Looking for Love (in All the Wrong Places)

Yesterday, I told you that I was married to the ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ And I am. He’s a good man. But just in case you mistakenly think that all my married life has been a bed of roses …

My husband, Will, is guest posting today. It’s an honest post about the hard work involved in building a strong marriage.

Today, Susie and I celebrate 26 six years of marriage. We love each other deeply and have a strong marriage, but that hasn’t always been the case. I embarrassed to admit it, but I almost drove our marriage into the ground. I was a Christian and a pastor, and yet I was guilty of off-the-charts levels of idolatry. The object of my worship and idolatry? My wife.

My idolatry wasn’t overt or deliberate, but it was real. I looked to Susie for my self-esteem and my security. If Susie and I were in a good place relationally, I was okay. If Susie was mad at me or disappointed in me, my security and self-esteem plummeted. If she was distant or just needing some space, I immediately took it personally. I may have been paying tribute to Jesus with my mouth, but the person who clearly had the most control over me was my wife.

It was a position she neither lobbied for nor wanted, but I had given it to her nonetheless.

So what happened?

Susie had enough sense to know that what we were experiencing was neither normal nor healthy. She also knew she couldn’t change me. So she prayed. Over the next decade, God (and a really great counselor) helped me understand grace. I’m probably not overstating things when I say that Susie’s prayers and God’s gracious answer to them saved our marriage.

What about you? Can you relate? Are you too dependent on your spouse? Is he or she too dependent on you? Do either of you crater emotionally in the face of marital conflict? Is either of you too reliant upon sexual intimacy for your self-esteem? Do either of you feel trapped in the other’s weighty codependence?

If so, then start praying! God wants to heal you, your spouse and your marriage.