“When you first fall in love, you think you love the person, but you don’t really. You can’t know the person right away. That takes years. You actually love the idea of the person – and that is always, at first, one-dimensional and somewhat mistaken.”
- Tim Keller
Tim Keller, in his book, The Meaning of Marriage, goes on to quote Stanley Hauerwas. “We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change...The primary problem is...learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” (126).
As we are complex people, we will continue to grow, change, and learn about ourselves and our spouses throughout our lives. And sometimes, as you come to accept the limitations of your spouse, you may feel disappointed. Your disappointment may have roots in legitimate desires. You would like your spouse to be able to empathize with you, care for you, value and respect you. Often, when you are in a difficult or destructive marriage, you will experience disappointment.
At times, however, we find ourselves disappointed because we have simply made too much of marriage. For example, when we enter marriage with Jerry McGuire"s "You complete me" mindset, we will certainly be disappointed. If we are not happy individuals, marriage will not make us happy. This is not what marriage is for. Marriage is, rather, a relationship where we learn to become better versions of ourselves, and love our spouses in self-giving ways.