I’m Not the Woman My Husband Married…and it’s OK!

22 years and going strong!
22 years and going strong!

I recently read a blog by a woman who felt guilty because she was not the same person her husband had married a few years ago. She was feeling badly that she no longer wrote him love letters or dressed as provocatively. She was determined to change back into that “newlywed” she used to be in order to be a better wife and please her husband. I am sorry, but I think this is a great misunderstanding of what marriage should be! No one should expect their partner to remain the same as they were during their courtship, or as newlyweds. That’s unrealistic.

There are seasons in marriage, just like regular life. In your 20s, or when you’re newlyweds, it’s fine to have all those fluttery, romantic feelings towards your spouse. But children, bills, stresses of life do change people. The key to marriage is expecting change, and being okay with it.

My husband and I have been married over 22 years now (to the same person, with no previous divorces), and our love is different from what it was at the newlywed stage. And it SHOULD be! My goodness, if it wasn’t, then I’d be concerned! Jeepers, what DO people expect in marriage—some sappy, syrupy, love-sick existence? It ain’t gonna happen, folks. If more people knew that, then there would be less divorce… (just sayin’).

What you can expect is that your love matures, it deepens with time, with children, with the demands and stresses of life. A mutual respect and friendship develops, if done right, and you look at each other as partners in life, side-by-side, as a team, navigating through the twists and turns that are often times unpredictable.

I like the woman I’ve become through the years of life changes, and so does my husband. I like the man he has become, too. He’s such a good father and has been an excellent provider for our family in so many ways! Years of being the primary breadwinner has matured him, deepened his selflessness, and has grown his sense of responsibility. Trust me, he wasn’t like that when we first met!

When people get married, it should be a lifelong commitment because it’s such a safe relationship with that arrangement. I don’t have to live in fear that my husband is going to leave me, be unfaithful to me, or abuse me. Why? Because he is a godly man, who loves the Lord and the principles lined up in the Bible for what marriage is intended to be – how God designed it. There is so much comfort in the true, biblical marriage model. There is also such a lack of understanding as to what that model is! My goodness, I have seen some horrible Christian marriages in my time, so just being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a satisfying marriage. You actually have to read the bible and practice it. Hello! 

Finally, the bible speaks of a process called “sanctification,” which means we’re supposed to grow more like Jesus as we get older. We are to be intentional in change! At the end of my life, when my time is done here, I will not be the same woman my husband married— thank God for that!