Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thoughts on Marriage

When I first started dating I believed the lie of "the one". There was only one man for me. And when I met him I would know. And after marriage he would love me and only me forever, and together we would have eyes only for each other until the end of time. The rest of the world would appear pallid and ugly as it was washed in the glorious aura of our True Love.


Fast forward two years (not even that long, I know) and I've learned a few things. One, there isn't just one person for me or for my husband. He became my one person when I married him, but I'm sure if I had not married him I'd still be happy and so would he (not that I want that, you know, I'm glad I married him. I'm just saying if things had worked out differently and we'd never met or something, I wouldn't be suddenly deprived of love). I mean, I've dated other people and I've most certainly thought they were "the one". But I didn't marry them. I chose my husband to be "the one". It wasn't magic. It wasn't karma. And it wasn't foreordained or anything. I could have married any of my previous boyfriends (and came close to that point a few times) but in the end I chose not to, and eventually met my husband. He is the one I chose to love and remain faithful to. He is my "one" now, because we are married.

I'm also still occasionally attracted to other members of the male species. Even through I'm married, my eyes were not cursed with blindness: other people are still very much cute and sexy and interesting. There are people I've met since marriage that if I was single I would want to get to know more. I don't think this is wrong, and I don't think by casually noticing a well groomed man or a spark of intelligence or emotional compatibility in another person makes me unfaithful to my marriage. Nor do I think having male friends is wrong. What, am I suddenly supposed to lock myself up away from "scary males" just because I have a ring on my finger? That is dumb. I'm not going to forget my morals and jump in bed with anyone (but my husband) over a mere friendship. Not to mention that telling women they can't have male friends ostracizes them and teaches them that they can't trust a) other males and b) themselves.


What I have with my husband is more then friendship. We are more then friends. We are lovers--and that's a status I don't share with anyone else. When the bond crosses from friendship to lovers is when the problems start to arise.

I use boundaries and openness and honesty when traversing any and all friendships, regardless of gender. And I make sure to always keep my husband's feelings in mind when making decisions. These are just things I use in my marriage to make sure there are no misunderstandings. My husband and I discuss our individual wants, needs, and desires and make informed decisions about our life together. When it all comes down to it I trust my husband to never cheat on me because he is an honest man. I've seen him treat me and others with integrity and thats why I trust him. It has nothing to do with how many or how few female friends he has. I know he feels the same about me.

What do you think?

25 comments:

  1. I agree with you completely!!! I love my husband, and everyone agrees we're perfect for each other. But I have some very close guy friends who are also former crushes, and if any of them had noticed me back in the day, I could be on a different yet still happy path. Also, just because they're attractive men and I crushed on them once (like 5+ years ago) doesn't mean I now have to stop being friends with them because I'm married. My husband trusts me, and I trust him. Our marriage is a choice, and our monogamous relationship is a choice we make anew each day.

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  2. I agree for the most part. I agree that perhaps we all could've married different people and certainly have been happy, but I don't really like to think about it what way. I believe God is sovereign and He knew I would marry James, and I clearly and distinctly see how He brought us together and shut down other relationships so we would be together. All things that had been totally out of my control. James and I still chose each other at the end of the day, but I also believe God brought us together, if that makes sense :)

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  3. I do think my husband is "the one". He was the best match for me. I might have met another man who I could live with and tolerate, and have a simple happiness with, but it would not have been the same as what I have with my husband.

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  4. I agree, but I also agree with Michelle. There are other ex-boyfriends that I could have married, no doubt, but I don't think that choosing them would have been in God's plan - I know I married the right "one" for me, because I believe that's who God set aside for me.

    As far as having male friends, I do agree that it's in human nature to find other people attractive, and to have friends of the opposite gender. But I also believe it's very important to be VERY careful about how we treat those friendships. Are there actors and musicians and people I know in real life who I think are attractive and interesting? Of course - I'm not a robot. But I feel like it would be disrespectful to my husband - the one God chose for me and the man I chose to marry - to be constantly commenting on or ogling other men, whether they're someone I know in real life, someone I walked by on the street, or someone on the television screen. Sure, I wouldn't EVER sleep with them, but I still feel that it would be dishonoring to my husband to even plant a tiny seed of wondering if maybe I'm not 100% happy with him, his looks, his personality, his mind, etc. My husband is secure in who he is, but I feel like it's my responsibility as his loving wife to make sure I'm never the cause of any insecurity.


    The same goes for male friendships. I have plenty of male friends, but they're not close friends by any means. They're not even friends I would go to coffee with alone, because there's a possibility it might be misconstrued as me being out on a date with another guy who is not my husband. It's not because they're scary males or people I don't trust, but I know I wouldn't want my husband hanging out alone with other girls that aren't his wife, so I don't hang out alone with guys who aren't my husband.


    I don't really think there is a black and white, clear cut right and wrong regarding this issue, but I think each individual has their own black and white, clear cut opinion on what is right and wrong in their relationship. Ultimately it's between the husband/wife and God!

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  5. I understand, and I totally see God's hand in my husbands and my relationship. I do think God is sovereign, but I know we live in a fallen world. I don't know how to marry those two dichotomies. For example, I have a friend whose brother committed suicide at 18. Is the girl he was supposed to marry--is she just doomed to never have love now? This is why I now think the way I do about this. But you have given me food for thought.

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  6. I was taught that I had a soul mate for a long time. But this leaves me with so many unanswered questions! I have a friend whose brother committed suicide at 18. Is the
    girl he was supposed to marry--is she just doomed to never have love
    now? What about the women I know who desperately want to marry but have never dated? We live in such a fallen world. I also know that boundaries are very important. I do agree that my husband should be my best friend and my best lover. My male friends that I have all understand that. I agree with the insecurity thing too. This is why complete trust and openness is needed when talking about and figuring these things out as a couple. I don't go around telling people that I find them attractive or dwelling on it or spending time with people just because I'm attracted to them-- and as a married women, I am true to my husband. It's hard to explain. There is definitely a line. I know I'm a new christian, so I'm just honestly figuring all this out :P really, I was taught so long one thing--that as a married person I must not talk to any males or be seen with them and it would be bad/wrong. I was taught this, and now that I'm actually a christian and not just a drone (before I just believed everything I was told) I'm trying to figure out what is truth and what is just rules men have made up.

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  7. Isn't it so hard when there are issues like these that aren't clearly written out some place? Haha. That's why I mentioned that I think there isn't really a set in stone, black and white answer, I think a lot of it is between the married couple, like you said.


    Regarding girls who want to marry but never date...Rachel (The Random Writings) actually wrote an excellent post on that recently!

    As far as your friend whose brother committed suicide (And I'm sorry about that! Suicide is such a horrible thing!) no, I don't think that the woman God had in mind for him is doomed to never get married. Just like God gives us choices, I believe He can work around those choices. If I had married one of my ex-boyfriends, I think I would have missed out on the absolute BEST that God had for me, but I also believe it could have worked and I still could have had a blessed marriage, because I would have made the choice to marry and become one with whoever that guy was. Free will is definitely a very real thing, and why I think it's so important to pray about major decisions and really try to hear from God what the right path is to take. He wants the best for us!

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  8. wow, I never thought about this side of things at all. I like what you said "I think I would have missed out on the absolute BEST that God had for
    me, but I also believe it could have worked and I still could have had a
    blessed marriage". I'm going to give that a lot of thought.

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  9. It's definitely an interesting topic to mull over, even for those of us that have been in church our whole lives!! I enjoy these types of discussions and hearing what others' opinions and thoughts are. :)

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  10. I totally understand! This is one of those areas that can be kind of murky and hard to understand.

    Regarding the boy who committed suicide. If I had to throw in my two cents, I would say that God is never surprised. He knows all, and He knew what that boy would do one day. If He knew that, I don't believe he would've been preparing someone to marry him. That's what makes sense to me.

    For me personally, I need to believe that God is in control of all things. It comforts me, and I believe that's what the Bible teaches as well. We do unfortunately live in a fallen, broken world, but God is ultimately still in control. I know the Bible doesn't outright teach the concept of a soulmate, but if I believe that I could've married any other Christian guy and been just as happy, that would potentially give me doubts about my own marriage on a bad day. Should I have married someone else? Would I have been happier in a different situation? Did I totally make the wrong choice? I would struggle at times. We are sinful and all make mistakes and bad choices, but I still believe God is sovereign and has his hand on me, guiding me and allowing me to make certain mistakes but keeping me from making others, according to his will. So no, the Bible doesn't teach about soulmates, per se, but it teaches about sovereignty, and I believe the soulmate issue falls under that umbrella.

    I fully agree with Angi on the male friend issue. As someone whose social circle used to be comprised soley of guys, that's been a leaning experience for me.

    You're doing great, Carolynn. Things like these are hard concepts no one fully grasps this side of heaven.

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  11. I believe a man's (husbands) perspective could potentially be beneficial here.
    To understand things rightly, we must believe God when He said, "I Am the Alpha and Omega; the beginning and the end". I believe it was Jeremiah who prophesied that God knows the beginning from the end. Scripture clearly tells us He doesn't change. Colossians 1 tells us we have our being in Him: He is before all things and Him all things consist." So what it's my point in all of this? Simply they God doesn't change and He's never surprised.
    If you don't already know woman literally means of man, because the rib [of Adam] was taken to form Eve. Though God doesn't do this today literally, I do believe He spiritually joins a man and a woman in the same way. In other words, in a spiritual sense, Michelle was fashioned in the womb with one of my ribs. God is sovereign, He isn't surprised, and doesn't change.

    As to the opposite sex friendship thing, in general, for the sake of giving no provision for the lady of the flesh, it should be avoided. Your spouse should be your best friend and have all of your attention. Also (and in general) guys usually aren't into casual friendships with gals.

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  12. I definitely don't think it's a 1-for-1 kind of deal. I do think that God's worked uniquely in Angel's and my lives (I mean--the fact that we're now in China and BOTH loving it when neither of us ever made this part of our life plan when we discussed our future is kind of incredible. Normal people don't just up and move to China after 3 years of marriage). If Angel died, I know I would want to get married again--but I think I would be much more scared of the commitment the 2nd time around (when you have an older husband who has a bad family health history, and your own family has a tendency to live into their 90s, you think about sad things like this).

    When it comes to the fact that are other nice guys in the world...yes, there are. When I meet a guy who is nice or who I think has characteristics that would make a good husband I always try to make him meet my sister. I want only the highest quality of man who will treat my sisters well and be good brothers-in-law...and I live in faith eternal that sometimes match-making works. Even though it mostly doesn't. Angel and I have mostly the same friends since we hung out with the same crowd in college. I've made a lot of dinners for our bachelor friends over the years--it's a funny dynamic, because, literally, all of us have hung out together since my freshman year of college, only Angel and I are married, and all the rest of the guys are still single, and haven't had a real girlfriend all these years later. They ask me for advice on how to ask a girl out, which is hilarious...I love my friends, I'll be very happy to see them married someday, but I do wonder what woman will be able to put up with them at all times...

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  13. what does this have to do with carolynn's post? honestly confused by what you have written.

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  14. I'm not really sure what's so confusing about what I've stated. The post is discussing whether or not there is only one [right] person out there who has been specifically set apart to be ones mate or not. I presented my convictions on this matter. So, I'm confused by why you're confused.

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  15. You did read the post, right?

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  16. Correct. What I got from your comment was a muddied explanation of divine sovereignty, an etymology of "woman" (did you take this from the Hebrew or somewhere else? I was racking my brain for a source of that definition), and subsequently an allusion to complementarianism. Admittedly, explaining one's beliefs on divine sovereignty and gender roles is a really hard thing to do in one comment, but it still left me rather confused, since you didn't give a clear answer to Carolynn's question of the existence of soulmates. That's all.

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  17. My explanation was actually quite clear and concise, and quite clearly I [and appropriately] responded to the question. I do apologize for the confusion it might have caused for you. To your credit, I obviously can't go into to all the many facets of the topic hear. And yes, from the Greek (can't remember the exact word, and can't look out up at the moment), "woman" was derived from "man".

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  18. Speech-act is a real thing, and in this case your intended meaning was obviously not what came across, since I and others were confused. Sorry you can't see that. I know what the Greek words for "man" and "woman" (aner and gune, respectively) are, but wasn't aware of the etymology you referenced. Interesting. I'd like to know your source if you get a chance to share. Thanks.

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  19. I do apologize for my comments creating confusion. I wasn't aware that others were, too.

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  20. "Ish" meaning Man and "Isha" meaning woman, or of man, or husband and wife. It's Hebrew not Greek. Sorry

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  21. I know lots of guys who are into casual friendships and see nothing sexual about being friends with another women. I mean, I have guy friends that I talk to only on facebook and don't meet in person, because that is what they deem appropriate and I have guy friends who I love to meet at the muse and talk. I don't generally meet up with guys alone, just because that is what my husband wished, but I don't think it is wrong in any way.

    I know the word women comes from men, and that women was created as a companion of men. And obviously eve was created for adam and there were others biblically who God set aside (like Rachel) but I don't think this is true in all cases. What about King David and his many wives? Were each one made for him? I don't think so.

    I'm just not a reformed Calvinist, although I am a Calvinist. A lot of what you said in your post is what I was taught growing up, and I just accepted it as fact without thinking. I'm now trying to see what the bible actually says about these things, and I just don't see it. Maybe I'm wrong, and I'm a new christian, but I know that if the man I marry gives his heart to God and I give my heart to God then I will be happy and content no matter who he is.

    But thank you for the comment!

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  22. I don't know. I think there is a fine line between male friends. I have a few but I don't see or talk to them like I would if I had a best girl friend. I guess I crossed that line to many times so I know it's best for me just to distance myself all together.

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  23. A husband shouldn't be someone who you just happened to marry, they should be special. I hope that one day your husband can be special to you, instead of just being the guy who you happened to marry because it didn't work out with your exes.

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  24. he is special. he just wasn't "the one" and "only one" I think God could have had for me. That's all :)

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Thank you so much for commenting! Your thoughts bring smiles to my face :)