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Let Go of the Dream Husband You Created in Your Head

I’m always going to call myself a work in progress. I’m far from perfect, but wiser in my walk than I was before. I consider each day to be a new day to learn something new, about myself, about interacting with others, and about strengthening my marriage which is far from the perfect marriage. I don’t have the perfect marriage either, but I have been able to watch it mature into something lovely over the years. It didn’t start out on solid ground, that I can promise you. If it were not for the prompting of the Holy Spirit, it might have crumbled in that newlywed period a decade ago, but through perseverance, prayer, and the knowledge of the Lord, we have cultivated a beautiful covenant that becomes better each and every day. Here’s a few tips I have found to be so very true in having a happy, healthy relationship.

1. Lower your expectationsIn fact, go ahead and drop them altogether. Whatever dream person you have created in your head, let them go. This is reality, people. Open your eyes and fix them on Jesus. He’s the only perfect one you’ll ever find.

I discovered pretty early on that my husband and I shared more differences than similarities. Where I was a perfectionist, he was content with getting by. Where I was a planner, he was a procrastinator. Where I was motivated, he was blasé. Where I completed a task once I got started, he was fine with letting it fall away. It was exasperating.

But then I discovered something more. Where I often held unrealistic expectations for life and perfect marriage, he was more able to go with the flow that is the reality of a tumultuous world. Where I had to have my ducks in a row, he was more open to change and going off course to achieve the same goal. Where I was overly dedicated to a task of my own making, he was open to the plans God put before us. Where I became almost obsessed with seeing a project to completion, he was more able to open his hands in surrender to allow Jesus to take it away.

I like to take pictures. He doesn’t. Lol.

I discovered we were a pretty good team. It was like it was a God-ordained union, something I had always known, but didn’t realize the details of until it was before me. You see, a huge cause of discontent in marriage is failed expectations. We have a certain idea in mind of how our spouse must be. When they inevitably fail to meet those expectations we become angry and disillusioned. We seldom stop and understand that they were made a specific way by God, and that if we believe God to be the director of our lives, then we must trust that He put two distinctive personalities together for a reason, for a purpose. Remember, the plans of man always fail; it’s God who directs our steps.

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So, drop who you think your spouse should be, celebrate who they are, and most importantly, pray that they will become who God has them to be (not who you have them to be).

2. Remove your plank. I know I’m stepping on some toes now. Another big cause of marital strife comes in the form of our own judgement and self-centeredness. This is a hard pill to swallow, but truth usually is. The problem with the human condition is sin, imperfection, and blindness. No, I don’t mean physical blindness, but rather a spiritual one. Our expectations for ourselves are never as high as the expectations we place on others. Because only God knows our every thought and desire, only He can always do what’s right by us. Only He will never hurt us. Now understand, our sin may hurt us, and God may allow that, but He will never hurt us. If you’ve been around people for longer than five minutes then you know that’s not true of us.

In marriage (and all relationships for that matter), you will get your feelings hurt. The person won’t say the right thing, do the right thing, or always act in the right manner. You will be left hurt, wounded, and let down, which typically leads to anger. After all, it’s easier to get mad than stew in hurt feelings.

“He never helps me!”

“She never wants to have sex anymore.”

“Does he ever hear a word I say?!”

“Why does she keep nagging me?!”

“What’s her problem?”

“What did I do this time?!”

A relationship can become a blame game, pointing fingers and keeping score. Who’s done more for the marriage? Who says I’m sorry first? How long until they disappoint me again? I’ll enlist the silent treatment; let’s see who breaks the silence and speaks first.

“I wonder how long he’ll leave his dirty laundry at the foot of the bed?”

“I wonder how long she’ll leave that curling iron on the sink?”

Brie Gowen
Brie Gowenhttp://briegowen.com/
Brie Gowen is a 30-something (sliding ever closer to 40-something) wife and mother. When she’s not loving on her hubby, chasing after the toddler or playing princess with her four-year-old, she enjoys cooking, reading and writing down her thoughts to share with others. Brie is also a huge lover of Jesus. She finds immense joy in the peace a relationship with her Savior provides, and she might just tell you about it sometime. She’d love for you to check out her blog at BrieGowen.com.

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