After the Honeymoon Message Series



Part 3 – Why Marriages Fall Apart
(Selected Scriptures)

February 2, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor



Stage 1 – The Honeymoon Stage. (Romance)

1. “Our marriage will be different,” they say, “Because we love each other so much.

2. Communication can be careful.  Arguments are usually short and making up is a lot of fun.


Stage 2 – A Time Of Facing Reality.

1. The couple begins to face the reality that they have two different wills, two different needs and two different perspectives.

2. Bad habits begin to surface and weaknesses begin to be prominent.

3. John Townsend (Boundaries in Marriage):  Respect means a willingness to die to your wish for your spouse to see things your way and appreciate that your mate has his / her own mind and values and feelings.

4. The key to this moment is to respect for your mates’ opinion that is different from yours and learn how to adjust.

5. This is the moment you need marriage counseling; you need to go to a marriage seminar and read some good marriage books together.

6. Houston Center for Christian Counseling recommends “Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman.


Stage 3 – The Power Struggle Stage (Misery).

1. We begin to realize our partner will never change or will even want to change. Fighting becomes far more normal than you ever imagined it would be.

2. During this time the joy and fulfillment of intimacy can be severely damaged or even dead.

3. What the person doesn’t realize is he/she didn’t marry the wrong person. He/she has chosen the wrong coping mechanisms for dealing with their disagreements.

4. A ten-year study of divorced couples discovered that only 10% of ex-spouses said they had succeeded in improving their lives by divorcing.   Add to that the confusion and pain of the children – it is just not worth it.


Stage 4 – The Stage of Awakening.

1. This is when we realize we can’t change our mate but we can, with God’s help, change ourselves.

2. This is when we realize that if we are going to have a great love we are going to have to be deliberate and build it over time.

3. We come to a willingness to accept the other person, warts and all.  It is a time you decide to put the other person’s needs above your own.


Stage 5 – The Time Of Mature Love.

It isn’t a perfect time but it is a time when fear about your marriage is over.

Think of these 5 stages as a cycle that together you move upward in your marriage little by little.



1. Yield your rights and needs to God.

Choose to trust God to be responsible for ultimately fulfilling your needs.

a. Matthew 6:33  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  (Jesus)

b. Philippians 4:19  And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

2. Let Go Of The Stronghold Of Your Resentment.

Hebrews 12:15  Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you, for as it springs up it causes deep trouble, hurting many …

3. Concentrate On Meeting Your Mate’s Needs, Not Yours.

a. “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want.”  (Zig Ziglar)

b. “If you will change your focus to helping other people around you get what they want and need an amazing thing will happen; you will eventually get what you want and need.”  (Zig Ziglar)

c. Luke 6:38  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  (Jesus)

d. Shift your focus from being “me-centered” to becoming “matecentered”.

e. Be teachable.  Embrace differences.  Practice gratitude for the positive things in the relationship.  Spend quality time together.  Learn from counseling, conferences and excellent books on marriage how to better deal with conflict.