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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

You Are Not Who I Married (Wedded Wednesday)

Sometimes the person we married changes...and the changes seem to be permanent.

Of course, some changes are easy to live with. My wife would be delighted if, on hitting my thumb with a hammer, my language would not blister paint.

But some changes make a person wonder why she's there, and is it worth staying?

What do you do?

First, don't rush to judgement. It may be that your spouse has nothing had an ugly transplant. Serious illness, from depression to cancer to stroke, can cause drastic changes in someone we thought we knew.

It may not be about character, or about you, or about the marriage. It may be a fight for survival.

One positive step you can take is to document the changes. Write down what you see; if there's an underlying illness, that witness can be invaluable to a doctor.

It's also a good idea to exercise self-care by reaching out to a counselor or minister. You can feel awfully alone through this morning sort of experience, and sharing the burden with someone who's been trained to help carry it can make a world of difference.

Also, pay attention to the parts of life that are 'yours'; make sure you have something significant, outside the marriage relationship, that gives you a sense of self-worth. This is not carte blanche to walk away; it's a form of triage. You can't help someone if you're hurting too.

Emphasize the things that haven't changed. Speak to those, when you can.

And pray. For you spouse, and for your own strength and patience.

You may never know what causes a change; you may simply have to adjust to a new normal, if you can.

We're linked to Wedded Wednesday at www.messymarriage.com.


  1. Pain and illness certainly changes us in the moment, so it should be no surprise how drastically it can change us in an extended time of illness. Thank you, Andrew, for sharing from your experience and wisdom here. I know that it has been very tough for you and Barbara and my prayers are with you!

    1. It has been hard, but the process has, I hope, done some polishing. I just posted the first installment in a new series on how to live while your spouse is dying. Hard topic, but might be useful.

  2. This is true Andrew! Had I not been vigilant enough to journal in the beginnings of the journey (with dementia), I may have missed what was happening around me; the changes that were swiftly coming.

    And now that I see it moving more into - something I'm not excited about dealing with...I know it's there and I'll be there (here) and we'll journey down that road together.

    Outside interests, separate from the marriage, are good for sure! And, I do have that; thankfully I have family AND friends that I can be with...but he doesn't really have any of that except family...

    Appreciate your sharing about changes in wedded life!! Still following; still praying!!

    1. Thank you so much for the sharing...you are in my prayers. And you're an inspiration of strength, faith, and hope.