This Isn’t The Person I Married – Did I Make a Mistake?

Pixabay wedding-322034_1280Some 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?”

The “Change”

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 We pray it will give you a good start in improving your relationship with your spouse.

• Did We Make a Mistake in Marrying?

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.

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7 responses to “This Isn’t The Person I Married – Did I Make a Mistake?

  1. (KENYA)  This feeling usually comes when you begin to focus on the negative aspects of your spouse. Try to remember the beautiful things you saw in your spouse. At times it’s hard to love someone when when you are angry, but that is where the love of God comes in. It enables you love your spouse even when you fight or are disappointed. God works out all things.

  2. (CANADA)  I have read that ‘When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling within yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.’

    I believe this to be true, particularly when one honestly examines their own ‘issues’ on a deeper level. Yes, it is easy to find faults in the other person, but most, if not all of these ‘faults’ that one finds in their partner are things or issues which they struggle with themselves, even if on a different level or in a different manner… No one is ever perfect, and I believe that the spouse who is putting the other ‘at fault’ in only blaming them, perhaps should look at themselves in the mirror… how ‘perfect’ are they?

    Marriage is not only about loving someone and being loved, but perhaps more importantly making the choice to love, through thick and thin, and seeing the person’s heart and inner love that goes beyond the everyday issues that present themselves.

    My wish is that all marriages be blessed, in God’s love as well. I believe that a marriage that is centered around God will be strong and will hold true.

  3. (USA) I have only been married going on 3 yrs. this July. I am 39 and my husband is 29. We came together and I had 2 previous sons, one who is 19 (still at home) and the other son 22 yrs (that just moved himself, girlfriend, and baby out about 6 months ago). Then we have OUR baby 2 yrs old this March 23. In the last week or so the words of SEPARATE, CHILD-SUPPORT, and IF YOUR NOT HAPPY have come up A LOT. These are his words.

    We argue over my 19 almost 20 year old often. HE NEEDS TO WORK, HE NEEDS SCHOOL, HE NEEDS TO DO SOMETHING NOT JUST STAY HERE ALL DAY… Well, I do understand these expectations are normal for his age BUT The problem is my son was in fostercare for 6 yrs of his life (8-17). He just came home in 2010 Dec., got in trouble in Feb. 2011, and just spent 1 yr. Incarcerated, returned this last Dec.2012, has history of bi-polar, depression, and unworth. He is unmedicated due to MISSING appointments, and so on. I try to help BUT HE IS AN ADULT, I CAN DO MY OWN STUFF, YOU MAKE ME LOOK TOTALLY INCOMPETENT. These are how most days go.

    My husband comes from work, Meal on table, House cleaned, baby washed …AND HE DOESN’T SPEAK TO ME. I am VERY sad and lonely. Many yrs of abuse in previous relationships …my husband is different. That’s one of the reasons I married him. We are opposite. He is quiet, I am loud; I talk a lot. I understand he works very hard. I do the best I can here at home. I have been laid off work for 4 months and am actively looking for another. He never seems happy… and I need him to open up to me. All I ever get is NOTHING’S WRONG, I’M TIRED. WHAT DID YOUR SON DO TODAY?

    I don’t like the feelings I have inside. I feel I’m good at nothing and no one will ever be happy with me… like I suck life out of people. I always put my family first, and help others. My husband SAYS MAYBE WE SHOULD SEPARATE; YOU CAN GO LIVE WITH YOUR SON, OR he will say WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME? HOW YOU WILL SUPPORT YOU AND THE BOYS? YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB. But I’m trying. I feel lost. I LOVE MY HUSBAND. This is both of our first marriages. I waited 36 yrs. because for me MARRIAGE IS FOR LIFE. PLEASE help??

    1. (USA) Bobbie, I just wrote a comment in “save my marriage”. I also have issues into my marriage and I feel lost, however searching in the other topics in this site I found your comment. First, let me tell you and I can assure you that you are good at many, many things, just look around! God creates you at his own image and he is perfect. He loves you so much! Don’t give up!! Pray, Pray hard and put away all those bad feelings inside of you, don’t let the enemy take you. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your healer. I know that the situation with your husband is hard, however nothing is impossible for the ones who trust in the Lord.

      Sometimes it is hard for us to understand why we have to go through all this pain, however, everything has a reason and its perfect time. I understand that you have troubles because your son, pray about it too! Try to find something for him to do! Get closer to Church and to some youth centers, they could help! But the most important is just take a look into your two year old baby, do you truly believe you he/she is not happy with you, with your love, with your protection? Just see how his/her smile shines everytime he/she could feel you. I wish you the best and I pray you could find the peace and the affirmation that the Lord is just waiting for you with his open arms.

  4. The only “mistake” is getting married in the first place, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a sham and a racket for the family court system. The only ones who benefit are the lawyers, judges and ex-wives; the husbands get the shaft and the kids are collateral damage.

  5. What about when right after being married, the husband now calls his wife horrible names and makes horrible accusations? Prior to marriage and child, he helped with all of the housework and chores, sometimes doing them all! He never spoke a cruel word! Now he views housework and childcare as a woman’s job, even though I work outside of home and I contribute just as much financially, if not more, with health insurance.

    He never does any chores, other than dinner 2 to 3 times a week. I get little to no free time to myself and yet he wants to be intimate every day?! Even after the hurtful things he says! After 10 years of this, how can it change? We’ve been to counseling. Unfortunately, my background is in psychology. Any psychological terms I have ever said to him, the counselor says the same to him. He is in denial of such and accuses me of telling the counselor what to say behind his back! His disrespectfullness towards me, I fear, is now rubbing off on our 8 year old son!

    1. Anna, I’m so sorry for the turn your husband took after marrying you. There is no doubt that you can’t keep allowing him to be a border in your home. He needs to do more than just put money on the table. That is not marriage partnership–it’s financial partnership, but it isn’t a marriage partnership. It’s difficult to know how to advise you. Something is going on in his mind, but I’m not sure what it could be. However, the following is a link to an article that addresses the issue, “What You Need to Change When Your Spouse Doesn’t:

      I encourage you to read it prayerfully, asking God for wisdom on what part(s) of Gary’s advice you should use, and/or adapt for use. You can’t keep going on the way that things are going, but the question is what you ARE to do. Pray, read, pray, and seek God for wisdom on what you should do–for both of your sakes, but also for that of your 8-year old son. May God give you wisdom!