The problem with marriage is that we want it to complete us. We all go into it with this expectation that this person will be there by our side through every life experience. This person will love us despite our flaws. They will talk us down when we’re on the ledge. They’ll even be a radiant beam of joy when we’re at our gloomiest. This person will love us for exactly who we are, even when it’s ugly. But the thing we don’t realize until after the wedding day is that our spouse has had these exact same expectations: about us.
I believe that this is where a lot of our conflict comes from. Going into marriage, we’re only thinking about ourselves. Up until that point, we’ve been searching for our perfect fit. Someone we can trust and laugh with. Someone we can depend on. But we may have failed to realize that the person we’ve been dating has been looking for exactly the same thing…but for them.
Marriage is a life long lesson of give and take. Ask for grace and extend it. Beg for forgiveness and give it. I think that this simple idea can easily be the root of most of our marriage fights: we get caught up in our own world to the point that we forget that our spouse is as broken and needing of love, grace, and second chances as we are.
Maybe most of our arguments stem from the simple desire of wanting to be noticed, heard, and understood. Many of our arguments contain the opportunity to turn into a bonding experience if we take our eyes off ourselves to consider the other and what’s going on inside their head. What are the fears going on inside them that are making them respond this way? What are we not understanding? What can we do to show them that we care and just want to get back on the same page?
When marriage is made up of two people willing to work with the other, willing to surrender their ideas and plans if necessary, it’s an unstoppable force and the most incredible relationship that exists. And let me tell you – there is nothing more rewarding than to be that “safe place” for another human being.
The most incredible, supernatural thing about marriage is that we have this person that will be there by our side through every life experience. This person will love us despite our flaws. They will talk us down when we’re on the ledge. They’ll even be a radiant beam of joy when we’re at our gloomiest. This person will love us for exactly who we are, even when it’s ugly. And we have the ultimate joy of doing the same for them.
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view — until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristen Larson started writing in 2011. Since then, she has contributed to the Faith Radio Network blog, wrote devotionals for Daily Wisdom for Women 2016 with Barbour Publishing, and got her dream job working on book covers for Bethany House Publishers. She and her husband live in an adorable rural town in Minnesota, where they love spending time together working on home updates and renovations.
For more information, visit her About Page.