The Heart of a Remarried Wife
The LORD God said, “It isn’t good for the man to live alone. I need to make a suitable partner for him.”
Genesis 2:18 (CEV)
A gorgeous white gown with a shimmery, ethereal veil. A sparkling diamond ring. Breathtaking floral arrangements, and the man of your dreams standing at the front of a church altar in a tuxedo, beaming with adoration and unable to take his eyes off you as you float toward him down the aisle. Sigh. This is the dream most American women have of their longed-awaited wedding day. In remarriage, it’s not often the reality.
As a remarried wife, you may have had the dream wedding the first time, but the marriage quickly became a nightmare. Or you may have given up the wedding dream to marry a man who already had an elaborate wedding to someone else. Your remarriage wedding ceremony was most likely done quickly and economically, without huge crowds and tons of fanfare. Even if you had a fancy ceremony and reception, you may have caught yourself wondering if it was as good as your spouse’s “other” wedding. Or the day might have had a damper on it because kids or stepkids were not allowed by former spouses to attend. It may have been tense because relatives or friends weren’t fully approving of the new union, or worries and fear might have surfaced in you that this marriage could end up one day just like your former one. (We actually know of one remarried husband who jokingly sent a condolence card into the dressing room of his bride-to-be on their wedding day. Yes, she still married him.)
No matter what your wedding day looked like, the picture painted capture what the heart of a wife longs for: love and romance. To be more specific, most wives desire unconditional love, and they want to be romanced long after the dating days and “I Do’s” are done. It’s perfectly natural for a wife to desire to be loved and cherished. In fact, God wired women this way. But unconditional love and romance can be a tall order in remarriage, when wives, husbands and kids get caught in the loyalty triangle and former spouses come between you and your husband. The heart of a remarried wife can quickly get bruised or broken in the conflict and chaos that accompany remarriage.
Love, Remarriage Style: What Unconditional Love Looks Like
A wife with an open heart knows and believes she is adored. She knows she is special in the eyes of someone who loves her no matter what her mood. She feels like she comes first, placed in her husband’s esteem above his work, the children, and especially his former wife. She believes that she is physically attractive and that her husband desires her body. When a husband loves his wife the way God calls him to do in Ephesians 5:33, a wife’s heart will have a much easier time staying open. But the remarried wife can’t depend on her husband to do all her heart work.
No human can love perfectly, including your husband. Whether your husband falls on the short end of the measuring stick when it comes to outward shows of affection and romantic gestures or is the kind of guy who still brings you flowers regularly, plans date nights and continues to croon loves songs in your ear (hopefully on-key), he can’t give you enough love to fulfill you.
The heart of a remarried wife requires proper tending, not only by her husband, but also by herself. The wife has heart repairs of her own to make in order to get rid of all the clogs that might keep her from overflowing God’s love to her husband and family.
When you feel like you haven’t received a token of love lately, don’t always depend on your husband to act and feel disappointed when he doesn’t. Instead, give yourself a boost. Schedule a spa day, lunch with a good friend at a favorite restaurant, or indulge in a special treat. Consider it a kiss on the cheek from your Creator.
In order to have a fully open heart as a wife, you have to let God’s love fill and heal you. Your husband cannot fill up your love tank completely. He will never be able to make you feel pretty enough, show that he desires you enough, or tell you he loves you enough to fill the void that must be filled with a personal relationship with Christ. Your mate can never love you enough to bolster your self-esteem or make you believe you are a unique, beautiful woman created to live out a divine purpose. That kind of heart filling only comes from God.
Your husband can’t heal the heart hurts that have been inflicted over the years by adolescent classmates, former boyfriends or spouses, and the “mean girls” you’ve encountered. Only God’s love can erase the damage done by Satan, who has whispered in your ear for years that you aren’t worth anything, and that you will never be good enough, attractive enough, smart enough or talented enough to amount to much.
To experience true unconditional love, you must put time and energy into your relationship with Christ. He has to become your best friend, your comforter, the one from whom you derive your identity, your passion and your purpose. Then and only then can you believe the words of love that come from your husband and receive the gestures of love your spouse offers. Your husband is not—and never will be—your soul mate. (Sorry to burst your bubble once again.) Only God, who created your soul to long for Him, is your true soul mate. That’s why He calls His followers His “bride.”
The remarried wife who learns to love herself and her family by first loving God takes the pressure off of herself (for never feeling “good enough”) and her husband (for never giving her enough). She will feel loved and will be able to be more loving.
According to 1 Corinthians 13, real love is a tall order for us humans. Like we’ve noted before, it is patient and kind. It is not jealous, rude or self-serving. It is slow to become angry, does not delight in evil and doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. Phew! Have you ever loved or known love like that? We haven’t. Yet that is the standard God sets of what “real love” looks like. It isn’t when eyes meet across a crowded room or when a leg “pops” up during a kiss. It isn’t even a happy ending. True love sticks around when things aren’t great, when they aren’t easy, when it seems easier to quit than do the hard work to go on, and when others are not loving you in return.
When you connect with Christ and allow Him to speak healing into your heart, then you can finally know unconditional love. And you can overflow some of that love to your husband and family.
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