When to Stay and When to Leave

So many people ask Javier and I about how people know if they should fight for their marriage. When ours hit bottom over nine years ago, we realized quickly that we had our biggest life choice ahead of us: to keep fighting or go separate ways. Finito. It sounds dramatic and it was.

I remember walking around with my whole body shaking–upended, wandering in circles and frantic to make sense of my world without my partner at my side. Javi asked me during one fateful long distance phone conversation, “Do you still love me?” There it was. I said instinctively without pause, “Yes.” That was our turning point.

It’s not always that simple but if you pray and let go and let God, you will get your sign, your moment, your “yes.” A good friend recently said to me that she’s learned in her life a simple rule. “When I don’t feel welcome, I leave.” 

That may seem obvious but I’ve missed that bus many times in my life. How often did I remain in situations where I did not feel welcome? Countless. I earnestly tried to “fit”, “make it work” or just “blend in.” All the time denying my needs, my self, my soul. 

When our marriage fell apart, this was not one of those times. It was a call to responsibility. power and ownership. It was a realization. “I didn’t know it could get this bad.” It was very shaky ground and every night, we didn’t know where we’d be the next day. But, we prayed and persisted. And we both felt we had to dig in, grind and work our way through–together.

It’s very challenging to know the difference–when to stay and when to leave. It’s similar to feeling welcome. It’s a gut sense of what is right, whole and within you to make better. Sometimes we don’t know we have a fight in us until the battle arrives at home.

So my advice is not deeply wise, sage or anything perhaps different than you already know if you are reading this. You have your answers if you go to Him. Pray, discern, be quiet. God will tell you whether you must stay or leave. He wants your victory and your work is to trust Him to deliver you the truth. It may take time, but it will come. 

I never thought I’d be writing a book, sharing a ministry, and pushing my faith limits with my husband and now my best friend. I thought our marriage was over in 2011 and about to die. But everything including us was being reborn. Alchemizing to something much better than we were then. 

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