If you’re married, you already know you’re continually learning to love your husband.
If you’re married, think back to when you were dating your husband. (And if you’re single, please listen up.) When you were in the middle of falling head over heels in love with each other, you thought you knew each other oh so well.
You knew that marriage was ‘til death do you part, but you never fully took into account what that marriage would look like day in and day out from the time you walked down the aisle until you or your spouse would die.
You reasoned that you loved this man more than you loved any other man, but you never imagined certain days would come when you weren’t even sure if you liked him at all.
When you’re falling in love, reason sometimes goes out the window. You think certain attributes and traits are so very wonderful, until they lose their glimmer and shine – or you simply begin to change your mind.
The truth about marriage
Here’s the painfully wonderful thing about marriage: even when the glimmer is gone and the shiny newness of your relationship wore off a long time ago, you’re still committed to each other.
- You begin to know each other so much better than you’ve ever known anyone else.
- You reach a point where you’ve spent more of your life being with your spouse than not.
- You realize that some days you absolutely love being married to your husband, and other days you still wonder why you made the decision.
All of those thoughts are completely normal and just part of being a married human being. (I’d argue that all of those thoughts are completely normal to any close relationship that stretches on for years – what mother hasn’t been frustrated with her child, while loving him or her at the same time? Or what child hasn’t been frustrated with her parents?)
What to do with expectations
Before you get married, you tend to have some pretty huge assumptions and expectations about marriage. You might imagine the health, but not the sickness. Or the richer instead of the poorer. You anticipate great sex and an end to loneliness and a confidante who will understand what you’re thinking and laugh at all of your jokes.
To a certain degree, those expectations may come true. You might enjoy healthy years or wealth together. You may bask in the afterglow of great sex and enjoy a companion who does understand you better than anyone else and still thinks you’re hilarious.
But the magic of marriage isn’t always there. You and your husband will get sick. You’ll weather financial problems. You’ll face challenges in your intimacy, feel completely misunderstood, and be at odds with each other for what may feel like forever.
Marriage, like everything else in life, goes through seasons – sometimes it’s really fantastic, and other times it’s just not.
When you need to keep on loving
In the middle of all the times when marriage seems less than spectacular, it may seem difficult to love your husband.
- You may feel completely spent – like all of your ability to love or show kindness has been used up by other people in your life.
- You may feel like no matter what you do to build into your marriage, you’re getting absolutely nothing in return.
- You may feel like love is such a foreign concept, and you forget about all of the tingles during your dating and engagement because actual everyday married love is so absolutely difficult.
If you’re feeling like that, I encourage you to keep trying. Stick with it. Keep loving. Even when it hurts. Even when you don’t want to. Even when you don’t feel like it. Even when you want to throw in the towel and just focus on yourself.
The power of love
Love is hard. But love is good. And loving someone else will be sacrificial, selfless … and the best thing you can do for another person here on earth.
If you’re a Christian, Christ gives you an exceptional reason to love others. As 1 John 4:19 so simply says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Christ’s love for you was completely sacrificial. And as you benefit from His love, it’s only right to pass it on. It may not be easy, but a sacrifice never is. If you’ve having trouble, pray for your love to grow and your heart to change. And keep praying.
When love doesn’t come easily
The good news is that you’re not alone in trying to figure out how to love your husband better – or how to love when you just don’t feel like it.
Titus 2:3-5 offers an interesting perspective for wives: “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
Did you catch that? Loving your husband and children is something you’ll need some training to do well. You need the help of other godly women who have already been there and done that and can pass along so wise advice to help you navigate through your frustration and fear. It does not come naturally.
You’ll need to learn how to love your very own husband both by example and also by trial and error. Figure out what works well – and what doesn’t. And once you’ve learned how, you’ll need to pass along your wisdom and life experiences with other wives.
Only you …
The comforting thing is that only you will need to learn how to love your husband well. Because there’s no one else like him in this world, and no one else like you – and not a single other relationship in all of time will ever be like what the two of you share – there’s no absolutely right way to love each other.
Your marriage won’t fit perfectly into a specific mold because it’s unique. (Since it won’t look like any other marriage, it’s important to forget about ever comparing your marriage to anyone else’s.)
And as you learn to love your very own husband in your very own way, you’ll discover the joy of being committed to each other in both the good and bad times. You’ll notice that when the glimmer of young love is gone, you’ll appreciate the embers of a true, lasting love. And that’s the truly wonderful thing about marriage.
How are you learning to love your husband? What are some important lessons you’ve learned about marriage from older wives?
Disclaimer: I’m a professional journalist … not a professional counselor. If you need marriage advice, please seek professional help.
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All images courtesy of Unsplash.