How Can I Save My Marriage?

How Can I Save My Marriage?

I’ve had a few questions this week, and far more than a few over the years, which has brought me to the conclusion that there are a lot of hurting people out there.

There are more broken marriages than I ever imagined.

And people who desperately want to be rescued.

Each couple is different, and every marriage is unique, therefore the issues vary from person to person. How could I possibly help when I don’t have all the answers myself?

I’m a writer, but I’m not a wise counsellor. I listen. I think. I take in. And I write…

I open my email where I find long letters filled with sorrow and pain. I can’t turn away. I have to pray for you. I want to encourage you, but the words simply don’t come.

My heart is grieved. Where are the answers, Lord? What can I tell them?

What can I possibly say to a wife who’s been hurting for decades?

What is the answer to the question on everyone’s lips?


Then gently He speaks like the coo of a dove. And I stop to listen.

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” – James 1:5

And so I encourage you to pray fervently for that wisdom my friends. Cling to that promise, knowing that God will either give you that wisdom directly or He will send wise counsel into your life.

But there’s something else He wants us to know. It’s equally important that we adhere to these words as difficult as they might be at times,

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. – James 1:2-4

A difficult spouse can be one of the greatest trials we’ll ever endure. It can leave us feeling hopeless, discouraged, and drained. It can test our patience to the limit.

And James is saying to “count it all joy” when we’re tested? How?

Here’s the thing. The most important thing in this life must be our relationship with God.

John Piper describes faith as a muscle tissue, saying, “if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger, not weaker.” And then he goes on to say, “God loves faith so much that he will test it to the breaking point so as to keep it pure and strong.”

If we idolize our marriage, nothing makes sense. But if we put God at the center of everything that we do, faith becomes so valuable to us that it’s worth going through fire to save it.

When marriage comes second to God, we find a fullness of joy unlike anything else.

We don’t have the power it takes to save a marriage. But we have an incredible opportunity to approach the One Who does.  We have the ability to put every broken piece in the hands of our Savior, “Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

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  • denise

    But what do you do when you feel like everything stable in your life has disappeared and you are alone? The last few years of my life have probably been the hardest in every area and the devil, who I don’t want to give more credit then due, has been attacking me with fear and anxiety. I have been using the word of God and prayer to counteract my thinking and the thoughts that attack me daily. But lately here, I feel I have no point. I have all boys and between my husband and them, no one understands me. I have reached the very bottom of my husbands list of priorities and it doesn’t seem to matter and our boys see the way he acts towards me-like i am just another person in the house-and my teenage boys are now acting the same towards me. We just moved and this has just added to everything because I haven’t acquired any trustworthy friends yet, and our church is still in the beginning stages of growth and there are no women groups. I love reading/following your page and women living well, God helped me find your pages a few months ago and they’ve been God sends- my life jackets! This wasn’t supposed to sound like this but its what came out…sorry! I just need to find something to encourage and lift my spirits because I know that that is the key! any suggestions!?! I do really good with devotionals or studies! Just something for strength and joy! Thanks!

    • Darlene Schacht

      Denise, it sounds like you are in need of some women friends who can encourage you along. A few years back I felt like I needed a woman in my life who could encourage me, and I didn’t have one that I was close to at the time. I decided to approach someone and ask her if she’d go out for coffee with me. I looked for someone that I felt was stronger than me because I knew that I needed a pillar of strength. Our coffee date turned out to be a strong friendship, which is really a God thing.

      Also, I remember several years ago literally crying my eyes out in prayer on a Sunday afternoon because I needed a friend. The very next day God sent someone to me.

      All this to say, don’t give up on the idea of a good friend. It could happen overnight or it might take a while. Sometimes God brings us through a time of drought. I believe that opens us up to more time with God. As dark as it can feel, there is a purpose to quiet time.

      Pray for friends, and good fellowship, then see where God leads you.

  • Anonymous

    Very well-spoken, and much needed. Your blog is inspired by personal experiences that line up with God’s Word, and that is fantastic!

    What is your insight as to women in marriages who have been verbally, emotionally, and even physically abused? I even drew up separation papers once, years ago, to protect me and my children. I felt that God was telling me to stay. The cycle got better, and then worse.

    When I talked with him about divorce weeks ago, he is pleading and asking me to believe God. For 8 years now I have observed, put forth great faith, prayer, perseverance, sought godly counsel, and I just can’t believe it will change this time around, even though he says things I have heard many times before.

    I pray protection on our children, and yet I don’t believe that they should be subjected to a marriage that has been through what it has, and that it does not model the relationship of how Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.

    Any counsel is openly received, and I appreciate your time to read my response.

  • Donna Castanedo

    This was spot on for me. I need God to tell me how to save my marriage or better yet save it for me.

  • Carolann

    Praying for God to give me a reason to stay or show me the door to the way out. Will just keep praying. Something’s gotta give and only the Lord knows what it is.

  • Leigh-Anne

    I feel like im in a vicious catch 22. I need to be a good wife and mother…the kind God wants me to be, to show my husband the grace of God, yet I have my own hangups and hurts and I dont always listen and obey the way I should! So how can that be helpful!? I just feel like im spinning my wheels and going nowhere fast.

    • Darlene Schacht

      None of us are walking perfectly. We’re all growing and virtue upon faith. Don’t be discouraged about the failures and shortcomings you have, just keep looking forward. Each day is a new opportunity to grow and love.

  • David

    Darlene, I thank you. As one currently in turmoil with a troubled marriage, the lack of putting God first in the marriage vow is indeed the most important foundation. This vow only has validity, and His blessing, if both are willing to submit to Him. This is far more than the issuance of a state license, even more than an oath. It is involving Him in the process of continuously looking for divine guidance.

  • Elyce

    Thank you Darlene. This came at a time I truly needed it. My husband has moved out and I am standing for my marriage. I want to do everything God’s way. He hates divorce, so I want to save my marriage. I will add these verses to my list to keep in my head and follow. I pray for all prodigal spouses to come home and restore their marriages. Nothing is greater then God, and that includes our situations and spouses. God loves us.

  • Carol

    I love your message but at the same time, I worry that people depend on this thinking it’s the ONLY thing that you need to make your marriage work. Realistically lots of marriages that are ending are Christian couples that BELIEVE. They are devout. Yet, because of communication skills, the marriage still suffers. I do believe God needs to come first- my husband and I have certainly learned that. But we almost must love and respect one another- sometimes we need to relearn some skills and learn about how the other communicates to do that in addition to our devotion to God.

  • Moya

    Thank you for your post We had 3 daughters, but they have all grow on gone away (to much to say now here at this time), but we were always a close family, so now it has been hard I try not to cause or be in on any extra stress, but we are now relearning how to be just 2, and after 27 years with our girls I know it’s going to take a little time, Prayer, God, and patients. Thank you again! and God Bless you

  • pd

    Thank you so much for your posts. You have been an inspiration to me for months now, not to mention your great books. My situation was adultery. My husband left me after I found out for about two months. He has been back home for six months now and I pray everyday for our marriage and for strength to continue on not knowing if he is still talking/seeing the other woman. Even though I feel he is, I stopped looking for proof because I want to save my marriage. I truly believe God wants me here for a reason, maybe to bring my husband back to Him and to stop his evil ways. I love my husband dearly but I have learned that God comes first I only wish my husband felt the same. Thanks again for all your wisdom. I write your quotes and verses in my journal daily. You are a blessing! Maybe one day ill be able to help someone else because of my faith in God and your books and blog. God bless you and all women trying to save their marriage.

  • Sabra Penley

    Thank you, Darlene, for sharing God’s truth. It’s amazing how putting God first lets everything else fall into proper place. Far too long I focused more on my marriage relationship than I did on my relationship with God. Once I turned that around–where it was supposed to be–God filled our marriage with more joy and contentment than we ever dreamed possible. So thankful for His grace and mercy. Blessings to you.

  • SS

    “There are more broken marriages than I ever imagined”. I never realized the pain associated with broken relationships. Now that I am in one, my heart hurts for all those people suffering. I am at the absolute lowest point of my life. The man I spent 20+ years with prefers other women’s company over mine. He left his morning without his wedding ring and I suspect he will seek divorce now. I am asking God for the peace that passes all understanding for myself and for all hurting souls.

    • Lynn

      My heart hurts for you. Know words can express the pain you are going through. But this I do know the God is faithful. He is the only one that will never leave you or forsake you. When the pain is so deep and as you cry out to God for peace and comfort. He’s got this. Hie’s got your back. I want you to know you are worth it, you are cherished, loved and value. The lies that satan has been speaking to you are not true. They are just that lies. You are a child of the most High God. Your a great wive. Yes, you made mistake but we all do. That’s why we need Jesus. He is your comfort. He will give you wisdom and peace. Is. 41:10 Big hugs coming your way. Oh! Also, we need the body of Christ. I pray that you have a safe and trusting friend that you can pray with that will be a friend you can trust with your heart. Blessings.

  • jh

    I have been separated since September. My husband asked me if we could go to counseling a month before to get help because we had grown apart as husband and wife. I agreed but at our 3rd session he decided it was over. He has cried and told me that he wholeheartedly loves me and he was sorry for hurting me. He also has wanted to remain friends. There is a lot of love between each other and we are the closest of friends. I know that he is really hurt and devastated over this separation, but he just feels that he is suppose to do end things. The counselor, who we have been with since before we married says our problems are fixable. Up to 2 months ago I felt maybe it was over, but God has given me such peace that he has my marriage. I have been faithful to stay out of the way. I know God can do anything and of course he isn’t a fan of divorce. My marriage was never in vain, like the song by Casting Crowns…Broken Together the words really do fit my situation. I prayed the other night for God to give me some indication that my marriage will renewed and right after I prayed this I ran across you on FB. I read your blogs over 30 minutes. I have received so much comfort from your emails. Thank you and please pray for my marriage.

  • rebecca

    I have a question I want to save my marriage my husband was a 36 year oldbachelor we dated and got married and we just had our first child i always wanted a family and i thougth that I had found it but his parents and his sister are always in our business we can not do anything or spend money eat somewhere just every thing we do they want him to call and tell them they try to over power me when there comes times that the wife should be in control they are driving a wedge between us because i am starting to lose my temper and lose my cool I just Want my family time with him and my daughter to be ours he feels like because he works with them that he has to tell them everything how can I save this marriage