My Husband is Not “The One”
Written by Lindsay Ropella
I have to tell you all something.
I realized long ago that my husband is not “the one.”
Now, before you go getting all scandalized that I would actually say this out loud, let me explain to you what I mean. And let me also just say that I think it’s safe to say my husband feels the same way as well…
I’m not a person who believes there is only one person out there for everyone, and that life consists of having to find your “perfect match.” I believe that because of our free will, we choose a spouse that would be a good match for us based on our beliefs and experiences in life. I think that God blesses all marriages made in a covenant with Him, and that it’s not so much a matter of finding “the one” as it is finding someone who will have the same level of commitment to the marriage as you will yourself. This is just a personal opinion of mine, and whether you agree with me or not on this idea, I think many aspects of what I’m about to say will still apply.
Often times couples have a very different idea of what married life is going to be like once they tie the knot. I think there are many brides and grooms who think that marriage will be mostly love and bliss, with a few disagreements and trials mixed in. To be honest, I think I was one of those brides. However, our first year of marriage quickly set me straight. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and would never trade him in a million years, but there were days in that first year of marriage when I wondered what I had gotten myself into.
I think that when a husband or wife is of the mindset that their spouse is supposed to be their “soulmate,” they begin to worry that they made a mistake when those oh-no-what-did-I-do feelings start to pop up. Maybe their spouse isn’t really “the one” and they married the wrong person? This way of thinking is extremely detrimental because it provides an excuse for why they should just give up now and throw in the towel.
One of the most beneficial lessons I received on sustaining a marriage was in the pre-marital class Eric and I were required to take through our church before we could get married. For this class, we met once a week for 6 weeks with an older couple in the church and three other couples about to be married. We talked a lot about marriage, ourselves, and our goals. Every week we also received a small homework assignment. Now, let me just throw myself under the bus here and tell you that I didn’t always put a ton of time and effort into these assignments. It wasn’t that I didn’t see the benefit, it was just that I was finishing up my senior year of college, looking for a job, and trying to plan a large wedding in less than a year – I was a little busy. But, one week we got an assignment to make a list of our expectations and desires for our soon-to-be husband or wife. Well, let me tell you that this assignment got my full attention. I’m embarrassed to say that I sat in front of my computer screen for hours thinking about and writing down all the things I wanted from my husband. My list had everything from “be patient with me” to “give me a hug and a kiss every day before leaving for work.” This list was a good page long – I edited it and made it look all pretty.
We were told to write out our list and put it in an envelope addressed to our future husband/wife. I was so excited to show up to our class the following Sunday. About halfway through the class we were told to take out our list for our partner. I was so proud to pull my perfectly folded, beautifully addressed, well thought out list out of my purse and place it on the table in front of me. What our class leaders said next just about gave me a heart attack..
“OK, I would like you to pick up your list, hold it in front of you….and rip it up.”
Um, excuse me? I don’t think you realize how much time and effort I put into this, was the first thought that immediately ran through my head. Hey! I worked really hard on this, and selfishly, I wanted Eric to see what was on my “perfect husband” list. Well, we all looked around at each other for a moment or two; and when our leaders seemed to be really serious, we slowly started ripping up our letters. I was not thrilled, until all of a sudden it dawned on me the reason behind why we were doing this.
No matter how hard our husband or wife tries, they will always fall short of “the list.” We are all sinful and will do things or say things to displease our spouse at least a time or two in our marriage. If we are judging the quality of our spouse on their actions alone, we will find ourselves constantly disappointed. Instead, we must focus on the covenant we made with them on our wedding day, and show our spouse God’s grace and love, instead of getting upset that they did not behave exactly as we wanted them to in that instance.
Eric and I try to do this by making a new commitment each and every morning when we wake up that we are going to love our spouse no matter what happens that day. We might have an amazing day together and do something really exciting and have a great and meaningful conversation. Or we might have just a normal day where we work, eat dinner together, and lounge on the couch with the puppy while watching our newest Netflix series. Or we might have a not so great day where one of us really hurts the other person’s feelings, we get in a big fight, or it just seems like we can’t stop annoying each other. We have to remember that we cannot rely solely on our spouse for our happiness and contentment, because we are only humans and will fail every time.
It’s important to realize that although you will do your best to pray for your future spouse and to pick someone based on their character, their personal beliefs, their interests, your compatibility, etc; over the 40-60 years you are married you and your spouse will change quite a bit. There is no guarantee that just because your spouse is a “perfect match” for you now, that they will be for the rest of your life. That is why Eric and I ultimately base our relationship and our marriage on our everlasting commitment for each other, and not on qualities that can change with a moment’s notice.
So Eric might not be “the one,” but I’m choosing each and every day to make him “my one” by remembering God’s grace, and that commitment we made to each other one sunny, summer afternoon in July 2012.