Low expectations for marriage

So one of the things that bugs me most about premarital counseling and advice that we get from family, friends, pastors, even counselors, is that marriage is not going to be romantic. It can’t be. The romance is going to disappear. That’s just a given. You might as well get used to it. So we start to expect that.

And we get into marriage, something goes a little sideways, and we go, “Oh, well. The honeymoon’s over. So much for that.”

So part of it is we set up these expectations that are so incredibly low, that it’s no wonder that we fail. We’re going to work towards what we believe is possible. And if we’ve been told it’s impossible from the beginning, either from watching our own parents or from people who are trying to give us advice, It’s not going to work.

I think the answer to that is to realize that marriage is actually meant to grow and deepen over time. I mean, you think about it, you marry your best friend. He’s sexy. He’s cute. He’s funny. He’s brilliant. You know? And so when you focus on enjoying all those good things about him, and you look at what is it about him that I don’t get and think, “How can I understand that better?” Then you’re actually on a lifelong treasure hunt to find the good in this guy!

And, you know, I really, I’ve got to say a sidebar here. I actually have met guys that have been so wounded that they have put up such strong defenses that they’re actually mean and cruel and all of those things.

But most of the guys … I would say anywhere from 75 to 95% of men are actually really good guys. But they don’t know any more about us than we know about them. And they’ve been told that there’s no way you can understand a woman. They are beyond your ability to comprehend. So men just shake their heads, and they give up.

As women, we know that’s not true. We’re really simple and very straightforward in what it is, but we use a different language than the guy does.

You know, when I was teaching at Azusa Pacific University, I actually would tell my students, “Don’t marry someone that you like where they are now, that they seem to fit you perfect. You want to marry somebody that you want to spend the rest of your life getting to know because it’s going to take that long.”

But it’s a good adventure, and there’s so much good inside. As a spouse, it’s your job to find that treasure.

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