The Altar Switch

by | Jun 17, 2024 | Marriage, Marriage Prep, Prayer, Society, Spirituality

Marrying someone while thinking they’ll change doesn’t work—there’s no altar switch.

There is no such thing as an “altar switch!”  Ah, summer. No doubt all of us have a wedding on our calendar this season. Maybe your own, for some of you! Usually we go to weddings, see couples at their happiest, then go back to our lives without a second thought. There’s nothing wrong with that. We should be focusing on the couple’s new marriage and happiness. But if you’re about to get married, there’s something you should know.

You and your spouse will still be the same people.

Have you heard someone say, or worse said it yourself, “it’ll be fine when we’re married!” Whether it’s communicating, sleeping habits, procrastinating, cleaning abilities, I can almost guarantee it will not just “be fine.” Marriage changes us. It binds us stronger than anything else. Marriage clings us to our spouse. But it doesn’t fix us.

The harsh reality is, there is no altar switch. Wedding vows and nuptial blessings are not magic. The priest does not wave a magic hand over us and make us perfect spouses. We’re still going to be bad at communicating our plans. One of us will still have different cleaning needs than the other. Someone will still be the saver while the other is the spender. If you enter marriage with different expectations for when you have children, get ready. I promise that will get a lot worse.

The only “altar switch” in marriage is that everything is amplified. Every problem feels bigger. All conflicts feel worse. Remember, you’re binding yourself in a way you’ve never experienced before. Even if you’ve already engaged in the marital act, you’re committing your lives to each other for the first time. There’s no more backing out. That’s a wonderful thing. But it can also be terrifying.

You and your spouse both need to become better.

You are both going to lose some autonomy in marriage. You’ll have to rely on each other, trust each other, grow with each other. Expecting your spouse, or yourself, to change overnight like a switch is dangerous and unrealistic. Marriage requires a lot of patience and a lot of grace. Eventually, the electric feelings of new marriage will simmer down to normal life. It takes time, but habits get easier to handle. Don’t marry someone expecting them to change. And, don’t get married thinking you’ll change. Understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and be willing to grow together.

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Michelle C. Martin

Michelle graduated from Texas Tech University with her husband, Joshua, in May 2021 and married him in June on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She has a degree in Communication Studies and has loved growing in knowledge of healthy and authentic relationships during her time in college and adulthood. Michelle and Joshua currently reside in Lubbock, TX where he works as an architect and she loves life as a stay-at-home wife and mother to their children, Peter and Cecilia.

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