3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married

I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married.

Marriage is great—but it rocked everything I knew. I quickly realized my basic goal in life, prior to getting married, was to simply remain undisturbed.

This “disruption” came suddenly and was disguised as a 5-foot-nothing Swedish-Filipino woman. When I decided I’d rather not live without her, I proceeded to ask her to marry me—that is, to officially invite someone who wasn’t me to be in my personal space for the rest of my life.

This decision introduced my most significant experiences and most challenging experiences—none of which I would trade for the world.

However, I wish I’d had a bit more insight on the front end of our marriage to help me navigate it all.

According to most research, more than 50 percent of people who say “I do” will not be sleeping in the same bed eight years from now. And though Scripture alludes to the fact that adultery and abuse may be reasons individuals might end a marriage, I’d be willing to bet that most challenges experienced in marriage are the result of unawareness. Most people—myself included—jump into marriage with suitcases full of misconceptions and bad theology, entirely unaware of the unique beauty and paradoxical intentions of marriage.

Although happiness is often a very real byproduct of a healthy relationship, marriage has a far more significant purpose in sight.

The following are three thoughts on marriage that friends and mentors have shared with me. I remind myself of them often in hopes of keeping this anomaly called marriage both enjoyable and healthy.

1. Marriage is not about living happily ever after.

Here’s the truth: I get annoyed at my wife. But this is more a reflection of me than her.

I’m intensely certain that nothing in life has ever made me more angry, frustrated or annoyed than my wife. Inevitably, just when I think I’ve given all I can possibly give, she somehow finds a way to ask for more.

The worst part of it all is that her demands aren’t unreasonable. One day she expects me to stay emotionally engaged. The next, she's looking for me to validate the way that she feels. The list goes on—but never ventures far from things she perfectly well deserves as a wife.

Unfortunately for her, deserving or not, her needs often compete with my self-focus. I know it shouldn’t be this way, but I am selfish and stubborn and, overall, human.

I once read a book that alluded to the idea that marriage is the fire of life—that somehow it’s designed to refine all our dysfunction and spur us into progressive wholeness. In this light, contrary to popular opinion, the goal of marriage is not happiness. And although happiness is often a very real byproduct of a healthy relationship, marriage has a far more significant purpose in sight. It is designed to pull dysfunction to the surface of our lives, set it on fire and help us grow.

When we’re willing to see it this way, then the points of friction in our marriages quickly become gifts that consistently invite us into a more whole and fulfilling experience of life.

2. The more you give to marriage, the more it gives back.

Over the past year, a few friends and I have had an open conversation about the highs and lows of marriage—specifically how to make the most of the high times and avoid the low ones. Along the way, we happened upon a derailing hypothesis that goes something like this: If one makes their husband or wife priority number one, all other areas of life benefit.

When we return marriage to its rightful place in our priorities, it can quickly turn into the greatest asset to every other layer of our lives.

It’s a disorienting claim. Disorienting, because it protests my deeper persuasion that success as an entrepreneur, or any professional, requires that career takes the throne of my priorities and remain there for, at the very least, a couple of years.

However, seeing that my recent pattern of caring about work over marriage had produced little more than paying bills and a miserable wife, I figured giving the philosophy a test drive couldn’t hurt.

For 31 days, I intentionally put my wife first over everything else, and then I tracked how it worked. I created a metric for these purposes, to mark our relationship as priority, and then my effectiveness in all other areas of my life on the same scale, including career productivity and general quality of life.

To my surprise, a month later, I had a chart of data and a handful of ironic experiences to prove that the more you give to marriage, the more it gives back.

Notably, on the days my wife genuinely felt valued, I observed her advocating for me to invest deeply in to my work. She no longer saw our relationship and my career pursuits as competitors for my attention, and as she partnered with me in my career, I have experienced the benefits of having the closest person in my life champion me.

Of course, marriage requires sacrifice. And sometimes it will feel as if it takes and takes. However, when we return marriage to its rightful place in our priorities, it can quickly turn from something we have to maintain and sacrifice for into the greatest asset to every other layer of our lives.

3. Marriage can change the world.

John Medina, the author of Brain Rules and a Christian biologist, is often approached by men looking for the silver bullet of fathering. In one way or another, they all come around to asking, “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father?”

Medina's answer alludes to a surprising truth.

In my previously mentioned experiment, I measured the effect that making my marriage priority number one had on different areas of my life. One of those areas was my 16-month-old son’s behavior.

What I found in simply charting my observations was that the majority of the time, my child’s behavior was directly affected by the level of intention I invested in my marriage.

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Re-enter John Medina, the Christian biologist. After years of biological research and several books on parenting conclusions, what is his answer to the question, “What’s the most important thing I can do as a father”?

“Go home and love your wife.”

Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam, the authors of Babywise, say it this way: “A healthy marriage creates an infused stability within the family and a haven of security for a child in their development process.” They go on to sum up their years of research by saying, “In the end, great marriages produce great parents.”

The point is that marriage has a higher goal than to make two people happy or even whole. Yes, the investment we make into our marriage pays dividends for us. But, concluded by Medina and his colleagues, the same investment also has significant implications for our family, our community and eventually our culture.

So men, women, the next time you find yourself dreaming about living significantly or succeeding in your career or being a better parent than yours were to you, do the world a favor: Go home and love your wife. Go home and and love your husband.

231 Comments

steven.clara.75

GREETINGS....................Am STEVEN CLARA i live in UK and i got married to KEVIN STEVEN , i want to share my great testimony on how DR.IMONAH the great love spell caster that brought back my Husband with in 48 hours .I was married with KEVIN STEVEN for six years, after six years of marriage ,he broke up with me because of his mistress , I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything i have, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to a female friend of mine and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it,then I meant a spell caster called DR IMONAH and I email him on his first mail and did not reply and then i was so lucky that i was that his number was attach to the testimony i show so i called him and explained to him that i write to him before on his mail on gmail and he told me that he do not use that mail again and he gave me his new mail (drimonahspiritualtemple@yahoo.com )and told to write to him true the mail , so i did so and explained my problems to him when writing to he on the email he gave to me , and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before 48 hours , that my husband will return to me when i contacted DR.IMONAH i never taught that this would have been possible but to my greatest surprise after 48 hours of me contacting DR.IMONAH my husband called me , I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he is ready to make up for lost time and he wants me to forgive him and accept him back as his wife again ,that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then While until this moment my eyes are full of surprise because i never thought that he will come back to me again. At this moment i have nothing to say than to thank DR.IMONAH for his great powers and for making use of it to help those in need so since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem or any family problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all other spell casters. contact him now via email:( drimonahspiritualtemple@yahoo.com) or call him with his number (+2347010648910). If you have any other problems he can help you just contact him and explain your problems to him and he will solve it for you , he is very powerful..

Miller Moore

OMG!! This is certainly a shocking and a genuine Testimony..I visited a forum here on the internet on the 20TH OF JUNE 2014, And i saw a marvelous testimony of this powerful and great spell caster called DR OSAUYI on the forum..I never believed it, because i never heard nor learnt anything about magic before.. Not a soul would have been able to influence me about magical spells, not until DR OSAUYI did it for me and restored my marriage of 8 years back to me and brought my spouse back to me in the same 24 hours just as i read on the internet..i was truly astonished and shocked when my husband knelt down begging for forgiveness and for me to accept him back.. I am really short of expressions, and i don't know how much to convey my appreciation to you DR OSAUYI you are a God sent to me and my entire family.. And now i am a joyful woman once again.. here is his website: Email: OSAUYILOVESPELL@OUTLOOK.COM OR CALL +2347064294395 Mrs Miller Moore from England City.(http://osauyilovespelll.webs.com/).

steven.clara.75

GREETINGS....................Am STEVEN CLARA i live in UK and i got married to KEVIN STEVEN , i want to share my great testimony on how DR.IMONAH the great love spell caster that brought back my Husband with in 48 hours .I was married with KEVIN STEVEN for six years, after six years of marriage ,he broke up with me because of his mistress , I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything i have, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to a female friend of mine and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don’t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it,then I meant a spell caster called DR IMONAH and I email him on his first mail and did not reply and then i was so lucky that i was that his number was attach to the testimony i show so i called him and explained to him that i write to him before on his mail on gmail and he told me that he do not use that mail again and he gave me his new mail (drimonahspiritualtemple@yahoo.com )and told to write to him true the mail , so i did so and explained my problems to him when writing to he on the email he gave to me , and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before 48 hours , that my husband will return to me when i contacted DR.IMONAH i never taught that this would have been possible but to my greatest surprise after 48 hours of me contacting DR.IMONAH my husband called me , I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he is ready to make up for lost time and he wants me to forgive him and accept him back as his wife again ,that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then While until this moment my eyes are full of surprise because i never thought that he will come back to me again. At this moment i have nothing to say than to thank DR.IMONAH for his great powers and for making use of it to help those in need so since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem or any family problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all other spell casters. contact him now via email:( drimonahspiritualtemple@yahoo.com) or call him with his number (+2347010648910). If you have any other problems he can help you just contact him and explain your problems to him and he will solve it for you , he is very powerful......

marianmartins123

My Name is Marian martins,i am here to testify of the good works of Dr prophet Adefemi.2 years ago,my husband left home,he never returned ,no phone call,no letters,no emails ,no sign of him anywhere.my son got sick ,so ill,things were so tough for me.i had lost hope.About a year ago,i met a psychic, he said he would help me,i paid over $700 and still nothing happened,i lost hope completely.my son's situation got worse each day.Last Month i saw a posting concerning the good works of the temple professionals. i gave them a try.i paid about $400,for all three spells(bring lover back,healing spells and career spells).within 2weeks,my husband called me and told me he was sorry and that he wants to come back to me and that he would explain everything when he comes back,three days later i got a new job with an Oil company,as i speak.my son's condition is getting better each day and i trust he would be well in a matter of days.i Want to thank dr Prophet Adefemi spell caster.To those out their passing through problems you can contact him via prophetadefemiolu@gmail.com

rosemary.preston.121

My Name is Rosemary Preston from Manchester..I never believed in Love Spells or Magics until I met this special spell caster DR EHINOMEN when i went to Africa to Execute some business..He is really powerful..My husband divorce me with no reason for almost 4 years and i tried all i could to have him back cos i really love him so much but all my effort did not work out.. we met at our early age at the college and we both have feelings for each other and we got married happily for 5 years with no kid and he woke up one morning and he told me he’s going on a divorce..i thought it was a joke and when he came back from work he tender to me a divorce letter saying that is over between us .i ran mad and i tried all i could to have he back but all did not work out..i was lonely for almost 4 years…So when i told DR EHINOMEN what happened he said he will help me..At first i was skeptical but i gave it a try…so when he finished with the readings,he got back to me that my husband with a woman and shes the reason why he left me…The spell caster said he will help me with a spell that will make him know how much i love and care about him, after that he will surely come back to me.…he told me i will see a positive result within 3 days..3 days later,surprisingly he called me on cell phone apologizing to me..I cant believe this,it was like a dream cos..but at first i acted as woman so angry when he came to the house, but we later settled.DR EHINOMEN The spell caster is so powerful and after that he helped me with a pregnancy spell and I got pregnant a month later..we are now happy been together again and with lovely kids..This spell caster has really changed my life and i will forever thankful to him..he has helped many friends too with similar problem too and they are happy and thankful to him..This man is indeed the most powerful spell caster have ever experienced in life..Am Posting this to the Forum in case there is anyone who has similar problem and still looking for a way out.......HIS CONTACT EMAIL:drehinomenoracle@gmail.com thanks to you Dr Ehinomen.

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