“As long as he doesn’t cheat on me, we’ll be fine…”
I remember saying this statement many times prior to getting married.
To me adultery would be the only deal breaker because I had seen so many marriages end with broken lives and hurt feelings as a result of infidelity.
As far as I know, my husband has been faithful to me, but I never imagined all the other things we would experience that would leave me often feeling hurt, confused, frustrated, and ready to walk away from my marriage. Foreclosure, car repossession, unemployment, and prostate cancer, to name a few.
Is This All There is To My Marriage?
Your marriage may never be hit with something as devastating as cancer, foreclosure, or unemployment.
But what happens when the euphoria of your newlywed phase wears off, and the reality of life sets in?
Have you ever said this to God or yourself?
I have. But I have discovered the answer to this question, and this is why Sheila Wray Gregoire’s book, 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage has helped me.
In Sheila’s book, Thought #3 truly resonated with my heart and answered the question. It’s called: “My Husband Was Not Put on This Earth to Make Me Happy.”
The one word that answers the question: “What can I do to be happy in my marriage?” is “Expectations.”
Sheila reflects on how the men in her life, including her father and stepfather, (who were supposed to protect her during her childhood), left her.
In addition, she dealt with a series of failed relationships in both high school and college.
Despite these misfortunes, Sheila refused to give up on love. And she created high expectations that she and her husband would live happily ever after – because she felt she deserved it.
Like Sheila, I felt the same way after a series of unhealthy relationships in middle and high school which left me angry, bitter, and resentful towards men in general.
Is My Husband My Savior?
Eventually I met my husband Dexter and after 3 ½ years of courtship, I had finally found someone who I could trust and who I felt loved me for who I was, and not what I could give him.
I actually believed that marrying Dexter would solve all of my problems.
As a result, I expected Dexter to become my superhero and rescue me from what all the other “evil” men had done to me in my past.
In fact, during the earlier years of our marriage, I often put too much pressure on my husband to do and be everything I wanted.
And although he tried, he couldn’t do it.
Because he’s human – just like me!
“I’ll Be Happy When My Husband ________.” (Fill in the Blank)
Maybe you’re like I was in the earlier years of my marriage and you’re thinking, “I’ll be happy when my husband _________.”
You’re waiting for that “great big event” to change the climate of your marriage relationship.
Or maybe you’ve been told by well-meaning Christian women, “Baby, if you’d pray more, give more, or do more, your husband will change…”
But what if God is waiting for you to change?
I say this because it’s possible that your husband may never change.
Or at least he may not change until you do.
The Ultimate Recipe on How to Be Happy in Your Marriage
Are you going to base your happiness on what your husband chooses to do…or not do?
With this in mind, let’s consider how you can change to achieve the happiness, (or as Sheila refers to it), the joy and contentment that God says you can experience in your marriage…whether your husband changes or not.
The first thing Sheila suggests is to seek God wholeheartedly.
While this is a loaded answer, Sheila’s book offers some concrete answers that will help you to shift from expecting your husband to make you happy to learning how to focus on joy through your relationship with Jesus Christ.
Sheila shows you how to be happy and express gratitude, even when you don’t have the fairy tale marriage you expected.
Because after all, marriage is not about our happiness.
It’s more about us becoming more like Christ and fulfilling His purpose for our lives.
Your marriage just happens to be an important, but small part of this purpose!