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Beautifully Taken for Granted: Building Trust in Marriage

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2017)

Who WANTS to be taken for granted? You’d probably have thought there was something wrong with me if you had walked into my kitchen two years ago late at night after a long day and found me giggling.

I was giggling to myself over a sink full of dirty dishes because after 9 years of marriage, countless hours of diligent sacrifice, my husband finally, beautifully, had taken me for granted.

I worked really hard to be taken for granted.

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That sounds really crazy, I know, but the reality is I never saw trust in marriage the way I do now. Let me tell you how being taken for granted was actually a sign of growth in our marriage.

I began working on our marriage a few years ago when I stopped nagging him to pick up his dirty underwear, and instead started praying over it. His empty toothpaste tube left on the vanity gets silently replaced. His lunch is quietly waiting each morning.

Our marriage was in a rough place after his last deployment. Out of the six years we had known each other, he had spent three of those deployed. The trials of war were a heavy burden that I didn’t know how to carry with him, and he didn’t know how to let me.

We tried to pick up and move forward, as if skipping over the missed year, but we had changed. I had spent a year just being a mom, and he felt like an outsider to our little all girls’ club. We didn’t really know how to overcome the abyss between us.

We had forgotten how to reach across the abyss. We needed to build trust.

Let me tell you, pretending the rift wasn’t there, wasn’t pretty. We were almost on the brink of disaster when Jesus began to intervene.

I wanted God to change my husband, who had returned from war angry and different. While, I prayed and prayed that he would change, I got angrier and more bitter when he didn’t. I sat all self-righteous on my pious side of the room, waiting for him to change before I would.

But God began a quiet work in my heart.

He answered my prayers for change by changing me. I began to see love, not as an emotion, but an active choice. I could decide to love him everyday.

Praying for my husband to change meant that God was working to change me first.

However, my husband didn’t trust that love. He wouldn’t ask me to do his laundry. He wouldn’t ask for help with even the littlest things, and seemed perturbed when I would offer, like depending on me was weakness.

Mostly, he didn’t see us as a team. He was running his own life and I was a corollary player.

To change his perception, I had to learn to be trustworthy, be willing to serve, be gentle instead of nagging, instead of shouting louder, get quiet. I had to serve him without complaining, joyfully. I had to ask him everyday – what can I do for you? And then do what he asked, even if I didn’t want to.

So, when he dragged himself to bed after an 18 hour day, leaving his cold, stale coffee in his thermos, his dirty lunchbox full of trash, and a pot simmering on the stove for me to watch, a midnight load of laundry to do, I almost got frustrated. Hey, I’m tired too!

but then I heard, God’s quiet voice, ‘what a beautiful blessing.’

I went to bed last night giggling to myself because after years of marriage, long months of hard work, my husband takes me for granted. I have worked really hard to be beautifully, taken for granted.

A blessing? beautiful? to be taken for granted?

Did I hear that right, Lord? YES! Yes, the fiercely independent husband who wouldn’t ask for help, didn’t want to need me, now relies on my help, and beautifully takes for granted that I’ll be there and do things for him.

Wow. I almost missed the sweetness of that moment. It had taken years of work to reach that point. And I am thankful God reminded me to see being relied upon as a blessing.

Our marriage that almost ended in bitterness and anger, is stronger than ever, full of laughter again.

Psalm 85:10 ESV  Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.

Finding this verse from Psalms almost brought me to tears. Never could I have imagined my marriage in it, but the words leapt from the Bible into my heart.

I learned what steadfast love and faithfulness meant through seeking God’s righteousness, and peace began to reign in our household.

I never thought I would celebrate being beautifully taken for granted, yet on our 9th anniversary, the words, “I love you” were more poignant than ever, hearing him say, “I know” meant even more.

49 thoughts on “Beautifully Taken for Granted: Building Trust in Marriage

  1. This year has been interesting because my husband has had two hip replacements with one of them having a complication. I have never loved him more because I get to care for him and do things he ordinarily would never let me think of doing for him. As a result, we are closer than ever. It has also made him more tender and appreciative of things I just did without him knowing.

    1. I can’t imagine two in a year. I’ve had my left hip replaced twice and dislocated both times. I had to learn total dependence on my husband. It made me so grateful.

  2. Such a beautiful post!! I absolutely want to be taken for granted. I love that my husband knows that I will always be there for him. I’ve always said I want to be his biggest cheerleader. The great thing is that through my consistent behavior he does the same for me!

    1. Thank you! Our husbands do love having us be their cheerleaders!

  3. Wow, that’s beautiful! Way to make a negative thing positive, but you’re right! If our husbands take us for granted, then they feel safe to lean on us, and that is a beautiful thing.

    1. Right. We don’t want them to ignore us, but to trust so deeply, we don’t always have to be asked.

  4. I’m glad to hear you’re marriage weathered and is strong to date! I think this is true wisdom in marriage, not asking God to change our spouse, but to change us.

    1. I started asking for God to change my husband. But God clearly changed me first through my prayers.

  5. This was beautiful! I work from home and therefore end up doing most of the housework. It’s hard at times to feel like all the work I do behind the scenes isn’t appreciated, but this is a great reminder that we are called to serve one another and sometimes the way I can serve best is to have everything ready and clean for when my husband needs it. You really hit home with me on this post!

    1. I’m glad it spoke to a real need in your life. I needed to hear that today!

  6. Wow! Praise the Lord that he worked so amazingly in your marriage!!!! In today’s society it’s rare to see people actually work through their marital problems and it’s beautiful to hear the testimony of those who have!

    1. I agree people move on way too quickly the second they aren’t happy, and the miss out on real joy and true love. God told me not to give up, and I’ve never been happier even though our lives didn’t get easier, our marriage did.

  7. Loved reading this and how God is working uniquely in our hearts and marriages. I just wrote about something similar today: it had a lot in common with your post.

    1. I loved the imagery of two saplings being tied together for strength!

  8. This is a beautiful and unique perspective. It really makes me appreciate being taken for granted too!

    1. Doesn’t God give us such different eyes to see!

  9. I absolutely LOVE this! This is such a beautiful perspective and shows just how radical and transforming God’s love can be when it shines through us.

    Thanks for getting personal with us! This post is inspiring to me.

    1. Thank you so much for saying so! I am glad you are encouraged!

  10. It is amazing grace, prayer, and kindness can do in a marriage. God is the great healer and provider. This was an amazingly touching story thank you!

  11. This was so sweet. I’m glad that God has restored your marriage. Thank you for sharing your heart and sending out a voice of encouragement! Be blessed!

    1. I hope my experiences bless others. Thank you for listening!

  12. This is such a beautiful post! My husband served in the Navy and God used that in numerous ways to mold me, my husband, and our marriage! This is such a great perspective, being beautifully taken for granted! This post truly resonated with me, thanks for sharing!
    God is GREAT!

    1. Thank you and your husband for serving!

  13. Such a sweet post. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on 9 years. It is so great to know you have gotten through some rough times and God brought you to the other side. 🙂

    1. It is all a journey.

  14. What a great testimony to the faithfulness and power of our God. And a great example of how He changes hearts, one at a time because of prayer. Wonderful.


    1. I think God must chuckle at us, knowing that the harder we pray to change someone, the more change He works in us.

  15. Isn’t it amazing how God often uses our prayers for others to change us?

  16. Amen! Marriage is a beautiful picture of the gospel where two people can practice to show unconditional love and show grace in the face of our partners shortcomings. Glad to hear that your marriage is ever growing sweeter. Happy anniversary to both of you! 🙂

    1. It is our first mission field! And thank you.

  17. Ah, I love this…I didn’t see where you were going with it at first, but what a beautiful perspective…if only we were keener to look for how God has and can answer our prayers, sometimes the answer comes in the least expected ways!

    1. I wanted people to be curious enough to open their email.

  18. I love this Jennifer! I have noticed in my own marriage that when I pray for God to change something I think is wrong with my husband, God shows me how to change myself instead and it’s beautiful. Happy 9th Anniversary! Here’s to many, many more. And thank you to your husband for serving and you for serving him!

    1. Thank you. I am so happy for all the lessons that this military life is bringing to me.

  19. My husband has worked second shift since my oldest was in kindergarten. (She is now a senior in college)
    When he is home it is hard for me and the kids to divert to him. Getting them to respect his decisions is extremely rough. I am glad you were able to figure it out!

    1. That is really hard. Just like coming back together after a deployment constantly. I hope you guys found a rhythm that worked for you.

  20. What a beautiful story! I can hear your love for your husband in your words! I too was one who sat and stewed for God to please change my husband, when the changing needed done in me! My husband has never been deployed but he is a police officer and that line of work changes a person. God has been faithful to give us strength and grace in our marriage!

    1. It does change someone. Much like being a soldier does! I read a bible study called When War Comes Home and it really helped me understand where he has been and how I could be more sensitive to the trauma he experienced. Maybe there is something similar for wives of law enforcement? Thank you and your husband for serving our nation in a different way. LEOs should have a national day of recognition too.

  21. I love the title of this post! And your reaction to being taken for granted was good – prayer is the answer! I don’t know if that would’ve been my reaction although I’d like to think so!! 🙂 It’s nice, in a sense, to be taken for granted, because some people don’t now or never have that opportunity because they aren’t married or their spouse has died. I”m thankful that Hubby is here! And I’m thankful I can serve God by serving him! LOVED THIS POST! Made me look at his dirty lunchbox in a different way (and that really gets my goat!) 🙂

    1. Ha – click on the dirty underwear line if you really want a perspective changer!

  22. Oh Jennifer–how inspiring you are to so many who may be unwilling to change. And what a blessing you are to go to Jesus and ask for help to change and bless your marriage.
    Tell your husband thank you for his service for me.

    1. I will! Thank you for those kind words. Changing my heart was the best thing I ever did.

  23. I love that you continue to serve Him and ‘keep your love on’ That is key!!!

    1. Learning to serve has given me a bigger heart for him, I actually love him more when I choose to serve him.

  24. great perspective. we are going on 12 years this month and yes…totally taken for granted. but now…as I pursue this blogging thing and haven’t the time for things like I used to he sees…:)

    1. You always realize what you had when it is gone. Balancing blogging and marriage is hard. Congratulations on 12 years!

  25. What an interesting perspective! I needed to hear this. I have a very independent husband who is a firefighter paramedic. He is gone more than he is home. It took awhile, but we have definitely become a team. I think public safety attracts strong individuals who want to be needed more than needing. I was frustrated about being taken for granted on a lot of things, so this is timely.

    1. God certainly changed my heart on being taken for granted!

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