I think almost every spouse wonders if they married the wrong person at some point in marriage. As for me, I know I did for a number of years.
We tend to get married with a whole lot of expectations about what our spouses will do for us, how they will treat us, and how wonderful life will be.
When marriage exposes sin in our spouse’s life (or our own), as marriage is quite prone to do, it can be really painful. Or if our spouse disappoints us and doesn’t fulfill our expectations, we may feel devastated.
We might think things at some point in our married life like:
- How could God have let me marry this guy?
- This is not the man I thought I was marrying.
- I was so naive before we got married! I should have seen the red flags!!?!
- Why did I marry this man?
- Did I make the wrong choice?
- I feel trapped!
- I married the wrong person!
Maybe we buy the culture’s dreamy idea that there is a perfect soul mate out there who would never hurt us, always understand us, and always make us feel loved.
And we might think our husbands have to be the problem. If only we had a better guy, everything would be perfect!
There are times when we truly may have married the wrong person.
- Chose a guy who was clearly not a believer. Even though God’s Word said we are only to marry someone who is “in the Lord.”
- Thought we could change our man if only we loved him enough.
- Assumed a guy was a believer in Christ because “He goes to church, so I’m sure he is a Christian.”
- Married before we came to know the Lord. Maybe the qualities that attracted us before marriage are things that are not very attractive now that we are saved.
- Rushed into marriage without really knowing the man we were going to marry and made a lot of incorrect assumptions about his character.
- Didn’t know about a lot of hidden sin in our husband’s life before we got married. Because if only we had known, we would never have married this guy.
Ultimately, we all marry the wrong person to some degree.
All people have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Being married to a sinner is painful. We hurt each other and ourselves. People, including us, do things we shouldn’t do. And we break God’s heart, too.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23
Every human will eventually fail us. No human spouse will always love us unconditionally or treat us with respect like they should. That is reality.
Some will fall short of God’s design for a spouse more than others. But no one will reach the mark perfectly.
There is only one person who will never fail us, never forsake us, and who will never be unfaithful to His vows to us in any way— that is Jesus Christ. He is the only one who can truly meet our deepest needs for love, acceptance, security, purpose, and identity.
Jesus IS love, itself, after all.
Each of us is also the wrong person
Truthfully, we fail our spouses sometimes, too. Sometimes we intentionally hurt our husbands. Other times, we don’t even realize we are causing them pain—but we do. I sure hurt my husband a lot for years and didn’t even know it!
Or we may just have unrealistic or unbiblical expectations or toxic ways of thinking that leave us feeling resentful and unloved.
Sometimes, it is very tempting to idolize our husbands. To expect them to be responsible for our happiness.
We think that if we are married, we will always feel loved and always feel happy. We can be tempted to base our feelings of security and identity on fleeting emotions.
Pain can be an opportunity for us to see the fatal flaws in our own character and to realize we need help desperately.
What can you do if you feel like you married the wrong person?
Once we are married, it is clearly God’s will for us to seek to build that marriage. Even if we started out on shaky ground. Now we are in a holy covenant with God and our husband that should last a lifetime.
But just because marriage is hard doesn’t mean we need to give up. And, let’s be honest, marriage can be very difficult! Especially if we are using our own wisdom or the world’s wisdom as our foundation.
It may be that God wants to use our marriage pain and trials to help us grow to be more like Christ. He can also use it to teach us to depend more on Him and to live in the power of His Spirit (our new nature in Christ) instead of in our own strength.
He may even have miracles in store to heal our marriages if we decide to trust Him and do things His way.
Marriage is one of God’s greatest sanctifying tools in our lives.
There are a few options if you are experiencing the pain of marrying the wrong person:
- First thing no matter what else you do: Receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior and let Him completely transform your heart, mind, and soul by His power. Let Him heal you and give you a new nature in Christ. Put on your new identity in Christ.
- Decide that you are going to work on becoming the spouse and person God calls you to be. Deal with any sin in your life. Invite Him to heal your marriage, too.
- Purpose to honor your marriage covenant and vows and stay even though it is hard. Examine God’s purpose for marriage. Address your spouse’s sin issues in a way that honors the Lord with the goal of seeking healing for both of you and for your marriage.
- Reach out for help from experienced, trustworthy sources outside of your marriage if you have significant issues like abuse, unrepentant adultery, uncontrolled mental health issues, addictions, etc… Choose your counselors, doctors, and resources wisely. Please reach out for help from the police, if you or your children are not safe.
- Prayerfully consider separation if you address significant issues with your spouse and he refuses to repent and rebuild trust or if you or your children are not safe.
- Let an unbelieving spouse go if they decide to go or if they are being unfaithful or they abandon you.
(Our homes and families should be the safest places in the world. I don’t want anyone to be unsafe.)
Do you feel like you married the wrong person? Have you experienced the healing of Christ in your marriage since then? We’d love to hear about it.
Do you need prayer and encouragement? We’d love to hear from you, too.
Should a Christian Wife Consider Separation?
Handling an Unwanted Divorce with Christlikeness
Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down
What Are Biblical Grounds for Divorce? by Got Questions
What Is Lordship Salvation? by Got Questions
The ABC’s of Salvation
A = Admit you are a sinner and you can’t be perfect and holy enough in God’s eyes to be right with Him on your own. Turn away from your sin.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23
B = Believe that Jesus (God in the flesh) died on your behalf to pay the price for your sin and to give you a way to be right with God – to be forgiven. He lived the perfect life you couldn’t live.
He died the death you deserve and rose from the dead in victory over sin, death, and the grave on your behalf!
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Rom. 6:23
C = Confess that Jesus is your Lord – this means, Jesus is now your Master and you live your life for Him and His glory rather than for yourself.
You say it out loud to others and you live it from now on. You lay down your will and your desires and follow Him, inviting Him to direct and use your life for His will.
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with your heart you believe and are justified, and with your mouth you confess and are saved.” Rom. 10:9-10
If you think you may have a lot to work on in your side of the marriage, this book may be a blessing. It has all the baby steps the Lord showed me as I began my journey to seek to be a godly woman and wife.
What shocked me most was how much peace I have had in my life since I let God be on the throne and I want to do things His way instead of my way.
I’ve felt this way for much of my marriage. My husband and I fought constantly for 2 years then we got a divorce. My husband just gave up and left. But God got ahold of me and I worked on myself and prayed for my husband to return to the Lord and our marriage. After 2 years of divorce my husband came back and we remarried. Our marriage is much better now than it was but I’ve still dealt with my husband’s addictions and I’ve been hurt. I’ve asked God so many times “Why?” I’ve asked myself so many times “Why didn’t I see the red flags?!”
Lately the peace I have found is in completely surrendering my husband to the Lord and trusting Him with everything, and knowing that it is my joy and calling to carry out my marriage vows until death do us part. I rejoice in my husband’s changes and continue to pray God’s love and blessings on him. I also repent of making my husband my idol and find total contentment in knowing Jesus is enough. It is freeing!
Wow. Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. I’m so glad you decided to seek the Lord and pray. And I am glad to hear that you are back together. It’s difficult to imagine how challenging things must have been with addictions. People are not in their right mind when they have major addictions. It can make marriage and trust very hard. I pray that if you need to reach out for experienced, trustworthy help that the Lord will lead the way and help you find the resources you need.
I’m so thankful that you are experiencing God’s peace and that you are seeing changes and healing in your husband. That sounds wonderful.
Yes, getting rid of idols and deciding to trust God completely is very freeing and such a source of peace.
Praying for the Lord’s healing, blessing, transformation, and miracles for you, your husband, and your family, dear sister.
I can definitely relate to these feelings sometimes! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if my husband sometimes has these feelings as well!
Recently I’ve come to realise that there is a lot of sin in my life that I didn’t even realise was sin (if that makes sense). I thought I was being a loving and supportive wife but I realise now that I have actually been very controlling towards my husband and idolising him. I have been expecting him to make me feel happy and to build up my self-esteem and to always make me feel loved and appreciated.
I feel I have let my husband down in a lot of ways. There is a lot of hurt and anxiety in our relationship right now. I would really appreciate prayer over our situation.
I am sure my husband and I both felt this way earlier in our marriage. But I am SO glad we didn’t give up!
Yes, that makes sense. That is exactly what happened to me! You can read about the things God revealed to me that I was doing that hurt my husband in this post.
I thought I was a great, loving, Christian wife for over 14 years. I had no idea that I was actually deeply wounding my husband and that he didn’t feel emotionally safe with me. Because… he wasn’t emotionally safe with me.
I was very controlling toward Greg and idolized him, too. I expected him to be responsible for my happiness and if I wasn’t happy, it had to be his fault.
When I saw all of this, I repented to God and to my husband and decided I wanted to get rid of all of my awful ways and wanted to do things God’s way from then on. That was in 2008. This blog and my book, The Peaceful Wife, are all about what I learned and how God graciously began to change, heal, and transform me. And then how He slowly began to heal my husband, Greg, and our marriage.
I have resources on almost any topic you can imagine relating to all of these issues. So if you need anything, please let me know.
What is your relationship with Jesus at this time, dear friend?
We lift up Jess and her husband to You. Thank You that You are helping her to see that she has been hurting her husband and marriage. Thank You that You offer her a big lifeline and that You are able to heal the huge messes we make when we turn to You. I pray for Your wisdom for her and for her to yield to Your Lordship. I invite You to do all that You want to do in her life, her husband’s life, their marriage, and their family for Your glory.
Thank You for loving us more than we can imagine. Thank You for Jesus making a way for us to be set free from our old sinful nature that is so destructive. Thank You that You offer us a new life in Christ with a new nature and Your wisdom. Thank You that, in Jesus, we don’t have to be slaves to our old ways any more and that You can heal and bless us as we seek You first.
We love and thank and praise You for all You have done, are doing, and will do in Jess’s life and marriage.
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and for your prayer April!
I discovered your website a few weeks ago and have been reading your blogs. I truly believe The Lord led me here. It is so reassuring to know I’m not alone!
My relationship with Jesus is not very healthy at the moment. I struggle greatly to accept the truth that He loves me unconditionally despite my many, many failings. I am weighed down with the feeling that I am somehow beyond redemption. I do pray and read my Bible but not as often as I should. I struggle to approach God in prayer because I know I am guilty of sin and the feelings of guilt can be overwhelming.
You are most welcome here. I try to provide the kinds of resources and information I wish I had when I began my journey in December of 2008 and was completely and utterly clueless about how to fix my end of our broken marriage.
You are definitely not alone. There are probably millions of wives in very similar situations. I have walked beside thousands of women with similar problems here over the past 9 years, myself.
A lot of us ladies struggle with lies about God, other people, and ourselves. That is where our dysfunctional ways come from. Skewed thinking that we often developed as kids that isn’t built on the truth of God but rather on the toxic lies of our enemy.
I think sometimes if we didn’t have a really strong, godly dad, it can be hard to imagine God’s love and goodness. We have a tendency to subconsciously expect God to treat us the way we perceive that our earthly dads did. And we get warped thinking in other ways, too.
But the bottom line is, you can do exactly what I did.
I was completely mortified when I saw the wretchedness of my sin and how filthy my life, motives, heart, and soul were. I had thought I had so much goodness in myself. But all that self-righteousness was just “bloody, filthy menstrual rags” in God’s eyes (Isa. 64:6). There was absolutely nothing good in me. I brought ZERO merit. ZERO redeeming qualities. All I could bring was my mess, my sin, my pain, my broken marriage, and my grief over my sin.
This is the first step we all must take in our faith journey. Jesus described it as being “poor in spirit.” It is where we realize our depravity and sinfulness and that our sin debt is, essentially, like trillions of dollars, and we don’t even have 5 cents in our pockets.
But that is not where we stay!
So we mourn and grieve over our sin. Jesus spoke of that, too. Blessed are they who mourn. Our pastor explained that the Be-Attitudes in the Sermon on the Mount describe the progression of the Christian life. It was a really neat message.
We see that we desperately need a Savior. That we can’t save ourselves. We lay down all of our pride. Our thinking that we can be good enough. That is the BAD news.
And we acknowledge who Jesus is. This is the GOOD part! The GOOD NEWS!
Jesus is God incarnate. God in the flesh. He left glory in heaven and came and lived the completely perfect life that none of us could possibly live. He kept all the Law of the Old Testament perfectly in His thoughts, motives, words, and actions every moment of every day for His entire life. He was the perfect Passover Lamb of God.
Then He willingly gave His life and died the horrific death we deserved for our sins. He took our place in death and took every single sin of yours (and mine and everyone on the planet) on Himself and took the entire wrath of God against that sin on Himself. He died in our place as a substitute.
There is no sin that Jesus’ blood can’t cover. His blood covered the Apostle Paul’s sins of persecuting, imprisoning, and murdering Christians. His blood covered Mary’s sins, the woman who poured perfume on His feet the night before He was crucified. She had been a prostitute. His blood covered the sins of the man who wrote Amazing Grace who had been a slave trader. His blood can cover ANY sin.
And if I think that Jesus’ blood is inadequate to cover my sin, I am believing a lie. Jesus’ blood satisfied God the Father. Our debt was PAID IN FULL on the cross by Jesus.
If I think Jesus is too weak to be able to cover my sin I don’t understand who Jesus is! I have a tiny, wimpy, impotent picture of Jesus if that is what I think.
What you are experiencing is called “worldly sorrow” in the Bible. It leads to death.
What God wants us to experience is called “godly sorrow.” It leads to repentance and new life in Jesus.
So what do you do?
1. You lay out all your sin before the Lord in your mind and heart maybe even write it in your journal and imagine laying it before Jesus.
2. You agree with God that it is wrong and evil and toxic. That these things fall short of God’s standard of holy perfection.
3. You agree with God that Jesus went to the cross and completely paid for your enormous sin debt on the cross and that His blood and sacrifice was completely acceptable to God, so who are you to think that Jesus’ blood was not enough?
4. You ask God to forgive you for all of that sin and you turn away from it to Jesus as your Savior and LORD of your life.
5. You thank Him and praise Him that His Word is true and that what He did was enough. MORE than enough to cover your sin.
6. You ask God to help you tear out lies and toxic ways of thinking and ask Him to help you build your life on His Word and His truth alone.
7. You yield your life to His leadership and Lordship from now on. You imagine getting off of the throne of your life and inviting Jesus to sit there.
8. You invite Him to examine all the darkest places of your heart and mind with the blazing light of His Spirit and His Word and you invite Him to help you tear out all the sinful stuff.
9. You let Him fill you with His power and your new nature in Christ so you can begin to walk in increasing victory over sin by the very power of Jesus living in you.
I have tons of resources on all of this stuff. My book, The Peaceful Mom, goes through it and all the foundational spiritual things you need to get your life on a strong, biblical, firm foundation.
Then you give yourself grace and you forgive yourself. The Judge you will stand before at the end of your life is Jesus. And if you are in Him, there is GOOD NEWS:
There is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus!
Please read Romans 8! Receive every truth for yourself.
Read the Bible and receive the words as if they are just for you straight from the Lord. Because they are!
A few more resources:
See if you recognize any of Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced” target=”_blank”>these lies in your life:
See if you have opened the door to the enemy and need to shut it ASAP.
If you need more encouragement or resources, I am here!
I’m praying for you tonight.
And here are just some of the many incredible blessings you have if you belong to Jesus.
It’s a lot to wrap our heads around.
We are more sinful than we could imagine.
And yet God has sacrificed Himself and died for us on our behalf so we can be with Him in right standing, again.
There is no greater love!
And we are created in His image.
We have eternal value and worth because God made us and loves us.
And, in Christ, we get to share in His divine nature, His heavenly authority, His communion withe the Father, His love, His sufferings, His power, and His glory. We get to be joint-heirs with Jesus to a heavenly reward and eternal future we can’t begin to fathom.
Jesus is the greatest Treasure in all the universe. He offers Himself freely to us. Then we receive Him and offer ourselves freely to Him. <3
Glory to God! I would like to connect with some women that overcame painful situation, because I’m really struggling in my marriage.:(
Thank you, April for responding to Jess and what a beautiful response it was not only for her but for me. As I have been going through the renewing of my own marriage, I realize that there was still sin hidden in my heart that I thought I had repented of, but not so much. The response that you have given was so encouraging and helpful to see where the Lord needs me. . . right here, reading these blogs and comments. Every time He is making progress changing me and my marriage, I get distracted by something that I believe is led by Him (another article, or a break, or believing in a lie) He reminds me in dreams that I’m off course again. This time it took a week to realize where thee other time took a year. Anyways, I will continue to stay the course and am thankful that God has led me to your blog and YT channel. Thank you.
I’m so glad that was a blessing.
Isn’t it amazing how God is able to give us what we need when we need it? He is SOO good!
A week is a big improvement over a year!
Thank you so much for your response and for your prayers. I read Romans 8 as you suggested and really took it to heart. I have a lot of work to do but I know The Lord will sustain me through this season and beyond. I have been so encouraged reading your testimony and hearing from other women who have shared their experiences on this site.
I have just ordered your book The Peaceful Mom and will be ordering The Peaceful Wife as soon as it is back in stock on The Book Depository website. I’m looking forward to making some positive changes in myself and in the life of my marriage!
What wonderful news! I am thrilled that you are receiving God’s Word as though it is personally for you—because, it is!
I praise and thank God that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. And I pray that the books and blog posts will be a great blessing from God in your life and in your family.
I’m honored to walk beside you on this amazing journey. Please do reach out any time.
And Happy Easter! He is risen!
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