No woman can stay married to the same man her whole life. I’ve been married to three. I’m a much better wife to my current husband. And he’s a far better husband than my first two. Did I love my first two husbands? Absolutely, but I’m glad I didn’t settle for them.
Let me explain. I’ve been married once. But in one marriage, I’ve been married to three different men. People offer lots of marriage advice, but most leave out one piece of information that’s key to staying married. No one tells you your husband will change.
No one says, “You think you’re in love right now, but just wait. In a few months, you’ll wonder what you ever liked about this guy. But, hang in there, girl. He’ll grow up, and you will, too. Money won’t always be tight. He won’t always play video games all weekend long. He won’t always spend long hours at work.”
Maybe you’re in a tough season of marriage right now. Are you frustrated? Tired? Lonely? Maybe it feels too hard and you’re wondering if you should even stay. No matter where you are in your marriage right now, it’ll change. Your husband will change. So will you. And sticking it out will make you a better wife in the long run.
I Was Glad I Kissed Number 1 Good-bye
I got married right after college. Soon, I began to feel like I’d been duped. I quickly realized he was not the man I thought he was. He was way more selfish and inconsiderate than the guy I’d dated. I was miserable. I thought about divorce a lot. I was glad when it was finally over.
I welcomed Number 2. The father of my children. But he was worse than the first guy. I thought I knew what selfish looked like. This guy made the first one look like an angel. Kids made marriage harder, but they were also the thing that held us together. We had to learn to put our stuff aside to take care of their needs. As we trekked though parenting, I grew more unhappy. His career felt like a mistress. He spent more time at work than he did with me. I felt stuck and alone.
I knew I couldn’t last long in that relationship. I was exhausted by the end of it and ready to give up. If he hadn’t left, I might’ve. It felt like a long time coming, but I finally found my third husband.
Thin On Top is the New Sexy
He’s a little heavier, a little thinner on top but he’s the sexiest one so far. He’s far more mature than Number 1 and works a lot less than Number 2. He listens when I talk to him. He doesn’t try to solve my problems. He lets me know he’s committed to me. Husbands 1 and 2 did some of those things, but it was hard to recognize because I was angry so much of the time.
Not only did my husband change, I did too. Sure, Number 3 does things I don’t like, but if I hadn’t been married to the other guys I wouldn’t appreciate this one.
Was it hard? Yes, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I’m glad I stayed through the weekends he spent in front of the TV playing video games. I’m glad I stayed when he appeared selfish and uncaring. I’m glad I didn’t walk out when the money was tight or when he made poor decisions. I’m glad I stayed when I was sleep deprived and he worked long hours.
I loved Number 1 and Number 2; they taught me how to love Number 3. But as much as I love Number 3, I know he’s not my last.
A healthy union requires falling in love with same person again and again and through every different season in your marriage. No matter what stage you’re in right now, hang in there. It’ll change. I wish someone had told me that. Maybe I would’ve looked for ways to love my husband through the difficult times instead of feeling sorry for myself and praying he’d change.
How can you love your husband in your current stage of marriage?
Need skills to build intimacy?
- Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be.
She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.
She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.
In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network. Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.