Are you waiting for a marriage miracle? Sometimes we can get so frustrated by our spouses that we wonder how in the world we're supposed to stay together, let alone grow our marriages. In fact, maybe you've been so frustrated with your spouse for so long that you're wondering how to save your marriage from divorce.
I've been in that terrible place of waiting for my husband to change. I know that pain of wishing that your spouse could be different in certain areas. Marriage relationships can be filled with unmet expectations, and those emotions can be extremely painful when we're desperately waiting for a spouse to change.
Can I share my story with you? Of course I don't know the reasons why you're frustrated with your spouse or even bored with your marriage, but I want to help you discover more about how you can have a marriage miracle (even if your spouse never changes).
In fact, I want to share with you how waiting for the miracle often brings the miracle we’re so earnestly seeking.
The Marriage Miracle I Was Desperate For
I am an extrovert. I love excitement and crowds. Being around people fills me up, and my ideal day involves lots and lots of conversation! I also wear my heart on my sleeve and can pretty much share an opinion on everything.
Not so for my husband. He enjoys quiet and solitude. He's not nearly as social as I am. And it can be really, really hard for him to share his emotions.
When we were dating (and in the early years of our marriage) I loved this strong-and-silent side to him. He was (and still is) and excellent listener, which came in handy for this girl who has the gift of gab.
But then we started having kids. Life got busy and full, and as a wife I needed conversation and soul connection to counteract the demands of motherhood. My husband, on the other hand, needed more space to process and analyze.
Slowly our marriage relationship began to weaken as we invested more of ourselves in our kids and our marriage. This left me aching and hurting. I could feel the distance between us (especially in the area of romance) but had no idea what to do about it. He seemed oblivious to it all (surprised, even) when I brought it up, which of course increased my frustration.
I was scared and frightened, not understanding why our marriage had cooled so dramatically. I needed him to share with me more, and I couldn't understand why he couldn't just “fix” this part of himself. That's when the vicious cycle would begin.
Forcing the Marriage Miracle to Happen
Like I shared, my soul is fed by deep conversation and intentional time together. So, I often found myself wishing that my husband responded in a certain way when I said something; or that, sometimes, he even responded at all.
My way to deal with the pain I was feeling? I told him about this. A lot.
Which lead to a lot of wasted time talking and talking through issues that never got resolved.
I knew that he loved me deeply. But in my mind, I felt our marriage could be so much better if he just loved me in this certain way.
I felt that it was my job to tell my husband how to love me and to almost demand it, especially during the times when my soul felt especially depleted
Have you ever felt this way too? Do you find yourself so desperate for a marriage miracle that you find yourself trying to force it to happen?
But here was the most difficult part: My husband—the good, teachable man that he is—would nod his head and agree that the change needed to happen.
So my soul would get excited and anticipatory. “Yes! This was the moment! The miracle that would make us have a perfect marriage was about to occur!” My heart would soar at the possibility.
But then came the crushing blow: I would see a slight change (hallellujah!), and then a slow petering off to normal again.
And all too quickly I was back in the situation I was before—feeling mostly-but-not-quite fulfilled by our marriage and wondering why my husband didn't change.
Except this time my heart was a little more jaded and weary. And I found myself ripe for disillusionment, disappointment and even at risk for an emotional affair.
I saw this cycle repeat itself over and over. And I was just tired of it! I knew I had a good man, but I still had those moments when I was just not content in marriage.
Several months ago, these emotions were at their height and I felt like I was at a crossroads. I needed to make a decision.
The Moment I Discovered Our Marriage Miracle
It took some time, but I found some clarity through the emotions and figured out that yes, a marriage miracle was possible. And this marriage miracle was something that needed to start with my own attitude and perspective.
Of course he wasn't perfect. But my current way of solving the ache I felt–being angry at him, withholding my love or treating him coldly–wasn't going to bring about the change in my spouse or any sort of marriage miracle. In fact, all it was doing was slowly destroying our marriage (and I was solely to blame for that).
I knew that I had to take a new perspective on all that I was feeling—my lack of contentment, my disappointment, my sadness for what “could be” and wasn’t—or the consequences could be disastrous.
Was my need to be fulfilled in this way by my husband work risking my entire marriage relationship and our stable family unit?
What if instead I could I learn to see (with new eyes) how he was already showing me love in his own way? What if instead I could I stop demanding that he love me only in the way that I thought he should and accept his love for how he chose to give it?
I decided that although my emotions and my needs were real, the miraculous change of acceptance needed to happen in me before anything else occurred.
This was the wonderful man that God had given me, and I needed to accept him as-is (as God accepted him). As his wife, my job wasn’t to change him or “make” him love me in the way I wanted. True love gives and does not demand (1 Cor 13:4-7).
I also realized that my soul needed to be completely filled up by God first so that I could love my husband the way I was supposed to. Which lead to me ask anew: Was I looking to my husband to feed me emotionally in ways that only God could?
Our marriage miracle has been an ongoing process, and honestly, it’s one that’s still happening in me.
But I know that my decision to accept my husband and love him back for who he is (not who he isn't) is what has kept our marriage from self-destructing.
4 Ways to Discover the Miracle in Your Marriage
I don't know your marriage situation. I don't know why you're desperate for a marriage miracle or for things to change. I don't want to assume that your marriage relationship issues aren't related to immense marital wounds (such as affairs, pornography, addictions and more). You may even look at my marriage issues and think, “Gee… that's it? That's the big thing she struggles with?!”
The real thing here isn't about comparison (who has the “bigger” marriage issues) because I guarantee that pain in marriage (whether it's physical pain, emotional betrayal or worse) is still pain. Longing for things to change (no matter the situation) can wear out the strongest soul (and the best marriages).
If you're dealing with the pain of your husband not being all that you “think” he should be, I want to share 4 ways that you can get past your own emotions and discover the truth. NOTE: If you are in an abusive situation or your marriage is dealing with infidelity or porn, you may also need to find additional help to process all that you're experiencing (and perhaps a time of separation away from your husband).
I pray that each of these mindsets helps you find the peace you need to discover your marriage miracle.
1) Accept your husband and love him for who he is right now.
Marriage isn’t about changing our spouse into what we want them to be. Yes, marriage can be richly pleasurable, but ultimately, marriage is not about always having things our way.
Instead it’s about having the opportunity to love someone as God loves them. That can be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth that will set your marriage free.
2) Let the truth about your husband (not your emotions) guide your thoughts.
When our marriages are in pain it’s so tempting to slip into despair and accusatory thoughts about our spouse. All the “he should” and “I deserve” thoughts seem to violently flare and we don’t want to think about anything good he is doing.
And yet, we must, must, must fix our eyes on the good things he is doing because our thoughts about our husband determine our ultimate view of him. Having a negative view of your husband will never bring the healing you seek. Never.
3) Choose to let God fill in the broken places in your marriage.
While it’s not bad to have a desire for more in marriage, we must accept that our spouses will always be imperfect this side of heaven and that marriage was not designed to meet all of our human needs. Let God fill in those places where you need extra love. He is real, He is here and He is ready to listen and to heal. Make time each day to connect with God and grow deeper in a relationship with Him.
4) Wait for God’s version of the marriage miracle.
Believe that your marriage miracle will happen, because it will. We want it to happen in our way and in our time.
However, look for the marriage miracle to come in an unexpected package (and to not be what you expect). Often the change may not happen in him. It may happen in you.
Other Helpful Posts on Marriage
- The Best Christian Sex Resources
- Is Your Marriage Failing? 5 Signs of a Troubled Marriage
- How I Almost Had an Affair
- Are Unrealistic Expectations Ruining Your Marriage?
- How to Make SMART Marriage Goals
- The 15 Minute Habit That Will Change Your Marriage
- Conversation Starters for Couples
My Favorite Marriage Resources to Help You Find the Miracle in Your Marriage
I just shared with you my story, and as you saw, sometimes the miracle we're waiting for in our marriages has to happen first inside of us. Those issues we're working through may just be something that stays between us and God.
But I realize that there are other ways that God uses to work through these tender spots in a marriage, and so I wanted to share my favorite marriage resource: Consecrated Conversations by my dear friends (and marriage coaches) Mike and Carlie Kercheval.
This awesome couples devotional goes deep on important topics that matter to Christian couples (everything from forgiveness to communication issues to sex).
With three sections in each devotion (including a Bible verse, “Converse & Reflect” questions, and a sample prayer), this marriage resource encourages couples to discover intimacy in marriage like never before.
I also appreciate that this book is available digitally. My husband and I don't need to carry a book around because we have this powerful couples devotional available right on our phones or tablets. Yes!
And there's great teaching videos and printables to make it even more powerful.
I love how practical this couples devotional is, and how Mike and Carlie really encourage couples to invite God into their marriage discussions. We need to invite God in for ultimate healing, right?