Did I Marry the Wrong Person?

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published May 02, 2024
Did I Marry the Wrong Person?

If our catchy title prompted you to click on this article, then chances are you are struggling in your marriage.

But don't worry, you aren't alone.

I'm confessing to you that I've thought this exact thought many times throughout my marriage. Did I marry the wrong person?

Though I love my husband deeply, I've struggled with doubt and regret. He is a good man. Honestly, if I gave up on him, I'm so sure I would never find a better man out there in that big wide "sea" of options. Nonetheless, we are both imperfect people and struggle to love each other well. When our attitudes, blindspots, anger, and miscommunication lead us down a path of conflict, it's easy to wonder: how did we get here in the first place?

I've found one thing to be true for me: when I look back on our 15 years of marriage, two narratives can become prominent in my mind. The one I see depends entirely on how I'm feeling. When we are in a place of conflict and isolation, I can see a pattern of struggle, failure, and regret. If we are in a connected and unified space, then I can see how we have overcome, grown, loved well, and how we, while so very different from each other, are being used by the Lord. What I focus on informs the story of us that I see.

Another truth I've discovered is that neither my husband nor I are the same people we were when we first got married. Thankfully I have changed so very much from the 20-year-old, still in college, baby that said, I do! Marriage is the choice to continue to grow together. To remain faithful to those epic vows we naively recited in front of our friends and family. It's a never-ending evolution. I really can never answer the question 'Did I marry the wrong person?' because it considers a person that once was. What we really need to focus on is whether we are willing to continue to commit to the person I am married to right now.

How can we continue to be people that are safe, loving, and maintain an enduring love?

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couple touching foreheads forgiveness

1. We Remain Honest

Honesty is the foundation that holds up a strong, long-lasting relationship. Honest means making a safe space for confession when we each inevitably fail. It means honoring each other through a commitment to transparency. This policy stops us from blindsiding each other with feelings or behaviors that can feel like a 'punch in the gut' by your spouse.

2. We Commit to a Lifetime of Forgiveness

Newsflash we are all bad at being partners over the course of a lifetime. God designed marriage, knowing it's a task that we can only do well when with the power of the Holy Spirit. Being happily married over a lifetime is truly a miracle. The success of marriage lies in a mutual, undying commitment to radical forgiveness. I'm not even talking about the "big" things we think of, like infidelity. I mean radical forgiveness is required just to get through the mundane disagreements that pile up over the years. Being willing to forgive thousands of forgotten chores, insensitive comments, or miscommunications is beyond us. We need Jesus to help us see past our hurts and offer undeserved grace to each other.

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woman holding looking at engagement ring thinking, long engagement

3. We Remain Faith-Filled

When marriages split, our legacy of faith takes a hit. Divorce's trauma, loss, and brokenness have a ripple effect on our children and communities. It's no wonder the Devil is working hard to tear apart marriages. He knows that when he pulls a family apart, he can destabilize our family's commitment to their faith. This is not at all to say that divorcees are not faithful believers, but it is to say that many times the hurt that comes from a split family can make it harder to pass on our values to the next generation.

When we focus separately and together on our commitment to Jesus, remaining faithful to our marriages becomes a higher priority. I am better equipped to see my husband through a grace-filled lens when I see him as a man divinely created and loved by God. When I know my husband is seeking the Lord, even if he fails me, I can trust that God will correct me when necessary. I don't have to be in charge of guarding my own heart; I can entrust some of that to the Lord.

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Friends together taking care of babies, it takes a village

4. We Choose Our Community Wisely and Remain Accountable to Others

Marriage does not happen in a vacuum. Who we surround ourselves with can make or break our union. Some important questions to consider when thinking about your community are the following:

-Do the people you spend your weekends with support your holy marriage union?

-Are they maintaining proper boundaries in their own relationships?

-Do they encourage you when you face marital distress?

-Do they share the same values?

-Can you be honest with your support system and ask them for prayer when things get difficult?

-Are you tempted by the relationship around you to stray from your marriage vows?

-Are drugs or alcohol used in excess with these friends?

Our culture is full of ideas that undercut the sanctity of marriage. Our close friends, married or single, can easily become stumbling blocks if we aren't cautious about who we invite into our inner circle. Choose wisely who you confide in, who you spend your time with, and who you ask for advice from. If you find yourself feeling tempted to cross lines with a friend, be honest with each other, and set up proper boundaries to help keep your marriage safe in every setting. More than anything, have people of faith to rely on. Life is full of challenges, and we need more than just each other to navigate them with grace.

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psychologist counselor counseling mental health therapy awareness

5. We Seek Help When It's Needed

There are many situations in which we need professional help or even need to separate from our spouses. In our marriage, we have gone to marriage counseling in several different seasons because we couldn't seem to find our way back to each other without the help of a professional. We have each gone to our own counselors when we faced especially difficult seasons of personal struggles. Seeking help is not giving up; it's fighting for what you have. It should not be our "last resort" but our first defense when we find ourselves in trying seasons. It's also okay to keep asking for help. Most issues don't resolve themselves overnight. It's not a one-and-done scenario. We have to commit to long-term health in our homes, which means going back over and over to mentors, counselors, and pastors to help us process our lives.

If you are in a marriage where you feel unsafe in any way, then it's important to get the help you need to remove yourself from that situation. God does not call us to be martyrs for the sake of our marriages. Sometimes the person we chose long ago was not at all who we thought they were and only are able to treat us in unhealthy ways. Other times the person we chose stops choosing us back, and as heartbreaking as that is, we cannot control the actions of others. We must be willing to let them go and find health and healing independently. Any abuse of any kind is not in God's best plan for you, and the best way to find health in your marriage is to set strong boundaries and find refuge away from your abuser with a loved one.

The answer to this question: Did I marry the wrong person? Is answered with another question: Am I continuing to be faithfully committed to our marriage, and will I choose to love the person my spouse has become? If you feel you have slid away from each other, think about how you can take steps to lean back in, relearn each other, and see your partner through Christ's eyes of grace. Also, don't wait to enlist help. Find a counselor that can help you find each other again. This marriage work is pretty much impossible when we rely solely on our strength, but with God on our side, all things are possible!

Related Resource:

Join Rob & Joanna Teigen on the FREE Growing Home Together Podcast each week, where they talk about what makes a strong marriage and wisdom in parenting. Listen to their episode on surviving the hardest days of marriage by clicking the play button below:

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Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.

Originally published Wednesday, 08 May 2024.