When I got married to my husband, I was of a small frame and stature, fast forward seventeen years from then to now, I have changed and gained a healthy weight.Some of you are so lucky that you remain the same size, after so many years unlike some of us. I am so jealous if you can maintain the same size after marriage!We all go through changes one way or the other. Change is constant, we must expect and embrace change. So why do some spouses ask this question? “You’re not the person I married”? this often happens when there are issues in a marriage and one spouse’s expectation has not been met, or what they were expecting does not match the reality.
Prepare for a change!
A happy marriage is not a destination; it is an ever-changing journey. Determine to enjoy every single stage of your marital journey. If couples are aware and informed that both are going to continue to evolve and grow in their marriage, this form of expectation and disappointment that often follow could be reduced. For example, when I started a job and wasissued the job description, they clearly stated what roles I would be covering at that specific point in time, however, to manage expectation and prepare me for changes, the last statement was an open-ended statement .. and any other role that may be assigned to you. This leaves room for changes and readiness to accept any new role or an additional role. What the company owes me, is training and development.
Do you know?
You will never know your spouse completely because both of you will always be changing.
Do not assume that because you have years of courtship under your belt, you completely know the person you are marrying. That is an unrealistic expectation. The reality is that you are both changing and cannot predict how you will behave at different stages of your life. Your husband will change when the weight of responsibility on his shoulders increases; your wife will change when she is pregnant and after she has babies. All the different milestones on the marriage journey bring about change in both of you. Sadly, many couples have caused each other pain by accusing “You’re not the person I married”?
If you are not going into marriage with the idea that you will be discovering and rediscovering your spouse, then you will be greatly disappointed when changes come, of which it is inevitable. I Corinthians 13:11-12, talks about how love changes as we grow – 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. When you met your spouse, it is likely that you had no responsibility to each other, no children, and no home to look after.If you handled your relationship correctly, you have never seen each other unclothed. In the beginning, you have no idea what each other’s idiosyncrasies might be.When you get married, the real you will appear as courtship is about putting your best foot forward.
It is a dance to impress each other enough to be attracted to the call of nature. Birds of paradise are very good at this display, and we are not too far from this dance during courtship.
So going into a marriage with an expectation that the woman you swept off her feet at twenty-two with your dance, will respond the same way to you when she is twenty-seven, and the mother of your children is an unrealistic expectation.Apart from growth in age, she has matured and is more experienced; considering that, you should be expecting a change, not the other way around.
This expectation has left many grossly disappointed and wrecked homes as a result. The young and charming man you married who sounded so perfect will no longer be perfect in your eyes as you notice the changes. Now if you have prepared yourselves to expect changes and put in place the process to manage these changes, you will be less irritated, frustrated, and shocked. These are some of the reactions that cause cracks in a marriage and it ought not to be. Both husband and wife are going to become matured physically, emotionally, and possibly spiritually. This is going to bring these about the different presentation of character and behaviour which you as a spouse may have never witnessed. What is helpful is to prepare, become aware, and train for the next level in your marriage. Go for a yearly marriage retreat, go away for a weekend to discuss and clarify issues.
An excerpt from my new book – Are you Ready? Marriage Expectation and Reality! Preorder now.
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Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.
Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counsellors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.
My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here