Some people might wonder if, after they walked down the aisle, their spouse somehow had a quick brain operation. They changed how they approached life, “from this day forward.” That’s because the person they thought they married seemed to change into someone else completely different after the wedding.
We hear of that problem quite often here at Marriage Missions. They ask: “How could my spouse have changed that much in just one day (or one week, or month, or year)?” “Were they fooling me all along or was I blind to the the way they really were?”
No… and yes. Is that definitive enough? Actually, your spouse most likely didn’t change so much as the circumstances have since changed. He or she had never been married to you before, there’s a whole new learning curve going on that he/she hadn’t known before. The same goes for you, but people change differently. You can’t measure your spouse by what you or others do, but work with what you have instead.
Marriage and family therapist, Glenn Lutjens, points out something that is important. “Courtship” or whatever you want to label it is “largely a mirage.” He asks:
“What did you do when you didn’t want to be alone? You got dressed up and did fun things together. What did you do when you were tired of talking? You went home. How did you deal with financial decisions? You made them on your own.
“When you were dating, there were some built-in escape valves in your relationship. Now that you’re married, there’s no other home to go to. Your spouse’s finances are yours, and vice versa.
“By its very nature, courtship allows a couple to live in denial. Marriage makes that posture much more difficult to maintain.” (from the Focus on the Family book, The First Five Years of Marriage)
Rest of Your Lives in Marriage
Even if you lived together (and some of you had children together) before you married, you always had it in the back of your mind that this was a “trial” time and not permanent. But now that you have made it permanent by exchanging vows to promise each other and God that you will be together the rest of your lives, what do you do? You adjust. You learn and you adjust.
Marriage expert, Dennis Rainey puts it this way:
“Every married individual must adjust to qualities in a spouse that were not noticed or were ignored during the dreamy days of dating.”
And that’s true. You may have thought you knew your spouse and weren’t so “dreamy” in how you viewed him or her. But the reality is that there is no way of completely knowing how a person will adjust to different circumstances. And now you are seeing him or her in a different way. Your spouse has changed in some ways and now you need to adjust to this “new” normal. Hopefully, your spouse will be willing to compromise and work together in partnership with you.
To help you process through this stage of your marriage, please glean through the articles posted below on the web site for Focus on the Family. (And then arrow to the next article Focus on the Family has for you to read.)
To read the articles, please click onto the links below:
After reading those articles we encourage you to do some additional reading. Go through the Newlywed section (and others the Lord leads you to) and read what you can. Even if you think you know more than the average newlywed, we believe you will find information you could benefit from reading.
Don’t look for a way to “jump ship” and get out of your marriage. Instead, become a student of marriage and a student of your spouse. The Bible tells us to persevere through trials rather than run from them. In the process of persevering, we’ll learn more and will gain more than we ever would have otherwise.
To help you on this journey, please click onto the link below to read an article posted on Todayschristianwoman.com. We pray it will give you a good start in improving your relationship with your spouse.
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
If you have tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.