Thinking Out Loud

July 3, 2009

Is The Person You Married The Same Person You’re Now Married To?

Filed under: family, parenting — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:00 pm

glasbergen - marriage

  • When she married him, D. was a party animal.   The first year of their married life, a quarter of their budget was concert tickets.   But now he sits in the recliner reading John Grisham novels.
  • S. made it quite clear about seven years into the marriage that she was no longer into church.   Just stopped going.   Her husband is a bit perplexed, and ends up taking the kids himself, which leaves the people there asking questions.
  • M. said she was a dog lover, and J. didn’t like cats, so it seemed perfect; but now M. says she doesn’t want a dog in the house.
  • Y. knew when she married F. that he had smoked a cigarette or two, but never expected all these years later to be married to a confirmed smoker; especially in view of all the scientific data we now have.
  • T. was the picture of health when they got married, so V. never expected he’d be spending his life playing both husband and nurse.
  • R. had never spent a lot of time around kids; was never a babysitter; and made it clear to B. she wanted a small family.   That was five kids ago.

A lot of people wake up one morning and realize that they’re not married to the person they walked down the church aisle with.   (A strange expression, since most brides walk down the aisle with their father, to whom they had better not be married.)

Much of the tension in marriage is due to a crisis of expectations.    It reminds me of the book title, This Isn’t The Trip I Signed Up For. Judging it from Day One, it didn’t look like it would be like it is today.

Today’s question is, do you think this is the norm or the exception?   Is it better that “people change” than if they don’t change at all?    Does it matter how long a couple dated or were engaged, or do the “surprises” in marriage happen regardless?

And of course:   What changed in your partner after the wedding?   Did you change?    Did the marriage survive?

And yes, you’re allowed to say, “My marriage is fine, but I have this friend…”


  1. Wow….

    We have both changed from when we got married. Our story is long and twisting, most peoples are.

    We both had a strong facade which fell apart after marriage. We determined to stick things out, even as our past and present issues collided in a way that I am sure without Christ we would not have survived.

    God let us come to the end of ourselves. Now 7 years from that crisis point and after 14 years of marriage I can say we have both changed…..for the better. Our marriage is stronger, our love deeper and as a testimony to that God is blessing us with a second child 11 years after our daughter was born!

    Comment by Rick Apperson — July 3, 2009 @ 10:04 pm

  2. In a wedding I performed for friends, part of my message was:

    My wife says, “The person you are marrying today is not the person you will be married to in 10 years.” And then she looks at me and says, “Thank God!”

    Comment by Jon Reid — July 3, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  3. I don’t think I can remember that far back…

    We both have broader minds and broader bellies.

    Strangely enough, my husband had just finished watching a little videoclip of a song entitled “Things you don’t say to your wife” when I asked him the question in your blog title. He said, “No.” Then he stretched. “Too bad.”

    I am happy to inform you he is still alive.

    Comment by Janet — July 4, 2009 @ 6:51 pm

  4. Janet,

    We don’t want to be the cause of any violence…

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 4, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  5. If he makes it through the night, he’ll probably be OK.

    Comment by Janet — July 4, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  6. I think Janet’s marriage is safe: she has a sense of humor–very important in dealing with others, espeically family.

    A comment about “walking down the aisle”: I’m not sure of the direction involved in “up the aisle” and “down the aisle” and whether one walks up to the altar or down, but I think “the person one walks down the aisle with” refers not to the bride’s walk (solo or with her male relative), but rather to the first time a couple walks the aisle as husband and wife, usually away from the altar and out the front door of the church into the world.
    But you knew that.

    Comment by Margot — July 5, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    • Margot,
      The nuances of ‘the aisle’ may have been lost on me as I typed that! Don’t give me too much credit!!

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — July 5, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

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