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COUNSELING

After the Wedding Ceremony

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Some men seem to undergo a radical change immediately following the wedding ceremony.


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Counseling

If you are a newly married wife, did your husband begin to change drastically just months or even weeks after your wedding ceremony was over? Have you found yourself wondering whether he is the same man that you married? In this first article of a ten-part series on restoring marriage, Dr. Don Dunlap sets the stage for explaining to women why they suddenly discover differences in their new husbands that they never knew existed before marriage.

During the past several years of my counseling ministry, I have conducted an informal survey on newlywed males. The startling conclusion that I have reached has been confirmed by hundreds of brides.


Men undergo a radical change immediately following the wedding ceremony.


Nearly all of these women attest to the fact that a most amazing thing happens to their husbands, just minutes after the wedding ceremony is over. The bride makes her way to the bridal dressing room, overcome with visions of a lifetime of blissful love, meaningful communication and sweet companionship. She doesn’t suspect, for one moment, that anything could possibly be happening to her husband while she changes from her wedding dress into her traveling clothes.


She hopes that the change can be attributed to “wedding day jitters,” but she soon realizes that this is not the case.


What she does not know is that while she is changing clothes, something is happening to her husband in another part of the church. He is metamorphosing into another creature. She detects it, for the first time, on their honeymoon, but she holds out hope that the stress of the wedding day has brought about this noticeable change. She finds, however, that things do not get better with time.

Before she married this man of her dreams, he seemed to like everything that she liked. He shared her love for classical music, and he delighted in joining her in her hobbies. Her favorite restaurants were his favorite places to dine. He counted the hours until he could gaze deeply into her eyes in the flickering candlelight, and tell her tenderly, “Share every detail with me, darling. I want to hear all about it.”

He gladly went shopping with her because he wanted to be near her. He was courteous and thoughtful, opening doors for her and sending her flowers. He knew when she needed a hug for encouragement, and he didn’t try to “fix” her feelings with pat solutions. He listened to her patiently and offered her compassion and understanding. He even won her mother’s heart with his kind and considerate ways, although Dad was a bit suspicious.


He changes so drastically that she wonders if he has had a brain transplant.


This transformation that has taken place in her husband seems to affect the lobes of his brain. His “talking lobe” has been replaced with a “watching TV lobe.” His “shopping” lobe is replaced with a “hobbies or sports viewing” lobe. His “attentive” lobe is replaced with a “distracted” lobe. His “caring” lobe is replaced with a “career” lobe. His “listening” lobe is replaced with a “fixing her” lobe. His “courteous” lobe is replaced with a “burp, scratch, and do other things that offend her” lobe. His “feelings” lobe is replaced with a “logical” lobe, and his “self-controlled” lobe is replaced with an “always interested in sex” lobe.


Where he once hung on her every word, he now believes he is right all the time.


Now her husband disagrees with her on everything. He thinks that he is always right and she is always wrong. To her dismay, she suddenly discovers scores of differences between them. She wonders in despair, “Is there any hope for our marriage?”

The greatest hope for her is that, by God’s grace, a godly man will come along beside her husband and teach him how to be the caring, loving, compassionate man that she thought she was marrying. She must first, by faith, release her husband to the Lord. Then she must cooperate with God, as He works to accomplish His will in her husband’s life.

 






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