Wait…this is NOT the person I married

scan0010 - Version 2Do you ever wonder what happened to the person you fell in love with and married?  Are there things about your wife that have changed over the years?  It’s natural for people to change.  Think about yourself…what were you interested in when you were 20 years old?  What types of things did you do with your time?  Now look at today…are you still interested in the same things?  Do you still spend your free time the same way?

**disclaimer…unless I specifically mention something about Julia that has changed, any examples I give are NOT about her…just so we’re clear** :-)

I know I’ve changed.  I used to stay up until 4:30 in the morning every night and would sleep as late as I possibly could.  Now, I’m being wild and crazy if I’m up past 10:15 and am excited and ready to get up at 5:00 in the morning!  Also, I used to HATE any form of exercise…running specifically.  Now, I LOVE it!  I got into running several years ago and would go 4 -5 times a week eventually racing in a marathon.  Now I’m totally into Crossfit and do it 5 times a week!  It would be easy to look at me and say that I’m not the same person I was back when I got married…because I’m not!  I’ve changed in so many ways.

It makes sense if you think about it though.  When you’re young, you’re still learning who you are, who you want to be, and what’s important to you.  As you grow up, get a job, and start a family, your priorities change and so do your interests and actions.  I’ve seen this in Julia too.  When we were dating, she was “very interested” in camping, hiking, and outdoor activities.  She hadn’t done it growing up, but I had and she wanted to do it too.  As we grew in our marriage, she decided that she really didn’t like it…at all.  So, even though hiking and camping was a big part of our dating relationship, in the last 5 years, I think we’ve camped together once.

I’m guessing guys reading this may have something they feel that has changed about their wives since they’ve been married.  So, is this kind of a bait and switch?  Do you feel cheated?  Did you fall in love with your wife solely because of her long brown hair, but since then she cut it short and dyed it blonde?  If that’s the case then that’s something you’re going to have to work through.  But HOPEFULLY it was more than one or two specific things that made you fall in love in the first place.  Hopefully a couple things about them changing is nothing compared to the complete package of the person they are.

greek_letter_delta_rectangle_decalHere’s what you need to do…EMBRACE THE CHANGE!  Your wife is growing as a person and finding out who she really is.  I fell in love with Julia because of who she is, not because of her singing voice, her love of reading, her looks, her intelligence, her ultimate frisbee skills, or her love of camping.  I married her because God brought us together and there is NO ONE I would rather spend my life with.  She makes me a better person and is my best friend, and those are things that will NEVER change.  I love her way more now than I did when we first got married, and I’m proud of the woman she has become.

My challenge to you:

If there is something about your wife that you used to like which has changed over time, focus on who she is as a whole.  Don’t lament the long brown hair she used to have, the way she used to love to travel but doesn’t now, the the skinny legs that she used to have, or that she used to like the same movies as you but doesn’t anymore.  Instead, love her for who she is now.  Remember that God has created her to be that way and he has made her to be your wife.

My secondary challenge is this…think about how YOU have changed.  Some ways may be for good, but some may not.  What attracted your wife to you originally?  Was it your humor, personality, looks, confidence, the way you pursued her, the way you paid attention to her.  Some of these (if they’ve changed…like looks) you can’t do much about.  But, some of them could change due to laziness or a lack of focus.  So…think about what may have changed in YOU that she may miss…and see if you can do anything to get it back!