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Reconciliation Versus Divorce - by Mary L. Weinstein

Unfortunately, in this day and age, a huge number of married couples experience the pain of adultery.  Research shows that it is mostly men who commit adultery.  Regardless of who commits the act, both spouses have to make the painful and difficult decision to either reconcile and try again or just get a divorce. 


Many women have asked me the tough question, “should I stay with him or should I get a divorce.”  Before answering that question, you should write down several things on paper.  Write the reasons why you should stay together and why you should get a divorce.  The decision to divorce should never be made in haste.  It is one that should be done after much thought and with a heart free of vengeance.


There are several common reasons why couples stay together.  One reason is because they still love each other even though their needs are being unmet.  However, sometimes love is not enough.  Another common reason couples stay together is because of the children they have.  Is that a good enough reason if you both continue to fight and the affair is still ongoing?  Is it healthy to stay together under those circumstances?  One reason why the cheating spouse will stay married is that familiarity is better than the unknown.  The spouse already knows what to expect in the existing marriage even if it is a bad one.  To leave the familiar can be a bit scary and a bit risky. 


Women tend to stay in a failing marriage for a few reasons.  Some women are still in love with their husband and still hope things will change.  Some are afraid to be on their own.  They cannot imagine losing their home, the comfortable lifestyle, or having to work outside the home.  Women may also stay because they feel that all men are alike and if they get a divorce, the next man will do the same so they might as well stay in the failed marriage. 


Regardless of the reasons, the most important thing to do before making a decision is pray and seek counseling.  Divorce changes people’s lives forever.  Therefore, it is important to really make a well thought out, prayerful decision.  Both spouses have to be willing to reconcile and make it work.  Otherwise, if it is only one spouse who wants to keep trying, then get ready to keep hurting and suffering.  But if both spouses agree that divorce is the best remedy, then move forward with it.  I personally hate divorce and what it does to families.  I strongly believe in reconciliation and forgiveness.  But I also know that sometimes adultery can destroy a family beyond repair. 


To those of you who are asking the question, “should I stay or should I go?” remember that only you can answer that question.  I hope you will consider carefully the circumstances and the ramifications.  I hope you will try reconciliation first and counseling.  If your spouse does not want to do their part, you have to do what is best for you and your children. 


Divorce should never be chosen as a way to vindicate against your spouse.  I know couples who jumped the gun and got a divorce based on how they felt at that exact moment without really thinking things through and they regretted it in the long run.  I also know some couples who kept trying and trying and still got divorced in the end.  And then I know couples who not only survived the horror of adultery but are now happier than ever.  The important thing is that you tried and that counts for a lot! 

Mary L. Weinstein is a Certified Life Purpose Coach through Life Purpose Coaching Centers, Int'l.  She holds a Bachelor of Theology in Biblical Counseling from The King's College & Seminary.  She is an ordained Minister, Biblical Counselor and Bible Teacher.  Mary is the Founder and CEO of Friends with Purpose Ministries.  Her website is http://www.friendswithpurpose.com

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