Do You Regret Your Marriage?
Ahh, regrets. The bane of most people’s existence. The nagging & nipping little dog that is constantly at your heels. The 20lb weight on your shoulders that weighs you down. The dark shadow that follows you…everywhere you go.
As a commentator on Quora.com, I was posed with this exact question, and you can read my answer here. I regret many things in my life. I regret arguments that were pointless and feelings were hurt. I regret blaming my husband when it wasn’t his fault. I regret poor decisions that were made.
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. ~ Alexander Graham Bell
I regret being lazy and distracted by Netflix when chores needed to be done, like the laundry so my family would have clean clothes for the next day, I regret choosing fried chicken and chocolate cake to solve my worries, instead of choosing to rest in faith and the promises of scripture.
But I NEVER, EVER, EVER regret my marriage. Let me say it again, of all the decisions I have made in my life…I absolutely, not for one second, do not regret my marriage.
Why? You ask.
Because marriage is a gift. A blessing. It’s honorable. Sanctioned by God.
I love being married!
I love spending time with my husband. I love it when we’re together and his eyes light up. I love laughing together. He will make the silliest little jokes just to make me smile. I love how he cuddles me, wraps his arms around me, and protects me. I love shopping together with him (and letting him carry the heavy groceries!) Spending time with the Bible and worshipping together is a treat. When I have a question, he’s very knowledgeable and helps me understand what is going on.Do I regret being married? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Click To Tweet
We work hard together. It never ceases to amaze me, when I’m tired…he still keeps working to finish the job. Always being mindful and careful of me around the dangerous and heavy equipment that he uses.
Our marriage may sound like a fantasy, but it’s not. It’s simply 2 people who are determined to love each other, work very hard, solve communication problems, trust each other…and yes, say “I’m sorry, will you forgive me” when those difficult times come up. Just like I wrote about here, we strive very hard to keep Christ in the center of our how
But let me go back to the idea of regret. What makes regret so harmful in our life?
Shame. It has been defined as a “painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior” by Merriam Webster. I love how the dictionary sums it up by saying the ‘consciousness of wrong behavior’. I know deep down in my heart what was done was wrong, and now I have to live with that burden.
Failure. It does come, even when we work so hard. Life happens, and so does failure. Job loss, goals that were not met, bad decisions – all of these can look like a failure in our life.
Embarrassment – My heart cringes even reading this word. So many painful emotions are associated with those times of embarrassment, I wish I could just keep them hidden forever. But they are still there.
For those who know me, know that I am a Star Trek fan. And after watching 100 +/- episodes, you will learn one thing. Never, ever mess up the space-time continuum.
But oh I how I wish I could!!
I wish I could go back in time and alter those mistakes I made. If I had just kept my mouth shut instead of blurting some painful words out, if I had taken the time that day and took care of a major issue, if I wasn’t in so much of a hurry…then…everything would be alright. Or what about those times, I kept silence instead of standing up for what I believe in? I’d love to go back and make that wrong, right again.
But life isn’t like that. There are no worm-holes, traveling spaceships, or transporting through time to go back and make those corrections.
So if I can’t go back, what can be done? I think the Apostle Paul in the first century realized a most important lesson
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Phil 3:13-14
He realized that what he had accomplished up to this point was not important. I believe he understood the power of regret in his life. He was known as the persecutor of the churches. Quite a fancy title for someone who went door to door ratting out Christians and throwing them in jail. He held the coats for the men who (literally) picked up rocks of all sizes to throw at Stephen…and who was eventually killed as the result of those rocks. The Apostle Paul had hundreds of regrets. But he chose to forget those. He chose to keep going.
He chose to make Jesus Christ his goal in his life.
Just like you can with your marriage. You cannot go back and change anything. But you can start today and make a difference. Seek forgiveness for those you have wronged. Accept forgiveness from others. Allow wounds to start to heal. The grief and regret that we experience can cause us to look to Christ and seek that forgiveness.
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” ~ 2 Cor 7:10
Then go back, talk to your spouse. Commit anew to working on your marriage. Put those past regrets behind you and set new goals. Ones that make Jesus Christ first in your life and in your marriage. By doing this, consistently, you can make a painful regret a fading memory, because now you have hope for the future. And that is a wonderful thing!