Q&A: Feeling like my marriage is a mistake

Q: What should I do if I fear that my marriage may have been a mistake? It’s only been a short time since the wedding, and already I’m beginning to think that I’ve married the wrong person.

A: Simply put, marriage is not primarily about “finding the right person.” It’s about being the right person.

You can begin by working on yourself. If you entered marriage with the expectation that you were going to find happiness in your spouse, you were probably disappointed. The range of emotions that we normally experience as unmarried individuals has the potential to become even wider in marriage. If you and your spouse were unhappy and unfulfilled as singles, those feelings of discontentment can sink even lower after you tie the knot. But if you each have a sense of deep individual meaning and purpose, and a desire to share your goals in a lifetime of mutual commitment, your satisfaction level can increase as you come together. The object lesson is obvious: if you want to be content living with another person, you have to learn to be content in who you are.

Second, shake off the lingering influences of premarital romance and learn to appreciate your spouse for who they really are. During courtship, both spouses-to-be tend to get excited about this wonderful new relationship. As a result, they fill in any perceived gaps in their loved one’s personality. Accept that you’re now married to a person who has flaws – just like you have.

Third, remind yourself of the true meaning of love. Erich Fromm wrote: “To love somebody is not just a strong feeling – it is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were just a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever.”

If you continue to struggle practicing this kind of love in your marriage, please call our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to support@family.org.my.

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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