For When You Think It Would Take a Miracle

This weekend, thousands of women around the world will watch a webcast about staying in community, in relationship even when it’s hard. When they do, they’ll hear me talk about how I chose to stay in my marriage last year, even when it was hard. Because you, my readers, are my friends, I didn’t want you to hear about that for the first time in a video. So I sat down last night to tell you all about it. As it turns out, it took me nearly 1,500 words to get to the point, and I’m still not sure it came out right. So if you’re wondering why am I telling you now and why is this post so long…that’s why.


Just a few years after I was married, I heard through the grapevine that a couple we knew disliked us. A lot. In fact, they said we were “miserable” to be around.

At the time I was insulted and infuriated. But in hindsight . . . I have to agree.

Have you heard people joke about their anniversaries? You know, saying, “I’ve been married for 12 years – happily married for 10. Hardee-har-har!”

I’ve always thought that was a tasteless joke, intended to hurt one’s spouse. But, I can honestly say that in little over a month, I’ll have been married for 14 years – happily married for one.

Maybe that’s unfair. We’ve certainly had happy moments since our wedding, and if you add them up I’m sure we could squeeze two years out of it. Still, that’s not a great ratio. Especially when I know just how unhappy those other years were.

I’ve probably mentioned that I got married at 20.
I’ve told you how unrealistic expectations complicate relationships unnecessarily.
I’ve talked about some of the effects of being a married single mom.
And I’ve shared that on last year’s anniversary, we started marriage counseling.

What I haven’t told you is that if we hadn’t gone to counseling, we probably wouldn’t be married today. Last spring I hit my limit – of forgiveness, of patience, of hope. After more than a dozen years of fighting for my marriage and my rights and my way to hang up the towels in the bathroom, I was finished.

And when you’ve hit the wall like that and THEN you’re disappointed or hurt o n e. m o r e. t i m e? Well, I crumbled.

I said things like, “I can’t do this anymore,” and “I don’t know why I bother,” and “I deserve better!” and, finally, “I’m going to leave.”

[If you’re wondering how you missed reading about this last year, you didn’t. I wrote about recipes and parenting and books and TV shows, but I didn’t write about this. I couldn’t. Some things you can’t talk about when you’re living it, and this was one of those things.]

So, I wanted to leave, to give up, to give in. I’d been fighting with Mark – and fighting for Mark – for half my life (if you count the years we dated, which I do, because we bickered and struggled and disregarded each other’s feelings during those years, too). It was too much. It was too hard. It was too . . . too.

Leaving isn’t a simple option, though, when you have a four-year-old daughter. And a house. And bills to pay and friends who don’t know and family gatherings to attend and cats to feed and lives that are entwined in the way that lives connected for 13+ years are.

Besides, I didn’t want to leave. Not really. But I didn’t think anything would change if I stayed. After all, it hadn’t so far. And, I thought, it probably wouldn’t now, either – no matter how much I wanted it and how much he promised it would.

No, I didn’t think anything would change. I didn’t think it could. I didn’t think WE could. I thought it would surely take a miracle to make this marriage work.

He didn’t ask me to stay. But he called a counselor and made an appointment. I didn’t go to the first appointment, but he did. That’s when I began to feel a tiny spark of hope. Maybe . . . this time . . . could it really . . . maybe . . .

I can’t tell you exactly when things began to change. I don’t have an 8-step plan for saving your marriage or making people do what you want or putting the pieces of your heart back together when it’s been shattered. Again.

I can tell you that realizing I shared responsibility for the miserable parts of our relationship was a game changer. It was. Learning to talk to each other in a totally different way played a big part, and so did remembering why we liked each other in the first place. And, of course, date nights are everyone’s go-to solution for a reason.

But, at least to an extent, those were things we’d tried (and tried and tried) before – including counseling. And it never made much of a difference. It definitely did not make a lasting difference.

And for the first several months after that anniversary counseling appointment, I was sure this time would be the same. He’d make promises, I would too, and we’d both tiptoe around each other until we got lazy and reverted back to our horrible selves. We’d try until it got hard again or we got our feelings hurt. And we’d be back where we began, a little more weary and singed around the edges of our smashed, barely-held-together hearts.

I just knew that we couldn’t fix this thing, that short of a real-life, God-given miracle, we were headed for more heartache.

Still, I’d promised to try and he kept going to counseling and trying to change and being kind when I tried changing, too. So we tried. For months we tried. And for a while, it really seemed like things were improving. Slowly, in small ways, things were getting better.

But then something happened.

Something happened, and I blew up. We yelled, and I cried, and we both said things that we’d said hundreds of times before. It was a huge fight, just like every other time.

Except . . . it wasn’t like every other time.
Even though the hot-button topic that started it was the same and the heated words were the same, my heart didn’t feel the same.

Sure, I was hurt and he was frustrated. But for once in our lives, we quickly asked, “How can we solve this problem together?” instead of pointing fingers and blame and more ugly words.

That was the day I realized that God had truly erased the hurts of our past.
That was the day I began to look at my marriage as the gift it’s been all along.
That was the day I realized that my marriage had been miraculously healed.

Now, don’t get me wrong. That wasn’t the day we had our last argument or started spontaneously dancing in the kitchen or making googly eyes across the dinner table.

But that was the day I understood, the day I truly believed that miracles can happen.

My marriage is still a work in progress. A redeemed marriage, yes, but also a marriage in recovery. We still have scars and struggles and, at times, short, selfish tempers. But it’s so different now. We are, for the first time since our newlywed days, on the same team. We are for each other, in every sense of the phrase.

When everything fell apart last spring, I thought my marriage was over. My heart was shattered, and I just knew there was not enough glue in the world to put it – to put us – back together. In a way, I was right. That old marriage – the one with two selfish people who bickered and repressed and ignored and seethed and snapped – is gone. I pray it’s gone forever. Because this new one? The one with two selfish people who problem solve and confess and forgive and extend arms and olive branches? It’s so good. And it is a miracle.


Are you in a season or situation that seems hopeless? I can’t promise you that anything will ever change or improve. I can’t, because I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: God loves you even when your circumstances seem stacked against you. And He is why we always have hope. We don’t have hope because of our own determination or strength or stick-to-it-ness; we don’t have hope because deep down, we believe that other person is good; we don’t have hope because things have to turn around at some point and there’s nowhere to go but up and my horoscope/fortune cookie/best friend said it would get better.

No, we have hope because our God loves us, and miracles do happen.


Have you ever needed a miracle?
Do you need one now?
Will you tell us about it, let us pray for your miracle?

Photo source


  1. I love you, friend, and I’m so happy for this gift He’s given you. Again.

  2. Oh, Mary. This is just beautiful.

    I can’t help but think of that song, “He loves us! Oh, how He loves us!” *whew* I have nothing insightful to add. Just that I have tears in my eyes and am so thankful for God’s love and restoration.

    Love you, friend!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Yes, that song is perfect for this! (Possibly even better than the duet with Pink and the lead singer of Fun., which has been running through my head and which I referenced in my photo at the top of the post…) He DOES love us and with redemption that I never, ever could have imagined – or earned.

      Love you, too.

    • I am with Amanda. Perfect song.

  3. love you, Mary. This is an important post that will help a lot of people!

  4. Christelle says:

    Mary, Jason and I absolutely love and adore you two! We miss being close and the times we shared. We lament the fact that we can’t seem to find another couple here in Gardner where we both like both the man and woman of the couple!!! Marriage is hard! I’m so proud of you for sticking it out. Love ya!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Oh, we miss you guys so much, too!! We need to get on the ball and find time to get together. Too much time has gone by (and you know I understand what you’re saying about that couple dynamic)!

  5. This: I can’t tell you exactly when things began to change. I don’t have an 8-step plan for saving your marriage

    and this: In a way, I was right. That old marriage – the one with two selfish people who bickered and repressed and ignored and seethed and snapped – is gone. I pray it’s gone forever. Because this new one? The one with two selfish people who problem solve and confess and forgive and extend arms and olive branches? It’s so good. And it is a miracle.

    Reading this feels like holy ground.

  6. Kimberly Muehling says:

    Been praying for you guys and will continue to. It’s funny how a fight can be encouraging! Excellent news!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thank you so much, Kimberly. Yes – who knew the good that could come from the Same Old Fight Again?

  7. Love this and love you. Very brave, bold and open- just like a new series on fox- or you- seems to fit for both. ;)
    You are awesome!

  8. Wow, what an amazing story! And it does give me hope at this moment when my extended family needs a miracle. My Aunt Lezlee has been in the hospital for over two weeks with a variety of problems that are conspiring to keep her from getting well (medicine to help one problem causes are flare up of another problem and so on). The doctors are troubleshooting and doing the best they can, but I really think they are over their heads and we need a real miracle to get her back to health. I’d appreciate any prayers. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Shannon, I will absolutely pray for your aunt, right now. I pray that God will heal her of everything causing her pain, that He will show the doctors a quick, complete fix – or that He will simply remove all the illness from her body. And I pray that God will give you and your family peace and confidence that He will work all of this out for your good and His glory. And I thank Him for the miracles He will work in your life and your aunt’s.

  9. Happy for you! Thank you for sharing your story. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you need help, and it takes even more courage to seek it…. but, it’s the wisest choice.

  10. It takes a lot of courage and strength NOT to leave. I read something recently about if you put half the effort into your marriage as you did into having an affair, your marriage would be awesome. (Not that there was an affair here, but an issue). I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I might not be having an affair with another person, but I put a whole lot of time into other things and not into my marriage …

    • “I might not be having an affair with another person, but I put a whole lot of time into other things and not into my marriage …” Um, OUCH. And in this lots of littles and a baby season, that is so hard. And really? I’m blaming the kids again? Stupid internet.

      • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

        Hehe – oh, Amy, you made me laugh. The stupid internet makes me feel and see and know so much Truth, often (SO OFTEN) when I don’t want it!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      That’s so true, Jessie. If I’d put the same time and effort into my marriage as I did feeling or talking bad about my marriage, even then, things would’ve been different. I’m thankful to be learning this lesson now and not decades from now.

  11. Mary! Mary!
    You blew this out of the park…your honesty- the grit of working out your marriage…THIS is what we all need to be sharing and learning from each other. So thankful for how God continues to work in your lives for His good.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Jen. Thank you. Yes, it IS gritty, isn’t it? But it’s real, and I know how much it means to me when others share their real, gritty lives. Thank you for reading and loving, friend.

  12. What a brave, bold post that is bound to speak to hearts. I’m glad to hear about this redemption. I’ve been in the hard years of marriage too, and I’m oh-so grateful to be on the other side.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      That’s just it, Kristin, isn’t it? Once you’ve been through the fire, you can’t help but be thankful for the redemption and making your way to the other side!

  13. Big hugs and high fives, Mary! This is the hard stuff, and to write about it? Harder. But thank you for what you are doing for married couples. For marriage! You are a gift.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thank you. It is hard – gut-wrenching, and I’m not even exaggerating – to write about, but so worth it.

  14. I have totally been there… between years 2 and 3 in fact. And during that time I would have given anything to have known even at least one person who had the courage to share what you have shared here. There is so much hope in the phrase “Me Too” and to see that all is not loss when God intervenes when we can’t go another step on our own.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Yes! “Me too” is so very important. When we were called “miserable,” I was desperately longing for a “me too”…so it’s only fair and right that I can be a “me too” for someone now.

  15. I relate to this so much…definitely several years where I wasn’t happily married. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your story and thank you for respecting your readers to share it before this weekend. Much respect and love to you! I hope you carry this message of redemption far and wide!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thanks, Amy. I don’t often feel so nervous before hitting publish, but I couldn’t NOT post this one.

  16. Awesome, Mary. Just awesome. I think the world we live in today paints an untrue picture of marriage, and then, when things are hard, the world tells us it shouldn’t be so hard and it’s O.K. if we bail. Baloney! Life is hard. The world is hard. Marriage is HARD, sometimes. But it’s worth fighting for, not just because our kids deserve it, but because WE do. A happy, harmonious, on-the-same-page marriage is such a blessing–you deserve it.

    Thank you for being brave enough to share this. And thank Mark for allowing your story to bring redemption to many, many others because I’m sure it will.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thank you for knowing that Mark was part of the decision to share this. I asked him if it was okay and he didn’t even hesitate; he said of course, because it could help someone. As if I needed another reason to love him! :)

  17. erin kern says:

    oh mary… i’m so happy for you!! i know last spring i didn’t see even a fraction into your marriage and your frustrations and your struggles, but i remember seeing the hurt in your eyes and hearing the hopelessness in our conversations.


  18. Dear, dear Mary, thank you for the courage and vulnerability it must have taken to write this. Your blog always either comforts or inspires me – in this case, both! I’m praying for my own miracle right now and these words, this story that you were generous enough to share with all of us have given me so much hope today. Thank you. xo

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Adele, I’m so glad my story gives you hope. I know that our God knows the desires of your heart and is working everything together for your good right now. I pray He shows you your miracle soon!

  19. You’re the bomb diggity! This was so brave to write! Love you and I am so super happy for you guys! :D

  20. Thank you thank you for writing this! I can only imagine how hard it was to write. It is so wonderful to hear stories of marriages that are truly healed, not just one person or the other choosing to accept the situation and live with it. God is so great.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      You’re welcome. And you’re right – true redemption for both parties is a world of difference than just learning to “deal” with the problems. I’m so thankful we didn’t settle for dealing with it – and so thankful for God’s miracles!

  21. Way to go. Being FOR each other makes all the difference even when facing the very hard stuff. I remember not trusting my spouse to have my best as his aim, even our best. It was crippling and ultimately we weren’t able to overcome that. I’m so encouraged that this need has ‘clicked’ for the two of you – conflict is part of it, life is tough, challenges are many…but when you know in your gut that your partner is FOR you, it makes all the difference.

    Complete the race and finish well!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Yes, being FOR each other is huge. And I’d heard that and read that and kinda, sorta believed it – but I could not for the life of me put it into practice. For so long, I was too angry, too hurt, too disappointed. I can’t explain the change last year; I can only credit God for changing my heart until I could finally be FOR my husband!

  22. Thank you SO much for sharing this Mary! Oh, the things we hide ourselves and never know that those around us are struggling with!

    I have definitely been there too… we also met with a Biblical marriage counselor… and honestly as much as he helped (and I highly recommend him to other couples that are struggling), it wasn’t going to those meetings that changed our marriage… it was giving it (and ourselves) over to God – allowing Him to heal and repair and bind us together!

    I am so sorry to hear that your life – basically for the entire time I have known you – has been in such a rough place… but also so glad to know that God is doing a miracle in your life! :)

    And I am also glad to know I am not the only one who gets in blubbering, crying, screaming matches with my honey! :) (I may have even had to take a sick day once for ‘allergies’ when my eyes were swollen shut after one such late-night blubber-fest) … ;)

    Thanks again for being so transparent, and God Bless your little family!

    • Oh, and by the way… by the words you used on the main image of this post, I assume you are a fan of Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason” … right now it is the… makes hubby and I both burst into tears every time we hear it… :)

      • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

        YES! I looooove that song so much. I intended to quote it in my post, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not because I love the song any less but because it was just a few days ago that I quotes another Pink song. And that seemed a little ridiculous. Haha!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thanks, Jess! It’s interesting you say that about the counselor not actually being what changed your marriage. I’ve said something similar. Our counselor was actually terrible, but the act of GOING to the meetings was a big component in changing us. Because we went together (except for that very first time I stayed home), it put us back on the same team, the team fighting FOR our marriage instead of AGAINST each other.

      Annnnd yeah – those “allergy” mornings? I’ve had ’em, and I call that a crying hangover. :) Here’s to neither of us having those mornings anymore!!

  23. Thank you for sharing this, Mary. I’m so tired of reading status updates regarding how perfect and wonderful people’s spouses/marriages are. Your honesty is a breath of fresh air and makes me feel less alone in my marriage struggles!

    I’m so happy for you and Mark!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      I have a confession. A few friends and I call those status updates “GGG posts.” Because they’re so sappy (and possibly not even true) that they make us gag – no, they make us gaggity-gag-gag. I know. Real mature. But seriously, people. :)

  24. Mary, thank you for trusting us with this part of your story. I have no doubt it will encourage many.

  25. Can I just tell you how much I appreciate you sharing this?! Thank you!!

  26. Emily Bennett says:

    Hi! I stumbled across your blog post tonight. I had a challenging day, while waiting for my own miracle and your message – especially the last paragraph- was really the answer to a prayer for me. Thank you

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      You’re welcome, Emily. I love it when God points me toward the exact words I need to hear on a challenging day (or any day, really)! Praying for peace as you wait for your miracle…

  27. Thanks for sharing Mary. I’ve walked in your shoes. My miracle came just after last year’s Christmas. I applaud your candour

  28. Mary,
    I found your blog through inRL on twitter and took some time to read through this post and the others you linked with it.
    I felt my head nodding through your expectations and understood the moment you were ready to be done. When I was 19 I married my husband and after that first year didn’t think we’d make it. I was super lonely and craved his attention but I think what’s more honest is I wanted him to do what only Jesus can do. (poor guy always had an ear-full)
    Then my husband became a sailor and God took us on an adventure and did some incredible things in my heart teaching me about grace in marriage and what loving a man really means. Still learning of course but I wanted to say I related with your story.
    I love that God redeems broken marriages. We are celebrating 5 years now and it’s amazing how like your heart changed so has mine. I was listening to your story, reflecting on my own and thanking God for how faithful He is!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Laura, thank you so much for sharing part of your story here! I echo your words and experience in that I expected too much – or at least the wrong things – from my husband in those early years. And I’m so thankful that He has changed my heart along with my husband’s!

  29. Wow! I love your honesty. So many women will be able to relate to you in one way or another, myself included! When people share the intimate, hard core truths about their marriages, it often seems that multitudes come out with their own pain and struggles too – which leads to everyone being *real*… and that my sweet sister, is what it’s all about!!!

    Love how God resurrected your marriage! Yayyyyy for God!!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing and putting yourself out there. You’re an inspiration! Truly!!!

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Thank you, Tehila. Yes, I believe in being real, because only when we are honest about our struggles will we experience true, deep community and growth.

  30. Would love prayer and in need of a miracle. The cycle you’ve shared is ours as well…only our story didn’t even start well and it’s been going on for 23 years. I’m tired and it is going to take a miracle. God’s been faithful and it has been hard. I know I’m a different person and all that we’ve been through has grown character that I did not have and certainly caused me to rely on God. It’s still a struggle to see lasting change. My anger is really something I struggle with and I don’t want to become a bitter old woman. I had a counselor tell me you can make a bad relationship better on your own, but you can’t make a bad relationship good on your own. So still waiting. hoping and trying and praying for that miracle in the most merciful way

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      I will absolutely pray for you and your husband. God IS faithful, always – but I know that life can still feel hard and long and hopeless. I do love the way you are seeking out the positives from your situation – that tells me that, in the end, you rely on God more than your feelings. That is not easy to do! Obviously I don’t know your specific issues, but I pray that the Lord will move in your marriage, drawing you and your husband to Himself, revealing the areas where you each need to grow and then giving you both the strength and dedication to make those changes once and for all. I pray that God blesses your faithfulness and redeems your relationship to the point where it doesn’t even look like the same marriage!

  31. I stumbled across this article from another blog so I’m not familiar with you or your site, but I needed to read this. I’ve been saying lately how I need a miracle – for once I can’t plan my out of this mess that my marriage is in. I’m all about controlling all the possible outcomes to inoculate myself from pain and vulnerability but my husband lost his job, has had has shaky confidence destroyed and doesn’t have a clue what to do and is so broken. On top of our already-needed-a-miracle marriage. On top of the infertility. I.just.can’

    Thank you for reminding me that there is hope when it seems so dark.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Yes, there IS hope, K. Your situation is such a hard one, though, and I’m sorry you’re going through such a painful time. Though I don’t know your specific situation or story, I feel like I understand your despair. Just days after my marriage essentially fell apart last year, my husband’s brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. Trying to navigate that (like you trying to navigate a job loss) ON TOP OF our relationship troubles was excruciating. I truly didn’t think I could bear it. I didn’t think we would make it.

      But I did…and we did. Praying you receive a miracle in your marriage this year…

  32. I saw you on the webcast last week.
    My word for 2013 is brave, I am always on the look out for those who embody it.
    I thought you were brave and real last week.
    I still think you are brave and real as I read this post today.
    Perhaps even braver.
    Thank you!

  33. What a courageous thing for you to share, Mary! (((HUGS)))

    Not for the same reasons, I’m sure, but we’ve been in that situation too. We didn’t seek out counseling, nor do I think either of us really thought that we would leave, but it was just weird. It was just like we went through the motions and were people who knew each other who lived together. The weirder thing now is that it was so long ago, I don’t even really remember the details or how it got better. That sounds so bizarre to say, because it was a real low point in our marriage. It came up not too long ago, and Eric said he couldn’t really remember anything about it, but just that it was very bad. I guess all I can guess is that God helped us to both completely forget it, except the vague memory of it.

    Oh geez – listen to me. You’ve shared something so private, and then I started blabbing about myself. Honestly though, it isn’t something that I really tell people about at all. So, I don’t even know why I did. LOL My logical mind tells me that I should just delete this all now. But, I’ll give you the chance to “Oh, honey…” me. ;)

  34. All I can say is.. THANK YOU for sharing your story of hope! Very encouraging!

  35. Martin Herford says:

    I need prayer for me and my wife Karen Herford . She told Me she didn’t love me any more after 19 years. We need a miracle . I don’t want to lose my wife . Please pray that God softens her heart again . Thank you .

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Martin, thank you for being brave enough to ask for prayer. Lifting you and Karen up to God right now.

  36. My ex-fiance’ ended our relationship in Jan 2013. I have been praying for a miracle of reconciliation since that time because I feel like God wouldn’t bring me here and then leave me with a shattered heart and dreams. In the natural, it surely looks like he’s not coming back, and everyone tells me that after all of this time there’s no way. I’ve been so confused because I still have this hope. Now I realize that my hope is in God because all things are possible through Him. In your opinion, where is the line drawn between hope and denial?

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Oh, Kim. I’m so sorry to hear about your broken relationship. I’m no expert or counselor, so please take my response for what it is – one girl to another – okay? My understanding is that what makes hope different than denial is when we keep our hope in the Lord and WHATEVER He may have planned for us. Because we KNOW His plans are to prosper us and not to harm us, and we KNOW that all things work together for those who believe in Him. But the truth of God’s good plans might not be what we’re expecting or hoping for with our human perspectives. That’s not to say He won’t bless you abundantly. He will! But it might just look different than what you’ve imagined. Praying for your heart to heal and for God’s blessings to flow…

  37. This is so beautifully written and something I have been longing to hear. Words that feel truthful and real because you’re not preaching, promising, or sugar-coating. My husband and I have only been married three years this past September and I’ve felt this sense of hopelessness since year one. I don’t want to leave either, but there are those moments when I can’t honestly figure out what else I can do. I wrote about it here and I can say that my new and improved outlook didn’t last too long, but things have gotten better. It’s a roller coaster and I wish I could find the answers.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I ended up here from you about page and SITS.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Hi Kristin, thanks for writing. My husband and I struggled from the very beginning, too. And like I said in my post, I can’t guarantee anything for you. I simply know that perseverance, prayer and allowing God to work on my heart, too (ouch!) finally DID work a true miracle in our marriage. Praying the same for you and your husband!

  38. Gods word is true and I have been praying day and night for over three years for God to heal my marriage. My husband and I have been married going on twenty fore years, my husband was a man of God when we were married, and I believe he thinks he still is, however he is so deceived and has left me for a girl who is twenty years younger then we are her name is Tonya and she says she is a christen she is very deceiving and darning this time my husband has left me moved in with her three times each time Aaron has come back to me asking for forgiveness and has told me that the Lord spoke to his heart and told him to come home, each time he came home she threatened to kill herself, made up storeys about being in a car wreck, said she was dieing would send messages that God wanted him to be with and not me his wife. When my husband would tell her that he loved me and that he wanted to be with me she would text and say he was lying to himself and that he didn’t love me that he loved her she would follows us in our car she drove by our house day and night, and then he would leave again. God is so good that he has watched over my heart and I forgive her its almost like she bully’s Aaron into seeing her and leaving she has plenty of money so she is constantly doing something for Aaron now she has gotten him a apartment and she stays there with him even though she has her own house. When hes with her he doesn’t talk to me, I don’t want anything bad to happen to her I just want God to remove her from our lives and bring my husband home for good, our children are grown and on there own and thy and our grand children are upset. My husbands name is Aaron her name is Tonya please pray for her removal and the return of my husband. I love Aaron and I believe in the covenant of marriage. I forgive my husband and I believe God made us one it would so bless me if you would take a moment and pray, thank you for your time I am very grateful that you read my letter love your sister in the Lord. Please stand with me in prayer for Restoration of my marriage and the removal of Tonya once and for all please know that with Gods grace I don’t hate Tonya and I pray for her as well I just want her and all of her tricks removed from our lives. Thank you so very much for your time your sister in the Lord

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Oh, Sharon, I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through. Praying right now that God will restore your marriage!

      • Thank you so much for praying for my husband and my marriage, its means so much to me because prayer is the greatest gift we can ever give to anyone, Thank you from my heart

  39. Hi Mary,

    Thanks for sharing, I do not read everything I come across but sometimes the Lord jput things in your path He wants in your life. I have been going through the exact things in our marriage my husband does not believe in God and refuses to go for counselling or seek any help. I am tired of trying to fix this marriage which goes back to the same old after a while. This has been going on for many years more than fourteen. I cant remember the last time we were happy together or laughed or spoke a kind word. I do believe that only a miracle can fix this. We can only pray.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Hi Crystal. I’m so sorry you’re facing such difficult – and long-lasting – challenges in your marriage. Praying God can reach and soften both your husband’s and your hearts and heal your relationship!

  40. I just read this article b/c of the link in your Christmas message through (in)courage. Thank you! I am right where you were TODAY. And the frustration, pain, anger, despair and hopelessness is getting to be too much. We;ve been in counseling on and off for years. There is no change. And I continue to seek answers in scripture. Evverything I read I try to apply aptly. I keep in mind that God’s plan in bigger and better than mine and that He is charge of my road. But many days want to run away. Don’t know where God will lead me and my family, but I am gateful for your honesty and perspective.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Tracey, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling – and have been for so long. I know how frustrating it can be, how weary you can get. Have you read Beyond Ordinary by Justin and Trisha Davis? I’m reading it right now. Though I stand by my statement that our marriage is redeemed and we are two different people, we’re still people with the same struggles and baggage. So sometimes junk still comes up. Anyway, that’s the case right now so I finally started reading the Davis’ book – and it’s really good. They wrote it together, and it’s very honest and asks hard questions – hard enough that, for now, I’m just highlighting the ones I know I need to address in my own heart! Praying God will work a miracle in your family…

  41. So beautiful, Mary, and thank you so much for sharing the hard parts.
    Sending you love and hugs today.

  42. You are so courageous to share such a personal and heartfelt post. Thank you. I pray blessings over your miracle marriage, may you have empathy and compassion for each other.

  43. Wow! I’ve been praying for a miracle in my marriage for years now. I am ready to leave yet feel it’s not what God wants. However, I don’t believe it’s his will that I & our children continue to suffer the abuse from my husband. We too have tried counseling, without success. My husband goes to church yet I see not fruit of salvation. Please pray for us…….I just don’t know what else to say or do……we need a miracle!

  44. Crystal says:

    Hi Mary, Iwrote to you in December still have the same on going problem I am really trying to seek what God wants me to do but I am very confused. This life is affecting my daughter as well as well as myself it has stripped us of our joy we are quite miserable over weekends as it is supposed to be family time. Many are advising me to leave as they can see this is heading nowhere. I am in a catch 22 situation as cannot afford to leave praying for God’s guidance in every step thank you for this website as it is the only place i can say how i feel as have nobody.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Hi Crystal,

      I’m so sad to hear your situation hasn’t improved any. Do you all belong to a church where you could seek counsel or reach out to a friend?

  45. Crystal says:

    Hi Mary I wrote to you in December and May and still nothing has changed or improved in fact I have now moved into my own room. I have sought help go to counselling but my husband refuses to seek help in any way or even talk about it. He just continues with daily life and pretends that there is nothing wrong or even acknowledges that help is needed. My daughter is so affected she has taken an overdose it breaks my heart because she is so sad because of our situation at home. I pray for only God can work a miracle only He can fix this my husband is not a Christian as well. I have been married for 25 years and pray God can lead me in the right direction. Thank for sharing it makes people feel they are not alone and there is always hope.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Oh Crystal, I’m so sorry to hear that things have gotten even worse for your family. I’m praying right now for you, your husband and your daughter to stay safe, find the support you need and work your way back to each other!

      • Crystal says:

        Thank you Mary for your prayers as that is the only help we can seek now. Thank you for your website which gives us hope and teaches us to have faith. I pray for a renewed relationship with God as I too need to soul search and seek Him. Please help me Lord.

  46. Thank you my beautiful wife and I are going thru this same struggle! She is not fighting for our marriage but I have not laid down. I am doing as much soul searching as needed I also have found a new relationship with God please keep us in your prayers. Thanks again for the added faith….

  47. My husband divorced me in April 2014.Please pray for a marriage miracle for me.I`m 29 years old.Thank you & bless you

  48. Please pray for a miracle for my marriage to be restored. Married lesss then five yrs with ththree small kids. Husband is filing for divorce :(

  49. Hello my marriage is falling apart and my husband just told me last night that he wants a divorce. Our marriage sounded a lot like Mary’s story except my husband lost his 18 year old son and I lost step- son that lived with us since he was 12. My husband since then blames me for things that aren’t my fault he treats my boys horribly and distances his self from me completely. For a month now he leaves for weekends and days and doesn’t tell me where he goes or what he does and who he is with. He tells me he is by himself and he is drinking a lot. He has hatred toward me and I haven’t done anything to him other than try to be there for him and his loss as we are all grieving. I have begged him to get help and counseling but he wants no part of it so I am at a loss and I still love him very much. I will have to say our relationship has been a crazy roller coaster from day one but we always worked it out somehow and then back again but this time he is done and I have lost him. Please pray for a miracle in Jesus name I don’t want to break my family any more than it has already been broken. I need a miracle before he files for a divorce.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Carrie, I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. Thank you for sharing your heart with me. I’m praying for you today! And I’m a huge fan of counseling (it’s made a world of difference in my life), so here’s someone I recommend: She actually provides online counseling to clients all around the world. Praying for you…

      • Thank You Mary your story was an inspiration to me to continue to fight for my marriage. Thank you for the prayers they are much needed!

  50. Gary Backstrom says:

    At the end of this article it asked if I needed a miracle. I so desperately do
    I need my wife of 15 years to change her mind about leaving and separating
    I’m at the end of my rope. I will do anything for her but she thinks I can’t change certain things. I need any one that would be so moved to say a prayer to help us save what we have. Our beautiful family Please lord bring a miracle to this situation. Thank you

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Gary, I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. Praying God will speak to both you and your wife, drawing you close to Himself and to each other. Praying for renewal in your relationship…

  51. So I need a miracle. After a few years of marriage we go through periods of good times but periods of bad. Right now it couldn’t be worse. My husband said to me that he feels that I have given up on us. Later that day I told him that there was a time a few months ago I briefly felt like giving up (I tried to explain that is was very brief and that now I believe we are worth working for and for our son). All he heard was I wanted out. He told me to leave and he didnt care (I know he was hurt and he was frustrated) He also said that I was trying to strong arm him to say that he cared. (I guess part of me thought he would say “no dont leave, I still want you). But that is not what happened. Instead I just ignited the resentment he has built torwards me. For some reason we get into arguments often in the car. I hate riding in the car now. We fight about directions, things we should have packed, how to entertain our son, how to stop him from crying. We fought the other day about where to go to eat. That bad part is the argument doesnt stay about directions, it turn into what can we say to prove the other person wrong and prove that our opinion is right. Sometimes it feels as though we try to break each other but have no way of building each other back. He said I expect perfection and that it is destroying our marriage. He is right. It is hard not to try and be perfect when a mistake results in being lectured and reprimanded, especially by my husband. (He thinks he is helping). He has voiced to me that he feels he has no say in raising our child. I listen to everything he says about our child. There have been times I haven’t followed through with exactly what he says. I get his frustration. (I feel if he has an opinion then I cant have a different opinion or It makes me argumentative) I get frustrated with him because I feel he tells me how to do things but he doesnt try them himself. (I am trying potty training, I am the one who transitioned his food, and bed). I have started to feel that it is my responsibility to keep our child quiet (he is two and almost impossible). He crys out for attention and it is my fault because I respond to his crying. If he cries in the car, my husband asks “what does he want, why is he crying, what can we do to stop the crying and whining”. I have tried games, toys, dvd, ipad, sitting with him in the bac, even scoulding him. All have worked for a little bit but aren’t 100%. Sometimes, he just wants out of the seat and I cant help the kid or heaven forbid I dont know what he wants. This built frustration in my husband and just last night our son was in the back seat trying to get my attention and just spoke louder until I said “what”. This went on and on about 10 minutes. My husband became frustrated and said he felt he could not say anything because it would have caused an argument and would just end up us wanting divorce. I dont want a divorce or to leave. I want to be with him and build back our intimacy. I have accepted in myself I have some control issues. I like things to go the way they are planned and it throws me off when they dont. It makes me anxious. I know that I have hurt my husband in many ways by not respecting his thoughts and feelings. I have apologized, I have prayed, I went to counseling. I dont know if going back would help.

    • Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect says:

      Praying for healing and redemption in your marriage, Kate! (And while I don’t know the answer to your marriage struggles, I will say that counseling has made all the difference in my relationship and heart.)

  52. Hi Mary
    I came across your article in what I like to think was a moment of God nudging me in the right direction. I have been praying for a miracle of my own lately.. hopeful as one can only be in a desperate situation. I knew it was at a point that only a miracle could turn it around. But more so lately, I feel foolish for believing that that miracle might be granted to me.. I feel more and more like my wishes and desires mean nothing to God, who am i to ever get such a thing as a miracle?

    I wanted to ask for everyones prayers also.. because im not too proud to ask for help at this point. Just for a miracle or a sign enough to know that what matters to me, matters to him too? That im not foolish for believing God might grant me this?


  1. […] 5.  Mary Stewart of Giving Up on Perfect: “For When You Think It Would Take a Miracle“ […]

  2. […] Possibly the Bravest post I have seen on the internet forever: For When You Think It Would Take a Miracle on Giving Up on Perfect… […]

  3. […] For When You Think it Would Take a Miracle :: I love stories of restoration. If you’re in a situation that feels like it would take a miracle, be sure to read this one. […]

  4. […] they’d built between them and chose each other, chose to stay – that felt real, too. And, honestly, it felt like the last year of my life. Maybe I’m biased because my husband and I just went through an incredibly difficult season […]

  5. […] For When You Think It Would Take a Miracle ~ If you’re in a struggle with your marriage, read this. […]

  6. […] survived our love and respect ignorance and are choosing every day to be a little bit better, we have a story about God’s redemption that I pray will speak and minister to hearts fighting the same […]

  7. […] I’m so incredibly grateful that we didn’t give up. It was a close call, honestly. There were days…well, there were days when all I wanted to do was give up. Marriage is HARD, you guys! But through the grace of God (because my strength gave out long before things ever improved), we were able to cling to the last string of our marriage, the smallest memory of why we made those vows in the first place. We didn’t give up. […]

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