Was I naive to think marriage would not be hard?
My parents divorced when I was barely four years old. I was crushed by the thought of my parents not being together and wished for their reconciliation often, although as a child, I had no idea what that would require of either of them.
As time continued on, a desire grew in my heart to be married. I had convinced myself that I would be better than my parents were at making love last. Then, at twenty-one years old, I married my best friend.
I remember the happiness that overflowed from my heart leading up to the wedding and even walking back down the aisle after the ceremony. I was his and he was mine, forever.
It didn’t take more than a few hours after saying “I do” for hardship to press in and snatch away my happiness. My husband and I had waited our entire lives to experience the ecstasy of love and sex. So on that first night as husband and wife, when things did not unfold as I had hoped they would, my heart was crushed again.
As much as I tried to brush off my unmet expectation of sex in marriage, our problems did not let up. In fact, we struggled to fully consummate our marriage for four years as physical pain inflamed my body every time we attempted. I cried, I cried, and I cried, wanting nothing more than to fulfill my husband and be fulfilled. I feared divorce, yet my inadequacies led me to believe that it was an option.
With a lack of healthy sexual intimacy in marriage, other issues in our relationship were amplified. I did not know how to handle the hardships and I did not feel qualified to be a wife. This insecurity, in addition to the sin I had allowed into my life, pulled me away from my husband and away from God.
My husband and I recently celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. I can only attest to the truth that God saved our marriage. He is the glue that holds us together amidst the hardships; He uses those difficult times to reveal who He is and who we really are. In those moments of vulnerability we are transformed by a reliance on God, and ultimately we are made better. However, it requires that in the hard times we seek God, press into Him, pray, and never lose faith that He is with us, and that He loves us unconditionally.
If you are in a great marriage or one that is facing tremendous hardship, this message is the same for all: Marriage is hard…but God is with us! Never give up, my friend. Persevere and believe in the power of unconditional love.
There were quite a few years of marriage I had to skip over in this article for the sake of time, but if you are willing to read my marriage story you can grab a copy of my book The Unveiled Wife and find out just how God captivated my heart and changed me as a wife for the better!