So You Think You’ve Married the Wrong Person?

From time to time I hear a husband or wife wonder if perhaps they made a mistake in marrying the person that they did.

Things have usually gotten pretty bad by the time this question arises. Maybe the differences between the husband and wife are much greater than either one anticipated. The husband is neat, the wife is messy. The wife is talkative, the husband is quiet. The husband is always on time, the wife lives more in the moment. The wife is social, the husband is a homebody. These differences, which were initially just an irritant, have grown into something massive. What was once a tiny gap has become a great divide.

A marriage that once seemed so promising now seems to have little hope. That’s when the “did I marry the wrong person?” question usually arises.

In these difficult situations I find the words of Paul Tripp to be very helpful:

God is in control not only of the locations in which you live, but also of the influences that have shaped you as a person. He has not only written the story of you and your spouse and determined that your stories would intersect, but he has controlled all the things that have made you different from one another.

As you struggle, you must not view your marriage as bad luck, or poor planning, or a mess that you have made for yourself. No, God is right smack-dab in the middle of your of your struggle. He is not surprised by what you are facing today. He is up to something. (What Did You Expect??, pgs. 213-214)

Your marriage, and the struggles in your marriage are not an accident. Even if you married a non-Christian, you’re marriage is not an accident! God is sovereign over all your struggles and sins, and he is using the differences between you and your spouse to bring himself glory and to make you more like Jesus.

You didn’t marry the wrong person. You married the person that God always planned for you to marry, and God is with you in all your struggles.

Side note: There are obviously a thousand different variations on marriage. If you are in an abusive marriage, I am not saying that you need to stay in the path of harm. That conversation should be had with your pastor or another wise Christian.

Never Miss Any Goodness

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  • Katy says:

    My mother's advice to us was always that we could pick poorly and marry the wrong person (ie, if i married a nonbeliever or even a difficult personality) but as soon as we said 'I do' that person became the right person.

    Why? Because God is even in control of bad decisions. and He can redeem them. So, (a) think hard about who you are marrying and (b) once you are married, know that he or she is the RIGHT person for you…

  • sara says:

    Katy, your mother's words are helpful and encouraging. Thank her for me.

  • Dave says:

    Thanks for your post. It was encouraging. I am the quiet husband, my wife is the talkative one :) … one question: How is it possible that God would 'plan' for someone to marry a non-Christian??

  • Sara R. says:

    I think this post is helpful for those may be fearing marriage because of divorce, abuse, or plain fear of getting the biggest decision in their lives wrong. Thanks Stephen.

  • Vincent says:

    When I got married I married a believer, in spite of my mother's wish to marry an unbeliever,
    Yes I am aware That I consciously disobeyed my parent in obeying the word of God,to honor them. I could not bring myself to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.
    But I have never ever regretted for that decision. Yes there were struggles, misunderstandings between mother-in-law and daughter-in law, I believe they are bound to happen, unwanted quarrels over petty issues between husband and wife which can sometimes blow out of proportion when not tackled in the right manner and at the right time. The question is, does these situations and circumstances which we have created for ourselves determine or rather bring us to a point where we think and ask " So You Think You’ve Married The Wrong Person?
    I would say Think again on that very crucial question. I would recommend a book which is in our Redeemer Book Stall.
    when I read this Book by John Piper "This Momentary Marriage" It was such a wonderful reminder on how the Lord loved his bride (His Church) and gave His very life for her in spite of all her short comings and unfaithfulness, He Redeemed her and loved His Bride and is constantly sanctifying her to present her a spotless bride, till it will be finally consummated at the second coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    God will use the trials in our marriages to bring us to maturity and perfection someday. The question is do we want to believe that God in His sovereignty has united us and made us one in Christ, and that He will see us through……….. or do we want to think otherwise and flirt with the edges and think its alright?

  • Patrick Chan says:

    Thanks for your post! I also appreciated Doug Geivett's remarks.

  • David says:

    This is sinful.

  • lonmarJC says:

    if you married non-believer, then you married the wrong person.(Period)

  • biola says:

    I got married 2 weekends ago,to a man I started dating precisely a year ago. 1112 days of marriage and I’m already thinking, did I marry the wrong person? Few weeks to our wedding, he confessed @ a church prayer meeting that he’s been sleeping with 2 ladies who he made me believe were his friends,although they once dated. We have had several fights about this girls and he kept telling me I got him all wrong and I don’t trust him. now we are married and this girls are still his friends, I read a text message on his phone which suggested that probably still slept with one of this girls 2 weeks before our wedding


    Let me quickly add here that he is a believer, attending a bible believing church. But I have seen him watch pornography, just yesterday while watching d TV, he logged on to d website and browsed for models photo shot for several minutes. We are not even back 4m our honey moon vacation and I’m fearful for what lies ahead.

  • Joe says:

    biola – you need to talk with your elders/pastor about this.

  • I'm so sorry to hear this biola. This makes me very sad to hear. I would strongly encourage you to talk to your pastors/elders about this issue. This sounds very serious. God can work in the midst of your marriage, but it sounds like you may need to bring in some outside help on this.

  • TSM says:

    Very sad situation indeed my sister. My heart goes out to you. I have been in an almost similar situation. Married to a believer for almost 3 years, but now alcohol, and had to deal with pornography and inappropriate relationships with females. Prayer and support from other Christians has helped and God is working in my husband's heart and changing him. Please speak to your pastor/elder/older wise woman of God. Pray my sister and know that God can restore anything even these kinds of marriages.

  • Ken says:

    Interesting point of view I'm reading here: even if a person marries someone with whom they're not very compatible, God can make them compatible. I understand that, but I also see tons of couples (Christian and otherwise) that never should have married. Some of what I'm reading seems to be plain old rationalization, because clearly some couples are better together than others. So in many ways, some of you DID marry the wrong person and are paying the price for it. To say that you automatically become the right person for the one you've married is basically resigning yourself to the challenge instead of facing the facts. It doesn't mean God won't help you, but a bad decision is a bad decision. He or she is not the person you thought they were, you sacrificed too much, and/or you were idealistic when you took the plunge. God just allows us more grace than we deserve, and leads us RIGHT where we want to go- to feel better about a bad decision. Sorry. I'm a realist.

  • Lorraine says:

    I do agree with you Ken on alot of points. God gave us free will to choose and make our own decisions. So, yes, we on our own do make the wrong ones. I also agree that God does not always plan who we will marry, especially if we are outside of His will. So, to blanketly say that God chose our spouse for us is simply not always the case. However, it is not rationalization on the part of believers who understand that God will take control if we give it over. "We can't, He can, so why not let Him?", God works for the good for all those who love Him. He hears our tears and understands our needs and is quick to answer. Even if we do not see it. That is what Faith is.

  • Lorraine says:

    What I personally struggle with in my marriage is not feeling loved and cherished by my husband as Christ calls him to do. I know that I need to draw on the Lord from the well for this love, but the flesh is weak and emotions rise! I take the marriage covenant very seriously and know that I too have fallen short of who I should be for my husband. Love is a choice, I know. It is a difficult place to be when one of the people is not making that choice and is neglecting the other.It hurst to feel unloved by your husband. I would like to see someone write about that in relation to God's word. I could really use some encouragement.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with Lorraine… the lonliest thing in the world is to be with someone who doesn't want to atleast try to meet you half way. I tell single girls all the time who claim to be lonely that they can still feel that same loneliness (even worst) within a marriage. I often cry to myself because my spouse just doesn't take the time to consider my feelings. I often feel unloved and unwanted when times get hard. Lorraine, praying for your and my strength.

  • anonymous says:

    Lorraine, praying for your and my strength. Reply
    0 replies · active less than 1 minute ago

  • Duran Bell also criticized the legitimacy-based definition on the basis that some societies do not require marriage for legitimacy, arguing that in societies where illegitimacy means only that the mother is unmarried and has no other legal implications, a legitimacy-based definition of marriage is circular. He proposed defining marriage in terms of sexual access rights

  • rabbit runs says:

    This is very good idea.
    Thanks for sharing.
    It's good tips.

  • CLJ says:

    Plz pray for me too. Same situation. C

  • CLJ says:

    I feel exactly how you feel. Plz pray for me as well. C

  • Jane says:

    Ive been feeling the same way for a long time. I’ve told my husband over and over what I need and it doesn’t seem to matter. I am the bread winner and I feel he doesn’t appreciate all the hard work I have put in. I started talking to a friend I grew up with in church a guy and things slowly started to get inappropriate with our conversations but I loved the attention so I continued to talk to him off and on for the majority of my 3 year marriage but we never met in person because I knew where things would go. During this time I never felt any guilt about my “emotional involvement” with my “friend”. I still was trying to get my husbands attention but it seems I was only good for sex which made me not want to have sex with him at all. So I started to reject his advances more often. Recently I was so sick of him not being responsible, not showing me love, just ignoring me I told him I wanted a divorce and it was over. For a month and a half we barely communicated he tried to have sex with me once but I turned him down cause I was tired. One day I just snapped out of it and said I’m going to make my marriage work and asked if he wanted to try again and he said yes. About a week later I found out that during the month and a half he had slept with another woman twice once after he and I had been intimate again. I was so hurt and went into a deep depression and said I would work it out but I couldnt I was so hurt because I had been begging him for what I needed for years and as soon as I didn’t give him what he wanted he got it elsewhere and fast. He ended it with the woman as soon as I said I wanted to try again. I then confessed to him I had been talking to a guy for a few years in ways I shouldn’t have at times and he was hurt but he forgave me. He was very sorry remorseful and wants to work it out.. We cried together we both lost a lot of weight from this but even through this I just feel like we can’t comeback after this. We lost new our business because I became so depressed I couldn’t function and he gave up on it, which mad me so mad because he couldn’t hold the business down while I was a mess. He lost the job he had just got back and now I am living with my parent with our 4 year old son and he is with his mom. He was trying to get me back very hard at first but now it’s like we both don’t care…. Its been 5 months and I can’t get over that he had the heart to sleep with someone else when I fought the temptation for years…. Ive lost everything and I feel so hopeless at times!

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