Choosing to Choose Love Over Fear in Your Marriage

By Celeste

The title of this post makes it sound like I’m maybe going to talk about fear of infidelity or some serious trust issues.  I’m not.  I’m going to talk about little choices we face everyday when we see our spouse’s flaws and we can either choose to fear or we can choose to love.

Guess who has two thumbs and has no flaws…….. nobody.  That was a trick question.  Nobody is flawless.  Unfortunately that includes you.  Equally as unfortunate, that includes your spouse.

When you get to know someone on a marital level, those flaws are bound to peak out and call attention to themselves.  When you see your spouse’s flaws, it’s all too easy to let fear take over.

“Wait a minute,” you say, “How long is this imperfection going to last?  Will you EVER get over this?  Why are you like this?  Were you born like this?  Can you just get over this imperfection of yours, PLEASE?”

It can be really easy to fear not only each other’s flaws, but also the potential trajectory we fear that those flaws will take.

For example, if our spouse shows a tendency to be a little… unconcerned with neatness. We can fear that not only do they leave their socks lying around now, but we’re probably just stuck with a slob forever, who will never do the dishes or even notice that our house smells like feet.  They’ll never change.

Or if our spouse shows a tendency to be a little…. overly concerned with checking their phone.  We can fear that they would rather be alone with their phone than with us.  And we’re sure they’re not doing anything productive.  And probably they’re just addicted to it.  Yes, it’s become an addiction and we will be left to raise our children completely alone because our spouse is now married to their phone.  They’ll never change.

Choosing to Choose Love over Fear in your marriage

Photo by Charles Foster
Photo by Dyaa Eldin
And when you see flaws* and fear rears its ugly head?  Say, “Flaws?  Yeah, I see them.  I’ve got plenty of my own.  I choose now to set those aside, see past them and remember all the reasons to love my spouse and choose to believe in them.”

Sometimes we need to remember why we married them.  Remember how smart, funny, attractive, inspiring we found them.  Remember they still are smart, funny, attractive and inspiring.  Sometimes our lens just needs a little cleaning.

Everyone can change.  You can change.  I can change.  And even if our spouses don’t choose to change as quickly as we would like or in the exact way we would like, remember- that’s ok.  You can love them anyway. Choose to hope. Choose to love.

Remember perfect love casteth out fear.

* I’m not talking about abuse or serious addiction flaws here.  If those are their flaws, seek some professional help.

Or if our spouse shows a tendency to be a little unconcerned with promptness or budgeting, or overly concerned with sports or nights out with friends or whatever.  The examples are endless.

One problem with letting fear creep into our perception of our spouses is that we start to lose HOPE in them.  Hope that they can change.  And when we do that, we start not believing in them. They can feel our loss of hope in them.  They may even start to believe it about themselves.  Then what are you left with?  Hopelessness, distrust, fear.

Don’t ever give up hope in your spouse’s ability to change.  They need you to believe in them.  You need you to believe in them.  Even if they don’t want to change yet (or ever), don’t doubt their ability to do it.

I think sometimes we get confused of our role in our marriages.  What is our role exactly?  Their parent?  Their buddy?  Are we responsible for THEIR self-improvement?

Could be.  Sometimes.  But I think more times, no.  I think feeling like we are responsible to correct our spouse’s flaws will lead to nagging, frustration, hopelessness and fear.  And it will probably lead our spouse to the crazy house (because it will drive them CRAZY) or at least to want to sleep on the couch.

So what is our role?  I think it is to love.  I think it is to have faith in our spouse, to believe in them.  And when it’s hard?  And when we think they’ve done nothing to “deserve” it?  Believe in them anyway.

Picture

Hope.

31 thoughts on “Choosing to Choose Love Over Fear in Your Marriage

  1. Fearing that our spouse will NEVER get off their phone? Yeah, I can relate to that 🙂 Thanks for reminding me I can love him anyway.

  2. What a very encouraging post Celeste! It is true that when the going gets tough it is so easy to look at the flaws…whereas if we really ponder over this we are not perfect either. I like what you say about choosing hope and love. I agree. I hope that by choosing my battles and only being affected by anything that cross my lines/values then our journey and marriage is a long and happy adventure 🙂

  3. Celeste, you are an amazing writer! Your words speak volumes. This was beautifully written and one that I will be sharing with some of my closest friends! <3

  4. This is awesome! I had such a ridiculous view of what marriage was going to be when I was a newlywed, but the reality was a lot messier (literally and figuratively) than I expected. It really is important for me to love my husband even when his quirks drive me crazy!

  5. This is an amazing post! You’re right, no one is flawless. It’s so important to see the positives in relationships <3

  6. This was such a beautiful post, I’m so quick to point out my husbands flaws, and most of the time forget about my own! Marriage is work for sure, and your post brought out so many wonderful reminders!

  7. Love this. You need to work at these things in a relationship, not just give up on them. I like to be right and will argue a point to the death which drives my boyfriend nuts, and he leaves his stuff lying around everywhere which drives me nuts, but I don’t love him any less because of this- we both try to work on these things to be better for eachother.

  8. Thank you for this wonderful reminder. Something I really needed today! The way you tied fear and hope together I can completely understand. As wives we are to be our husbands biggest encourager. Letting fear get in the way is going to effect a lot of things and not in the best way!

  9. I love this! I don’t think anyone should change, and I mean – there is that saying: pick your battles. Sure there are times where we’re annoyed at one another. But like you said. No one is perfect, and I can thank my lucky stars I married the right guy for me.

  10. Amen! Our society trains us as children for the white wedding, perfect spouse syndrome all the while forgetting that marriages and made up of two people and people just aren’t perfect. True love is accepting those flaws, not accepting in the fashion (oh well he/she is just that way and will never change) but accepting in a way that says “I recognize that he/she isn’t perfect, but I love this person and that means I am here for the longhaul!” I think that is why there is so much divorce, people really, really need to look at their partner at their absolute worse and be able to say, “yah, I still love them.” Then you can get married and not until you can honestly say that!

  11. Wow. This was so great to read. We’re 3 months away from our wedding day and this is just exactly what I needed to hear now that things are getting REAL. Bookmarked it 🙂

  12. This is perfect – SO true. I’m always paranoid about things and I really need to work on just having some faith and focusing on loving over fearing.

  13. I’ve never thought that my partner has flaws, but we both funnily enough had a little argument this morning that we need to sort out. I think it’s just because we haven’t had a nice dinner together for a while so need to reconnect 🙂
    Katie <3

  14. What a beautiful post and I loved reading it. You’re so right, no one is flawless (perfect) and until we accept that person for who they are we will always have fear.

  15. Wonderful post. I live with a spouse who is a slob and I’ve learned to accept it for the most part and that I have to be very specific in what I need for him to do or it won’t occur to him to do anything.

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