“What you are as a single person, you will be as a married person, only to a greater degree. Any negative character trait will be intensified in a marriage relationship, because you will feel free to let your guard down — that person has committed himself to you and you no longer have to worry about scaring him off.”
– Josh McDowell
To a degree, this is a comforting concept: the freedom to be who you truly are without fear of being left alone. But it’s also–and I think this is what McDowell meant–a serious warning.
Clearly, there is no way to put on a perky, positive face at all times, and no relationship would be genuine in those circumstances. I’m not waking up half an hour early so I can put my makeup on before Pete can see me without it. I’m also not going to pretend that nothing ruffles my feathers, plastering on a Pollyanna smile when something truly upsets me.
But, all too often, I let myself go completely and wind up regretting it. It is damaging to our marriage when I let myself think–consciously or subconsciously–that I have the right not to consider how my temper or my grumpiness or even my sloppiness might affect my husband.
Sure, I don’t expect to “scare him off” completely and wind up divorced. But if I live in a way that tells him I’m not going to work on my flaws and try, with God’s grace, to better myself, we most certainly could wind up lonely within our own marriage.
* In case this post sounds sexist, please note that I am a woman and a wife, so I am writing from that perspective. I do not mean to imply that only the wife needs to consider these concepts.