October 24, 2015

Please Don’t Marry Him

Gary Thomas — 

Please Don't MarryHim

My heart is grieving.

I’ve received several Facebook messages from women who asked my advice about a dysfunctional dating relationship when The Sacred Search first came out several years ago. Each one noticed several “red flags” in their dating relationship and asked me if I thought they should be concerned.

In every case, the answer was a clear “YES!”

“Thank you so much,” was the typical reply, and then they went silent.

Now I’m getting a second round of Facebook messages, and since Facebook brings up the previous correspondence, I’m reminded of prior conversations.

It breaks my heart. Let me paraphrase a few:

“He said he was sorry, we ended up getting married, and now I’m the only one who seems to care about our relationship.”

“I’m doing everything I can to save my marriage but he refuses to see a counselor.”

“You were right. He’s a sex addict.”

“I guess now I should have listened. Turns out he’s gay.”

Let me state this as clearly and as forcefully as I can:

A dysfunctional dating relationship sealed by marriage doesn’t make any problems go away; it simply cements you in a dysfunctional marriage.

Marriage won’t improve your man. Marriage won’t change your man. (The same is true of a woman, of course.) Marriage simply weds you to your partner’s problems.

When you raise a significant issue in dating and the man or woman responds by crying and saying they’re sorry, nothing has changed. They’ve been caught, they don’t want to lose you, but it doesn’t mean they will repent. It doesn’t mean their character will improve. It just means they cried.

That’s it.

Give them a Kleenex, but don’t give them a ring—at least not until you see substantive, long-term change.

If you don’t witness character transformation before marriage, you’re foolish to expect it after marriage. A mature person—the kind you want to marry—is always growing and always open to biblically based conviction. He or she walks in grace, so they humbly realize they’re not perfect and will not be overly defensive when a loved one points something out with gentleness and understanding.

If this dynamic isn’t true in dating, it won’t be true in marriage.

Never marry someone hoping they will change. Marry someone because they already have changed.

One woman told me she couldn’t bear to “just give up on four years of my life.” Now she may be headed for divorce and will have to give up seven years of her life. (I don’t look at it that way, but she does.)

Another woman thought marriage would “solve” the sexual issues her potential husband struggled with. Sadly, it didn’t. It almost never does. It just exposed them for what they really were.

I take no pleasure in saying, “I told you so.” None. And I’d never put it like that anyway. This post is for single men and women who, deep down, know there are serious issues with the person they are dating, but who are too afraid to admit it or act on it.

Your fear of breaking off the relationship should be obliterated by the fear of making a foolish marital choice which is far, far worse.

Trust in God. “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:10)

He can help you have the difficult conversation. He can soothe the heartache. He can lead you into the “green pastures” of a mature, healthy relationship—but not if you stay stuck in the barren desert of a dysfunctional relationship.

My wife and I have a single friend who is a godly, strong, and gifted woman. She’s overheard some of the conversations (without identifying details, of course) and recently told us, “Hearing these stories make me feel a whole lot better about my situation.”

It truly is better to be a little frustrated in your singleness (if in fact you are frustrated at all) than to think a dysfunctional marriage to a dysfunctional man or woman would be better because at least you’d be married.

Legions of men and women miserable in their brand new dysfunctional marriages would disagree with you.The Sacred Search Book Cover

Please, please, please: marry an emotionally aware, relationally gifted believer who is humble, spiritually alive, and sexually whole. If you compromise on any of these, you will have a long time to regret it.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to disable messages on my author page because I just can’t keep up—and the advice wasn’t often heeded, anyway. I was used for singles to vent their frustrations, but all that did was make them feel momentarily better so they could continue in an unhealthy relationship.

Anything I’d say to you, I’ve poured into The Sacred Search. After I finished writing this post yesterday, I was just informed by my publisher that the digital version is available for $1.99 until November 6th. That’s cheaper than a drip coffee at Starbucks! If you have any doubts about your relationship at all, I believe it will be a worthy investment.  Click here or the book cover.

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35 responses to Please Don’t Marry Him

  1. I wish I had seen the writing in the wall ten years ago. So all this said about not marrying the wrong person… the guy who doesn’t actually want a Christian marriage but said he did and has lied over and over for years to “try to make things fine”…. what if you should never have married but did bc you believed you wanted the same kind of life?
    Ten years of a very unhappy and confusion- filled marriage – betrayal and rejection and pain.
    I’m reading your Sacred Marriage book but it just doesn’t seem to click with my situation.

    • Flee, sister. If you have done all you could and the man ain’t prepared to change, well… He won’t.

  2. An interesting article…my question is what to do after the person still went and married someone, even w the red flags and now is bound in a marriage w the repercussions as you stated above?

  3. Thank you so much for this e-mail and for sharing the TRUTH Gary.
    This e-mail stuck with me and was a clear sign from God for me that the person I was with was not a match for me. We had only been together a few months but were very invested in each other and in love, and deep down I knew he had some character flaws and wasn’t a match in integrity for me. Only God can change someone, I can’t, and besides it’s not my job to even try! It was difficult but I sat in the uncomfortable emotions breaking up with him. Really sad and really hard to do. I know it’s the right thing to do though. For his sake as well, it wouldn’t be fun for him to have a wife that resents him completely and disapproves of him. I know God has a wonderful marriage in store for me, where I won’t feel like I am compromising my vaules.

  4. I have a story to tell you. In the 80’s I had a friend at church who married this very beautiful woman. I remember seeing them walking across the church and I thought, “GOD I’ve been asking you for years, for me to get married and I get nothing. I see “Al and you’ve given him a very beautiful wife. I get nothing”. I remember being so mad going home that day. Now fast forward to the early 90’s. I had not seen Al in about 10 years. I was in a coffee shop one night and as I walked out the door, who’s turns the corner to walk in…AL!!. I said “AL how have you been?” We went back in, had coffee and talked. I asked him how is the marriage going? He looked down and said it’s not. He was now divorced and living out of his car. I won’t go into what happened, but I asked Al…didn’t you see the warning signs? He looked down and said..”John, GOD put up the stop signs and I blew right past them. Sadly his life was in ruin. I had told him what I was doing. I was working and doing ministry. Al looked at me sadly and said, John I wish I was in your place. After that talk I went home and apologized to GOD. I was so wrong. GOD pointed out, I did not give Al anything, he took. I’m 62, still single, never married but still want to be.

  5. It said you cold but it for $1.99 until the 27, but I clicked on the link and That’s not the listed price.?!

  6. I wish I had had the courage to speak this up to a friend a few years ago. I was one of her bridesmaids and could even see it in her interaction on her wedding day. It was so different from the other weddings I’d been a part of. Less than a year later and she rang to say she had left him, that he had been abusive.

    As her friends we had all had little concerns, nothing major, just niggly things like his not allowing her to drink a whole can of softdrink but always having to share it. He acted protective in a way, but really it was dominating her. They were engaged quickly and planned to wait a long time to be married, but then the wedding was brought forward quickly and it all just happened in a matter of a few months.

    I read the stories shared above and see my friend’s story reflected in them.

    I wish that I had had enough courage to sit her down before her wedding day to quiz her about if this was what she really wanted. To raise with her the niggly little things that just didn’t seem right. I just didn’t have the courage to question her because I didn’t want to damage our friendship by suggesting she shouldn’t go ahead. Instead I’ve seen the damage that has happened from an abusive marriage and I wish I could go back in time to put our friendship in jeopardy on the possible chance that it would spare her the pain she’s faced.

    So, if you’re reading this and concerned for a friend. Speak up. Ask the big questions. Love them enough to do that for them when their thoughts may be clouded by wedding preparations.

    • I was once in her shoes…..I rushed everything and people were worried I wondered why were they worried? sometimes we are soooo ”blinded” to see. I believe sober marriage counseling is important. It opens our eyes to see bigger issues and provides an avenue to address them.

  7. I would like to thank the author and the other ladies for all their comments. Reading the article and all these comments have resonated with me on so many levels and is now giving me the opportunity to share my own experience. It has been very difficult to share my experiences as I do not meet ladies who have gone through the brokenness and in need of emotional healing. Those I know seem to be married and living the “perfect” life. As such, I have always felt like a failure and damaged goods. I felt like something was wrong with me until when I realized that nothing is wrong with me. That I am strong, talented, beautiful and treasured daughter of the Most High God who deserves to be happy and marry the right man that God has kept for me.

    My struggles surround childhood experiences of abandonment, sexual abuse and rejection. I was not aware that I was struggling with these issues. However, my relationships were not working out and somehow it seems like I was always attracting the wrong kind of men to me.

    I got married at 23 years old still struggling with these unresolved issues. I marry someone who was also broken and dysfunctional. I saw the red flags but I felt compelled to marry him because he loved me and I heard that its best if the man loves you and as a woman I would grow to love him. We were so incompatible and had nothing in common except our denomination. I marry him and lived in depression and unhappiness. I became suicidal and it was a lonely journey as I could not talk with anyone and spent so much time pretending that I was happy. I finally found the courage to leave that unhealthy relationship and vowed never to marry someone like him again.

    After six years of being divorced, I thought I had resolved the issues and met a man and marry him in three months total of knowing him. This man was just like my first husband in almost every way. He too had his brokenness and we both needed someone to love and care for us. It is so true that broken people attract broken people. I was so broken that even though we started having arguments after one month of dating and I saw all the signs that said NO as I would be getting back into the same relationship I ended up marrying him. The very day of the wedding I was depressed! There was a disconnect between us and it was even very difficult to consummate our marriage even after three days of being married. I was not in love with him, I was not connected with him. I had so much resentment and anger even before marrying him but I somehow convinced myself that this was God’s will for me to marry men like him since the men that I found attractive and intellectually stimulating did not want me so I reasoned that God must have been trying to teach me a lesson and that was my fate to marry into such a state of perpetual unhappiness. I was sad and lived in depression daily from the very day of our wedding. We did not have the usual marriage. We fought constantly and I was diagnosed with clinical depression. All this time no one knew what I was going through as being a Christian and having being through one failed marriage I left like a fool and a BIG failure. I felt like everyone would be judging me and when I compared myself to all the women I know, I was the only one who would be married twice. So I decided on staying into the situation until I became suicidal and on the edge of a mental breakdown and cried out to God to save and deliver me from this deep feeling of bondage and imprisonment.

    I started going to counselling and explored my childhood days and there I discovered that I had become a rescuer of men like my two husbands. I married with the hope that with me in their lives they would change and things would get better. I did not understand the sacredness of marriage. I thought that marriage was between us and that once we are Christians and we meet someone we “love” we should get married. I did not realize that marriage was bigger than the both of us together and that God brings two people together for His glory into ministry for Him.

    I am now separated from the second marriage and have done counselling and God has healed my brokenness and made me whole. I am set free and know that I am worthy and deserving of the best in a man. I know God has the right man for me and I am waiting on God. This time I wont be marrying because I felt underserving and that I must marry the first man who gives me the attention that I need despite our incompatibility. God has a plan for my life if I only trust and allow him to lead.

    Ladies, please do no marry someone with who you are unhappy with. If there are lot of concerns and you are silently hoping and praying that he will change in many areas, please see this as a sign that he is not the right man for you. Marriage will not change anyone and I learned that from personal experience. Only God can change someone. The emptiness that you feel inside can only be filled by Jesus himself. I was trying to fill my unhappiness and loneliness with men but God has shown me that He can heal the broken hearted and put the shattered pieces of my life back together. Seek Jesus if you are lonely, sad, depressed and empty, He never fails. I am now single and very happy. I now appreciate what it means to be single and happy than married and miserable. God bless you all as we continue to support and hold each other up.

    • peace to you! thank you for sharing. Your value does not decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth…your value is based on what God says. You are the apple of HIS eye!

  8. Thank u so much for all your honest responses. I truly appreciate it. I m engaged to a person who seems to have a sincere and big heart. Friends, our pastor, all people who know him very well told me that he is a very good person when we first met. First I was not sure what I should think about him. I didnt find him attractive and I didnt want to marry someone who just pretends to be the good guy just by pleasing anyone. I was more attracted to someone who is handsome and charming. I know him now for one year and I figured out that he is truly a person with a wonderful and humble personality. I felt Gods guidance. However I still struggle alot that Im not attracted to him. All my friends and even Ifeel society tells us how important attraction is. When I pray about this I feel God telling me that I need to be patient and that attraction and falling in love will come naturally.

  9. Christina Nauckhoff October 26, 2015 at 10:55 am

    This description of love could mean trouble. If just one of the parts follows its meaning

  10. So true. I met my ex-fiancee while we volunteered in the same organization. Two years later, knowing nothing about his personal life because he kept it private (as he should have), his ex left him. She had a host of serious problems. I had been single all of my life and am a single parent to a teenager. Why? Because I firmly believed that no one would ever want me or love me because of the sustained abused I experienced as a child.

    My ex is an enigma. God brought him into my life .. but we both rebelled on the timing. Looking back, I can’t believe I made some of the choices that I did. He is a believer but has unresolved trauma in his life (as do I). I experienced 2 sides of a coin — in both of us. I can make a lengthy list of the positives of what he did and said. The same of myself. But there is that “other”

    He was the one who brought up “red flags” at the beginning but didn’t see any ultimately. I believe he had good intentions. I, however, saw multiple, but because of my unresolved issues, managed to “see” them but look right past them.

    After 3 years of dating, my Heavenly Father pulled me up short, and called me out on my sexual sin, He told me that I needed to stop at that moment and that it had to do with my soul. Well, I ran it by my ex, but “that’s not what he was hearing.” So I didn’t obey. Four months later, and less than 2 months after getting engaged, I cried out with all my heart to God to help me obey because I was greatly distressed by my unwillingness to heed the voice of My Shepherd. I had spent those years feeling guilty and sad because I was not following the values that I believed in and the unbiblical example that I was showing to my son.
    Because of my past, deep inside was the belief that my body was not my own, and that if anyone wanted to use it, I could not say no. The break through truly occurred one night when I made a call to the crisis line of my local sexual assault support service. And the lovely woman on the other line said, “You can always renegotiate boundaries.” And I remember how I cried. Because I had NEVER understood that in my soul. At the beginning of that part of our relationship, I immediately had misgivings and talked to my then counselor. Who actually said to me, “Well, you can’t go back now !” Additionally, my then pastor recommended premarital counseling with a Christian counselor that he “always used.” Well, that individual, (hold on to your hats), looked at me and said, “Marie – what kind of God do you think He is?” In other words, calling into question what I had heard from MY God, and what did I do? Fall right back into “line” and continue the status quo.
    Until the day I obeyed His voice.
    When I “knelt at His feet”, it was as if He put a “steel rod” in my proverbial backbone. And I stood in front of that man and said, “I know that I heard God, and this is what He said, and I am going to obey. Period.”

    His reaction stunned and saddened me because, from his own mouth, came the words that showed me the huge gulf between us spiritually and I was terrified. And within 3 days, my eyes had opened to everything that I had previously not heeded. As he felt me pull away, further troubling signs appeared.

    You see my sisters and brothers — sexual sin is dangerous to your soul. It will blind you and rob you of your senses. It is a spiritual trap. Please heed the warnings of those who love you and want the best for you. Chief among us is the One who saved your soul. I am eternally grateful. Jesus truly saved my soul that day. I remember the day that I was born again. But on that day, He tangibly saved my soul.
    This man, the spirit part of him, loved me. The unrepentant part used me. But truth be told, I did the same for some of the same reasons.

    And the truth is that, while I need to discern, and rightly see his part in this (so as not to repeat accept it in the future), it is of more importance that I see my own! God has led me to repentance but also to forgiveness for him.

    And as He has led me in this regard over the past year, I see the necessity and beauty of forgiveness. Each time I feel angry and point the blame at him, God acknowledges my anger but gently steers me to truth and compassion for my ex. And when you do that, you are left with the way that God loves you when you sin — love.
    My heart aches for missing the good things. He brought out the absolute best in me and the absolute worst.
    And hear this please. By not heeding our Savior when He first spoke, I caused additional pain and heartache to myself, my child, and my ex, because I agreed to get engaged, despite the warnings that we were not in His will. And it was not worth it.
    After the breakup, I threw myself at His mercy and sought my Savior with my whole heart and soul. I immersed myself in prayer and sound teaching, I sought prayer and accountability from a group of godly women, I attended a Biblical program through a local church called Divorce Care — which taught me, the very first night, the absolute 100% need to NOT date until I was well healed. And I saw the wisdom in the people who had begged me NOT to date him when I did because they knew that he was not healed.
    Please do not EVER date anyone who has had any type of recent and significant breakup. Despite what you might think, it is ALWAYS a rebound. By definition. More so if they are coming out of any long term romantic relationship (especially marriage). They need time to get their bearings with GOD – not another partner.
    In closing, there were some amazing blessings from our time together. And he chooses to, from what I can tell, only focus on those. To his detriment.
    Do not miss God’s timing when He speaks to you. If anyone in your life, any article you read, and Scripture that pricks your heart, says to you WAIT – HOLD ON – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT .. I beg you to stop, remove yourself from the situation, and seek Godly counsel — not what you think you want to hear.

    I was saved from a marriage that would have damaged my soul and most likely that of my beloved child.

    I continually pray for my ex because there resides in him the seeds of great things. What the enemy meant for harm He will use for his good when he bows his head in repentance and sorrow.
    In my situation, given the totality of all that I heard and experienced, believe that he will. In the meantime, I am to focus on my Father and leave my ex 100% in the loving and capable hands of his Father. I am not his god or holy spirit. If you find yourself being the spiritually dominant one, please head that as a RED FLAG and warning. Do not be unequally yoked.
    Well, I will end here. I hope that even one person may hear what the Spirit has taught you through Gary and others.
    I believe that my ex and I will be reunited in HIS time. And he will have repented and done the hard work that the Father requires of him also. Until that day, we are to be apart.
    So I also hear what some of the other sisters have written in their comments. YES, God can and most certainly does change hearts. But you are deceiving yourself if you think, pre-marriage, that you are called to be their “god” or “voice of the spirit.” If they cannot do that themselves — FULL STOP. Do not proceed.
    His peace be upon all.

    • Amen Marie!! I wish I had done what you did. Stopped, heeded God’s warning and repented and discontinued the relationship (more than once). I ignored and brought myself and my child into a lot of pain, damaged hearts and emotions.

      Ladies, please heed these warnings from Gary Thomas and ladies like Marie. I blinded my discernment and would not listen to friends who tried to warn me. I so wish I had listened!!!

    • Wheeewww…..you just spoke life to me!!!!!!!!!! I stayed in a relationship for 18 years with a man; strong sexual bond was created. Had him spending the night and us having sex meanwhile my daughter was in the next room. As the time went, my soul was so uneasy. Not being married and carrying on the way we were. I stayed way too long. Whenever I broke up with him, we’d end up back together. Just a crazy cycle of back & forth. I made a vow of sexual purity; to honor God with my body. It took that happening for this man to finally sit back and make a decision. Finally, we were talking about getting married. But it was too late. It was so obvious how unequally yoked we were and I finally had to heed what the Spirit was telling me. I had to cut him loose for good. It was so heartbreaking. But it was necessary. If I had understood then the red flag: him having been married before and going through a bitter divorce, him not fully taking time to heal, I would have not gone in so deep. But, I had my own issue. I thought marriage was going to make me happy. This man was my first real relationship and I gave it all I had: thinking by being completely devoted and giving him sex I’d win him over to marry me. Then, as the time kept passing and him doing nothing, the bitterness I was holding inside against him. Well, now, I am taking the time to completely alone in God. I have also made the choice to intentionally not date until God has dealt with me and completely healed me.

  11. This is so true. And I wish I had listened when people told me not to marry my ex. I couldn’t have verbalized this at the time, but, as a result of repressed sexual abuse, I thought he was the best I could do because I felt I was fundamentally broken. I thought having a Godly man was not an option for me. That is a lie the enemy frequently tells victims of abuse. After years of cheating, emotional abuse, and verbal abuse, he left me. After much healing that can only come from God, I now have the Godly husband I didn’t think I deserved all those years ago, and I never stop telling my single friends to hold out for His best.

    • you have just encouraged me..similar story…hubby left me and baby….God has restored my brokenness and I’m trusting God for a Godly man.

  12. My husband and I have been married just over 16 years now. I get everything that you are saying in your blog, however, when my husband and I were married, we were both dysfunctional. He was involved in things that are common to men, and I was 4 years divorced and carried a lot of baggage as well as a huge chip on my shoulder. The first few years were terrible, and we weren’t sure if we would make it. Then we decided it was time to go back to church, and place Christ at the center of our relationship. He made all the difference. We were talking the other day that we now have more “good years” than “bad years.” Don’t write off the “dysfunctional” so quickly. God is in the business of reconciliation and I believe that with faith, prayer, and obedience, God can save ANY marriage. Whether it’s one person that does all the changing (like my mom has done) or its both parties (like my husband and I have done).

    • Hi, April.

      I could not agree with you more. I totally agree with Gary – if you have doubts, or there are concerns, these issues need to be addressed before marriage. And very often, the solution is to not marry that person.

      But, on the other side of things, we are ALL dysfunctional. In fact, had this article been written at the time of my wedding, it would very firmly be addressed to my husband. Telling him not to marry me because my dysfunction and background is so much worse than his. And yet, I am very grateful that he did marry me, and that God brought him into my life. He has brought wholeness and love and laughter into my life, where before I had none. And God is continuing to do a great work in me and in our marriage.

    • April, there is a difference between both people not walking with the Lord in that season of your lives and deliberately closing your eyes to clear faults in your partner. If you are a Christian you are pretty much commanded to marry a Christian. Not a someone who goes to church occasionally, not someone who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. You are to be equally yoked. So if both people are unbelievers/ in a period of straying, you are equally yoked.

      Gary is addressing people who are deliberately ignoring red flags because of fear of loneliness or the delusion that you can rescue/ change your partner. You can’t. You’re not Jesus or a counselor. If your partner has serious issues, they need to deal with them. Preferable outside a dating relationship. (This is true for you too of course). Like he said, a spiritually mature person is always growing. So he’s not saying all relationships should be perfect. He’s saying, don’t be stupid and arrogant or driven by fear. Don’t fall for the lie that you can somehow rescue your partner or that marriage will magically make all your problems disappear.

      • My husband and I did deliberately ignore each others faults. We thought we could change each other. I said at the beginning of my reply, “I get what you’re saying.” But if we had this article 16 years ago, we would not be happily married with 2 wonderful children and a life full of ministry now. We would have parted ways. There are some things that HAVE to be forgiven, even if that person hasn’t changed their ways. We ALL need grace.

        I never said that WE can change a person, only God can do that. Hence the “faith, prayer and obedience” part…

        • I completely agree with you April. I understand that Gary is saying if someone is unsure or very concerned, they should take a step back and evaluate the relationship. However, you are right, people who are in an unhealthy marriage need to hear that there is hope through Christ’s redemptive power, not simply that, “well, it’s your fault, you shouldn’t have married them.” That is in no way helpful.
          I think amongst this message there needs to also be an understanding that nobody is perfect, everyone has flaws, regardless of whether one follows Christ. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Him.

      • People need hope and encouragement, not to be told that they should have not gotten married….

      • Hi, just curious, so if I don’t find that fully baked Christian, does that mean I stay single forever?

    • Thank you for saying this. I have to admit I married a dysfunctional man. He has many issues and to be honest I knew it when I said I do not realizing how hard our lives would turn out to be. I have hope and faith in Christ redemptive power to help us both become the people He created us to be. I know God has used some of the trouble to mold me….I just keep praying that God will finish the work. I know that there is really nothing I can do to change our situation but I also know that God changes everything! Please pray for my marriage. I want God to intervene and fix the things that are so broken….in me and in him. I really felt discouraged when I read this blog until I got to your post. I thank God that He prompted you to write this. I need to hear that there is hope for my marriage….even though I may have made a bad choice in the beginning. I know God will not give up on him and I pray for the strength to just hold on until God does HIs work in and through my husband. I pray for that every single day…a hundred times a day. I know God is all powerful. I also know He knows exactly what it will take to get my husband on the right path. I pray HIs will be done. Maybe it was not God who made this decision for us to marry….but it is too late to think in that way now. The decision is done and now I have to be able to show grace and mercy as God transforms us both. I just pray God helps me do that…..I am very weary…..

      • Belinda, your words are full of grace and hope, even though you may not feel it. I, too, married too quickly to realize the depth of my husband’s dysfunction, but decided, because there was no biblical reason to separate, to stay with him these 27 years. We have four wonderful children, and we have walked together through many phases of growth and healing. I realize that my husband will probably always be a wounded individual in some ways, but I am hoping that our decision to honor our vows will stand as a testament to TRUE love.

        • Most people have different levels of dysfunction. I myself come from a very dysfunctional family and have a hard time fitting in with society in general. Perhaps this is why I am in my forties already and still single. But I don’t think dysfunctional people should forget about marriage. I think what’s important is HOW you view marriage. Personally, I don’t mind if I end up marrying another dysfunctional individual as long as his dysfunction will actually create understanding and sympathy for my own dysfunction, being in the same boat. AND, more importantly, like me, he should believe in getting into marriage with the aim of helping each other become closer and more intimate with God, knowing that only God can address the issues you each have. In that way, you will truly be helpmeets to each other.

      • I believe there are absolutely no mistakes. God is sovereign in ALL circumstances, and will give you strength. Isaiah 12:2 says this: “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the LORD GOD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” I hang and cling to these words every single day. Be sure that you are in a Bible study with women who will encourage you and lift you up in prayer. I will certainly be praying for you and your beloved husband. Be sure to see your husband the way God sees him, a lost sheep. Jesus will leave the 99 to go after the 1. It took my husband many years to come to Christ, but he did. My dad is not a believer, my mom is. It is very difficult for my mom in her marriage. I can see her hurts and struggles as my dad can be very hardened. They will be married 40 years on Sunday.

        Come find me on Facebook if you’re on social media…. 🙂

  13. I am so glad that you published this. I realize that I married the wrong man and it’s a daily struggle and am prating for a solution on how to cope.

  14. Esther Falcetta October 24, 2015 at 7:48 am

    Gary –

    Keep sharing the TRUTH. We ask ALL of our mentor students to read The Sacred Search and will be building a discussion-group with the book as the ‘guide’. We’ve had our daughter read the book and have regular discussions with our ‘adopted kids’ (former students). As a prof/spouse with 20+ years of mentoring experiences in the Christian undergraduate educational ‘world’ – we can safely say that every single ‘SINGLE’ person needs to read this book before they even start a serious dating relationship! Thank you for being a truth-teller…the Lord is using your words/thoughts in the lives of many and we will do our best to share the positive stories!

  15. Hi Gary…..your post caught my eye today. Before my husband and I married I. 1970 we went on a holiday and when we came home I had terrible depression …..I didn’t know it was depression I went to the doctors saying I felt like a tight band was around my head but he didn’t know what was wrong with me……I married because I was desperate to leave a dysfunctional family ……..45 years married it’s been bad but God has blessed us with with material things but we are a spiritually dead family estranged from 2 out of 4 children…….depression is always crouching…….Jesus says this kind only comes out with much prayer and fasting ?Angie

    • I think I know a lil bit of how you feel. But now for me I have fallen in love with Jesus so much that nothing else really matters nearly as much as what it use to. Honestly. Ever since I have learned the truth about being a new creation , old things have passed away. Behold all things have become new. Which is talking about my born again spirit(not body or the mind will and emotions area) I have been set free. I feel like I’m living in Bible times, ( the promises Jesus gave us are really happening. Laying our hands on people for healing to happen, etc.) It is sooooo good.For more info on this I’d recommend “Spirit, soul, and body” by Andrew Wommack. His teachings are so out of the ordinary that most people don’t listen him out. But those who do see the results they’re looking for.