1. I too had the white picket fence dream…. a loving husband, who was my prince charming. Unfortunately, he had a drinking problem. #2 worshiped the ground I walked on! That dream ended in a tragic accident 8 years ago. We had been married for over 11 years and would still be married if he was alive. Now my dream husband #3, a great provide,r who loves God, but has a hard time showing me how much he loves me….Last year, our intimate life happened 5 times at the most. No hand holding, no words of affirmation, etc I keep praying that I can remain strong that I don’t need the physical aspects of a marriage to be happy. God has carried me through..heading into year 3…..Can’t wait to be reunited with my 2nd husband! When we all get to heaven, what a day of glory that will be!

  2. That essay is hilarious! At 15 I knew so little about boys. I didn’t have my first boyfriend til I was 17! I knew then that telling lie was unacceptable, but I still had a lot to leRn about love…and I am still learning at 40-something.

  3. When I was younger, I had the idea that my husband was meant to fulfill my every need, “complete me.” Talk about self-centered. Into the marriage a little, what a rude awakening but a much needed jolt by God to show me life and marriage weren’t centered around my every need, want or beckoned call. It was about displaying the love of God to my husband and putting God first, my husband next and me last. I have an ideal man as long as I keep my focus on God and not look at circumstances or flaws.

  4. Loved this! Why does selfishness have to keep rearing its ugly head?

  5. I could not agree more! What a great way to teach the importance of managing expectations in marriage. It’s about we not me and, as you have said so well, “the work God is doing in and through both of us,” Great post Cheri!

    I hopped over from Bonnie’s place and am now your newest email follower. Have a happy valentines day!

  6. Great blog post today – maybe the most meaningful of all the ones I’ve read so far.

  7. I’d love to win a copy of this book! Yeah, I think I definitely had an ideal man image…that no one could possibly live up to. Thankfully, after 10 years of marriage, I think my expectations of my husband are much more realistic now:)

  8. I wrote a letter, too – and it was like a contract to me – and I thought about what kind of father he would be to my kids, what kind of husband he would be, that he would have a 7 day a week faith – and that we’d have lots of boys and one girl. My dad walked out when I was little – so this letter encouraged me to find a noble man, a forever man! I agree – it might have sounded one-sided but it sure helped me keep my focus!

  9. Darla Bunyan says:

    And thank the Lord that we finally grow up!

  10. Rachel Stevens says:

    I would love a copy of this book. My husband and I have been married for 7 1/2 years but we’re becoming robots, just living day to day, raising the kids, no connection- nothing.
    God bless 🙂

  11. Oh, what a great post on truths of marriage! You said it so well. How our childish eyes perceive the world and love is so revealing. SOme cling to the faulty perception into adulthood with tragic consequences. Marriage is not easy, but we go with God. Sharing!

  12. So interesting how our perspectives change as we learn more. 🙂 Thank you, Cheri. You have some wise girls. 🙂

  13. wow at that age everything is about u ..I beleived someone would save me and
    I would have a happy happy life .We would always get along snuggle b romantic
    hold each other hand into the sunset. Happy Ever After.. Love and God Bless

    1. Yvonne — Isn’t it appalling to see in black-and-white how “everything is about u”?!? No wonder my parents were concerned when 4 short years later we were engaged! Like you, I was searching for a savior, and when my husband turned out to be a poor substitute for Jesus, I was not a happy camper. So grateful, now, for the struggle that caused us both to draw closer to Jesus and, in the process, to each other!

  14. Oh the dreams of a young girl! I can remember thinking that my prince really would ride up on his white horse and carry me back to his castle. I am so thankful that God is in charge. He opened my eyes to the ‘perfect man’ for me. There is no ‘one size fits all’. I have been married to my perfect man for almost 20 years now. They have been the most rewarding years of my life. I couldn’t ask for a better best friend.


    1. Kandis — Oh, the white horse and prince and castle… so glad Disney decided to challenge that stereotype in Frozen! Congratulations on 20 years and your positive focus on how rewarding they’ve been! It took me far too many years to realize that my husband really is my best friend.

  15. Oh, I had an ideal man essay too! I think my husband fit most of what I wrote, but also, he is SO much more! And I couldn’t really put a person in a box. And over the years he has proven to be the one God had for me despite our vast differences.

    1. Shonda — This must have been some sort of “mandatory” assignment high school teachers gave. I had my English II students do something similar, and then I read snippets at the big senior-faculty party at the end of the year. So many of them were SO embarrassed even after just two years!

      You’re so right about not putting people in a box. I look back at this essay and want to dope slap my teenage self for being so clueless. God knew what he was doing FAR more than I did, that’s for sure!!!

  16. My Ideal Man would have sounded similar to yours, except I would have added in a foreign accent and that he must be rich! I’m glad I moved in from those ‘standards’…though the foreign accent would be great 😉

    1. Alyssaz — LOL about adding a foreign accent and $$$! Sorry you’re shivering so much these days…I won’t tell you about my sunny 65 temperatures…or view of the Pacific Ocean out my dining room window… 😉

  17. Krystal Pluta says:

    That was wonderful!!! I feel that I had completely wrong ideas of the man I was going to Marry when I was a teenager. Thank God he is in control and not us! Being married only 7 years, I have learned so much about love and am eager to learn more!

    1. Krystal — AMEN to being glad that God is in control and we’re not! And congratulations on 7 years — that’s great investment. I admire your spirit of teachability!

  18. Janetta Dobler says:

    I want to be a Happy Wife with a Happy Husband! We are married 17 years and sometimes it feels like having a roommate.

    1. Janetta — Congratulations on 17 years! That’s a lot of hours logged, a lot of history laid down! Have you checked out The Happy Wives Club website? Lots of great free advice that’s MORE than worth the price! 🙂

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