Regrets! We all live with them. But when the regrets involve something as important as marriage, it can seem like you’re dealing with a life sentence, in the worst prison possible. If you’ve come to the place where you believe you may have married the wrong person, you can feel panicky, trapped, depressed.
“What have I done?”
“Have I ruined my life?
“What can I do now?”
These are all typical questions that are asked by many, many spouses. You certainly aren’t alone. But please try not to panic (beyond what you may have already experienced). Let go of the squeeze you may have on the panic button, or the “I don’t care at this point; I just want to be released” button, and consider a few things first.
Something that Thomas Whiteman and Thomas Bartlett write in the book “The Marriage Mender”) is important to note:
“Many people who divorce are surprised by the level of conflict in marriage. They expect the romantic stage to continue their whole lives. They fail to negotiate anything because they think they shouldn’t have to. As they see it, conflict indicates that they married the wrong person.”
To the Extreme
It’s easy to take our thoughts to the extreme when we’re so unhappy. But lets not forget that God says in the Bible says, “Come, let us reason together” (Isaiah 1:18). This is a good time to apply added reasoning. It’s a good time to explore more possibilities other than panicking or dumping out of a marriage after these thoughts invade your thinking process.
I’ve seen many, many spouses, who thought there was no way they would ever find love within their marriages again (myself included), and yet they did… I did. Never in a million years did I think that was possible. But it was and is. I can testify that love CAN return, or start anew. When God is in it, it’s amazing what can happen.
So, to face this dilemma in a way that explores “reason” and added thoughts. Lets work through some possible scenarios that could be taking place.
First, don’t close your mind to real possibilities.
When something happens to us —especially something as important as thinking we’ve married the wrong person, we can think that this situation is irreparable. In most cases it truly isn’t. That is, UNLESS those who are involved close their minds to working THROUGH the situation, and walk away.
On this point, here’s something that author and motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said to those though they married the wrong person:
“I have no way of knowing whether or not you married the wrong person. But I do know that if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could well end up having married the right person after all. It is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person.”
So, open your mind to whatever possibilities there are that explain what you are feeling right now. Through the process of being open, God can teach you things you may never have known otherwise. And it very well may be that God wants to grow you in ways He knows are important. These are ways that will be important to you, and important to others.
Pray. Ask God to give you wisdom.
I know that sounds simplistic. But remember that God promises us that if we ask, He will give it (see: James 1). And while asking, request that the Holy Spirit guide you as your Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6).
You may have already been praying, but added prayer can definitely help.
While opening your mind and asking for wisdom, pray as the psalmist did,
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
At this point, consider that one possibility could be that you are going through a very typical stage of marriage. It’s one in which, you and your spouse need to work through some issues, if you are going to survive this season of marriage.
We all go through various stages of marriage. To help you consider whether this could be a certain stage you have tumbled into, within your relationship, please go into the Newlyweds and Beyond topic. Read what we have posted there, which applies to your stage, season, passage, phase (or whatever title) of marriage.
This mission of loving the spouse, will take time and extra effort.
Yes, it will take extra time and effort. But don’t you think it’s reasonable to take the time needed considering that you entered into marriage, vowing that you would love, honor, and cherish your spouse for the rest of your lives? It’s now the appropriate time to go an extra, extra mile in doing your “due diligence” on this issue, rather than living with regrets for the rest of your life.
One article you may want to start with, which is talked about in the linked article article below is something I recommend highly that you read and prayerfully consider:
If it’s a “stage” you’re going through, then work with the Lord as your Counselor, to do what you can to survive that stage well. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that once something appears to be broken, it is. We’ve got a lot of testimonies posted in the “Save My Marriage” topic, which say otherwise. And my husband and I can attest to the fact that even though love appears to be gone with the person you are now married to, it CAN and DOES come alive, if some very intentional work is done.
We’ve been there and have done that. We are SO glad we did (and are doing) what it takes to cause new growth —both within our marriage relationship and within us as individuals. It has been WELL worth the effort.
Work beyond the stage of “I don’t want to” to get to the “I will” stage.
We have a lot of articles, tools and recommended resources posted on this web site available to help you get to a better place in your marriage. But the main requirement is the “want to” or the “heart to.” If you close your heart and don’t want to, all of the “how to’s” in the world won’t help you. You just won’t do what it takes to get beyond this problem.
But I can tell you that even if you don’t want to, if you confess that fact to God, He still can work to change your heart. (Again, I’ve been there and know from personal experience.)
If your spouse doesn’t have the “heart to” either, there are still some things you can do. Work on your own issues first, by praying for him or her. And then apply the applicable advice given in the Save My Marriage topic. It’s sure worth the extra effort!
And then below, there are links provided for you to read a couple of articles. These articles may help your reasoning process, as you consider what you can do now and in the future.
I hope this has helped. Even if you aren’t persuaded, at this point, allow the Lord to work further in your heart. Look to Him to point you to the HIS way of doing things, rather than the world’s. Please know that some things are better “cured” over time.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Save My Marriage
7 responses to “Help! I Think I Married the Wrong Person”
(UGANDA) Thanks for this wonderful article. It is just what I needed. I have been contemplating lately of walking out of my mariage of 7 years (we even have a two year old daughter), due to the thinking that I thought I got married to a wrong person. However, I guess I have to try my best to work at improving it with my partner since I notice he is, in his own way, trying to also save it.
(UNITED STATES) Maybe you have regarded including additional videos for your content to keep the readers much more entertained? I mean I just read during the entire article of yours and it was quite excellent consider I’m really a visual learner, I discovered that for being more valuable. Just my my idea, Good luck.
Hi Byron. I’m definitely open to it. I’ll try to keep that in mind as I write different articles. In the meantime, if you come across a Youtube video that can be included in any of the articles, I’d love to know about it so it. Thanks for your suggestion.
(UNITED STATES) Cindy, great column and I would like to think it found me during a trying, very painful time in my life. I am going to list my story below in hopes of your thoughts, suggestions, and reason. My situation is rather different, being I am the one who didn’t marry. I came very close to doing so, but I waited too long. I have prayed so hard and with sincere passion that the Lord please take the hurt away, because it is very devastating to me. When I pray to the Lord, I do not ask that he bring my ex back to me, but to help me find happiness. Whether it is with my ex or not, I want to be happy and healthy again so bad. I have humbly begged and prayed to the Lord to please let me fall out of love with her and to help me not think of her. But after 10 months of separation, I think about her all day everyday at times still and I am still in love with her til this day. If we were not meant to be, I pray all the time for the hurt to go away.
To prevent a long story, I will tell you how we got into this relationship, which is in no way ordinary. When I met Missy, I was in a very horrible marriage for 8 years. I met Missy a day after I went to file for divorce. My previous marriage remained 3 years longer than it should, because I found myself sacrificing my happiness in an attempt to make my wife and my family happy. I didn’t want to hurt her or be a failure, but it just wasn’t there.
After me and Missy met at work, I told her my situation and for several months we built a friendship because we worked together and were hesitant to take the relationship further. She was 38 and I was 29 when we met. After 2 years of seeing each other off and on (due to the frustration of my situation). She never had kids in her previous marriage and we talked about marriage and having kids of our on one day. I told her I always wanted a boy, we picked out names, we were best friends, but that all changed a month after she turned forty. Next thing I know she wouldn’t talk to me, answer my calls, and was very cold to me when we would see each other. This was in October of 2011. This all happened a month before my custody hearings and we could finally be with each other.
After many atempts to reconcile with her, I finally walked in to work on Jan 30th of 2012 and set the wedding ring I bought on her desk with a note that said, keep it, sell it, throw it away, just please don’t give it back to me. This made her furious. I don’t know why it would, baffles me till this day. She could have thrown it away or sold it, but she put it back on my desk after two weeks had passed. She was furious when she had no reason to be. It destroyed me when she gave it back, because I begged her not to. After another week of holding on to it, she gave it back again. I kept it at that time. In late March of this year, I noticed a wedding ring on her finger. I felt like dying on the spot, but I congratulated her and went about my way. She was engaged to a 52 year old man who probably has no desire to have kids and is the polar opposite of me. Between Oct 2011 up to the point I gave her the ring the following Feb, I asked her to please tell me if there was someone else and she never would. After I gave her the ring, she seemed extremely mad and so cold, to a point that I could never imagine her being.
I’m so baffled at what she may be thinking, after we were crazy stupid in love. I’m guess I’m looking for thoughts or opinions. I knew her very well before this happened and I feel safe in saying that she never seemed happy, she would never look me in the eye when we passed at work, (down and away). If we were in the break room at the same time, she would face the wall while waiting five minutes or so for our coworker to come meet her so they could go to lunch. She would even walk way out of the way just so we wouldn’t have to walk through the same doors, or so she wouldn’t have to walk by my cubicle, in order to get to her desk (even when she couldn’t see me).
It all hurts me terribly, because that is not the girl I fell in love with. I was never mean to her and gave her no reason to feel as such. With all my prayers begging the Lord to let me fall out of love with her and wondering if she is really happy with such an older and different man than what she goes for. Or I wonder if she felt like she had to do this because she was turning forty and maybe lost faith in me going through with marrying her. I just don’t know. She just totally left me without talking and she has been so cold and mad since I gave her the ring.
I did what I didn’t want to do, write a long message. But I would be blessed with anything, anyone will share. If I can’t be with her and give her the life we always talked about, then I don’t want to be in love or think of her again because it hurts. I will keep on seeking the Lord’s help and asking him to help me recognize the path I need to take. I also thank you so much for giving me a forum to contact you and reading your thoughts and wisdom. Take care and God bless you.
(AUSTRALIA) Firstly I want to say that I am truly sorry for your anguish and pain. I don’t know anything as heart-renching as a broken heart. I guess right now you have a gaping hole that she left. I’d like to say that you can heal. 10 months might seem like an eternity, but it might just be the start of a long and arduous journey to healing and renewal for you.
I think you know that you need to let her go. She might not have said it, but she is saying ‘no’. No, she doesn’t want to be with you. That is where she is at now. No doubt she truly loved you. Perhaps she has lost faith in you, perhaps she has found someone else she loves, perhaps loving you just hurt too much. I’d say her coldness/mad feelings are a means of protection. It is the only way she can’t stick to her guns, get over you and move on. Look at her actions, as that is probably where she wants her feelings to be: not with with you. I am not saying this to make you sad, or though it probably will. Thinking about a lifetime of not seeing her or being with her is terrifying to you at this point in time, but it will get easy I promise you.
You have not even had time to get over your marriage. In fact, when your marriage was coming to an end, she was your escape plan, your fantasy, your next great thing. I think some time just getting used to your own company would be good. You obviously got married quite young first time around. Now it is time to work on you. Get comfortable in your own skin. Get involved in a church/interest groups/charity groups, start running, start anything really that is healthy and distracts you from your heart-break. Start to believe in yourself again. When you start to excude happiness, it will attract others too you, even if they are just friends to hang out with.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m nearly 2 years on after breaking an unhealthy addiction to a man I loved. I decided that I didn’t want to hang onto the pain anymore. I didn’t want my feelings of him to rob me of my happiness. I needed to lose the emotion. I can say I still do love him, but the pain has mostly gone. I’m changed, different, renewed, I’ve lost some of my soul along the way, but I’m doing OK, and am mostly happy!
(UNITED STATES) Help. My wife is very angry about being married to me now because we have fought since we first got married over things relating to what she calls my unwillingness to work together. We are not living to gether right now because a few months ago we had an arguement she called the police and said I pushed her. I have a no contact order on me now. She doesn’t want it on me but the courts placed it there.
But in the process I stepped out of the marriage and sinned by sleeping with a woman. My situation is critical and complicated and I don’t have the space to explain it all. I love my wife but she feels angry and has closed her heart on me and is angry that she is married to me. That makes me angry and hurts because it says to me that she thinks she is better than me because I am not what she expected and I feel frustrated because without saying it she is conveying to me I am not worthy of her.
The marriage is in trouble she has no desire to discuss it or work on it she just wants to be amicable towards each other but she is not planning on staying in it for long. For now she is going to school but I guess once she is done she will get a job and depending on how she feels she may just leave this state and end the marriage. I failed this I know. My heart is crushed. I know God has healed marriages. I don’t know how to be strong anymore and I have been killing my body with alcohol and cigarets.
I’m so broken and God seems infinitely away and I can’t even mutter a prayer and when I do Im so depressed I pray with no faith. I am devestated and I know the answer is to pray and wait but for the entire marriage of a year and a half we have had nothing but fighting and hurt and frustration, for me because I am a failure and for my wife because I have failed her… Prayer is so needed and deliverance and restoration and that I would be transformed and my wifes heart would be softened to Gods voice and the walls she built against me would come down… oh that a miracle would occur… a massive miracle. A divine work.
(BARBADOS) The most common source of problems in relationships is that the couple misinterpreted their mutual feelings of attraction as love. This normally results in the couple trying to keep up appearances after about 5 years, and wondering where the love went.
It is important to know that attraction is an emotional feeling that may fade, while love is a promise that has nothing to do with attraction. Love is a promise to do 4 things.
1. To accept everything that you know and do not know about her now.
2. To accept her regardless of what happens in the unknown future as you both age -for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness or health for as long as you both shall live. Even if she is disfigured by an accident or crippled by illness, you accept her.
3. To forgive her later. Since neither of you is perfect, you both depend on each others’ forgiveness.
4. To encourage her to improve. This 4th one gives purpose to your relationship -otherwise it will get boring.
If you are both ready to make and keep these promises to each-other, then you are ready to love. When you keep them, you demonstrate your love for each-other. After you formally make your promises at your wedding, you complete or consummate these promises with sexual intercourse. Every time that you subsequently have sexual intercourse, you reinforce your promises –it is truly a wonderful and mutually satisfying experience.
If you have sexual intercourse before making your promises, then you show her that you are capable of justifying forsaking her for a younger, shapelier rival when she gets older. If you are able to restrain yourself when your attraction for her is at its highest, then you show her that you are capable of resisting the rival that will inevitably come.
Source: Attraction is a feeling. Love is a Promise. by Grenville Phillips, president of Walbrent College. (LoveIsAPromise.wordpress.com)