Have you ever thought “Did I marry the wrong person?” or “Are we really meant to be?” Just about every married person I know has had those thoughts. But in this episode, we talk about why those thoughts aren’t serving you and your marriage.
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So I want to tell you a little story. I had been divorced for a month and a half and I was at a mid-singles religion class. I had started going to meet other single moms and get support. And I had made some really good friends. One night, I was standing around talking to some friends when a guy I had never seen before walked in. And I am not kidding, my world stopped. Lights went out, spotlight on him, angels singing. It was the CRAZIEST thing. He was gorgeous. So I was brave and went over and introduced myself. He was brand new, had never been before, and so I invited him to sit by me and my friends. After the class was over, I invited him to join us for dinner afterwards and he and I started to talk. And it was so great. When dinner was over one of my friends invites us back to his house to play some pool. So we went. And we continued to talk. About midnight, it was time to go home, so he asked for my number and I gave it to him. When he got in his truck and I got in my car, he called me right away. And we talked all night long until he had to work the next morning. And we continued to text throughout the day and then talked again that night. And it was seriously the craziest thing, but we both felt like we were falling in love with each other and told each other that 24 hours after meeting! Crazy right? That’s how I met my husband. We just knew…within 24 hours of meeting…that we were meant to be together.
I want you to think back to when you were dating and falling in love with your spouse. It was a magical time right? Just thinking about it brings a smile to your face. Everything they did was AMAZING! And the things that weren’t so amazing, didn’t really bother you. You were so in love and you knew that you were meant to be together. It was bliss. So then you decide to get married. And when you made the decision to get married you didn’t start out by saying “i don’t know if this is meant to be” you said “I know this was meant to be” and you went ALL IN! Right? .
Then you get married and life happens. You go through trials together. Those little things that didn’t really bother you because you were so in love now drive you batty.
What you thought was cute, is now so annoying.
You have disagreements about all sorts of things. Things you never thought you’d have disagreements on.
Or maybe things are more serious. Maybe you are dealing with a spouse who has been unfaithful. Or has issues with pornography. Or has been abusive in some way.
And you begin to think… did I marry the wrong person? Are we really meant to be together? What if I made the wrong choice!?
First, I want to let you know that you are NORMAL. Those thoughts are normal. Just about every single married person I know has had those thoughts. I actually took a poll on my Instagram Story and 85% of people answered that they had those kinds of thoughts.
So Why? Why do we have that thought “are we really meant to be?” Because your brain is trying to protect you again. Remember, your brain likes things just really really easy. And when things aren’t easy (when there is any sort of conflict or disagreement in your marriage), your brain thinks something is wrong and tries to figure out why and protect you. So it sends you all sorts of alarming thoughts that make you question what IS the right thing. How can we keep you safe.
But ONLY you and your HIGHER brain can decide if your spouse is the right one for you.
Now, I’m not saying you should stay with someone who mistreats you. I’m also not saying you should leave them. But I am saying that you made the decision to marry that person and instead of letting your lower brain run wild every time something hard in your marriage comes up and your lower brain questions it, you need to notice those thoughts, dismiss them, and you need to go ALL IN on your marriage again.
So when my clients tell me that they aren’t sure if they married the right person or if they aren’t sure if they are “meant to be” I ask them to doubt the doubt. When you were first making the decision to marry that person, you wouldn’t have done it, most likely, unless you felt like it was the right thing to do. So when you are questioning, I would suggest you go back to that original thought and feeling.
Now, that doesn’t mean things couldn’t have changed. But I want to suggest that rather than questioning if you made the right decision back then, Question if it is the right decision for you today. The past is the past. And you can’t change that. But what do you want NOW?
When we choose to think thoughts like “I’m not sure if I made the right decision marrying this person” or “I don’t know if we are meant to be” How does that make you feel today? Does it make you feel love for your spouse? Does it make you feel peaceful? Does it make you feel confident? I doubt it.
Those kinds of thought prompt doubt, worry, frustration, and sadness. And when you are feeling those negative emotions how are you showing up in your marriage? Are you showing up as your best self? Are you showing up with love and compassion for that other person? Are those thoughts serving you and your marriage? I doubt it.
When we entertain the thought that our spouse might not be the one for us, our brain starts looking for evidence to prove that thought true. So it will find every bit of evidence it can saying “see, if he were the right one for me he wouldn’t do that, or he would do this instead” But if you tell yourself, my spouse is the perfect one for me…your brain will go to work to prove THAT is true. It will find all the wonderful things your spouse does for you to prove to you that he is the perfect one for you. It’s still the same person, doing the same things, but your brain is looking for different evidence.
When we first get married, we think we understanding that “marriage is hard” and that “marriage takes work” but we don’t understand what that work is.
This is the work of marriage. Continuing to manage our own thoughts and feelings so that we can show up as our best selves in that relationship.
In Episode 1 I talked about how you should decide if you should get divorced or not. I always recommend that you get to place of love and compassion and peace before you make any decisions. Do not make decisions in anger or resentment. You are showing up as your best self when you are living your life in love and compassion for those around you. Those are the best emotions to act from. If you are truly loving and having compassion for your spouse what does that look like? It might look like staying together when times get hard. Or it might look like deciding that you love them but you aren’t going to stay with them any longer. You have to decide that. You are the only one that can decide that.
But constantly doubting whether or not your spouse is the right one for you is not going to get you to a place of love and compassion. So what thoughts can you have that will?
President Russel M. Nelson said “As you continue to be obedient, … you will be given the knowledge and understanding you seek.”
So I urge you to be obedient to the vows and covenants you made in marriage and if you aren’t meant to be, that knowledge will be revealed to you at the perfect time.
Remember to show faith during uncertain times.
Choose your love and love your choice.
Doubt your doubts.