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 behaviors 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.
To meet her emotional needs, the wife seeks 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. The husband, meanwhile, can find this suffocating and controlling. He fights for space and shuts down on communication.
So many couples conclude that they are incompatible after all, but that is not the case. They simply have not yet adjusted to this new life called marriage and are still trying to carry on as if they were single and dating. This is the time to yield to the needs and desires of the other, placing them highest of all on their list of priorities. It is about being willing to let go of old ways of behaving and acting in order to develop a new, shared way of life in which both parties’ needs are met.
The most significant step of all will be to recognize that this is a new season and it will require a new level of wisdom to make it work. It will be work, but there is no law which says that work can’t be fun! Changing doesn’t have to be a struggle; it can be something that we embrace and enjoy, because it is all about building a new life that we have believed and longed for.
The result will be very desirable: the two become one flesh. Harmony and companionship on another level.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your wisdom for my relationships. You give me grace to grow and change and to become what my partner needs me to be, even as they become what I need them to be.
By faith I declare that I am becoming one flesh with my spouse. I declare that I am willing and able to adapt and be sensitive in my significant relationships, and that we enjoy harmony and companionship on a higher level than ever before. Thank you, Lord!