They Do Exist.

Emotions: When The First Month Of Marriage Isn’t Bliss

Editor’s Note: In my first month of marriage, I learned that marriage is full of highs and lows. All-consuming joy, and fully-felt pain. We’ve all heard that marriage is difficult, but when ‘difficult’ makes its way into the bedroom, the emotions run rampant. Alyssa Ferrero shares a little of her just-married story. She blogs at Alyssa Mae Stories. – Lauren

What’s a girl to do when the weight of her past, her upbringing, and the unforgiving disappointments of her hopeful future come crashing down the day after her wedding?

Well, cry, I suppose.

And what’s a girl to do when the God she had so recently fallen in love with, entrusted her life to, and finally begun to know, walks her through a journey that seems meant for a more mature, more experienced, more faithful, and more knowledgeable woman?

Cry a little more, I think.

I had been dreaming of my wedding day and being a wife since I can remember. It probably stems from the ‘chick-flicks’ and Disney fairytales I’d been watching from day one. Or, perhaps it was the desire to have a home and babies and a ‘grown-up life’. Whatever the reason, when I met him – my husband – I knew for sure he was the ticket to those fantasies. I saw us having a truly wonderful life, fulfilling big dreams, having lots of babies, great careers, and a cozy home.

The day of our wedding, harsh realities hit. Many things reared their ugly heads that day and that night, things that cannot be publicly displayed, for respect of people’s privacy and privacy for marriage. But let me just say that my husband and I still have not had intimacy in our marriage. Oh, and we’re seeing a marriage counselor. That started two months into our marriage.

While my girlfriends and their friends and complete strangers talk about their newlywed life in terms of “utter bliss”, “the best time of their lives”, and “making out in the parking lot”, I am here, crying and hurting, and so obviously jealous and angry. Two very unattractive emotions.

What’s a girl to do when her entire being, down to her inner-most depths, aches? When her heart feels more broken than ever? Or when she feels like her hopes and dreams have vanished? What’s a girl to do when her emotions are overtaking her, and her God feels so far away?

I have learned that ultimately, it’s not about what we want out of life, but what He wants for us. It’s not about what makes us feel good, because He makes us feel better. It’s not about the easy road, because His road is paved with grace, mercy, and a whole lotta love.

While it may not feel good right now, what He is doing in us is good. A kind of good we can trust.

We were made with a passion and a heart to heal the world. We yearn for great love and peace and unity. Our emotions speak of what our hearts are made of. And our hearts are made from God. Our hearts are a direct reflection of His character.

So, then what? It’s easy to say those things. It’s easy to try and write them on a sticky or put them in a journal to remind yourself. To try to trust God more. But what about living it? What about the crap that no one told you about?

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Common to mankind. Temptation, hurt, suffering, tears, heartache; they’re all common to all of us. Emotions are common to us. And God knows that.

I believe that God can see and feel every emotion I encounter today. He’s holding these tears because he knows my sorrows and my hurts. And the guilt of feeling these emotions does not come from a God who loves me so. He does not condemn me for wanting to jump on the next train to St. Louis. He does not turn away from me because I spend many minutes a day wondering how and if I will survive this.

Instead, He asks me to fully trust Him. He waits for me to leave those fears in the garbage where they belong, and watch Him fight this battle for me. (Exodus 14:14) He waits for me to rest in His arms.

I grew up on emotions; what feels good, what makes you happy, and so on. I lived my live trying to find true happiness, and letting my emotional heart lead the way. And just when I thought I’d found those things, they slipped away, didn’t they? I took so many wrong turns and chose quite a few ‘false happiness’ things before I started running the other way, to Him. And now, He wants me running, harder and faster.

I want to surrender in all the wrong ways. I want out of this mess. I want a different life. But my Father does not disown me, put me in a corner, or abandon me because I feel these things.

He guides me, with a soft hand, right back to His arms, where he comforts me. Where he soothes my emotions with truth and love. He does this because, well, He created me this way.

He adores the passion and desire I have for good things. He just wants to give me something passionate and desirable of His own creation.


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33 Responses

  1. Wow. Beautifully said and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing this. Many blessings to you!

    January 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

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  3. Jenny

    hang in there, sister. it will get better and this is making you stronger for sure. and you're not alone, i can assure you that myself and many others have had the same feelings of heartbreak and all-consuming weariness.

    james 5:11 – as you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. you have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

    January 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

  4. Melissa

    Alyssa, I am so sorry to hear about this painful journey. I too, have experienced a confusing, painful start to my marriage due to hurts from sexual past. We have now been married for 7 months, and I can say that it gets better slowly. The tearful conversations start to make headway eventually. I'll be praying for you.

    January 9, 2012 at 12:15 pm

  5. I also had much trauma in the first few months of my marriage, really it was a combination of me having been in a very abusive relationship previously and my husband's 13 years of single-ness in the Church. Having been now married over fours years I can tell you that it got much, much better for us! We ended up attending sex therapy, but it was the thing that God used to get us through some of our stuff.

    Hold on and trust God, He can do all things, even when, in the midst of the trauma we feel we will never be okay.

    Blessings to you!

    January 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm

  6. It feels nice to know I am not alone.

    January 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

  7. Oh dear… I understand. We had intimacy in the beginning but our marriage came crashing down after the ceremony.

    I understand. The first year and half of our life together was the hardest thing I have ever been through. We didn’t see a counselor until then, and it did help.

    We still struggle. I know it’s so hard to know that it will get better, but in some way that God already knows… it will get better. It will be a part of your story.

    Please know you aren’t alone. I have been there… If you ever ever want to talk, vent, someone just to listen… I am there. I get it, and I didn’t have anyone to talk to at that time. My husband is in ministry, and it was a secret that we hid well until we got home and closed the door.

    You are so brave for putting your story out there. God is already using your story for his glory.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm

  8. Ladies. You are such a gift. Thank you for your love and prayers and encouragement. I'm happy to say we ARE getting better, things are looking up and I have found hope. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    January 9, 2012 at 2:14 pm

  9. Thanks so much for your honesty about the early stage of marriage, Alyssa! And glad to hear that things are getting better :)

    January 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm

  10. Ruthie D.

    Alyssa,

    Thanks for sharing your painful journey! I hate what the media and culture tells us about sex. It's ALWAYS EASY & ALWAYS FEELS GOOD. Such lies. Praying for you and your hubby to find peace. It's a long journey, but God is for you! He is a good Dad!

    January 10, 2012 at 10:06 am

  11. I, too, had lots of tears in the early months of marriage…for some similar reasons and also some different ones. I really want to fight whatever it is in us as women that makes us think marriage will not be difficult. It is ever-painfully so. The amazing thing is how God uses it to draw us near to Him and to give us an understanding that we were made for more than mere happiness. We've now been married two years and He has used those difficulties to grow us tremendously. It's still not easy, but it is good.

    January 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

  12. Stephanie Spencer

    I'm sorry that it has been difficult for you. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. The church is in desperate need of people who take off their shiny happy Christian faces and talk about life as it is. Who talk about how God does not bring happiness, but joy and grace- truths that run much deeper, but also, often, take a more difficult road. In my first years of marriage, I realized that I had placed too high an expectation on my husband and my marriage, and needed instead to seek that level of intimacy with God. It was a wonderful, deep, and painful lesson. I pray that this journey brings you an intimacy with Him deeper than you have ever known.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm

  13. Alora

    I've read your story over & over trying to understand it. To find an explanation to why its that way. I'll be praying for you that you have break through. Sometimes leaving the past for a better future is a lot more action then sitting & talking through it. Counseling is great, however at some point the past cannot continue to cause havoc into your future. Sexual intimacy is a gift from God for your marriage, nothing of the past should be given authority to steal that gift! I have been through some dark & horrible things regarding sexuality. Now I'm a month & a half away from marriage. I know my dark past will not creep into my marriage bed. I will not give it that power in my marriage because when Jesus shed his blood on the cross it covered all sin. My sin, the sin of the men who caused me harm & my future husbands sin. Living out the reality & power of the cross in my my marriage is letting go of my past broken sexuality. There is no shame or pain that hasn't been bought by the blood.

    January 30, 2012 at 12:27 pm

  14. Sara

    Wow. I thought I was also so alone with no one to relate to. My husband has a past riddled with addiction to pornography. Over half his life was spent immersed in viewing women’s body parts in order to achieve orgasm during masturbation-(orgasm releases potent chemicals in our brain and studies have shown this chemical release is more addictive than heroin)-not true intimacy– before Jesus delivered him, at least the outward actions of his addiction. That was only a year before we met. We have been married six months and it has been painful and hard since our wedding night when I was not the porn star he was used to viewing. We had never even kissed until our wedding day bc of my boundaries with men due to my past before Christ and the commitment I made to Him that I would present what was only for my husband to him once we were married. He was a virgin. We both love Jesus but are realizing that sin is so deceptive. My husband cut off the outward act of his inward lust but he never dealt with the heart issues and wrong views of women that kept him hooked to lusting after women. And it has manifested itself in our intimacy inhibiting is from really experiencing the deep joy that comes from doing things God’s way because his mind is constantly thinking of other women and their body parts. There is not a day without this struggle but as I commit to pray for him and seek Jesus to be all the intimacy I need– the knowing me (into-me-see). We both compare me to other women and I have fallen so short in my husbands eyes. But there is hope because I know my husband doesn’t want to do this but his mind has been so distorted from being with thousands of women virtually. I am praying for you. Pray for your husband and read 1 Corinthians 7. God knows the heart issue of your hubby’s struggle and only He can change your man. As much as I want my words and pain to stir my husband to change, his real issue is his relationship with Jesus and all I can do is pray his heart is completely broken over the areas he sins against God… Because It breaks God’s heart. And I see more and more each day how my marriage is less about my relationship with my husband as it is about my relationship with Jesus Christ. Do I trust Him? Do I really believe He loves me or do I feel He tricked me into this marriage? Do I believe He will work all things together for good bc I love Him (Romans 8:28)?

    September 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

  15. Lana

    Okay, so I been married for a month. And let me tell you, things are completely different from when we were dating. I am having a really hard time accepting that change. We didnt live together before we got married because of our religion but i really wish we had. Im praying that this is just the start and things will get better. I just never thought it would be this hard. But its nice to know that i am not alone and that people do get thru it!

    November 11, 2012 at 12:26 am

  16. Name Withheld

    I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but try to bear with me… when I hear things like this, I wonder what could have been done in the beginning to prevent it, and what ways can we in turn help others avoid these kinds of situations (assuming that our issues are worked through and that we are in a place of health and not bitterness)? Marriage and blending together two very different people into one cohesive life is going to take work no matter how much preparation is involved, but in terms of the kinds of things being referenced here… and the kinds of things I've heard from a recently newlywed friend, especially, whose entire dating relationship was of huge concern to my husband & me as we watched something very unhealthy turn into an even unhealthier-sounding first few months of marriage – there is a part of me that says maybe you kind of deserve this. (It sounds awful, right?) But seriously. It's absolutely good to cling to Scripture during this time and to look to God for peace and healing when your heart is broken and lonely and confused, but healing and reconciliation should also come from a place that acknowledges a bad foundation. Once you're married, that's a promise you made before God (to God!) and each other that needs to be kept – I'm NOT saying to look back and say "We were too young, so let's give up." But for the love, acknowledge what was out of whack beforehand. Even if it means coming to a place that says "Maybe I jumped the gun. Maybe I married the 'wrong' person."

    December 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm

  17. Guest

    Why in the world would you ever say someone deserves this?!

    February 14, 2013 at 5:32 pm

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  19. SOUVA

    I can relate to you… It seems that all my dreams vanished on the wedding day and now it is 4 months through the marriage ans it feels the same.. too much hardwork…. and pain… I feel in my heart it is going to get better with time

    March 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm

  20. Guest

    When we entered as virgins into our marriage we had high expectation for the honeymoon. When my husband was able to be aroused but never reach orgasm we were both panicked. And of course panicking made things worse. As did the Christian sex guide our pastor had given us which dealt only in stereotypes about men and women. We've been married almost three years and things have gotten better, but it was an awful start that we weren't prepared for. We look back on our honeymoon and say "Yuck." Sometimes I wondered why I saved myself for marriage if sex was going to be so difficult. I am sorry you have gone through this and thank you for speaking out.

    February 11, 2014 at 12:55 am

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