Settling for a Spouse

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Knowtheledge
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Settling for a Spouse

Postby Knowtheledge » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:10 pm

Did any of you "settle" for your spouse? Did any of you have doubts that you were making the right choice to get married?

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby SeekingChange » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:49 pm

I personally did not, but would you like to share why you are having these feelings?

We are in ministry so we get to hear about many people's stories. There are some where when they are having these doubts, I know that it is was definitely because they shouldn't get married. We could call it a check in their spirit from the Holy Spirit. There are definite flags that says "STOP" this is not a good idea.

But, I also know of some who almost backed out because of fear. With one, her history was abandonment from her father, and she was fearful of commitment and she could only think her to-be-husband would abandon her as well, so she would rather make that choice first. But because we had mentored them, we knew how they were brought together, how God had worked in their lives separately and together, and how they both knew that the other was the one God intended for them to marry. For the girl to call things off, she knew she would be going against the Spirit and would be going down her own path.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby jokerman » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:04 pm

No, I've never felt that I settled. In some ways I think I "married up." She's sort of my dream girl.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby tjw » Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:20 pm

My wives "settled" for me. None of the 3 of them were attracted to me physically. I'm a geek. They married me because of my "qualities", that I'm a sincere christian, good provider, and morally upright. They didn't have any success finding a "hot" guy who also had "qualities". They thought they would "learn" - if they gave me sex, everything would be "ok" whether they really wanted to or not. They thought I wouldn't "care" as long as I "got it".

I guess that was their premarital experience. In fairness to W2, I don't think she realized how drastically her CSA would affect her in marriage.

They all hid it quite well during the courtship. I had "flags"...and "doubts".... but talked myself out of believing them. In retrospect, it was very stupid of me. I should have recognized that it was impossible for someone like me to be happy in marriage.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby poetess » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:16 pm

TJW, how handsome a man is has little to do with his attractiveness to most women. But a man who goes around determined that he is a loser is quite unattractive to most women. Choosing a man for his character means choosing him for his good qualities . . . though it might be a major disappointment to find out that he walks around with a constant pout.

Did I "settle" for my husband, absolutely not. If I were in charge of details of circumstances, I might write them differently--marrying him earlier in our lives (which would mean before he married the first time), changing other details. But I married a quality, good man--a man with solid character and earnest interest in the things of the Lord, and solidly committed to family. He's handsome, too, but really those details are secondary. He's head and shoulders above any other man I've ever known, family and friends included.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Hiswifeagain » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:32 pm

Poetess, I was thinking much the same thing about TJW's perception of what his wives may have thought and felt. Those qualities he's dismissing are way more important than looks. TJW, I wish you would stop applying that same broken ruler to yourself. You cannot measure attractiveness by external qualities and get an accurate measure. One thing it makes me wonder is did you marry your wives for their external qualities?

I did not settle, but if I had I can't imagine it could possibly be a good idea to dwell on it. What we pay attention to grows!


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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby seeking perspective » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:37 pm

I had lots of doubts and felt that I was settling for my husband.

Over time, I've come to see how much he is the man I needed in my life. I sometimes catch glimpses of the person I might have become. I am better with him than without him. The very things that I used to feel I was settling for are now the things I see as great character traits in him.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Knowtheledge » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:55 pm

I'm 26. I wanted to marry young and have a large family but I had trouble finding a Christian guy. I prayed for God to give me a husband. I didn't think I was very picky; I was willing to give any guy a chance if he was a serious believer and also wanted to have kids. I remember thinking that if I could just find a good Christian man to marry then I would be thankful. It seemed so hard to find a Christian guy that I was interested in and that was interested in me.

Last October I met a guy and we're recently engaged. He's a Christian, he's willing to try and have a large family and let me be a stay-at-home mom, he works hard, and he has the same ideals as me. He's not my physical type (he's not ugly though), but I think that would be okay? But I don't even know if we have chemistry. We get along okay, we're both introverted. But sometimes I feel almost tired of spending time with him. Sometimes he gets on my nerves. His sense of humor is kind of annoying to me. If I wasn't looking for marriage I don't think I would have become friends with him. That sounds bad, that I get tired of being around him, but I'm not a people person either. There aren't many people outside of my family that I love spending time with.

I've never really believed that God has "the one" for us. I've always agreed with the premise of this article: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriag ... -to-settle
In that article the author says about marriage, "Make the best decision you can, in view of the wisdom of Scripture and prayer. Then move forward confidently." But I'm not confident right now. And then I read another article by the same author that scared me: http://www.boundless.org/advice/2013/sh ... attraction
Someone wrote in with pretty much my same issue and the author responded, "In addition to coming clean with him, I think it's important that you recognize your own complicity in this matter. You have been leading him on. You say he is annoying and embarrassing to you, yet you have agreed to marry him. You have said you will occupy the most intimate and exclusive role in his life — his wife — even as you hold your nose at the thought of it. This is hypocrisy. And it is a sin. You are bearing false witness: saying one thing with your actions, and another with your thoughts and emotions. Won't you consider not just your need to break things off with him, making them right by admitting you are not qualified to be his wife, but also your need to confess your sin to God?" Is that what I'm doing? Is it a sin to "settle" and marry someone I'm not attracted to?

Now that the reality of marriage is closer, I'm paranoid that I'm making the wrong decision. I don't want to live in regret. Big decisions freak me out. I'm strongly against divorce so if I marry this guy then it's for good. I'm a very logical person, and I feel like I'm making a logical decision to get married, but I've never heard anyone say that they've done the same thing. Everyone talks about that "spark" or "attraction". When I was young I asked my mother how I would know who to marry and she said, "Oh don't worry, you'll know. When I met your dad I was just drawn to him." I hear that sort of stuff a lot but I don't have that at all with my fiance. I want to have kids so bad, it's not so much the fear of remaining single that scares me, it's the thought that I'll end up without any children.

One thing that confuses me is that historically it seems like people didn't even have this problem. Girls married when they were still teenagers or young twenties to eligible men. Parents often arranged marriages, which is shown in the Bible. And people didn't get divorced back then either like they do now.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby seeking perspective » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:01 pm

Our relationship struggled for a long time, and the feeling of having settled played a huge role in that. We have a good marriage now because I decided to work on it--and it has been hard, hard work to get me to this point.

Even so, my husband and I had an attraction to each other and enjoyed each other's company a great deal. The fact that you don't feel an attraction and don't particularly enjoy being with him is a big red flag to me.

I don't think it is a sin to marry anyway, but I would encourage you to postpone the wedding and address these issues. If the only reason you're marrying is so you can have children, you may be setting your future husband up for a lifetime of heartache--and yourself as well.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Knowtheledge » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:08 pm

Why did you feel that your were settling in your marriage?

The thing is, there aren't a whole lot of guys I do enjoy spending a lot of time with. I've never really felt that attracted to guys my age, I'm mostly drawn to guys 20-30 years older than me, who are of course married already. I feel like if I don't marry now, then it will be very difficult to find another guy. It seems like the only guys interested in me are unbelievers. And I'm so quiet that I can fly under the radar.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby seeking perspective » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:11 pm

I felt like I was settling because my primary emotion was relief at having found someone to marry. I married him so I could be married, not because I wanted to have him in particular. He deserved better than a wife who was more interested in the ring than in the guy who put it on my hand.
You turned my wailing into dancing . . .
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby jokerman » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:20 pm

I'm seeing a lot of red flags in the OP's posts. If you aren't finding this person interesting, companionable and fun, I think being with them 24/7 as a married person will magnify those feelings. If the sense of humor is annoying now it will be barely tolerable later. I'm also having a problem with wanting to get married simply to get to the "real goal": lots of kids.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby poetess » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:58 pm

Knowtheledge,

I see red flags, too. BTW, I didn't marry until I was past 40 and after a hysterectomy, so the possibility of bearing children was gone. I married a widower with children, so now I am a stepmother, and with a closer relationship with my stepchildren than I ever dreamed possible (closer than most of my family and friends have with their children). That's the "happily ever after" in my story, though at this point in your life it might not sound like it.

I cared more, when I was in my twenties, about having children than about being married. Truth is I was somewhat ambivalent about marriage--and knew I probably wasn't ready for it myself--and if I had known myself to be infertile I wouldn't have even considered it at that point in my life. Sometimes I thought I really wanted to marry, other times I didn't, but I knew I wanted children and knew they were a package deal. And I definitely never met anyone that seemed right for me, though I had some men I thought about and hoped that they would grow and mature in ways that would make them better suited. (In other words, men who had some good traits but "issues." I had issues too.) Still, I watched friends and family marry and have children--lots of children in several cases--and it sometimes was very painful. Especially when someone close to me griped that she only had four children and she wanted more (she did eventually have more), I felt like a lesson in gratitude might be a really good idea. I get it.

This is what I eventually determined: The marriage relationship is one flesh. It is primary, and children are secondary. Children are an extremely important part of the reason God gave us marriage, but a husband is far more than a sperm donor so that a woman can be a mother. I realized this: I should not marry until I wanted a specific man more than I wanted his children.

Fast forward twenty years and I began to desire marriage on several levels. I saw my fertility wane, then disappear with the hysterectomy. But I realized my peers had already had their children, that I simply "missed" that phase in my life--an important one, a very important one--but I was at peace that God knew what was best. And then one day mutual friends introduced me to a widower with children, and God gave me what I had wanted, and gave it abundantly--but as a happily married wife and mother, I'll tell you that it is the husband and not the children who make marriage sweet and beautiful. Had I married just to have children, married a man I might be able to endure as long as we could be co-parents, I wouldn't have the man who knows me inside and out, who understands me in ways none of my sisters or my friends have (I don't mean they've been bad at understanding me, just that this man--a man--is even better), who makes me laugh, who draws from me desires I didn't even know I had, and who leads me as a godly husband should. The children are a bonus--a wonderful bonus--and within the next few years I imagine grandchildren will be another lovely bonus.

I'm OK with marriages "of convenience," with marrying a man who doesn't make your heart leap out of your chest. Most marriages in the history of the world have been marriages of convenience, not marriages of deep romance. But don't marry a man you don't really like just so you can have his children. It isn't fair to him, it isn't fair to the children God may give you, and you yourself are likely to live to deeply regret it. And it sounds as though you already know that but just need someone else to tell you so.
Marriage--what a wonderful image of Christ's love for His bride!

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby SLS » Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:53 pm

Poetess et. al have given some excellent advice on this thread. I just want to share a little tidbit from my family history.

Knowtheledge wrote:I'm 26. I wanted to marry young and have a large family but I had trouble finding a Christian guy.


My mother was 32 when she got married and had me at 34 (and my twin sisters at 39). Don't feel that you have to rush into this because you are "running out of time."

It seemed so hard to find a Christian guy that I was interested in and that was interested in me.


My wife had a very similar experience. She can be quite introverted and only opens up to people she knows and trusts. It seemed like a fluke that we even started talking to each other but God had a plan. :D

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Job29Man » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:57 am

Knowtheledge,

Jokerman, as usual, brings a concise common sense to the thread. I agree with him. Whatever you feel for him now will probably be intensified by marriage.

There are cultures that many people grow up in where there is no expectation of attraction or love at first in marriage. These are cultures of arranged marriages, and it works out quite well very often. But these people grew up from childhood with the expectation of growing into love over decades of marriage, not of bringing love and attraction to the marriage bed to begin with. We cannot deny our upbringing.

I'm looking at the wedding date on your profile and ... do I have this right?
Is your wedding set for the day after tomorrow? :shock:

OK (gulp) here's my thought on it.

I've been on TMB now for 11 years and have literally read tens of thousands of posts. MANY men have come here with marriages that are 5, 10, 25 years long and are depressed or at the point of many tears because "my wife isn't attracted to me ... she doesn't pursue me ... sure she'll have sex with me, but she's not really INTO me. After years of arguments and many many fights, she finally told me honestly that she never was attracted to me, and she married me just because she wanted a family. I'm miserable and desperately unhappy. etc etc"

Knowledge, the second article you quoted was spot on. Your fiancee deserves to know PRECISELY what is on your heart, today. Already by hiding your heart from him you are dooming your marriage. Marriage is about total transparency, but you would marry him under false pretenses. The second article was right, this is not just a mistake, it is out and out SIN against God and your fiancee. You should repent of this and break the engagement now, without delay.

Be prepared for him to say something like "That's OK. I'll accept that." But I would not believe it, not yet. You have not been honest with him, and now you have the momentum of a freight train moving towards marriage. I'd break the engagement for at least six months and THEN come back to the topic and see how he feels about it then.

You say that if you marry him you would be committed for life. That's not what marriage is ... me, me, me. Your thinking should be "him, him, him." You'd be committed, OK. But what about his heart? A man has a right to expect desire, passion from his bride.

If the many MANY men on TMB are any indicator, by marrying your fiancee without really being "into him," you would be dooming him to a miserable future. Men figure these things out. We may be blinded during a courtship, during an engagement, but eventually we figure out if our wife is attracted to us, admires us, desires us. We NEED to know that she desires us. It is important to our ability to get up in the morning and go to work with a smile on our face and song in our heart.

Don't do this to him, please! Show him real love. Set him free right now.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby tjw » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:19 am

Knowtheledge wrote: He's not my physical type (he's not ugly though), but I think that would be okay?
Is it a sin to "settle" and marry someone I'm not attracted to?


Let me reframe the question. My daughter (who is now home with the Lord) was married a "first" time to a man other than my SIL. The marriage didn't last more than about two years. She wanted, more than anything, to be a mother, to bear her own children. She felt as you did, that it was really difficult to find another guy. She was getting "older".

During the courtship, the man she married feigned interest in raising a family, but after the marriage, his "true colors" came out. He really did not want the responsibility of fatherhood and refused to impregnate her. He wanted a double-income-no-kids-trophy-wife.

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby seeking perspective » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:19 am

Once you marry, this man IS your family.

You haven't expressed a single thing about the man you are engaged to. You want to know if you are sinning and if it is wrong for you to proceed. You don't seem to care about him at all other than that he checks off a couple boxes on your Characteristics of a Husband list.

Please read this article, Marriage Isn't for You. Are you willing to sacrifice for this man, to love him (love as an action, not a feeling), to allow him to be a father and not just a sperm donor? Until you can answer all these questions with a resounding "YES!" you are not ready to be married.
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Job29Man » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:46 am

And are you willing to allow him to be a husband to you, a man who will pursue you with passion?
And are you willing and ABLE to be a wife to him, a woman who will pursue him and make him feel desired for the rest of your life? Even decades after all your children have left the house and you are alone with this man until the day one of you dies?
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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby Tracker » Tue Aug 08, 2017 10:30 am

Can I ask you a question? You say you want children. That's why you want to get married. What if for some reason you both couldn't have children.....is this the man you want to spend the rest of your life with?

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Re: Settling for a Spouse

Postby lookin2Him » Tue Aug 08, 2017 12:56 pm

I don't think I 'settled', but I want to add something to what others have brought up.

When I was growing up, I always said I "wanted to be married". (In fact, when some one used to say that Jesus was coming back soon, I usually said 'I hope not before I marry.) I really wanted to know what that relationship was all about. I assumed that we'd have kids, but a wife/companion/lover was my primary desire because I (and my siblings) was taught that: 1) personal relationship with God, 2) marriage, 3) kids/family, 4) ....... You are married before kids, and after kids you still need to be married. They are only on loan to you for a time.

Now, I have heard my wife say numerous times that growing up she always wanted "5 kids". I can't remember a time when she said 'I want to marry and have 5 kids'. Granted, she assumed the marriage first because she has always been for the conventional family structure, but do you see the difference in our perspectives? It may only be a slight shift in view points, but Satan has used that MANY times in my marriage when ever I feel slighted or lonely. (in a hushed, hissing voice) "she never wanted you, just the kids. you had to be there for the act." She loves me, I'm sure of that, but my sinful, human frailty gives into that insecurity a lot. Satan knows how to push our buttons.

Listen to the others. If you don't want to be a wife/companion/lover 1st and foremost, don't marry this man. Satan will use what he can to tear that man down and you are just giving him fodder.


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