At what point in a marriage is it too late to begin again? This is the vital question people ask themselves once they believe they've reached what I like to call "the point of no return."
This past weekend, I was talking with a very close friend of mine, and as I listened to the trials she's facing in her marriage, I honestly wasn't sure what my advice should be. It's so easy to look at someone's situation from the outside and say, "But you love each other. Isn't it worth one last shot?" And it's even easier to say, "The guy's a jerk. Throw him out!"
My friend's suffering has become too much, and she has reached that place where she feels the only option is to leave the marriage. Otherwise, she may never get over the pain, the betrayal, the dishonesty she has experienced. Several friends and family members are aware of her situation, creating a whole different level of complication.
So, at what point in a marriage is it too late to begin again? I like to say the answer is different for everyone. There are many factors to consider, but one of the first considerations is: do you still love each other? Sometimes, when two people love each other, they can make miracles happen.
If you are struggling and find yourself at that "point of no return," here are some ideas to consider.
While you will want to seek advice from some trusted individuals, only you and your spouse know the whole story, and only the two of you should make decisions regarding your relationship.
Be methodical about your decision-making process. Write down feelings and make lists so you can study things out.
Take your time and don't rush into anything.
Put your anger and hurt aside, and work hard to have deep conversations with your spouse so you can get to the root of issues that created your mess.
Be open and honest in discussions with your spouse so you can make informed decisions about what you both think is the best solution.
Even if you and your spouse decide divorce is inevitable, divorce can be done kindly. I know this from experience, and it's a lot better for everyone's well-being if two mature people can amicably agree to let each other go on with their lives. You will be happier, your children will be happier, and your world will end up being a better place.
Janeen Diamond began her career with KUTV News, and hosts productions through her company, "Your TV Spot." She has authored, "Save Your Marriage in 30." Janeen is co-creator of "Teen Impact TV." She writes for HopeAfterDivorce.org and FamilyShare.com