Monday, May 13, 2013

Marriage Monday: When Your Prince Acts Like a Frog! {Link up}

Marriage Mondays

Welcome back to Marriage Monday! Did you catch my post last week on Avoiding Unrealistic Expectations in Marriage?  It is so easy to enter into marriage with starry-eyed notions. Let's face it, we all have unrealistic expectations about life in general! For example, I expected my Internet to be working this weekend, which it wasn't.  I also expected the Marriage Monday post for today that I started last week to still be waiting for me in my Drafts folder for me to quickly finish this morning.  Of course, it wasn't there!  I also expected my blog button to be working, which you may have already discovered wasn't the case!  Yes, daily life is full of many unexpected trials, delays, disappointments and difficulties, so of course, we shouldn't expect the marriage of two imperfect individuals to be any different.  But somehow we do!

As young brides we often expect our handsome, young husbands to be our "knights in shining armor," saving us from all of our problems!  Even if we notice a few "warts" during our dating or courtship, we expect those to all disappear when we say, "I do," because we fully expect that frog to become our Prince Charming!  In real life, our Prince may continue to exhibit a few frog-like characteristics for the rest of his life!  The real test of our commitment and love is whether we are willing to treat him like a Prince even if he sometimes acts like a frog!

Many of the disappointments that women (and men) face in marriage are a result of not understanding the differences between men and women.  I love the way Virginia Fugate explains this in her excellent book, On the Other Side of the Garden:

Courtship days are probably one of the happiest times of a woman's life, because she and her future husband spend a great deal of time together. During this time a woman's future husband becomes the center of her life. She usually assumes that her fiancee wants to make her the center of her life as well. Therefore, when after the wedding her husband's pursuit ceases somewhat, or even altogether,  she may become confused and hurt. Because he no longer does the things he did while they dated, she may begin to feel that her husband doesn't love her anymore. A wife can overcome many of her disappointments when she accepts that her husband's drives in their relationship are not, nor ever will be, identical to her own. 
In contrast to a woman's desire to make her man the center of her life, a man's major drive is to lead, protect and provide for his family. However, such responsibility is an extremely difficult, lonely and discouraging task. Therefore, a man's goal during courtship is to identify and to secure a supportive helpmate and companion. He feels a strong need for a wife to ease his loneliness and to support his responsibility. A man is attracted to the woman who supports his dreams for the future and the one who encourages him during the times he feels like giving up. Once a man has married, the objective of winning the woman of his choice is completed and the husband is ready to move on to conquer his main pursuits -- that of protecting and providing for his family. Furthermore, he expects his wife to move on to become his helpmate -- that is to help make his task less lonely and difficult. He too, may feel puzzled when he discovers that his wife wants to continue the activities of courtship, rather than to move on to other goals of living. This fact may not be very flattering to a woman's romantic, feminine soul, but men are motivated more by goals than by their emotions. It isn't that a man is totally void of any emotional desire for intimacy; however, developing close relationships is not usually a goal a man actively works to achieve."

I'm curious what you think of this quote? Did you find this to be true in your marriage?  Did your husband change his focus from pursuing you and winning your heart to providing for and protecting you after you got married??  With so much role confusion these days, I wonder if this changes the way men interact with their wives and what their expectations are.  I know that many men enter marriage expecting their wives to help provide for the family. Many women may enter marriage with that expectation as well. I think that women still like being protected by their man. Is that true? I realize that young men are being trained to be more sensitive and relationship-oriented than in the past. However, the basic nature of men and women has not changed, and the roles that God designed are still the pattern for success.  

Your Turn to Share:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Did you find married life to be different from what you expected?  Did your husband treat you differently after you were married?  Did you sense him turning his focus away from "winning you" and towards his career?  or other goals?  How have you adjusted your expectations to fit reality? What do you do when your Prince acts like a Frog??  I'd love your feedback on any of these topics! Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment here or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged and built up as wives!

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

Happy Wives Club


The Alabaster Jar

Marriage Moment

What Joy Is Mine

Growing Home

Courtship Connection

Welcome Home Wednesdays


Missional Women


ren said...

I like the quote and I agree guys are wired that way. I had found a quote when I'd first been saved that stated while dating you should have your eyes wide open and after marriage you should keep them half shut. I did this and consequently I examined closely all the worts so, that after I kissed the frog I knew what I was getting into and Prince was an easier thing to call him. I'm sorry about the double link up- I'm new to this- if you would delete the "Renee" Link up and keep the "Money" one I'd be much abliged ;)

Inking the Heart said...

Expectations are something no one told us about when we got married. We learned the heard way on our honeymoon. We have had a lot of ups and down in 19 years but really, truly learning to love my frog/prince has been nothing short of a miracle laced with the grace of God! Thank you for this link up. Blessings to you! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart

busymomof10 said...

Welcome Renee! Thanks for linking up! I will see if can delete the extraneous link, but don't worry about it! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! ~E

busymomof10 said...

Hi Rachel!

Thanks for linking up and sharing what you've gleaned from 19 years of marriage! ~E

Phyllis Sather said...

Great post Elizabeth - shared it. said...

I don't think it was different than I expected, but I did have to learn how to grow up into marriage and come to understand what his needs/expectations were/are. We had to learn to work and communicate with each other instead of against and also not expect that the other knew without talking it out.
Thanks for linking up with Marriage Moment @ Great Peace Academy

Chris said...

Thank you, Elizabeth!
Your post speaks volumes to the assumption of happily ever after..there are just so many ups and downs.

Thank you for sharing. I don't really have a suitable post to link...I do have "family-ish" posts but not really ones that are appropriate to this theme right how.
I tried to add the button again and it came out on the blog sidebar as just html code.

You know what? I will try to add it as just an image by DLing onto my desktop and then linking back here...I'll let you know how it works.

Havea great evening.

Chris said...

It worked!!
I saved it to my sidebar in a sort of backwards way...but it's there!

Thank you!

busymomof10 said...

Thanks Phyllis! I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a word of encouragement and for sharing this post with your friends! :) ~E

busymomof10 said...

Thanks for your perseverance, Chris! I don't know what is up with that code! I changed it, tried it out on a couple test posts and it was working, but then I noticed it contained a bunch of random code again, so I just edited again! I don't understand why it gets "garbled!" Anyone who wants to add it to their sidebar better grab it quick! LOL! ~E

Fawn Weaver said...

Expectations are so dangerous in marriage. Something I wish I knew when we began but so happy I figured out before I messed anything up. We're both works in progress (toads of such) and the same grace he extends me (which is alot) is what I extend to him.

stultsmamaof4 said...

God is really working on me in this area of treating my husband like a prince even if he's acting like a frog. I'm responsible for doing right, in spite of how I feel at the time. :)
Jen :)

thiswillnotdefineus said...

I just found your blog and this was the first post I read and I feel compelled to comment. While my expectations of marriage were met for the most part in my marriage. My husband did stop courting me but not entirely. What did change was that he was unfaithful for a year with another woman and I never expected that from him. My husband is a man of strong morals and values. He acted lovingly during his affair and supportive. What I didn't see was when he was lost his job and couldn't find a new one for a year how it impacted him. During that time I was extremely supportive and loving. His affair began when he went back to work--the stress of the new job, proving himself in the workforce again to new bosses and providing for his family. Another woman came into his life and did not know anything about what happened but she could see he was vulnerable. She offered help constantly-she didn't work for him but she began doing odd jobs for him to help him, writing letters in his name, buying merchandise for his business with her own money, etc. I didn't know she was involved with anything but it's easy to see how he fell into a sexual relationship with her. She was helping him, giving him attention and he paid her back with intimacy.
I can tell you that we learned a lot from this experience and we are closer than before. I just wish that someone had told me earlier in my marriage to always be helpful to your spouse. Always communicate and be open to hearing things you might now want to hear. Be supportive and open. Be loving and create time for intimacy. If you disagree don't take it personally. If you feel someone is a threat to your marriage--communicate that clearly.
Marriage, just like life, is never going to be exactly what you expected. But it can still be wonderful.

Elizabeth said...

That was a very powerful testimony! Thanks for sharing your heart and what you learned through the valley. So glad that you and your husband worked to restore your marriage!

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