With tears in her eyes, Emily looked at Brent. His words turned her world upside down. Feelings of betrayal and hurt consumed her. Ten years of marriage were suddenly interrupted by her husband’s unfaithfulness. Her eyes flooded with tears. She couldn’t help but wonder a million questions like “what do we do now?” “what do I say?” and “what about the kids?” The fierce loyalty she had shown him over the years seemed like a waste of time now. If he truly loved her, how could he do such a thing?
Emily is in a position similar to well over 300,000 individuals in America each year who are cheated on by their spouse. Unfaithfulness can severely damage marital relationships. And infidelity is not the only issue facing American marriages today. On a daily basis, married couples need to make decisions together. Troubles can arise in anything from finances, to comforting a child after they lose a soccer game. But regardless of the issue, couples need to communicate in healthy ways to resolve issues.
To couples who may be contemplating marriage therapy- or even divorce, first consider a possible alternative solution. The solution is: Prayer. Prayer has the ability to rebuild marriages struggling with any number of issues. Prayer can increase the levels of understanding, love, healing, and forgiveness in your marriage.
Don’t believe me? Google the phrase “stories about healing a marriage through prayer.” You’ll be amazed. Countless people have shared their remarkable stories about turning to God to heal their marriages. After reading their success stories, you will feel inspired to try it out for yourself. But, if personal experiences from people on the internet are not convincing enough for you, take it from the experts.
Psychology researchers report that 90% of Americans pray at least occasionally. So, why not use prayer as a way to help your marriage? Marriage therapists also agree that prayer can be an effective way to help struggling marriages. Prayer has many qualities similar to therapeutic techniques. For example- If an individual asks God for the ability to be more loving, they are likely to express love to their spouse more frequently, which will have a positive effect on their relationship. Therapists have also seen a decrease in destructive marriage behaviors among couples who pray. Praying makes harmful behaviors seem less attractive. Thus, individuals are less likely to act unkindly toward their spouse, and are more likely to act lovingly instead.
After exhausting your own ability to resolve a marital dilemma, you may wonder where you can go for help. Friends and family might advise you to go see a therapist. But, before you follow their advice, you may want to do your wallet a favor, and try saying a prayer instead. Marriages are worth the investment you put into them. Your spouse and children depend on you. Difficult circumstances, like Emily’s situation, may cause you to question the commitment you put into your marriage and family, but you can be assured that your time is being well spent.
Couples who contemplate divorce but choose to stay married commonly report they are happy they stayed in their marriages. Upon closer inspection, your marriage may not be what needs fixing, it might be you and your spouse that need to fix deeper problems such as unkindness, selfishness, or inconsiderateness.
Thankfully, prayer can help to eliminate any one of these problems. Admitting you are the one that needs to change can be a difficult feat, but it might be the thing that saves your sanity and your marriage. As a matter of fact, the only thing that can change your marriage is you and your spouse. You, and only you, can take the steps necessary to save your marriage.
If you go to a therapist, they will suggest actions you can take to help you make changes in your behavior. The behaviors they will help you change will influence the way you view and treat your spouse. Therapists can’t magically fix your marriage. Changing your marriage requires changing yourself. But you don’t need to go to a therapist to make those changes. All of the behaviors you need to change to create a happy marriage can be changed through prayer. So instead of seeking professional help, kneel down.
Ellie Randall is a senior at Brigham Young University studying Family Life. Ellie also participates in a research study group focused on current trends in marriage.