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Marriage: When It's Not What You Expected

For my birthday recently I was treated to a night out painting with a group of other venturers, these events are called 'Brush Parties' or similar, maybe you've been to one? I thought it would be quite straight forward and that we'd have hours to natter and catch up while sploshing paint on like pros, ha! It was hilarious and very daunting! Honestly, the looks of concentration we all had, the intense focus, and as for nattering we were so intent on nailing the masterpiece we barely made time for a loo break! We had so much fun though, laughing at each other in our earnest efforts. I'd not seen one of these events before and didn't know what to expect or how it would work, being a creative type I assumed it would be easier but I was wrong. Isn't this how marriage can be? It seems the recent survey conducted would agree.

I've condensed and summarised the most common responses below, can you relate?


'I wish we would spend more time together, we're like ships that pass in the night'

'I wasn't expecting addiction; chronic health issues; job loss; children with special needs'

'I felt like Cinderella; just there to do all the work'

'We're less intimate now'

'We're divorced'

'When we were dating we talked so much about everything, now it's like we have nothing to say, we're gradually drifting apart'

'It's boring'

'My husband is an undiagnosed adult on the spectrum'

'I've had to get out of the fairy tale happy-ever-after mindset that I was conditioned with'

'We have different parenting styles'

'I married a godly man, I expected him to take more of a lead spiritually'

'I'm so disappointed'

'We have different cultural backgrounds it's been hard'

'We just can't seem to communicate well or healthily'


'We've gone from the initial romance into a passionate life partnership, it has so much depth'

'It's been hugely challenging but we've found incredible joy'

'There is a lot of security'


'We're a team, best friends, lovers'

'I married a low maintenance man'!

Prince William recently made it look so easy but if you've ever tried juggling with 3 balls without training it's pretty difficult! He's laughing here in this image but the ones prior show a look of deep focus and concentration.

Looking back over my marriage of almost 23 years I can see the countless opportunities we've had to quit when challenges have been thrown our way. I never in my life expected the difficulties we've faced through finances, chronic illness, family crisis, differing philosophies, sin and selfishness, self-employment work pressures, personal brokenness, church hurts, persecutions, moving countries, fatigue, stress. As two young sinful, broken, selfish people we were totally unprepared for the focus, intentionality and self-sacrifice marriage required.