Where Do You Turn First When You Have Marriage Problems?

Everyone encounters a problem or challenge in their marriage at some point. I know we have.

But where do you seek the answers and solutions to those problems? And more importantly, where do you turn first for guidance?

Do you talk to your friends or co-workers about how bad it is? Do you ask your parents for advice? Do you seek out a counselor?

During marriage troubles, we always want someone to give us the one “silver bullet” that will turn everything around or change our spouse so they “act right”.

In a Christian marriage, we should know where to turn first, but we easily fall into the same cycle as everyone else. We listen to friends, family, Dr. Phil, Oprah, preachers, or counselors. Sometimes these are people who can’t even make their own marriages work.

Just to be clear, I’m not making a blanket statement about these people being bad, for there are many Godly friends, family members, preachers, and counselors that give good Biblical advice. I’m saying that they shouldn’t be the first place to turn.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

The first place we need to turn is to God. Not just a quick prayer asking God to “change my spouse Lord”, but turning the whole situation over to Him and seeking what He would have you to do in the situation.

But to be able to know what God wants you to do when you encounter marriage problems, you’ve got to spend time listening to what He’s saying.

How do you do that?

By reading His Word, the Bible. God, our Father, gave us an easy way to find out how to live…in every area of life, including marriage. He had it recorded, written down just so we could easily find out what He has to say to us.

God’s Word should then be the gauge to judge whether or not we’ll heed the advice or opinion of others we may listen to. If what someone else says doesn’t match up to what the Bible says, then don’t even consider that person’s suggestion.

So while I hope you gain some good information to implement into your marriage here at this site, don’t rely on me as your first stop for help. This site is a merely a resource to hopefully get you thinking about what God has said in the Bible and steer you in that direction. And as always gauge what I say against what God says.

14 thoughts on “Where Do You Turn First When You Have Marriage Problems?”


  2. Hi Marcella,

    Unfortunately there is no quick and easy answer for your question.

    First, I would suggest praying about it, specifically asking God to both work in your husband to get a place for you and your daughter, and in bringing peace to your relationship with your in-laws.

    Second, talk to your husband in a loving and calm manner about the situation and why you need a separate place. And in regards to getting a place, is that something that you can do the legwork on getting something lined up while getting your husband’s agreement in that?

    Remember, you can’t make someone do something, but through wisdom from God and the right words from the Holy Spirit, you and your husband can work this out.

    I hope this short answer helped a little.

    Have a blessed day.

  3. Okay, what if you are the problem and you keep being the problem?
    I have several issues from my past that keep hindering my relationship with my husband. We have been together for over twenty years, but I can not seem to shake my past. We are both Spirit filled and have been for as long as we’ve been together. I recognize that I am the problem. Change is difficult for me. This is a desperate attempt to save my relationship. This marriage is not on the brink, but has been desolved and destroyed by me and my lack of correction. What do I do?
    You speak of the husband being the problem, but I am the wife, and I am the problem.

  4. Hi Joy,

    Sorry for the delayed response. I’ve been taking a little holiday time.

    It’s good that you recognize where the problem lies. Once people come to the conclusion that they, not someone else, are the problem, they basically fall into one of these two groups:

    1) I’m the problem, woe is me, I guess that’s just who I am and I’ll never change.

    2) Now that I know that I’m the problem, I’m going to do something about it…whatever it takes and God will bring me through it.

    Decide which group you’re in. If it’s group #1, then defeat is inevitable.

    If it’s group #2, then there is hope. Now it’s time to do the “whatever it takes.” For that, here are a couple of options:

    1) Get counseling. Not just any counselor, but a Christian counselor that primarily uses God’s word with their clients. Beware of the “counselor that just happens to be a Christian” that doesn’t use God’s word. We’ve been down that path, and it was not a helpful experience. Pray about the decision with your husband.

    2) If you don’t want to start there, then maybe check out my ebook “7 Keys to Unlocking Success in Your Marriage” at http://www.marriagesuccesskeys.com . In my ebook I talk about change and what each individual can do as their part in having a Godly marriage.

    Just don’t give up and remember Mark 9:23 and 2 Corinthians 2:14. I hope that helps somewhat.

  5. I am married to a very angry husband. He told me that he has fantasis about catching and beating up the people that annoy him. He has never done this that I know of. He doesn’t like conflict of any kind and will blow up if I have a problem. We have been to counseling for 6 yrs and we both read our Bibles. I pray constantly and try to be a perfect wife. I get scared when he blows up. When he is in his rage he is in denial about his anger and everything else. He blames me and tells me I’m the problem. His rage can last from 1 hr to all day. Then he apologizes, cries and makes promises that he will never to do it again.
    Please help

  6. Hi Renee’,

    Sorry for the delay.

    Wow, I’m getting some deep questions on this post.

    I don’t know all the details, but it sounds like a dangerous situation that you (and your kids, if you have them) are in. Sometimes it’s beneficial to distance oneself from those types of situations until things are corrected. But like I’ve said in my “about us” page, I’m not a counselor or licensed professional. What I say is a combination of my opinion and (hopefully) leading from the Holy Spirit.

    That being said, you should re-evaluate your relationship with your counselor. If you’ve been going to the same one for the past 6 years and the anger issues have not changed, then it may be time for a change. Albert Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again, but expecting different results.

    Also, is your counselor a Christian that uses the Bible as the basis and foundation for the counseling? If not, seek out one that does.

    Your living in constant fear is not God’s best for you, your marriage, or your husband. It sounds like you’re seeking God, but also remember to ask Him for peace and freedom from that fear, because it’s not possible to be a “perfect” wife. And constantly keep Psalm 34:4 in your mind and saying it out loud.

    Lastly, if you haven’t already, check out my (article series on anger). At this point, it really sums up the extent of my knowledge on the subject.

    I hope that helps a little.

  7. Hello, I have been struggling with my husband’s parents. They have been kind enough to let us stay with them as we are saving to purchase a home of our own. We have been married just over a year and I feel as if I am a totally different breed from them. We are all believers in Jesus Christ but have very different ways of going about daily life. The issues are not so much of right and wrong, moreso personality conflicts. They never seem to have issues with me (and if they do, they dont say) but i have issues with them. I am working right now toward financially helping us move to our own place and i have told my husband i am willing to stay for however long it takes for us to save an adequate amount , however i need a bit more guidance on how to not have this build up of animosity toward them for the time we are living here. I have addressed a few issues and healthily taken control of certain situations but some of my efforts seem futile. My desire is to be gentle, I guess my heart is the issue. I tell the Lord about it several times a day and just wanted a little more guidance maybe from someone who has been in my situation. Thanks so much and if there is anything i can help you with let me know, D

  8. Hi D,

    Please forgive the delayed response.

    I applaud your efforts to be financially responsible. While it’s very nice of your in-laws to let you stay with them, I’m sure it is difficult situation. Whether it’s a good or bad situation, living with one of the spouse’s parents can definitely cause some tension.

    It’s good that all of you are Christians. That makes things a bit easier.
    I have not been in that situation, so I can’t speak from direct experience. But my advice would be to operate in love (God’s love) and think of them first.

    How do you do that? Try adapting to some of their ways for daily life. Think of how they may appreciate seeing you adapt to their lifestyle, instead of them trying to work around you. Put their needs first.
    Imagine the brownie points you may get from them and your husband when they see how hard you are trying. Of course, that’s not the main reason for doing it:)

    Also, to fight off the animosity, find some scriptures that pertain to operating in love and say them out loud throughout the day (not necessarily when they are around:). Start with Phil 4:13 and being positive that the situation and your attitude about it will get better and better each day. As you do that, God’s Word about the situation will take root in your heart and begin to change it.

    Lastly, remember that you can’t change someone else. Only God can. Do your part and what you can to operate in love and everyone around you will start reacting differently to that.

    Another thought is that if the situation is putting stress on the marriage, you may want to pray about you and your husband renting your own small place. While this may make having your own home a longer term goal, it may be healthier for the relationship, which is hard enough during the first few years.

    I don’t know the details of what you’re going through, so I hope this helped a little.

    Thanks for the offer of help. The only thing I can think of is to please spread the word about the site:)

  9. Hello David, My husband and I are seperated. It’s been almost 4months we only been married for 3yrs. when we met we both where christians. It was both of us second marriage. We have seven kids between both of us, my three kids lived with us. His oldest two or grown and his two younger ones who are teenaers live with his ex-wife. Since the seperation I was done with him, when he left me. (“So I thought, but God has been changing my heart, he revealed to me that I still LOVE my husband. (and for awhile he told me the same) When I called my husband recently and asked him has he made a decision on what he wants to do about us he said NO, and that he would call me later. Which he never did. I’m waiting on God to tell me what to do, even though some family members are telling me his not coming back! But I’m steping out on faith, for God to work it out. (eventhough I can’t see how,but I’m trusting in him anyway.) I just need to know this is not of self but of God, cause I prayed for this man and he was exactly what I wanted. But he’s changed and so have I, but my love for him has remained the same. What shall I do?

  10. Hi Christine,

    Sorry for the delay in responding, my new job is keeping me hopping.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your situation. I’m praying for you.

    I think you are doing the right thing in having faith that God will work things out. Your husband may or may not come back, I don’t know. You can’t force him to, nor will God force him to. But God can definitely work on him and change his heart to make the right decision.

    You can only do your part of not quitting, trusting God (that He will take care of you no matter what happens), praying for your husband, and continuing to love him. Remember also that your relationship (or lack of one) with someone else does not define you. Your relationship with God is what defines you. And God loves you.

    Lastly, keep in mind that I’m not a counselor:) I hope that helps some Christine.

  11. Hello David,

    I have a problem. My husband and I are both christians and have been married for almost 10 years but for about half of that time we have been worshipping separately. I know that deep down inside we should be together especially for the sake of the children (we have 2) but we are both into ministry at our separate churches. I was hoping that he would come to my church seeing that it is close proximity to our home but he insist it is the wife that should go with the husband. I don’t want to make a mistake. Advice desperately needed. On another note, we currently love at my mom’s house and my mother and I are close. He thinks that I am too attached to my mom and at times we wants me to choose between the both ot them. I think he is jealous of the relationship I have with my mom because his relationship with his mother is a bit estranged. What do I do?????

  12. Hi Cami,

    It’s good that both you and your husband are Christians and have a desire to be active in church.

    Here’s my advice based on the limited amount of information I have. The Bible requires the wife to submit to the husband’s authority in the marriage (along with a good attitude). That would include going to church where he feels God is leading (even if you don’t think that’s the case). The Bible says for the wife to respect her husband (and it doesn’t matter if he does his part), and part of that is respecting his authority in the home. The kids will also pick up on this and see an example of how marriage should be in their futures (whether the wife should or shouldn’t respect the husband).

    On the other note, in regards to living at your mom’s house, ya’ll need to get your own place if at all possible. Gen 2:24 says that we need to leave father & mother and be united to our spouses. Your husband comes before your mom. That’s not to say you can’t still have a good relationship with your mom, but it should come after God, your husband, and your kids (in that order).

    With these areas aligned Biblically, your relationship with your husband will grow and God will bless your marriage (and you).

    I hope that helps:)

  13. My husband and I have been married for almost three years and we’re expecting our first child in January 2010. Our first year was really rocky. The second year seemed better although I’m not sure what made the difference. Since our first year, I’ve been asking my husband if we can go see a counselor together to work out some of the issues in our marriage that we’re having trouble resolving on our own. I’ve also asked him to seek out a male mentor or find someone at church he would feel comfortable going to for advice; we’re going on three years now and he seems to keep stalling by saying that all we can work things out on our own if we just read our Bibles and pray about it. I don’t doubt the Bible’s authority or the power of prayer, but I believe the God’s word has also called us to seek help if we’re in need of it, from our spiritual teachers. My husband can be a proud man and asking for help from another man or people is far too humbling for him. But this is slowly choking our marriage.

  14. Hi River,

    First off, congratulations on your first child coming in January!

    I can definitely understand where you’re coming from. Those first few years can definitely be rocky in many marriages.

    Whereas counseling may be the best thing, some people just won’t go. The good news is that God can still work in and do great things in your marriage. If your husband won’t go, go by yourself. Keep working on what God would have you do in your marriage and how you can put your 100% in, even if your husband gives 0%. Maybe he’ll see how God is working on you through counseling and you can be an example to him. I’d recommend maybe not asking him about it for a while.

    Continue to speak good words and scriptures over your marriage and your husband (not necessarily when he’s around:). God can do great things, even when just one person is putting in the work…all He needs is one person.

    I hope that helps and have a great night.

Comments are closed.