The last night of my honeymoon, almost fifteen years ago, I set an alarm to wake us up for our first day back at work—and started to cry.
“Our honeymoon is over,” I wailed. “Things have been so great so far, but this has been the easy part. What will happen when things get harder?”
My husband comforted me as best as he could, but I could tell he was a little confused. I was crying because things hadn’t gone wrong yet?
But honestly, looking back, I think my tears were a little prophetic.
Almost fifteen years later, I’ve learned there’s an ache at the center of every marriage. It’s this: you can love someone like crazy, desire the best for them, want to care for them selflessly—but realize that ultimately, you will never be the perfect person for them. You will never be able to give them everything they need.
Yes, we’re all called to seek healing so as to love more fully. But there are limits to how much we can change. I am limited.
Sometimes Christians follow this by saying, “Jesus is the only perfect person for you!” And that’s true. But saying it out loud when someone is grieving might get you punched in the nose.
The stuff we long for from our spouses doesn’t feel replaceable by warmer feelings about God. No offense, but “Jesus is awesome, so you’re good,” does not feel like a great blessing.
After my honeymoon, it didn’t take me that long to figure out my husband was not always the perfect person for me. That was hard, but I felt prepared to accept it.
I found it much harder to accept that I was not the perfect spouse for him. It hurt to realize I am no fairy-tale princess, fulfilling his every hope and expectation…
I’m at The Mudroom for our month on relationships. Won’t you join me there?