For so many couples, dating is fun, but marriage is hard work.
People exclaim that they were doing fine until they got married and somehow blame the marriage covenant for it. They opt to live together as a way of postponing the time when their relationship may hit challenges.
Let’s look at this more closely.
The excitement of dating is all about the pursuit. He shows his strength and she plays hard to get. The dynamic is thrilling.
Women enjoy the unpredictable side of the pursuing man; men are invigorated by the elusive nature of the woman who he has chosen as his prize.
However, once they are at home together and it is time to build a life as a couple, these qualities have the potential to destroy the marriage.
A peaceful and happy home is not built on pursuit and unpredictability. Now the woman needs to know that she can rely on her husband for security and stability. His rugged looks now become less important than his ability to provide, to be trusted and to love her with consistency.
Similarly, the air of self-sufficiency that first attracted him to his wife will now frustrate and perplex the husband’s desire for a wife who will allow herself to be led in life by his decisions. She now has to be willing to become his helper and to lose her fierce independence.
Above all the husband is looking to his wife for respect and admiration, for sexual fulfillment and fun companionship. Yet the wife, used to being strong in her own right, can easily become competitive, sexually cold and belittling.
Meanwhile the wife is seeking to connect with her husband at every opportunity, to feel loved daily and to feel secure that he is devoted to her and her alone, and the husband can find this suffocating and controlling. He fights for space and shuts down on communication.
Are the two incompatible? No! They have not yet adjusted to this new life called marriage and are still trying to carry on as if they were single and dating.
For marriage to work, the woman must sacrifice independence and the man must sacrifice living to please himself. The Bible puts it this way: the woman must submit and the man must give himself up for his wife (Ephesians 5:22-25)
The result: the two become one flesh. Harmony and companionship on another level.