What I Wish I Had Known Before Getting Married +
3 Facts To Help You Set Realistic Marriage Goals
Questions to consider before you get engaged:
Are you willing to work through hard times without giving up?
Are you willing to compromise and not insist on your way?
Are you willing to make time together whether you're busy or stressed or seemingly headed in opposite directions?
Are you willing to listen and willing to always try to see your husband's perspective?
Are you willing to admit you not only want your needs met but also are willing to meet your husband's needs?
If you honestly answered “no” to any of these questions, then I would strongly caution you to consider whether you really want to get married. Here's why:
1. Marriage is Hard Work!
You can't coast long; you're either pedaling uphill or sliding backwards. Like all relationships, time and effort must go into the marriage relationship to continue connecting. I went into more detail in this blog post here.
2. you can still be lonely in marriage, sorry
Loneliness is not automatically destroyed by getting married. Don't get married in order to never be alone again. Don't set your expectations too high; unmet expectations leads to feeling unsatisfied with your husband.
I’m sorry to tell you this, but even with your spouse you will feel lonely. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have other close friends, but there will never be one person who can be your constant companion who you always feel connected with.
Your husband just can’t enter into all your thoughts and feelings and show perfect empathy.
Which leads me to my final thought…
3. Your needs will not all be met in marriage
No person can be everything you need. When we were newlyweds, I needed my husband's constant approval and attention. The Lord finally got it through my thick skull that even if I should lose my husband, I will still have the Lord. And He will get me through anything.
Your husband is not your God. He was never meant to fill all your needs, even for companionship. Jesus is Emmanuel; He is “God with us.” He is the One you need to turn to when you feel lonely.
I've seen it over and over in my marriage. When I realize I'm being needy and clingy, instead I rely on the Lord to be my Provider for everything, even for companionship. Then it takes the pressure off my husband, and he wants to be with me more often. When I wasn't expecting my husband to fulfill my every need, it freed him to be the best he can be without fear of disappointing.
It's really true, not just a cliche, that both the husband and wife are secondary in the marriage relationship. Ed Young’s concept of the marriage triangle in the 10 Commandments of Marriage* is still the most basic and most profound representation of the marriage relationship I've seen: the closer you both grow towards God, the closer you will be to each other.
Conclusion: Though perfect marriages aren't possible, happy marriages are. To avoid being blindsided by reality, like I was, and blaming your husband for your unrealistic expectations being disappointed, like I did, please take these three facts to heart. Though marriage is hard, it's not impossible. Though you'll still feel lonely, the Lord will be your companion and all you really need. If you know what to expect in your marriage, I believe you will have a lower chance of divorce and a higher chance of a long and mostly satisfied marriage based on God.
Were there any rude awakenings or myths you believed about marriage that turned out to be false? Let us know in the comments!