I Destroyed My Marriage - ebook
Your Spouse Wants to Divorce You and It's Your Fault
You have wounded your spouse deeply and ruined your marriage. You are facing divorce and you are to blame.
How can you stop the divorce and motivate your spouse to work
on the marriage? By following Dr. David Clarke's specific, step by
step action plan.
Dr. Clarke tells you exactly what not to do and exactly what to
do in this crisis. His strategy will give you the best opportunity
to save your marriage.
Read the First Chapter for Free!
INTRODUCTION : IT’S NOT OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER
“I’ve been unhappy for a while, and I want a divorce.”
“I don’t love you anymore, and our marriage is over.”
“I’m tired of living this way, and I want out.”
“I’m numb inside, and I will never be in love with you again.”
“I’ve seen an attorney, and I’m filing for divorce.”
“I’m taking the kids, and I’m leaving you – for good.”
“I’ve filed for divorce and I want you to leave the home.”
“I want an amicable divorce for the sake of the kids.”
“There’s nothing you can say or do to stop me from divorcing you.”
“You’ve hurt me so badly that I could never trust you again.”
When you hear these words from your spouse, your life
changes in an instant. You’re shocked. Stunned. Devastated. Broken.
You are willing to do anything to stop her from going away. But your spouse is telling you there is nothing you can do to save this precious relationship.
It’s Your Fault
The worst part is that you know it’s your fault. You are guilty as charged. You have done and said things that deeply wounded your spouse. You have sinned in a serious way. You are the reason your spouse does not love you anymore and wants a divorce.
Adultery – physical or emotional
Emotional abuse – criticism, sarcasm, shaming, degrading
Making important decisions without consulting your spouse
Allowing your family and others to mistreat your spouse
Refusal to provide discipline and guidance for the children
Neglecting important needs
Not opening up and sharing personally
Rejecting your spouse sexually
Continually pressuring your spouse for sex
Whatever you’ve done, it’s been enough to destroy your marriage and the feelings your spouse had for you. You are to blame. You’ve sinned against your spouse. Yes, sinned, because God is involved. You have grieved the Lord (Ephesians 4:30). Your behavior has destroyed the love someone had for you, love that motivated her to pledge her life to you. Now, you are paying for your sinful behavior.
Suddenly, everything is crystal clear to you. You realize the terrible damage you have done to your partner. You do love your spouse. You want sincerely and desperately to not get divorced. You are ready to make big changes – as a person and as a spouse.
The trouble is, your spouse could care less. It looks as though it is too late.
Two important Truths
You have to quickly grasp two critical truths.
First, your spouse is done. There is no confusion. There is no doubt. This is not a temporary phase. Your spouse has been planning this for weeks, more likely for months, and she has determined that divorce is the only option for her. Your genuine apologies and promises to change mean nothing. The decision to divorce has been made and it is final.
Even if you did change in major ways overnight, it wouldn’t make any difference. Your spouse has a clear, specific plan in place and intends to follow it all the way to divorce.
The second truth is this: You need a proven strategy to win back your spouse’s heart before the divorce is final. It isn’t over until it’s over. Until the judge declares you are divorced, you have an opportunity to save your marriage. Your spouse once loved you. With the right steps, you can get that love back.
You cannot wing it. And, you cannot make any more big mistakes – not one. You cannot do what comes naturally.
I know you don’t know what to do. That’s why you bought this book. You’re going to get a lot of advice from a lot of well-meaning persons: family, friends, pastors, counselors, relationship “experts”….. Most of this advice will be dead wrong. If you follow it, you’ll have zero chance to stay married.
I Can Help You Save Your Marriage
You must rely on one voice if you’re to be successful in this most important challenge of your life. I’m asking you to listen to my voice and follow my Stop Your Divorce Strategy.
Why am I confident in my strategy? Because I’ve been a clinical psychologist for the past thirty years, specializing in working with couples. Saving marriages is what I do.
I know exactly what you need not to do to win back your spouse. There are certain common mistakes you simply must avoid at all costs. I also know exactly what you need to do to win back your spouse.
My strategy is biblical. It is incredibly detailed. It is a comprehensive step-by-step manual you can follow from start to finish.
I don’t deal in theories. I deal in what works. God has used this strategy to save many marriages. He, the Creator who instituted marriage, and I, want your marriage to be the next one that is saved.
This Book’s Target Audience
I think I’ve already made this clear, but just to make sure: If you have sinned seriously, and your spouse has filed or intends to file for divorce, this book is for you. It offers you what is perhaps the only hope to stop it.
No matter what you’ve done to wound your spouse, my process is the same. I’ve used these steps to help spouses who have committed just about every type of marital sin.
Throughout the book, I most often refer to the husband as the sinning spouse and assume that the wife is the one pursuing the divorce. The roles are often reversed. It can be the husband who has been deeply wounded and wants the divorce. Whatever your situation is, the principles in my plan remain the same.
My approach also applies to couples who are not married. If your partner breaks up with you because of your hurtful behavior, my plan can help you get her back.
If you are already divorced, all is not lost. My steps can lead to reconciliation and remarriage.
Here’s the Plan
My strategy has four phases.
Phase One: Follow the Don’ts and Dos of Winning Back Your Spouse
In this first phase, I cover the most common mistakes most spouses make when trying to save a marriage, and the correct actions you must take.
Phase Two: Change Spiritually and Emotionally
You take a minimum of three months to focus on your spiritual and emotional health. You draw close to God and you get into solid recovery from your areas of sin and weakness.
Phase Three: Reach Out to Your Spouse
When and only when you have established a foundation of real change in your personal life, you can carefully reach out to your spouse. You and selected members of your support team will contact your spouse to report your progress and ask her to work on the marriage.
Phase Four: Move On, One Way or the Other
If your spouse agrees to work on the marriage, you two can follow my steps of healing and rebuilding. If your spouse remains committed to divorce, you have to: (1) continue in your recovery, (2) release her to God, (3) speak truth to her, and (4) build your new life.
It’s a Tough Process
You may have figured this out, but I have to be honest with you. My process is very difficult. In fact, it will be the most difficult series of steps you’ll ever take in your life. It requires a lot of time, patience, and work.
But since we’re talking about saving your marriage, it is worth going all in and giving it your best, sacrificial effort.
A famous quote from our former American president, Theodore Roosevelt, captures the spirit of my strategy:
Far better it is to dare mighty things,
to win glorious triumphs, even though
checkered by failure, than to take
rank with those poor spirits who neither
enjoy much nor suffer much, because they
live in the gray twilight that knows
not victory or defeat
You are daring a mighty thing. The odds are stacked against you. You are attempting what seems impossible. It could end in failure or glorious, God-honoring triumph.
But your marriage is sacred and precious and well worth the risk.
Trusting God, somehow you must ignite a light in your spouse that will allow her to hear you, watch you, and respond to you.
I don’t guarantee my plan will work for you. I do guarantee it will give you the best opportunity to save your marriage. It’s important to know – before God, your spouse, and your children – that you did your absolute best to win back your spouse’s heart.
Let’s get to work.
CHAPTER ONE: DON’T QUIT
I can’t tell you how many spouses – especially husbands – I’ve worked with who quit before they were even close to completing my Stop Your Divorce plan.
Read the next sentence carefully. DO NOT QUIT. I can’t help you if you quit. The rest of this book is a waste of time if you quit.
If You Quit. . .
If you quit, you are a coward. If you quit, she knows you aren’t man enough to do the hard work to win her back. If you quit, you are telling your wife, “You’re not worth fighting for.”
If you quit, you won’t change in your areas of sin and weakness. If you quit, you cannot say you did your best to save your marriage. If you quit, you demonstrate that you’re not willing to trust God to help you.
If you quit, all hope for your marriage is gone. Your wife will divorce you. You are already at fault for destroying your marriage. Now, if you quit, you will forever be at fault for the divorce because you didn’t try to save it.
The Top Thirteen Excuses for Quitting
I’ve talked to hundreds and hundreds, probably thousands, of persons who deeply wounded their spouses and faced divorce. I’ve heard every possible excuse from these spouses to quit trying to save their marriages. These excuses may be going through your head at this time.
Here are the top thirteen excuses to quit, with my responses.
Quitter: She’s made up her mind and there’s nothing I can do.
Dave: God can change her mind. And, there is plenty you can do. This book is a manual of what you can do.
Quitter: I’m too upset, devastated, and depressed to take action.
Dave: Stop being a baby. Stop making this about you. Get a grip and get to work.
Quitter: I should make the divorce easy for her and not fight it. It’s the least I can do.
Dave: That decision would certainly be the least you can do. God expects you to do the most you can do to win her back. You don’t owe her a divorce. You owe her, your kids, and God your best effort to stop the divorce.
Quitter: Why do all this work with no guarantee she won’t divorce me?
Dave: You don’t deserve a guarantee. If you had a guarantee, you wouldn’t work as hard on your personal issues. It will mean more to her when you do all this work with no guarantee. This is unconditional love: “I’m all in whether you divorce me or not.”
Quitter: But she has a biblical reason to divorce me.
Dave: No, she doesn’t. Not if you truly repent and change. There are only two biblical reasons for divorce: abandonment by a non-Christian spouse (I Corinthians 7:12-15) and an ongoing, unrepentant lifestyle of sexual sin by a spouse (Matthew 5:32, 19:9). Since you don’t want a divorce, the first reason doesn’t apply. If you have committed sexual sin but repent (which means you stop the sin and get into solid recovery), the second reason also does not apply. Even if she believes she has a biblical reason, that doesn’t mean she has to divorce you.
Quitter: Your steps are too hard.
Dave: Really? Are you a man or a mouse? Any huge achievement takes huge effort. Is she worth it? Are your kids worth it? Is God worth honoring?
Quitter: My kids want me to stop trying and make the divorce easy for mom.
Dave: You’re going to let your kids make this critically important, life-changing decision? They want to ease Mom’s pain, but divorce won’t do that. Divorce will increase her pain. Show your kids what real love is by fighting for your marriage.
Quitter: I think it’s best to get divorced, and then try to reconcile.
Dave: No, it’s not best. Not many couples reconcile after divorce. Why should she reconcile with a quitter who didn’t fight for her? Show her your love for her and your sorrow for what you’ve done. If you do your best and she still divorces you, you actually have a much better chance of reconciling and remarrying.
Quitter: If I keep fighting for the marriage, she’ll get angrier and angrier at me.
Dave: Yes, she will – at least for a while. Anger is a lot better than apathy. This is bigger than her feelings. It’s about your marriage, a sacred relationship.
Quitter: I have hurt her so badly she could never trust me again.
Dave: Not true. Trust is at zero now, but it can come back to one hundred percent. If we can motivate her to do her work of healing, God can restore her trust in you.
Quitter: I have friends who are telling me to move on and find someone else.
Dave: Speaking of “find,” you need to find some new friends. These friends are idiots. You’re still married, so dating is adultery. If you’re dumb enough to date, you can kiss your marriage goodbye.
Quitter: What I did wasn’t that bad! I’m angry that she’s treating me this way. She made mistakes too.
Dave: What you did was that bad! You have hurt her as no one else has ever hurt her. Whatever mistakes she made in the marriage pale in comparison to your massive sins. You need to own your sins and work to understand the awful pain you’ve caused her. Don’t even think about any of her mistakes and weaknesses, and certainly don’t be dumb enough to mention them out loud.
Quitter: I can’t do your plan in my own power!
Dave: Now, that statement I agree with. You don’t have the power. No one does. God does and He will give you His power to do every action in my plan.
I repeat: DO NOT QUIT.
Let me show you the main reason why you should never quit and never give up hope in this battle to save your marriage.