Marriage isn’t a requirement in our culture. People get married because they want to. Now, of course, we can debate whether or not folks are getting married for the right reasons, but whatever those reasons are, it is a personal choice.

And for most of us, the decision to get married is not one taken likely. Some serious thought usually takes place before people decide to say, “I do.” And that should be the case because marriage is designed to be a lifelong commitment. Sure, we hear about the high divorce rate and how so many marriages end within the first five years, but no one enters a marriage planning to be a part of those stats.

When I got married, my plan was for this thing to last my lifetime. Now, eight years later, that is still my plan. I didn’t make a commitment before my loved ones and God with thoughts about walking away from it all if things don’t go my way. I said, “I do” because I felt like my man was worthy of my love and I was worthy of his. I married him because I believed we would figure things out together and always find a way to make things work—even when it’s hard as hell.

But I am no fool. I know that we have plenty of bumps ahead. Not because our marriage is riddled with problems, but because that is life. Even the happiest couples fall on hard times. Tragedies occur, people make mistakes, jobs are lost, pain is experienced, and life gets hard. Downright painful, really.

In those moments when it feels like life just hurts and you start to question the union you entered, it’s understandable for some to think about divorce. Even if you don’t want one, you start to wonder if it will come that. You may start to question if your love for each other is enough to weather the storm.

Although I have never been an advocate for remaining married at any cost, I am a strong advocate for fighting for your marriage when you should. I don’t think any commitment made before God should be broken with ease. I believe that although marriages can fall on very tough times, once you decide to spend the rest of your life with someone else, you have an obligation to give it all you’ve got before you walk away.

And sure, there are instances where walking away actually is best for all parties involved. But let’s be real: Many people walk away without putting in that much effort. Many get consumed by frustration and pain and decide that fighting is for the birds and they just can’t be bothered.

Things shouldn’t end this way, though. We have to try harder. We have to fight for our unions unless we find ourselves in a circumstance where being with the other person is straight up damaging and dangerous, either physically or emotionally.

If you are losing your patience and giving up on your marriage is starting to feel like a reasonable option, here are 3 signs that your marriage may be worth fighting for.

There is no emotional or physical abuse involved

Emotional and physical abuse are deal breakers in my book. But if you are married to someone who has always respected your thoughts, emotions, and your body, and they have never done anything abusive, you should really think about if walking away is best. I am not suggesting these are the only things that can break up a marriage, but I do believe that outside of these issues, many other issues can be worked through with appropriate help. Not all other issues, but many of them.

You haven’t tried counseling or therapy

I firmly believe that couples counseling or therapy can play a huge role in helping a couple rebuild their relationship. To give up on your marriage without giving this a try seems unreasonable in my opinion. And you have to give it a fair try. One bad therapist doesn’t mean that therapy doesn’t work. It just means that the therapist you went to wasn’t a good fit for you and your spouse. All couples face issues, and sometimes those issues are just too much to work through alone. Before you throw in the towel on a lifetime commitment, reach out and get professional help. You may be surprised at what a difference it makes.

You haven’t asked God for His help

What better person to turn to for help than the one you made your commitment before? Whether you go to church religiously, or you only attend on special occasions, you and your mate have to be honest with yourselves about whether or not you have gotten down on your knees and asked the Lord to guide your steps. Have you asked Him to help you heal? Have you asked Him to help you forgive? Have you asked Him to help your transform and become a better spouse? Are you praying for each other? I believe you have to be able to go to your maker and ask for help before you walk away from something you told Him you would never walk away from.