I have to wonder if God really wants me to continue living this way.

  7. I don’t usually write comments but today I feel inspired to. I have been married for almost 13 years. My husband and I married a year after high school. In hindsight we were so young and immature and had no idea what we were getting into. We also had no real role models in our lives or even mentors. We were at this completely alone. Right after we married I soon saw things in my spouse I never knew before (and we dated 3 years). He was an easily angered man, was verbally abusive and on 2 occasions he was physical with me. My heart was shattered. How could I have missed this? How was I so blind? I kept going but harbored fear and bitterness and resentment. Then when the alcoholism became a part of our lives his anger and impulsiveness and alcoholic rages started to destroy not only our marriage but it was also destroying who we were as people. I started living my life fist clenched and ready for a fight. Never knowing what each day was going to bring. I slipped into major depression but needing to keep it hidden because I have 3 babies by now and I need to be strong for them. I was very alone and finally at year 11 of marriage I decided to walk away (keep reading though). I had enough and I was not going to take one more day of this life. Granted I did not have the problems my husband did so it makes it sound like I did nothing wrong; but I did. Many times I could have put the fire out but instead threw gas on it. I could have handled things very different, I could have done so much more than I did. (Don’t worry I don’t blame myself for his heart and sin problems, I blame my own) So after telling my husband I was leaving, he was distraught…he had no clue how to act or what to do. One thing I did know was I felt I was going to cause my children to suffer by leaving more than I was going to ever suffer by staying. I would re-write so much in their lives by walking away…their journey I felt was going to needlessly change them. SOOOO. I joking threatened my husband that I was going to hit him with a frying pan when he was being a jerk; he said “you got it”. That day I chose I was no longer a victim and I chose to step in faith that God would reward my faithfulness. I immediately sought help. I was being counseled through my church, close family and friends were fervently praying and I also started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist to treat the years of verbal abuse and depression. With all that I even started The Love Dare. Things have changed and our marriage is finally on the path it should be. We have had the longest stretch of being ONE that we’ve ever had. We are happy and finally enjoying eachother. Now to the hard stuff. There are still times where he will do something that in the past would really set me back and hurt, but now I chose to stay out of the negative room. I have a choice to open that door and revisit the icky stuff or I can keep it closed. I am sure I will always be tempted to open it and sometimes it is just going to fly wide open but I will close it back. Now I understand not all marriages are the same but I do think all our marriages are fully under attack because our marriage is to reflect God and His image. So we should be fighting against the attack on our marriages and push back the enemy. I daily tell satan he has no authority here. I refuse to let him win, God will get all glory and I am a sinner married to a sinner…so we should “take up the full armor of God” and stand united.

  8. What if your husband is certain you had an affair ,won’t believe that you haven’t. I have even suggested i take a lie detector test so he can see i never have or will step out of this commitment of marriage. No matter what I say he says he knows with certainty and has proof. .i haven’t. He says we can work it out if i tell him the truth ( i am, he just doesn’t believe it). I’m at a loss,i have been seeking God.we attended counseling but its still the same.

  9. I have been so hurt, devalued and disrespected over the years by my husband. I don’t have many feelings left for him, which I find very sad. I have stayed because of my 3 children. They have asked me why I stay with him off he can’t change. I don’t have a good answer except I don’t view marriage as disposable. But I feel guilty for making them live with his verbal attacks and condemnation. No one is good enough or does things to his expectation, and he thinks belittling us will make us want to change and do things to his level of satisfaction. It’s crazy. We are all so tired. I pray for my kids I pay for him. I pray that I can be a good godly wife. I pray that God can soften his heart and open his eyes. But I’m having trouble liking him. Let alone living him. How can I change my feelings for him. I’ve been praying for patience and a soft tongue with him. But I find him pulling the nasty out of me during arguments. I really don’t like the man he has become. How do I learn to love him through the bad times? It feels like I’m loving his terrible behavior and giving him the green light to continue.

  10. This is a beautiful post. I am not married but I have learnt a lot from this site. For those who have commented about their bad marriage-troubles will be praying for you that God will grant you peace and favour. May he lead you unto the right path..

  11. Even though I have only been married for 5 years it feels as though it’s been 10+. Since my husband and I got married it’s been an uphill battle trying to get to know him as he was so different before we said ‘I do’. So far during our 5 years of marriage my husband has made and broken a large amount of commitments and promises. I’m not trying to keep count or throw him under the buss but it’s been very difficult to trust his word. I’m trying to do everything I can on my part to be an understanding wife of his busy work schedule and give him rest when he comes home but because of that things/commitments or promises will take months to get fulfilled if at all. I’m almost 39 weeks pregnant with two toddlers under the age of 4 and I find it difficult to do certain things on my own. We live in a new community where I don’t know anyone and I have difficulties with trust to top it off. I’m doing absolutely everything I can think of to try and fix myself but unfortunately I know I don’t have all the answers. Is there anyway you can give me a few steps to changing my expectations of him. How can I change my way of thinking? Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      The first word that comes to my mind is “community.” If I were you, I would be as intentional as possible to meet new people. On Sundays, try to find a good church in your area to connect with people your age. Don’t wait for people to come to you or you will be waiting a long time and be disappointed. Even if you are new, make it a point to extend your hand and introduce yourself to others and ask them about themselves. And exchange contact info if they are someone you might click well with. Work hard at clinging to Jesus right now as you wait for him to develop friendships around you. In regards to your trust difficulties, I would recommend a Bible based 12 step recovery program like Celebrate Recovery. It was in a program like this that I learned a lot about myself, sin and grace. I didn’t have any sexual addictions, chemical addictions, etc. But I did know there were areas in my life were I was not believing God/ trusting Him. I mention this because it was one of the most helpful things I ever did. And I learned I didn’t have to be one of “them”- one of those who have “those” addictions to reap the benefits of a program like it. It became a safe place where I could share my struggles, and I learned that even though my “struggles” seems small to me, they were equally rooted in the same sin of unbelief as those who numb pains with chemicals, sexual behaviors, isolation, depression, etc. And, it could be a great place to meet new friends who will encourage you. So, a simple Google search for a Celebrate Recovery group or something similar near you might be helpful. It could be there that you might meet contacts for a new church, where you an find a community of believers who will encourage you and share life together.

      Thanks for sharing,


  12. Am chamberlain packer from USA, On feb 23, 2016 my wife and family confronted me in our marital home about an issue of a lady I was having an affair with and it resulted that my wife parked her belongings out of our home. She later filed for a restraining order which was granted 8/28/2016 – 8/28/2017 and she has also filed for divorce. I have done everything I could to communicate with her to no avail. Her family does not want to see me either especially her mother. Her mother has been an issue since day one as she constantly rejects the union. i became so confused as thinking now becomes my food daily , even at work i came hardly concentrate until a friend of mine notice it and ask what was wrong and i explain everything to him and he told me how Dr.Noble had helped him restore his broken marriage earlier so i ask him for his contact and he told me that the doctor stay in Italy so i couldn’t travel to Italy so i collected his email ( and email him and explain everything to him and he assure me that everything will be okay in 7 days, and to my greatest surprise after casting the spell within 7 days my broken marriage turned around and my wife who had earlier packed out of my house came back begging and i forgive her and we are now together happily and she have cancelled her divorce case and her mom and everyone in the family are now happy with me peace and love now reign in the family . all thanks to Dr.noble who helped me restored my broken marriage .
    you can contact him via .
    best regard
    chamberlain packer

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