I have mentioned before how the first few years of my marriage were difficult. You have an even better idea of what I mean if you have read my book The Unveiled Wife. Those years were hard, strenuous, and frustrating. My husband and I were confronted with conflict and hardships every single day – and I don’t think we were well equipped to handle it all.
9 years later, we still encounter hardships. However, we have learned along the way how to navigate through the tough times while remaining one in our marriage, remaining in unity.
Back then, I was learning how to be a wife and how to embrace what that role looks like in my marriage. I’ll be honest…I didn’t like marriage much. I didn’t understand how things in our relationship could change so drastically following the wedding.
When we were dating, I couldn’t wait to be married. Then for three years after my wedding, I wished we were only dating. In comparison to the hardships we faced as husband and wife, dating seemed better, more enjoyable, easier.
I often dwelt on how life would be if we were just dating. I thought about all the good times and all the things I loved about dating. This contributed to the belief that marriage was a mistake. That’s right, I thought my marriage was a mistake. I was clouded by my frustrations and I couldn’t see clearly how marriage had an incredible purpose.
I often times looked to the past in our relationship. My heart hardened as I grew more and more discontent with the current condition of our relationship. I believe this held us back from experiencing closeness as a husband and wife. I believe it tainted my view of my husband and it squashed any hope of our future together. Because if I desired things as they were, but couldn’t get that back, what would that mean for our future?
This was a terrible time for our marriage. My husband and I suffered from our inability to connect with each other intimately – physically and emotionally. We both experienced brokenness. It was awful.
Today, my husband and I are married and happy. I no longer dwell on the dating years as a desire of my heart. I consider our past and reminisce about all the wonderful experiences we have shared together. But I have hope for our future. This hope comes from God and it started when He healed our marriage relationship. This hope runs deep inside my heart and it motivates my actions. My husband and I love dreaming about our future together and we know confidently that anything we face, we face together.
A friend recently said something to us that really touched my heart. As soon as I heard his words, I responded with a loud, “YES!” I knew what he said was truth because I lived it. This is what he said,
Happy marriages look to the future, not the past. – Dale Partridge.
When I consider the difference in my heart from when I was first married to now…I learned that I must remain steadfast in hope for our marriage. I learned that I must look to the future and know confidently that we – my husband and I – can face hard circumstances together. I also learned that when I dwell on the thought that dating was better than marriage, I miss the significant purpose of what marriage is all about.
We are happy and our relationship is healthy, because of God and the hope for the future He has given to us.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
If I can encourage you today, I would love to tell you that marriage is incredible and has an extraordinary purpose. Remain steadfast in hope and look to the future of your marriage. If you desire to be happy in your marriage, then look forward, sweet friend, look to the future of your marriage.