What Changed?

Brad says…

One person can start a change in a marriage that moves it from blah to amazing! I know because my wife did and it made all the difference.

Our story from a marriage on the rocks, to a good-ish marriage to a great marriage was a journey that occurred in stages. The changes didn’t all happen at one time, or by one person leading the change. However, the last jump from good to great happened when Kate when deep with God, and committed to cling to our marriage!

When this change happened she didn’t announce it to me, or let me know that the change was taking place. She just did. She followed what God was telling her, and I was the happy recipient! (You can read more about Kate’s side of this change in Our Story)

I’d like to say I immediately noticed the difference, but that isn’t true. I think several weeks went by until I rolled over one night and said “what changed?”

I Noticed

I noticed the big changes and the little changes.

  • I noticed that she was going out of her way to do things special for me, like make me coffee in the morning, and even packing my lunch for me.
  • I noticed that she was making a point to ask about my day, and even in the midst of a very stressful time for her she was concerned about all I was doing.
  • I noticed that she would ask me things like, “what can I pray for you today?”
  • I noticed that she went out of her way to make sure that we had time together.
  • I noticed that we were having sex, A LOT!

As she made all of those changes, I couldn’t help but make changes too! I absolutely ate up the extra attention (who wouldn’t, and Kate makes GREAT coffee.)  I happily turned off the TV for the alternatives that Kate had in mind!

I found that we were spending more and more positive time together and I loved it! I almost didn’t want to ask what changed, for risk of bursting the awesome bubble that we were in.

Change In Stages

I don’t want to give the false impression that everything changed all at once because Kate did these awesome things. Changes in our marriage came in stages as God worked on each of us to give up areas of selfishness that were holding us back from the one flesh marriage He designed for us. God had made me ready to receive the next changes he had in store for our marriage. I was receptive, and I think that Kate would say, quick to reciprocate with changes that she needed too!

Hope

Is God tugging at your heart to start a change in your marriage? I wanted to write this post specifically to give you hope that making a change alone can change your marriage forever! When Kate started praying that dangerous prayer, “God break my heart for what breaks Yours” God used her openness to show her ways to change our marriage. Her obedience helped us go from good to awesome!

It was several months after this change that the idea of this blog started with a single conversation after I asked, “If we were to tell someone else what happened, what changed our marriage what would we say?”

I hope that you will step out in prayer, step out in faith and step out on a journey to a better marriage!

Please let us know how we can pray for you if you are on this journey alone to together!

If you have taken the journey what did you notice that your spouse did?

Or what did you do that got your spouses attention?

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26 Responses to What Changed?

  1. My former Pastor stated the exavt same thing that you have shared here. One person in the marriage submitting to the word of God and being led by the spirit can transform the marriage. This is not a “duct tape” fix, and ultimate the transformation is a work of the LORD. But the one who is seeking to glorify God in the marriage can’t lose as they will be conformed more and more into the image of Christ as they lovingly serve, with the healing of the marriage as the cherry on top of the sundae. Good post!

    • Matthew,
      I liked what you said! This isn’t a “duct tape” type of fix. You are exactly correct, because duct tape fixes are easy to apply but seldom fix the real issues. This kind of change, going deep with Christ is real heart change. Much harder to do, but much more significant! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Great words of encouragement here. We are all on some path towards having a great relationship with our spouse and it’s always good to know that even if you are working on it by yourself there is hope.

    Thanks for the great perspective in the rough times.

  3. I was doing the “little things” we even met with our pastor & his wife twice. I’ve cried, I’ve begged for him to have a quiet time with me, to pray with me. I don’t feel I’m a priority. I’ve given up! I begged God, had a quiet time, prayed, had others pray, I just don’t think our marriage is that important.

    • Deanna,
      I’m sorry to hear such a struggle! Kate and I are praying for you and your husband!
      The important thing to continually remember is that the type of change Kate did was not dependent on my response. She changed herself totally unselfishly. That was what drew my response. It wasn’t like she was doing more to get me to do more. She was doing all of these things because she really felt called to. When I responded, she was surprised too! Keep focusing on what changes you can make. If he won’t pray with you, fine, pray anyway. If he won’t make you a priority, find ways to make him a priority.
      I know that is MUCH easier said than done! That is where really diving deep with God to fill in the gaps is so important! Giving without getting in return is difficult and can be exhausting!
      We will be praying!

  4. Thank you so much for this post I have several great christian marriage blogs that I subscribe to and I have begun to pray for guidance as I have begun to do things differently in my marriage and it is hard when you dont see fruit but I was encouraged when you said it was over a period of time and also about the t.v. being turned off I am praying that my husband will also see the changes and begin to allow God to change us together. Thank you

    • Desiree,
      Thanks for writing! We will pray for you as you continue on this journey! May God fill you up to the point that you are over flowing!
      Blessings,
      Brad

  5. This is a great blog. One item I have struggled with on this subject is that I have tried several times for quite a while to be the best hubby I could be and not pressure my wife in any way to change to make me feel more loved. I tried REALLY hard, but each time after a year or two and what feels like no change (other than her being a tad bit happier), I emotionlly tank big time. At first I dabbled in porn, but the last time that I tried so hard (and stayed very clear from porn) I emotionally crashed so hard and was so depressed I almost lost my job. I want so much to serve my wife with every fiber of my being, but I am scared if I try it again things will really come crumbling down as I get seriously depressed again. I am sure that many reading this are going to say that I need read Matthew 7:1-5 (mote / beam eye syndrome) – and I struggle to determine if I am the one that is just messed up and I need to change my perspective. I think we have serious communication issues around intimacy and I have been asking every few months for the last 2 years for us to have a sit down conversation, but so far she has refused.

    I guess I am rambling now and my main point (beleive it or not) was to complement on this great blog.

    • Happy Hubby,
      Thank you for the comment and the complement! It sounds as if your marriage has really had a challenging path! I commend you for being willing to take another shot even as it has been difficult.

      I hear your hesitancy in that past attempts have not resulted in the changes you were looking for. I would keep that in mind as you prepare again to make your wife a priority in your life. Rather then going “all out” then crashing when it “fails”, set yourself a time line.

      If in the past you maintained for a year, I recommend that you shoot for a good solid 3 months of changing yourself, and eliminating selfishness from your marriage. Memorize Ephesians 5:25-26. Daily meditate on these verses asking yourself “what does it mean to love my wife in this way today?”

      After 3 solid months of this, if you don’t see any change, or not the changes you thought. I recommend you open a conversation with your wife saying, “I have been trying to follow Eph. 5:25 for the past three months, I am wondering if there are ways that you see I could do this better!”

      This is a great question as it keeps the change focused on you, and asks how you can serve her better. If she has answers, listen. If, on the other hand, she says “No, everything is wonderful”. You can assume that she does not know the changes you are looking for, doesn’t know how, or has some other block towards those changes. You can have an uplifting conversation about how you both can make your marriage better, and continue to build on the changes!

      I hope that helps! Please feel free to comment back or email me if you have other questions!
      God Bless! I’ll be praying for you!

  6. thanks so much for this post. i needed it this morning! our marriage isn’t bad at all but more often than not i feel like we are live in nannies/roommates and not a happily married, totally in love married team that i know deep down that we are! in the 6 years we’ve been married we’ve had 4 kids, moved out of state twice, he’s graduated college and then we started and left seminary together, and he’s changed directions in his career pretty drastically 3 times in the past 3 years! all of this we believed/believe was certainly God’s plan for us… but it has taken it’s toll. reading this has given me a new push to make sure that our relationship comes first no matter how loud the kids are or how busy our schedules get. THANK YOU!

    • Grace,
      Times of transition and change stress every marriage! It sounds as if in your 6 years of marriage you have had only times of change! No wonder it has been tough! Give yourselves some grace and put some of the energy you’ve been spending on surviving changes into clinging together!
      Blessings!

  7. My husband and I went through something similar as our 25th approached. There was tension; there was stress; we’d been through rebellious teenagers; there was distance. Raising teenagers often pits couples against each other, because the issues are complicated and hard. I felt so distant from my husband and I had a lot of resentment built up. One day, I was walking and feeling such sadness that our anniversary was going to arrive with such a burden. I don’t even know when I became conscious of it. I just prayed one day, “Lord renew my love for my husband.” And it happened.

    If I have any advice to give young couples, it would be to guard your marriage during the teen years. Your kids’ issues can have the effect of pulling you apart because there is grief, blame and “I told you so’s” enough to share. Those years can bind you or pull you apart. And husbands, lead. We women need it. Women? Follow.

    • KS,
      Thank you for sharing your story! That is great advice! It is constantly a challenge to take on issues united or separated! The teen years can absolutely pull at a couple as different parenting skills, past experiences, and personalities can clash!

      One of the things that Kate and I have said is that while we each parent differently we know that both of us has the absolute best intentions for our kids. Remembering that has helped both of us look at our parenting differences as just that different, not necessarily right or wrong!

      Thanks for sharing!

  8. I agree that one person can begin making changes that will often change the marriage for the better. For those who are struggling to do that but are not seeing positive results, the book “The 5 Loves Languages” might be helpful. Sometimes I think that we try to love our spouses in the way that we need to be loved, rather than the way they need to be loved, not out of selfishness but because we just don’t know that what we need is not necessarily what they need.

  9. This sounds exactly like me(exept from the other side of the gender-fence lol).
    Despite my husbands total disinterest in me for the last 4 years I have strived to love and searve him. Praying and praying that one day he would love me again.
    Nothing has changed, nothing is changing, says he does not want the marriage to end(neither do I!) yet he totaly refuses to do anything to fix it. 4 long lonely years I have been fighting this battle and I’m at my witts end. I love him, I truely love him still, even after all these years of rejection. I want to keep going, I want to make a change to our marriage, but I don’t thik my heart can’t take it anymore.

    I want to keep going, I just don’t know if I can anymore :'(

    • Ooops, the gender comment was in reply to ‘A Happy Hubby’s post.
      Just realised that made zero sense LOL

      • Mamma L.
        Kate and I will be praying for you too!
        Please read my response to A Happy Hubby. It might be extremely difficult but this might apply to you too! If nothing else I suggest that you look at Kate’s post: https://www.onefleshmarriage.com/2012/03/handing-over-reigns.html
        where she lists most of the verses of the Bible directed to wives. Pick one and meditate on it. Ask God to give you practical ways to follow it that day.
        As I told Happy Hubby. After a time, ask your hubby if there are other ways you can live out that verse. See what he says.
        This is very very difficult! Spend lots of time in prayer, find a close girlfriend to keep you encouraged and allow you to vent if needed!
        God Bless!

  10. This is so powerful! My husband and I have made lots of changes since February and I want to say God is amazing. We took Love and Respect and because we enjoyed it so much we are now facilitating a group. Amen! I want to let you know your website has helped me in so many ways and I continue to share the wealth. Thank you and May God continue to bless you for all that you are doing for the Kingdom. 🙂

    • Hi Pelverde! Thanks so much for writing and sharing! I praise God with you and am smiling at reading about your marriage! I love to hear testimonies of marriages that are moving forward in God’s great way on their one flesh journey! It is incredible isn’t it! Blessings to you and your hubby as you continue to seek God on His plan for your marriage! Kate

  11. In the past six months, I’ve seen definite changes in our marriage. My husband, Adam has started asking me, “How can I love on you?” Sometimes I don’t know how to answer that question because I’m not sure what I want/need at the moment, but I do really appreciate this question. He’s also taken more initiative to pray with me and he’s instituted morning Bible study readings together over breakfast. He’s been encouraging me more about going to cross and spending time with the Lord and specifically asking me, “What’s God been telling you?” To be honest, that last question drives me crazy sometimes, but I really truly appreciate and recognize the spiritual change in Adam’s life and I’ve been complimenting him on how he has been spiritually leading me.

    The biggest change that has occurred in our lives spiritually has been in me. I’ve been learning to let my husband lead and that has been a challenge. I’m a fairly independent person and I am quite opinionated. But I’m learning to accept my husband’s guidance (spiritual and otherwise), to encourage him regarding spiritual things, and to allow my husband to talk about things of God without interrupting him. And he has truly appreciated this!

    • Hi Hannah! Thanks so much for sharing openly about where you are and where you have been! I love to hear of hubby’s stepping up to the plate to lead and wives stepping up beside them to enjoy and explore the role God has designed for them. As you have said, it is not always easy and some of it is downright hard to do, but God blesses us in our obedience to His word and His calling on us as wives. So you go girl! Love it! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  12. Thank you for all the wisdom that both of you given on this site.

    We have been married for four years now, it seems like I have struggled to keep my marriage together from day one. We spent the first month as newlyweds living apart from each other, till we found an apartment to move into. Within a couple months of our marriage, my hubby was given some bad news about his vision. He had to go see a retina specialist for swelling behind his left eye. Due to the swelling behind the eye, he is slowly losing vision in that eye. This problem with his vision stops him from continuing to drive as truck driver. The job search seemed to dwindle with not many prospects out there for my desr hubby. I was working 2 jobs to bring in some kind of income to pay the bills. My hubby spent most of his awake time at his parents house or a friend’s house. When we would go out to his parents home, the whole day would be spent there. It was hard on me wanting to spend time alone tyogether and not with others everytime I was off work. I admit I would hound him about leaving earlier than we would and it got on everybody’s nerves. The only thing I could see is that my hubby wanted to spend most of his time with his dad and his friend more than with me. I felt very alone; I had left my home area, my friends and my family.

    Also as the time passed I found some small things that caused some more issues in our marriage, when my hubby was confronted by the pastor that married us; my hubby refused to admit to what was found in our home. My hubby felt that the pastor was being one sided on everything and was taking my side. So I decided to stop going to see the pastor and look for another one to do the counseling for us. A year passed and many issues were still going on with no relief in site. Our first anniversary rolled past ands one day I decided to check my hubby’s email for him on some job search info. I found out he had been on a couple of dating sites, saying he was seperated and looking for another girl to date. When I confronted him, he told me that he went on the dating sites because of the fights we had.

    We met with a counselor that was recommended by the church pastor that I was going too. The couple sessions we had did not go very well, the counselor seemed to just want to talk about other things than what we needed to discuss our marriage. Finally at one of the last meetings with the counselor, I was told I needed to change or else my marriage was done for. At this time I was very much at a loss on what to do.

    A old assumed friend came back into my hubby’s life and I thought I was actually going to have someone to be friends with. It turned out to be that she was wanting to use me and the relationship ended between her and me very badly. Even after I ended the friendship with her, she pursued a friendship with my husband. I told my hubby to end this relationship and that she was using him and trailing him along. He refused to end the friendship, till a few months ago, when she asked my hubby to go with her to her father’s funeral. At this time I did not know my hubby was still talking to her and when he would tell me he was going somewhere with a friend. I decided to quit trying to ask 10000 questions and leave things in God’s hands. That evening he was supposed to meet up with her, my hubby got sick and I had to meet up with him in town. He got a phone call from her wanting to know where he was at. He told her that he was at the hospital, she went so far as to call the hospital to look for him. He told me what she had done and that he was not talking to her anymore.

    communication is a big issue for me, I can do the talking and I feel like I am talking to a brick wall. I long for a deeper relationship with my hubby, a one flesh relationship. We are one of the small number of couples, who the wife is the one longing for a more of a physical relationship. while my husband is the one that pushes me away and says he has no interest in sex. I know we both have our faults and I truly have much to work on to become a better wife. I can see my hubby truly loves me, but as happens many times the marriage relationships that we seen growing up effect our marriage.

    Sorry this is so long, thank you for taking the time to help all of us in need.

    • Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for writing and sharing where you are. I am sure that was not an easy thing to share in many ways. It sounds like you and your hubby have been through alot in your 4 years of marriage. It is so hard when we want change in our marriage, we want good things, blessings-and a deep desire for a one flesh connection-but it feels very one sided. So hard! No gonna lie about that at all. The only advice I can give, which is also very hard to hear many times is to seek God on what he wants for you as a wife. Be that wife, no matter how hard, and no matter how your husband responds. Work on you and your relationship with Jesus-draw close to him in your lonliness. Then do your best to be the wife God is asking of you through His word. Continue to seek counsel and guidance from those in your church leadership. God does not promise things will be easy or fair, but that He will be there the whole way and will supply for all of your needs if you allow Him to! Please know that I am praying for you and your hubby! If you ever want to chat further, feel free to email me at kate@onefleshmarriage.com
      Blessings to you and your hubby, Kate