The Man I Didn’t Marry

When we were in high school, I loved him because he didn’t care what anyone thought.  He didn’t care what he should or shouldn’t do.  And I loved him for that freedom because when I was with him, I felt free, too.


In college, he began to love me as an adult.  Not a perfect adult (are there any perfect adults?), but in that “I will love you for the rest of my life” way.  And I loved him for that promise of what was to come.


In the earliest years of our marriage, he worked hard to build a foundation for our life.  He worked hard to provide for our future and our family.  And I loved him for that devotion and loyalty.


Today, everything he does is for our family.  To give our children the very best he can.  To make me happy and fulfilled.  He loves us so completely and so fiercely that it shines through in everything that he does.  And I love him for that passion.


Chris is not that same boy I fell in love with – thank God!  He isn’t even the same dreamer I loved in college or the same hardworking man who I married.  He is bits and pieces of each of those former selves, and I love that.  I love that every now and then, I can see the high school sweetheart who stole my heart, especially when he’s hanging out with Bean, just doing boy things.  And I love that I see the college boy who loved me imperfectly, but completely, when we finally have a few minutes to sit down and talk to each other like real adults at the end of the day.  I even love those nights and weekends when he works late and the kids and I sneak up to rehearsals to bring him dinner and kisses, just like I used to do when we were first married.

We wear the history of our love like rings on a tree trunk.  Our former selves are weaved intricately throughout our lives today to make us stronger and wiser.  And isn’t that what good marriages do for us?  They make us stronger, wiser versions of who we used to be?

No, I am not married today to the same man who stood at the alter with me almost ten years ago.  We are each different people now, but in the growth of who we have become, is the strength of our marriage.


Chris and I have been together for over half our lives, and friends have sometimes asked me if it’s boring to be with the same person for so many years.  My answer is always, “Of course it would be boring to be with the same person!”  I think that’s been the secret that has kept Chris and I happy for so long.  We embrace change in our relationship.  Is it always easy?  No.  By nature, I am not a fan of change.  But that slow, steady forward movement in our marriage is key to happiness for us.

Who wants to be married to that jerk they dated in high school for their entire lives?  Not me.

Which is why I am so thankful that I’m not.  I can’t wait to see who I will be married to in the next ten years.

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23 Thoughts to “The Man I Didn’t Marry”

  1. Amen to this! My husband and I are newlyweds but have been together for 8.5 years (today! ;)). He is not the man I fell in love with, but he is the man I always knew he would become. That’s what keeps things interesting…we grow together.

  2. Lindsey

    Best post ever!!!!!

  3. Valentina

    I hope to be a good wife and mother like you and have always in my heart and mind the same joy and love you have for Chris and your kids…we will miss you all!!!

  4. Diana

    beautiful post


    Best part they are soon attractive with gray hair. Was high school sweethearts married 36 yrs. love you both.

  6. Lisa

    This was just beautiful!

  7. Great post! If we stayed the same how boring life would get. Growing and changing with my husband is one of the best adventures I have been on.

  8. Such a great post Katie. I love this. What a great tribute, not only to Chris, but also the way God leads us to grow into the people He wants us to be.

  9. Sue C

    Beautiful post, Katie. My husband and I were also high school sweethearts. We’ve been together now for 32 years (wow). Definitely not the same people were way back then – thank goodness for both of us. I love our deep history. And I love in your post, “We wear the history of our love like rings on a tree trunk.” So very well said. Thank you for this!

  10. This is so beautifully written and so true of marriage.

  11. Joke

    Awesome post Katie! The great thing about marriage is that you get to go through changes together and fall in love again over and over 🙂

  12. jenny-bird

    So true! My husband and I were high school sweethearts. Since then, we’ve grown as individuals and as partners. We’ve learned to keep the good, lose the bad, and embrace change.

  13. Carlene

    Before we got married, my father-in-law told us “Saying ‘You’re not the person I married’ is the stupidest thing you can say. If in 5, 10, 20 years, you’re still the same person you are today, you’re doing something wrong.” So true!

    PS-Its weird seeing someone else’s wedding pictures at PLT!

  14. Honesty St-Jacques

    I can agree with some of what was said. The fact that he has the ability to change is good but that’s if it’s because he has integrity. No woman wants to deal with a stubborn man but no man wants to deal with a foolish woman either. It’s nice when your spouse can make changes for you, based on what is right but I don’t agree with their being some significance in being with someone for so many years and them not “being the same”. If my husband wasn’t the same, I’m not sure that I would like it too much but I know he will ALWAYS change for the better and never for the worse. A lot of women will say that they agree and that they don’t want to be married to the “same man” for all of their days but why wouldn’t you? I’ve been married to my man for 9 months now. We’ve been together for 19 happy months. It feels like we’ve been together longer but that’s not a bad thing in my eyes. We both believe that there is no grounds for divorce unless the other is unfaithful but we know for a fact we will never get divorced. Now, I know there are other reasons why marriages don’t work out and it’s unfortunate but why wouldn’t you want to know the same man/woman inside and out? To know every move they’re going to make? To know where they’re going, how long they’re going to be, what they say when you’re not around? To finish each other’s sentences because you know who they are, completely. I’ve developed that kind of relationship with my husband and I’m so thankful. I’m 20 and my hubby is 22, so of course, we got a lot of bullshit from people wondering why we got married so quickly. We got the questions of, “is there a baby on the way? how do you know for sure? don’t you want to live out your youth first?” We’ve both had our “time” We’ve both gone out and partied, had jobs, dated, messed up, etc. We’ve done all those things people refer to when they talk about what is to be “young” and to be honest, we both went through all that completely miserable. I wouldn’t change marriage for a damn thing in this world and I just wish that people would realize how important it is to have someone by your side. Someone who loves you so deeply and truly. Forever and always. That’s what we say when we recite our vows, isn’t it? It seems that a lot of people forget that before it even begins and I just wish everyone could see the true beauty in having wholesome, loving and fulfilling marriage.

  15. Ruhh Belle

    Beautiful post and awesome words.

  16. Tiffanie

    Loved this post !

  17. Just came across this. Wonderful post. Really rang true for me. Been with my husband since we were 14. I love the people that we have grown into. So proud of our changes. For us, change is growth. It is part of what has kept us together for so long. Our willingness to make improvements in ourselves! Thank you!

  18. Great post.

    These words are the ones that I hear now from my wife. She is telling me know :”you are not the man I used to know years ago”. Believe me I am trying very hard to fix things but its really hard now.

    I hope things will be the same as before.

    thanks Katie.

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