Choosing a Spouse Who Won't Leave You

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presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
3,639
50
0
#1
When I was a young Christian man, I'd read what the Bible said about divorce and remarriage. I knew I wanted to be married. I wanted the love. I wanted the sexual fulfillment. I wanted the companionship. I did not want to be in a situation where I didn't have these things in my life. Just considering myself in light of I Corinthians 7, I could tell marriage was a good match for me long-term, rather than celibacy (which I was doing while single.)

I also realized that there were situations I could get into where conscience might keep me living in a functionally single state when I did not want to be. If I married a woman and she divorced me and just lived single her whole life, I might feel obligated to eventually reconcile with her and not marry someone else. The same thing could happen if she just separated from me. Even if she remarried, I could have an issue of conscience with this. (Whether one agrees with my theological concerns about these things, one should accept these as issues related to keeping a clean conscience.)

Since I knew I wanted to have a wife in my home, in my life, sexual companionship, love from a wife, etc., I needed to find a woman who would stay with me. I knew I had to be careful to find a wife who did not believe it was okay just to divorce if she wasn't happy, for example.

I needed someone who was not prone to have affairs. Her faith and values system had to be inconsistent with committing adultery. And, of course, I needed to live consistent with my beliefs on this matter.

I also knew I wanted to marry a godly wife with the same or very similar beliefs or values. I had some criteria.

I was reading over a journal I kept while dating, and I wrote about some of our conversation, and I did check and see if the woman I married shared certain values. My ideas on these things have been refined, but it was good to see that I was actually doing this in my 20's.

Anyway, with all the divorce, and with all the posts we see on this forum, which are so typical nowadays.

My question is, how can we teach single Christian people to make wise decisions when choosing a spouse? What should we teach them and how do we get them the information and get them to consider these things?

Here are some areas I can think of for discussion relating to criteria for a spouse long term:
- same beliefs
- church attendance
- attitudes toward adultery
- attitudes toward divorce
- substance abuse issues
- work ethic
- expectations of roles of husband and wife in marriage
- sexual expectations
- expectations related to children
- expectations related to parents and extended family
- life plans
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
382
36
28
#2
What needs to be discussed is actually being married as God created marriage. Most people aren't.

A spiritual marriage is sealed with a sexual connection. Females and males were created when a part of Adam was used to create a female. They become one again with sex. When this uniting happens it is not to be torn apart.

This also means that the partners think of themselves as united, so decisions are made with each caring about the other as they care about themselves. Each thinks about how something affects the marriage, not each only interested in their own way.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
3,639
50
0
#3
When I was single, I wanted to marry another virgin, someone who had not been 'one flesh' with another man. Theoretically, marrying a widow was also a possibility, but not one I was particularly interested in when I was young and most women I would have considered had never been married.

The data is a bit dated [Teachman(1990)], but there is some evidence of women who are virgins at marriage having much lower divorce rates than women who'd had multiple sexual partners. In terms of statistics, there are a lot of things you can do to improve the chances of success in marriage. In the US, regular church attenders are less likely to divorce, though those who just claim to be born again aren't statistically less likely to divorce from what I've read.

It makes sense to focus a lot on character, issues related to faith, values, and practical issues rather than just feelings as the culture teaches.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#4
I had a list of attributes that I wanted in a woman I was going to marry. Those were:

Virgin
Both parents together
No drug use
Christian
Wanted kids
Believes in traditional gender roles
Pretty to my eye
Knows her way around a kitchen.

I found all those things in my wife. She was so beautiful. Parents were together. She was so on fire for Christ.

10 years and 2 kids later, she left me. That was 14 months ago, and now I'm staring at a property settlement agreement that she is demanding more money than I can pay. I really thought everything was fine and this would never happen.

There are no guarantees brother. Sometimes people just wake up one day and believe the lies the devil tells them.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
3,639
50
0
#5
I had a list of attributes that I wanted in a woman I was going to marry. Those were:

Virgin
Both parents together
No drug use
Christian
Wanted kids
Believes in traditional gender roles
Pretty to my eye
Knows her way around a kitchen.

I found all those things in my wife. She was so beautiful. Parents were together. She was so on fire for Christ.

10 years and 2 kids later, she left me. That was 14 months ago, and now I'm staring at a property settlement agreement that she is demanding more money than I can pay. I really thought everything was fine and this would never happen.

There are no guarantees brother. Sometimes people just wake up one day and believe the lies the devil tells them.
I'm sorry to hear that. But it made sense to reduce your chances of divorce. Still there is a chance for it, especially if you are in a culture with a lot of social reinforcement for it (even if it is the general culture and not church and family.) There is an abundance of people around to give pro-divorce advice.

One thing I did was pray a lot for direction when finding a wife. That's no guarantee of not getting a divorce either. People made choices. There was also Hosea and Gomer.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
3,639
50
0
#6
I had a list of attributes that I wanted in a woman I was going to marry. Those were:

Virgin
Both parents together
No drug use
Christian
Wanted kids
Believes in traditional gender roles
Pretty to my eye
Knows her way around a kitchen.

I found all those things in my wife. She was so beautiful. Parents were together. She was so on fire for Christ.

10 years and 2 kids later, she left me. That was 14 months ago, and now I'm staring at a property settlement agreement that she is demanding more money than I can pay. I really thought everything was fine and this would never happen.

There are no guarantees brother. Sometimes people just wake up one day and believe the lies the devil tells them.
I'm sorry to hear that. But it made sense to reduce your chances of divorce. Still there is a chance for it, especially if you are in a culture with a lot of social reinforcement for it (even if it is the general culture and not church and family.) There is an abundance of people around to give pro-divorce advice.

One thing I did was pray a lot for direction when finding a wife. That's no guarantee of not getting a divorce either. People made choices. There was also Hosea and Gomer.

Your list was still a much better profile than you'd get picking up a girl at a meat market bar who'd just had a one night stand the night before who liked to use drugs, complained about the patriarchy, etc.

Do you mind if I ask a nosy question, and sorry if you answered it in other threads. If someone were to ask her why you two got divorced, what would her answer be?
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#7
Oh yeah, presidente. What you wrote about marriage and divorce, not getting married again, thats what the bible says. Jesus said that if you divorce and marry another, it is adultery. Paul said that if you separate, you remain single or reconcile. A lot of Christians don't want to hear that. I just see it all the time, on facebook, these "Christians" posting about how homosexuals are destroying marriage and I know for a fact that same person is two time divorced, working on a third. I can't help but laugh, even though I shouldn't. I said this in church before and everyone gets mad. I don't know why. Jesus said it. He is the King. They say "that's your interpretation." No it's not. It's written in red ink in plain english. It ain't like I have to translate from greek. It's been translated two dozen ways and it says the same thing.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
3,639
50
0
#8
Oh yeah, presidente. What you wrote about marriage and divorce, not getting married again, thats what the bible says. Jesus said that if you divorce and marry another, it is adultery. Paul said that if you separate, you remain single or reconcile. A lot of Christians don't want to hear that. I just see it all the time, on facebook, these "Christians" posting about how homosexuals are destroying marriage and I know for a fact that same person is two time divorced, working on a third. I can't help but laugh, even though I shouldn't. I said this in church before and everyone gets mad. I don't know why. Jesus said it. He is the King. They say "that's your interpretation." No it's not. It's written in red ink in plain english. It ain't like I have to translate from greek. It's been translated two dozen ways and it says the same thing.
Does your wife or ex-wife think the same way? If not, that may be another thing to add to the list. A potential spouse needs to be anti-divorce and against breaking up the family.

Another problem would be if you married someone, had marriage problems and she said, "I don't believe in divorce, but I can live separate happily without male companionship or sex for the rest of my life." Maybe some ethics about not defrauding a spouse sexually should be specifically mentioned on the list.

I should probably include issues like:
not being irrationally jealous
not having major problems with anger
not violent or emotionally abusive
a certain level of emotional stability

This is also like hiring a mother/father for future children.

Maybe having a father in the same household and ideas about the father's role in raising kids should be on the list.

What was your wife's reasoning/justification in her mind for leaving you. Maybe we could add something about that to the list.
 
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Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#9
I'm sorry to hear that. But it made sense to reduce your chances of divorce. Still there is a chance for it, especially if you are in a culture with a lot of social reinforcement for it (even if it is the general culture and not church and family.) There is an abundance of people around to give pro-divorce advice.

One thing I did was pray a lot for direction when finding a wife. That's no guarantee of not getting a divorce either. People made choices. There was also Hosea and Gomer.

Your list was still a much better profile than you'd get picking up a girl at a meat market bar who'd just had a one night stand the night before who liked to use drugs, complained about the patriarchy, etc.

Do you mind if I ask a nosy question, and sorry if you answered it in other threads. If someone were to ask her why you two got divorced, what would her answer be?
She said I had a black cloud over my head all the time. That's probably true, I have a sucky job that brings a lot of stress. And I rarely ever wanted to do things she was into like hiking and going to the beach. When her family had a function, I would just stay home. Stuff like that. I saw a psychologist after she left and found out I got a bit of PTSD. The symptom I guess was having a cloud over my head.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#10
Does your wife or ex-wife think the same way? If not, that may be another thing to add to the list. A potential spouse needs to be anti-divorce and against breaking up the family.

Another problem would be if you married someone, had marriage problems and she said, "I don't believe in divorce, but I can live separate happily without male companionship or sex for the rest of my life." Maybe some ethics about not defrauding a spouse sexually should be specifically mentioned on the list.

Maybe having a father in the same household and ideas about the father's role in raising kids should be on the list.

What was your wife's reasoning/justification in her mind for leaving you. Maybe we could add something about that to the list.
I don't know if she plans on marrying someone else or what she believes in anymore. She stopped listening to Christian music and I've noticed she hangs out with an older woman who is seeking a divorce also.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#11
All I know is that if she doesn't reconcile with me sometime, I'm going to be alone til I die. It sucks cause I'm a very passionate, passionate, passionate man. She said she would go out with me after the divorce, but I'm sceptical.
If she moves my kids into some guys home and gives them a step father, I'm going to lose my crap. I can't tolerate that sick, disgusting, evilness. I don't know what I would do, but I am a very passionate man.
 

Desdichado

Senior Member
Feb 9, 2014
7,506
177
63
#12
That's rough. I'll pray for the situation, man.

Nothing else I can say.

All I know is that if she doesn't reconcile with me sometime, I'm going to be alone til I die. It sucks cause I'm a very passionate, passionate, passionate man. She said she would go out with me after the divorce, but I'm sceptical.
If she moves my kids into some guys home and gives them a step father, I'm going to lose my crap. I can't tolerate that sick, disgusting, evilness. I don't know what I would do, but I am a very passionate man.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#13
That's rough. I'll pray for the situation, man.

Nothing else I can say.
Thanks. I had a dream a few weeks ago, she was crying and wanted to come back.
She can if she wants. There are entire decades I have forgotten, so the past year shouldn't be a problem.
 

kaylagrl

Senior Member
Oct 18, 2014
12,205
336
83
#14
Thanks. I had a dream a few weeks ago, she was crying and wanted to come back.
She can if she wants. There are entire decades I have forgotten, so the past year shouldn't be a problem.

Just a word to the wise,if she wants to come back you need to both have counseling. You wouldn't want to suffer that twice.
 
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
403
0
#15
Marriage, to me is not what I need from her, but what I can give to her.

I see it as a 90/10 proposition........... 90% giving, and 10% expectation................. from both parties.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
11,343
378
83
#16
Divorce is a great offense to the Lord. He is grieved even more than those who endure the hardships of the divorce and the long term effects on the children.

I saw a statistic one time that claimed 90% of the responsibility of keeping a marriage together resides with the man. That last 10% men cannot control. I have come to believe that 100% of the likelihood of marriage lasting is with the Lord. It is easy to find an excuse to divorce but it takes surrender to the Lord to keep a marriage alive. Many are the times I have simply had to go to the Lord and say to Him that I cannot change my wife's heart but I believe the Lord can change her heart and mine. Only the Lord can minister in the heart in such a fashion.

If you were to ask I would say it is all the Lords doing in my marriage for if it had been left to me I would have found a way to destroy it long ago. I was not saved when I got married and my wife was Roman Catholic so from mans perspective we had little to no prospect of success. Over forty two years later I thank the Lord for what He has done and is doing everyday in our marriage.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
May 29, 2016
4,856
108
0
#18
Both parents together as an expectation for a wife? I'm sorry but I don't understand. Can someone explain?
Why hold someone accountable for their PARENT'S actions and mistakes?
 

JosephsDreams

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2015
3,857
69
48
#19
I had a list of attributes that I wanted in a woman I was going to marry. Those were:

Virgin
Both parents together
No drug use
Christian
Wanted kids
Believes in traditional gender roles
Pretty to my eye
Knows her way around a kitchen.

I found all those things in my wife. She was so beautiful. Parents were together. She was so on fire for Christ.

10 years and 2 kids later, she left me. That was 14 months ago, and now I'm staring at a property settlement agreement that she is demanding more money than I can pay. I really thought everything was fine and this would never happen.

There are no guarantees brother. Sometimes people just wake up one day and believe the lies the devil tells them.
Oh man. I am sorry to hear this my brother. Praying.
 

JosephsDreams

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2015
3,857
69
48
#20
Both parents together as an expectation for a wife? I'm sorry but I don't understand. Can someone explain?
Why hold someone accountable for their PARENT'S actions and mistakes?
It makes sense. Stats show that when parents stay together there is less chance of divorce for their children.