How To Know You Married The Right Person
Like storm clouds rolling in, I swept into the living room and thundered, “Our marriage is horrible.”
My husband came over towards me, brave soul to brave the storm. “Are you just tired?” he asked.
I was tired. Bone tired from children that don’t sleep because of illness, bad dreams, wet beds, and needing snuggles. Their tag team game was better than most of the “wrasslers” I’d watched as a child on TV.
But, I wasn’t just tired from the kids. I was tired from the comparisons I kept drawing. I thought I did more around the house, more with the kids, more, more, more, and I was squeezed dry.
The tireder I got, the more self-righteous I got. I was doing so much. Giving so much. Losing so much sleep. Then doing laundry. Dishes. All the ugly stuff. And I was feeling ugly.
So, I’d started to think about what it’d be like if things were different. What if I was alone? What if I wasn’t married? Or what if I had married someone else? It’s a slippery slope when start dreaming about a different life.
I wanted to tell my husband that night, but I got mad that he thought I was just tired because I was more than just tired. My storm was a sign of problems in my heart.
I had begun to wonder: how do I know I married the right person?
I had a professor once who said, “You know your spouse is the right one because you married him or her. Stop asking that question. It’s the right person once it’s done.”
Yet, my mind is prone to wander when my heart is tired of the mundane in this life.
So, I decided to remind us all here. The top five ways to stop wondering if you married the right person:
- Never think about someone else and what life would’ve looked like with that person. This is such dangerous ground. Thinking about past crushes, past loves, past anything. Even worse is thinking about someone in your present. You do realize this is how affairs happen, right? In reality, there are mundane tasks no matter who you married, even if you had a maid, a cook, a nanny, and a slew of help. You still have the day-to-day boring stuff in life. And, if you are dumb like me, you will still compare if you or your spouse does more.
- Speaking of comparisons, stop it. Most likely you will never even notice how much your spouse does until your spouse is gone for a significant period of time. Hope Griffin wrote openly about this in her book, Finding Joy: The Year Apart That Made Me a Better Wife. Her husband was deployed, and it didn’t take her long to realize that she had been ignoring all the things he did when he was home. Oh, I have been so guilty of this. Compare yourself to Jesus and then shut up because you know there ain’t no good in you now.
- Speaking of good, focus on the good in your spouse. Whatever you focus your mind on, you will see more and more. Ever buy a new car and suddenly notice how many of that exact same car are out there on the road? “Yep, it’s like that. So, write a list of things that you love about your spouse. Think about things you’d miss if he or she was gone. Pull it out when you are questioning. Then talk about it and let your spouse know what you appreciate (not in a nagging or weird reverse psychology way, just “Thanks for splitting meal prep with me.”).
- Speaking of talking, speak up and bring the dark to light. Confess your sin of a wandering mind. Let your spouse know. These thoughts are not innocent, no matter how you try to rationalize them. Accountability will keep you from wandering too far with those thoughts and putting them into action.
- Speaking of action, ask your spouse to take action and you take action too. If you feel like there are things you need help with and you are feeling bitter, talk to your spouse about it. Ask for help. Often there are things one spouse will notice more than the other. There is also a level of chaos that one spouse is more comfortable with than the other. Discuss these things. Often. Renegotiate this stuff. Life changes. Kids stop sleeping. Kids go back to sleeping. Jobs end. Lives change. Let your expectations change with it and discuss what you need. No spouse is a mind reader. Stop expecting your spouse to know the script in your head. While you are doing all this, take little steps to show your appreciation of your spouse. Text him, “I love you. You’re a great Dad.” Fix her her favorite meal. Pick up some ice cream in his favorite flavor. Watch her favorite movie with her.
I went to bed that night still stormy and sleepless. I was mad at what I perceived as a dismissal of “just tired” when there was a deeper problem within. Honestly, I hadn’t really been dismissed, though. I just clammed up because I was in a bad mood. He had been caring and named the most apparent and real problem for my storm.
It took a week to get back to discussing it again. It actually took writing this up to do it. I was scared once I wasn’t mad. Scared he’d feel betrayed that I dreamed of a life without him. He didn’t though. He knows my heart. He knows me. He knows how the Enemy works to kill, steal, and destroy. He knows God is stronger and mightier than all that.
I know I married the right person because he’s the one I married and gave myself to almost ten years ago. It blows all those romantic movie answers out the water because love isn’t always a feeling, but it is always a choice. Because we chose each other, we choose to love. Not to feel love but to act love.
There’s no “right” person, just this person.
Because of that, my husband rides the storms and holds my hand. The one with the wedding band.