Staying married isn’t easy. So how do you make your marriage work?
The key to making your marriage work is understanding you won’t be married to the same guy your whole life.
I’ve been married to three.
I’ve been married only once. But in one marriage, I’ve been married to three different men. My husband has changed over our 33-year marriage. The man I married is not the man I’m married to today.
Shortly after we married, I thought for sure I’d gone home with the wrong guy. He looked like the same guy. His name was on the marriage license. But he was different. And not a good kind of different.
He’d changed. And he’s changed many times over our 33 year marriage.
You might be in a hard place in your marriage right now. Ready to throw in the towel.
Here’s one thing you should know before becoming another divorce statistic.
No matter how hard your marriage seems right now, it will change. You make your marriage work by falling in love with the same man again and again throughout the different stages of your marriage.
When people hand out marriage advice, they leave out this key piece of information when it comes to longevity. The man you marry won’t be the same guy in 5 years, 10 years or 20 years.
In successful marriages, couples fall in love over and over with the same person.
I felt like I’d been duped
Shortly after we said, “I do” I felt like I’d been duped. He was not the man I thought he was. He was selfish and inconsiderate. I was miserable.
I considered divorce but was too embarrassed to pursue it.
I was glad when it was over. I welcomed my Number 2.
Number 2 was the father of my children. But he was worse than the first guy.
This guy made Number 1 look good. I thought I knew what selfish looked like. Kids made marriage even 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 miserable. 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.
He’s a little heavier, a little thinner on top but he’s the best one so far. He’s more mature than Number 1 and works 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.
If I hadn’t been married to the other 2 guys, I wouldn’t appreciate this oneSure, 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 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. I hope I stay married through Husbands 4, 5, 6 and beyond.
If you’re in it for the long haul, you’ve got to fall in love with same person again and again and through every season in your marriage.
If you stick it out instead of throwing it out, things will change. Your finances will change. He won’t always spend all weekend playing video games. And he won’t always spend long hours at work.
No matter what stage you’re in right now, hang in there. It’ll change. I wish someone had told me that.
I might’ve looked for ways to love my “new” husband through the different stages of our marriage instead of feeling sorry for myself and praying he’d change.
Need skills to build intimacy?
- Visit my website and join my private Facebook page .
- Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
- Check out my FREE resources and download How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
- Apply for private coaching with Sheila.
You don’t have to perfect to get the marriage you want.
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 tools. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.
After 33 years of marriage, she’s a coach and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to become a doormat to do it.
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.