Question (from Facebook community): “Why did I get married when I knew I shouldn’t?”
In setting up this sweet little Facebook community of women who are struggling in their relationships, there have been several parallel circumstances. One of them is that many of us had a feeling that we shouldn’t have gotten married to the person we were about to get married to. And we are sitting here, all these years later, scratching our collective heads, trying to figure out why we did what we did.
Let me first make a distinction. I believe there is such a thing as cold feet. Something that I’m guessing every about-to-be-married person feels a twinge of to some degree before he or she commits to another person for the rest of their lives. You’d have to be a robot to not feel at least an inkling of “am I totally sure?!” because no one can see into the future. No one knows, really, what their vows fully mean until much time has passed. Marriage is a scary thing, no matter how great the pre-wedding relationship has been.
But then there’s this other feeling that my new friends and I, for the most part, say we felt. I had people tell me we weren’t a good fit. I had people tell me the amount of arguing we did wasn’t normal. (Side note: during our reception, if our guests wanted us to kiss, they had to come to the microphone and sing a song with the word “love” in it. This is what my college roommate – someone who had been witness to most of our courtship firsthand – sang to us, to the tune of “Jesus Loves Me”: Beth loves —, this I know/ Many times she told me so/ We stayed up so many nights/talking of their many fights/ Yes, Beth loves… You get the picture.)
And I didn’t just have people tell me. I felt a restlessness. I felt an unsettledness. I felt the absence of the smile of God on our relationship. I felt a peace when I was considering a future with another, and I felt a heaviness when I was considering a future with who I chose.
Never mind the fact that I practically had to beg to be proposed to. Both times. (We had had a broken engagement.)
I looked in the mirror, in my wedding gown, standing alone in the bride’s room, and knew. I knew I shouldn’t walk down the aisle but…
But what? Why did I have that feeling and then push through it anyway? I can’t speak for anyone but myself, but after years of asking myself this question, this is the best I can come up with.
I didn’t trust God.
I was desperate for a life that I had imagined. Husband, house, children, work that I loved which would include, at some point, staying home raising said imagined children. How would I get the house and children and the stay-at-home-mom life without the husband? And I was – dear Lord – like, 22! Practically ancient. An old maid! If the man in front of me didn’t marry me and if I didn’t marry him, odds are I would be alone for the rest of my life. Yes, I really deep down believed that.
I didn’t trust God to a) bring about the desires of my heart in his time and/or b) bring about something even better for me if he didn’t bring about what I thought I wanted. I didn’t trust God.
Let me say though that I did love my husband. I absolutely did. And when I took my vows, I meant them. I knew it was going to be hard going in (not the kind of hard it ended up being, but hard nonetheless) but I took those vows and intended to keep them until the day one of us died. No matter the pain I anticipated. (Who anticipates pain on their wedding day??)
I have hopefully learned my lesson. When people who love me warn me, I want to have the kind of heart that listens. When the Spirit inside me feels off, not right, unsettled, I want to be the kind of woman who heeds it, who surrenders her will. I want to be the kind of follower of Jesus who actually, really, truly trusts God with her heart, her life, her everything. From this day forward. If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.