When Your Time as a Wife Won’t Last Forever

Even if and when you stay faithfully married, your time as a wife won’t last forever.

When you and your husband are committed to your marriage – and you work together at building your marriage – you’re fulfilling your wedding vows day by day and year by year.

There comes a point, after your heady newlywed days and the harried years of raising children, when you understand each other and settle in to growing old together. You watch each other wrinkle and gray. You help each other get around and navigate doctor appointments. You can look back at your life you’ve built together with satisfaction.

But then, whether it’s expected or unexpected, one of you will pass from this life first.

Death will part you.

Even if and when you stay faithfully married, your time as a wife won't last forever.

And then, the surviving spouse goes through the challenging, heartbreaking phase of moving on. As R.C. Sproul wrote:

“When a person loses her lifelong mate, it’s like losing an integral, intimate part of one’s self because husband and wife, we are told, in the mystery of marriage are one flesh. So, the pain of widowhood brings a unique dimension of loneliness. It’s jarring to suddenly be alone when one has been accustomed to the constant companionship with one’s spouse over a long period of time.”

Two lessons from a happy marriage

In the past month, my family has mourned with our dearest neighbor, as her husband of 53 years died suddenly. She was at home, waiting for her beloved husband to return from lunch out with a friend – yet he never came home.

Now she’s left, wishing he could come walking through the door again so they could carry on with their everyday lives together. And now she’s left, grieving, missing him terribly and thinking about how very much her life has changed.

Even if and when you stay faithfully married, your time as a wife won't last forever.

When I contemplate the example of their strong, loving marriage, I’m so thankful for the lessons it taught me and my husband.

I’m grateful we were able to see a couple live happily in their daily lives – even when the personalities and preferences of the husband and wife were so radically different. (He was quiet and loved the outdoors. She is outgoing and loves to stay in.)

With their marriage in mind, here are two big takeaways I’ve had:

1. Spend time with your husband while you still can.

Each day is a gift. And as tempting as it is to make plans together as a couple, it’s vital to remember that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Sure, you could do other things – either on your own or with friends. You could fill your schedule until you’re running each and every day. But if your daily life is a continual hectic rush, are you truly enjoying your husband?

Every husband is a gift given from God. Your husband may not necessarily seem like a gift each and every day, but he is. It’s important to appreciate this gift while you have it.

From my years of singleness, I can guarantee you that many women hope and pray for a husband. But not all have one.

Appreciate your husband and invest in your relationship by spending time together while you can. Ride with him just because you can. Spend time in the same room because you have each other. You can still be very different people but closely united in marriage.

Even if and when you stay faithfully married, your time as a wife won't last forever.

2. If at all possible, don’t leave each other angry.

You know how Ephesians 4:26 says, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”?

I always was so annoyed at the advice to not go to bed angry. If a disagreement just couldn’t be resolved right away, I knew that things would improve in the morning. Sometimes both you and your husband just need to get to bed and sleep off your annoyances.

As two sinful people living in a fallen world, a husband and wife can’t possibly get along all the time. And really, it’s ridiculous to even try. You’re two individuals who clearly have different perspectives, personalities and opinions.

But, realistically speaking, it’s important to try to forgive and forget quickly as a wife.

Of course, if you and your husband need to work through a huge issue, pray and work through it. Expect it to take some time, tears, and a lot of words and prayers. But if at all possible, try not to hold a grudge. Don’t let bitterness poison your relationship and your attitude.

Work through your problems and come back to a good place in your marriage – so that can keep being a loving wife, faithful to your vows both in good times and in bad. As you work toward this, remember that you never know what could possibly be the last time you say goodnight or goodbye.

One tradition my grandma passed along to me was waving to people as they drive away from your home. As much as possible, I try to stop what I’m doing and wave goodbye to guests as they leave. And I do the same with my husband. Sending him off with a kiss, an “I love you,” and a wave is one habit of mine I hope I’ll always keep.

As you think of life with your own husband, remember to tell him how you treasure him. Tell him what you appreciate. And remember that your time together won’t last forever – so make the most of right now.

Even if and when you stay faithfully married, your time as a wife won't last forever.

What are some ways you show your husband you appreciate him? How do you remind yourself that time as a wife won’t last forever?

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All images courtesy of Unsplash.

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  1. I balled my eyes out reading this post. It is so true, and even though my husband and I have only been together two years, I know one day one of us will pass, and it is so very important to cherish every moment we have now. Thank you for this post.

  2. Ok now I am crying. Me and my hubby have been together almost 13 years. It has been so hard at times. At times I didn’t think we would make it yet here we still are. I cherish our moments together now Great post!

  3. We have been married 34 years. I can’t even imagine not having my husband . Don’t get me wrong we have had our ups and downs . I thank God for my husband everyday .

    1. I agree with you, Gracie. While we’ve only been married 14 years, I can’t imagine life without my husband.

  4. We have been married 43.. many years adjusting to each other’s individuality … and raising 3 boys … and now we look at each other again and say hello . We were so busy raising our children , there were times when we didn’t know each other at all . Now as we say hello again , we stop to listen , look at each other’s eyes , have conversation and actually look forward to our together times . Our senior years have given us new goals And finding old ones not quite reached . We pray God willing these years will be together. I watched the loneliness of our parents as each would lose their spouse . I know it will be a difficult time which I pray the Lord will keep me in his arms with courage , strength and peace .

  5. My husband and I were married for 15 years when he was diagnosed with cancer. We enjoyed another 7 years of marriage before he passed over. The quote from R. C. Sprout made me cry; that is exactly how it feels on some days. A marriage is sacred and needs attention, and to be treated as a cherished union, a priority. I’ve been blessed with many happy, wonderful memories of my married life. Thank you, Hilary, for posting great advice!

  6. Everything said here is true. I lost my husband one month ago today. We were married almost 48 years. He was only 69 and hadn’t even retired yet. His death was so sudden and such a shock! Needless to say, I am devastated.

    We would definitely say “I love you” every night. And we also said it before one or the other left the house. But I wish I would have spent more time with him and not doting so much on the grandkids or running out to social events. He was always happy for me to do these things but I missed out on being with him.

    Oh how I will miss his company… and his wise advice. His love was always a comfort to me and his presence was my stability. I am a believer and I am leaning hard on Jesus right now. But if you have a husband, don’t take him for granted. He is one of your very best gifts in this world.

  7. I lost my Dad to cancer 12 years ago, when I was 18. My mom and dad had been together since they were 18 and he was only 48 when he died. I became a mom and wife fairly young at 21. As I began my marriage and family it was hard to watch my mom go through having to learn to be alone. The quote truly does nail it on the head, she never will be the same because he is not here with her…12 years later and you truly are waiting for them to walk through the door again. It’s made my husband and my relationship different then others (we also have been together since 18 )as he was with me through my dad’s battle with cancer and right by my side when he died. Ever since we have both known without much discussion how short life is. We have kind of built our family lives in a way were we can maximize our lives together by working together and homeschooling our kids together. Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow, love each other now. I wanted to say thank you to Hilary for covering such a difficult part of living, so beautifully and well. I’ve looked to your writing for help and guidance before but felt compelled to say thank you for this one, so really, Thank You.

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