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!
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.
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.