Marriage isn’t about Romance

Marriage isn't about Romance from Serving Joyfully

Today is a very special day–my husband’s birthday!

When my husband and I decided 9 years ago to get married, there was nothing earth-shattering about it. There was no romantic proposal. It happened in a manner that was typical for us. We eased ourselves from dating to engaged in a simple phone conversation. There were no fireworks or fancy words.

It was just a simple acceptance from both of us that God had chosen us for one another. That He had orchestrated our relationship and that it was His will for both of us that we be together.

There wasn’t really a proposal and our engagement story isn’t what anyone would call “romantic.”

But the past 8.5 years of life and marriage has taught me something.

I don’t want romance.

When I look up “romance,” here are some of the definitions

1. fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.

2. imbued with or dominated by idealism.

3.characterized by a preoccupation with love or by the idealizing of love or one’s beloved.
Idealizing one’s beloved. 
All of this speaks to unreasonable, impossible expectations. The truth is that marriage isn’t about romance. Marriage is about life together, and it rarely looks “ideal.” Our marriage should glorify God. That’s our purpose in life, and it’s the purpose of the institution that He created–that it would glorify Him. 
My husband isn’t romantic. Sometimes he isn’t entirely thoughtful. He can be selfish. He’s not perfect (any more than I am). 

But he is such a good dad. He takes our boys outside to play, and he interacts with them. He teaches them to fish, play ball, and ride their bikes. He tells them stories every night at bedtime. They both love and admire him and want to be just like him when they grow up.

And I would be so proud if they did.

want to be like daddy
He loves me now just as much as he loved that skinny girl in the picture above. He has supported me through hobbies, part-time jobs, indecisiveness, getting my masters degree, and much more. He believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself and he’s always there to speak an encouraging word and even help out around the house if needed.

He knows the difficulties of “in sickness and in health,” as he has struggled with me through the depths of depression. He may not understand it or know exactly what to say, but he has stayed by my side even though it gets ugly sometimes.

He is such a hardworking, faithful man. He is trustworthy. He supports our family and allows me to stay home and homeschool the boys.  He is generous to a fault, and he lives out Col 3:23. He desires to serve the Lord above all else, and he is such a gentle, humble, good-natured man. He definitely balances out my more emotional self.
He fixes me ice water to drink. He let me fill our living room wall with bookshelves and books. He gives me the best pillow, and let me “steal” his over-sized Redskins shirt to sleep in. 
Oh, did I mention he’s kinda hot?
Romance is overrated.


    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yay! Congrats to you as well :) Yes, it is a lot of work! There were times I didn’t know if I was going to make it…lol

  1. says

    Romance is different things to different people. My husband is the least "romantic" person in the world- he gave me a ring and said, "here's a ring let's get married"in the parking lot of our local mall :)

    But he takes out the trash without me asking, stops to pick up baby formula on his way homefrom work, or chooses a chick flick I'll like more than the action one he'd want….Make your own definition of romance – don't rely on a dictionary :)

    Happy Birthday

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Instead of trying to change the definition of romance, I’d rather just call it what it is–acts of love that are far better than any flowery language :)

  2. says

    Girl, I feel like you just talked about my life! It's funny that before you get married, you think about how much you can't live with him. "I want to spend the rest of my life with him" and then think it will be love and pink roses all throughout your life. Well, reality check! The ideal husband is not only the guy who can put up with your imperfections and you put up with his, but the guy who takes his place as a man, husband, and father. That to me is always romantic.

  3. says

    I read this post on facebook, but wanted to come over and comment. :) I think romance is overrated too. Like you said, it’s the acts of love that matter. I hate to admit it, but I’d watch “The Bachelor” and wonder if those couple would’ve fallen in love if they weren’t being whisked away by helicopter to some private island every other day! LOL! It’s the everyday things that matter. Great post! :)

  4. says

    LOL, gotta love a guy in a hard hat! In my case, it’s a cowboy hat :) You always give me a different perspective on thinking about marriage and my husband and I am grateful for that. My husband and I are both intense, high strung people yet we have settled into a mostly calm, supportive marriage. Our personalities make it more challenging some days, but when I stop and think of all he does, it just melts my heart. Romance, to me, is that he tries, every day, day after day, to do his best for me and my kiddo (his stepson). No flowers or gifts or trips or anything “flashy” could ever come close to that.

  5. Rachel G says

    I gotta say, I love it when my husband brings home flowers every once in a while–but the practical stuff really is more important in the long run!

  6. says

    I hope your hubby had a fantastic birthday! He sounds like a great man, a lot like mine. My husband has stood by me through issues with depression also. Even though they can’t understand it, their support is imperative. Beautiful post. I wholeheartedly agree with you!

  7. Lara says

    Loved this article and the comments! I’ve always felt I was a little strange as my view of romance is not what’s so often pictured in the movies. Him doing something with the kids is way more “romantic” to me than a candlelight dinner. It must be as some of you have stated: romance looks different to different people. Thanks for helping me know I’m not weird. ;)

  8. says

    Great post. My husband and I are in a similar boat. This reminded me of my post - I can't say we ever really dated and we don't have date nights now, but all that matters is that there is nobody I'd rather talk to at the end of the day. Marriage isn't romance. "Romance is the icing on the cake, but love is your bread and butter. Love ensures you never starve."

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