From Ally: This is a guest post from my husband, @dvest. The other day he was talking about some of the things he wish he knew before he was married, and I thought his insights were really valuable so I wanted to share them with you.
I used to think that when I got married this magical switch would turn off and I would all of a sudden stop thinking that other women were attractive. I had this idealized picture in my mind, that I would be so in love with my wife that the beauty of other women would melt away.
I wish someone would have told me the truth, because this is not the case.
For the first six months of marriage I felt guilty when I would recognize the beauty of another woman. I thought that something was wrong with me. Like a good evangelical I began to guilt myself into a dangerous place of isolation.
Here are six things I wish I would have been told before I was married:
1. You never stop choosing your wife
I am learning that when I chose Ally on our wedding day it was only the first day of choosing her for the rest of my life. I have to make a choice everyday to choose her (usually above myself).
This choice is like a muscle, and the more I choose, the easier it becomes. I am sure that someday it will come like second nature. I was under the impression that after marriage this choice would become like an involuntary muscle reaction, when I am actually learning that it is a voluntary action.
2. Its not wrong to think someone is attractive
In fact when we recognize the beauty of someone else, we are giving glory to the creator. The ability to recognize someone else’s beauty is prophetic vision. With that vision we have the ability to see people the way that the creator sees them. That changes our posture.
The problem is I was not taught how to handle my attraction in a healthy, non-sexual way.
3. Love doesn’t diminish beauty
It actually amplifies it.
I was under the impression that the love for my wife would blur the beauty of other women. What happened instead was that I was able to see her beauty, which began allowing me to see that same beauty in other women.
Love doesn’t blur beauty, it gives us eyes to see beauty in a new ways. If we are not equipped to handle beauty and attraction in a healthy way we have one of two choices: indulging our desires or isolating ourselves from created beauty.
4. The grass always looks greener
All marriages have struggle. In fact, everything worth partaking in has a struggle. It is easy for me to idealize someone outside of my marriage when Ally and I are walking uphill. The reality is, and will always be, that those idealized ideas of someone else will only result in uphill struggles just like my marriage.
The best thing we have done for our marriage was the read Gary Thomas’ Sacred Marriage. When we understand that marriage is ultimately to make us more like Christ, we can learn to embrace the uphill, instead of resent it.
5. I am the only one responsible for my own happiness
Ally is not my enemy. She is not out to get me, even though it feels like it some days. It is really easy to blame someone else for the pain that we feel. When we do this, we are giving them control over our happiness.
Dr. Henry Cloud says that only ten percent of our happiness is dictated by outside circumstances. If that really is that case, then we have a lot more control over our happiness then to allow the actions of another to control us.
Many days I have wanted to make Ally change to avoid pain, when I should have been addressing my own wounds or insecurities.
I have found that when I do this, I like my wife and my life a lot better. The only way to happiness is through.
Are you single? :: Have you believed any of these same things? What other things are you curious about before your marriage? Click here to leave a reply
Are you married? :: You have been doing this longer than me. What other things would you add to my list? Have you found any of these things to be true? Click here to leave a reply