We become quite selective as single people, evaluating potential spouses, hoping to find our soul mate, our true love, that one perfect person God intended us to be with, forever and ever. We’re convinced that in order to be successful and happy, we must find that one right person — the love of our life — to marry.
When couples inevitably face unmet expectations and disappointments in marriage, they sometimes decide they’re just poorly matched — they assume they failed to find "the one” they were meant to be with. Sometimes spouses just "give up" on their marriage, thinking they deserve to start life over, this time to find their "one true love."
Psychiatrist and author Scott Haltzman says that in a sense, such couples are correct; we all married the wrong person. When we first get married, we are blind to the flaws of our partners. As time goes on, their shortcomings become more obvious. Our unmet expectations and dashed hopes emerge, once the reality of married life sets in. But that’s no reason to give up and start over.
Adopting the attitude that "this is the person I will spend the rest of my life with" can help couples find ways to make it work, instead of looking for a fast and easy exit.
Haltzman offers the following hints to help us reconnect and restore our relationships:
- Respect your mate for his/her positive qualities.
- Be the right person, instead of looking for the right person.
- Be a loving person, instead of waiting to get love.
- Be considerate, instead of waiting to receive consideration.
God never promised to provide "one true love" for each of us. What God did promise was to provide grace, forgiveness and healing in marriage, to join us for a life of joy with our human, imperfect mates.