How to Fight for Love

Several weeks ago, my longtime friend of like 20 years (No, that wasn’t the day we were born) looked across the table and asked me point blank, “Do you think I made the wrong decision to divorce my husband?”

She and I have very similar wounded and broken stories, and we are both on this beautiful journey to healing and personal freedom, but unfortunately, her marriage ended very differently than mine.

I immediately responded, “No, I don’t think you made the wrong decision at all. I think you trusted yourself, and did the best thing for you.”

I know the message I repeat here is fight for love, fight for your marriage, but I never have talked about what fighting looks like. After lunch, I thought a lot about our conversation. I lingered on how messy love can be, and I wished it was as black and white as I used to think it was. I’ve seen enough in my life to know, not every love story is going to be like mine, and not every broken love story can be fixed. E.M. Forester writes in his novel, A Room with a View,

“Life is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along. Man has to pick up the use of his functions as he goes along — especially the function of Love.”

There’s no secret formula that can guarantee a happily ever after, we’re all figuring it out as we go. So, what do I mean when I say fight for love? For me, fighting simply means, staying and loving until the end.

It may mean you’re not the one who files for divorce. Maybe staying and loving means you’re not the one who moves out. Maybe loving means giving your lost spouse time to find his way again or maybe it means letting him go and having what he thinks he wants. In this dance called life we must listen and trust ourselves. We aren’t always prepared for the explosions that happen, but if we trust the voice we hear inside and know in the end it will be ok, then we can figure out how to stay and love.

Staying and loving until the end means choosing to show love and be loving even when the other person is unloveable and does not return your love, and then, if or when the end comes, you can accept it’s over and walk away, and you will always be able to look back and say, “I loved until the end.” I heard Tony Robbins say, “Love as passionately at the end of a relationship as you did at the beginning, and more than likely there never will be an end.”

So, to my friend I want to say,

You fought for your marriage. You stayed and loved until the end. That night when you were standing in your living room, and you gave your ultimatum, when you said, ‘I’m here and I’m willing to make this work, but if you walk out the door, I won’t be here when you get back.’ That was you staying. That was you fighting. Even though he was too broken to stay, you did. Even though he didn’t know how to love, you did. 

The beautiful thing about Love is He is infinite, and He does not end with our broken love story. As the saying goes, “every end is a new beginning.”

So, be brave — stay and love until the end.

7 thoughts on “How to Fight for Love

  1. Debbie says:

    Fighting for me was first, loving myself enough to step away from an abusive situation. Six years is enough Protecting myself from harm and having enough bravery to be whole to raise my children. Second time around, fighting meant to admit that 15 years of tomorrows wasn’t going to be better and to realize that there’s more than one way to break your marriage vows besides adultery. To realize that a man must cleave to his wife means protection, provision, and supplying for her needs in more ways than one. That although I was fighting tooth and nail FOR my marriage, that although it takes 2 to make a marriage it only takes 1 to break it. Fighting meant being strong enough to let go. Now, for the third time although I vowed that there wouldn’t be any more, it means being brave enough to say “That’s not ok” or “that won’t work”. It means I love you so much that I will give you all of me, but I expect the same in return”.

    • Charity says:

      Loving yourself is the first step in being able to love someone else. I’ve come to realize there’s really no way to love and be loved if you hate yourself, and sometimes that’s the hardest person to love. Thanks, Debbie, for sharing how you stayed and loved in your marriages.

  2. Chris Carter says:

    I just love how you handled that question, Charity. When one gives up on marriage, it’s impossible to recover or restore or heal it. I sadly, have two of my best friends’ husband completely give up. They were left after over 30 years of marriage, alone and they couldn’t do a thing about it. Still breaks their hearts… and mine.

  3. Faith R says:

    I appreciate this post SO much. I am in that “fighting for my marriage” stage and sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it wrong. But I’ve been doing exactly what you’re saying. I’ve tried to be kind and loving even when he is cold and unloving. I’ve tried to stay open, instead of closing up and taking a posture of self-protection. It doesn’t seem to make any difference, we always end up back in the same bad place, back in the same one-sided fights. I want to believe that love wins.

    • Charity says:

      Trust yourself. There’s no sure way to bring him back or make him stay, but there is a sure way to be the wife and mother you are meant to be. I know how hard it is to love with no guarantee of love in return, but just keep focusing on yourself, keep being an amazing woman, wife and mother, and you will see goodness continue to flood your life. Hugs in this difficult season. You are already loved more than you will ever know. xo

  4. Pingback: I’m Getting a Divorce {Guest Post} ‹ The Wounded Dove

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