“I married the wrong person!” So?

Novelty wedding cake
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WordPress’ “Freshly Pressed” feature recently had a blog post by Lori Lowe, who’s blog “Marriage Gems” focuses on “Research-based tips and insights.”

While I can’t vouch for the entire blog (this is my first exposure), I do like the article that was highlighted today: “We All Married the Wrong Person.” (For those who regularly stop by here for a little reading and link-following, please note that the post does include a little “common” language in one place; let the surfer beware!)  She has a follow up — probably due to the attention her WordPress featuring gave her — here: “More on Marrying the Wrong Person.”

From the perspective of someone who has talked to various couples about various marital issues, I think her points are good ones.  The idea that we all married the wrong person might seem a little extreme, but the thought — and exploring it — does help to dispel the idea that there is, out there, the ONE right person for us, and that if we didn’t marry that ONE, then our marriage is going to suffer.  Too many begin to find others outside their marriage to seem more tempting, thinking, “Well, if I had married him (or her) instead of the one I did, I’d sure be a lot happier!”  Statistics show that second marriages are even more likely to dissolve than first marriages, and this thinking is dangerous ground.

And the point made in the post that many people today will give their children more tolerance and acceptance than they will their spouse — even when their children are worse to them — is a point I hadn’t considered before.  How many treat their commitment to their spouse as something lower and less sacred and less deserving of effort than their commitment to their children?

Best advice in almost all cases: making the marriage we are in now work.  Stop wondering if you married the right person and start focusing on how to be the right person in the marriage you have.  Clearly, there is a lot more that could be said about that, but if we can learn to start with that mindset it is often amazing what can be achieved.  If we can’t learn to have that mindset, it will be amazing if achieve anything at all.

I am thankful to be a part of a Church that understands that and that hews to the biblical commands and guidelines concerning marriage and divorce.  But the presence of commands and guidelines is only helpful to us if we actually follow them.  And I am thankful, as well, to be a part of a Church that encourages relationship counseling before engagement and marriage, to help both parties look at the future they are about to commit to with both eyes wide open (as opposed to the “eyes wide shut, hormone glands wide open” approach that is so popular these days).  Marriage is the second greatest commitment of our entire lives.  It should be treated as such.

6 thoughts on ““I married the wrong person!” So?

  1. Leona D

    Speaking of marriage, did you see that Lady Gaga has completed (or is working on completing) an online course to become an ordained minister? Apparently, she wants to be able to perform marriages on stage at her concerts – particularly, homosexual marriages. Talk about the insaneness of our world. “Marriage” doesn’t stand for much in it anymore.

    [I know this comment is off topic from your post, so feel free not to publish it. I just saw it in the same batch of tweets as the one for this post, and couldn’t help commenting on it.]

  2. I saw the listing of that WordPress blog and almost went to it, but I have rather more to do than answer the blogs of strangers for the moment.

    You may find this interesting for its own sake. Dr. David Kiersey, a specialist in temperament and personality type studies, has examined the various kinds of relationships that occur between the 16 Myers-Briggs types. While (as he and others note) any two mature people of any two types can have a successful relationship, it’s been his experience that the so-called Pedagogue relationship is the best one for marriage. (Again, please note, this is a general trend and not a panacea, by his own admission.) Thus (for example) an ENFP like me would theoretically do best with an INTJ, and our pastor and his wife happen to have that very pairing. Indeed there seems to be a disproportionate number of successful married couples I know even in the Church who have Pedagogue pairings. On the other hand, some of the sweetest couples I know are ENFP/ENFP, one of the 16 Identity pairings. My own girlfriends over the years probably have been fellow ENFPs disproportionately.

    While there are risks in overgeneralization and probably the distortions in sexual ethics differ from era to era and country to country, for a good while in the U.S. the ENFP longing for “ideal” relationships seems to have dominated our culture’s view of what “romance” is all about. Sorry about that, but we’re also disproportionately represented in the media, including (so I am told by a counselor in Los Angeles) among Hollywood screen writers. We need as much as any other type an understanding of how God can use us to benefit others rather than trying to impose our particular brand of natural extremism on the rest of the world.

  3. Marriage is not only a full time commitment, its a partnership in all aspects of your journey together. Relationships are build not born, I think what happens in two many instances is that we have too much of a unrealistic expectation of our mate and when they do not lived up to our expectations we feel dispointment and then it happens, We begin to doubt our decision, should I have married this person? We all need room to grow in life’s up’s and down’s. We should give our partner the change to do just that.

    LCG-M
    Arlene

  4. amanda

    The comment about hormones playing a role in how relationships are forged is very insightful. I’ll admit that I totally had a crush on my husband…and for like three years after we got married. After a few more years and having a couple kiddos we have really needed to monitor and adjust how we interact. I do find it tough sometimes that the *hormones* aren’t so prevalent. But we look to the commitment we made and it keeps our midnight oil burning. Just this morning I made him stop and talk to me, since the beginning of the week can be the busiest and more emotionally draining. It turned into one of those moments that make us remember why we are so in love — we giggled about a few of his students and the success of his lesson. It may seem like something really querky to fall in love over, but we did it and I hope we keep doing it over and over again.

  5. Marriage is not only a full time commitment, its a partnership in all aspects of your journey together. Relationships are build not born, I think what happens in two many instances is that we have too much of a unrealistic expectation of our mate and when they do not lived up to our expectations we feel disappointment and then it happens, We begin to doubt our decision, should I have married this person? We all need room to grow in life’s up’s and down’s. We should give our partner the change to do just that.

    LCG-M
    Arlene

  6. Thinker

    This may be off topic..
    I wonder how it was back in the Old Testament times when people lived to be 800 as far as marriage. How was it to be married to the same person for 700 years? They may not all have lived the right way and there could have been divorces and unfaithfulness. But what if some did stay with the same person for hundreds of years.

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