If you’ve ever lamented about your husband, “he makes me cry”, then you’ve come to the right place!

Recently, on Twitter, I read this quotation:

No man is worth your tears, & when you find the man who is, he’ll never make you cry.

A man who will never make you cry, who will never break your heart! Isn’t that what we all want?

I think it is. The teenage girls in my church are just captivated by silly romantic kid movies, like Enchanted. They want to find their Prince, who will come in and sweep them off their feet and lead them to a life where all is perfect, there is always singing, and no one ever gets a zit.

When we women get married, I think that’s what we’re hoping for: here’s a man who will never make me cry. He is perfect. I will love him forever, he will love me completely, and in the end, we will always be happy. The only tears will be happy tears!

The problem is it doesn’t work.

There is no one who can ever love like a fairytale character. And chances are he will make you cry (and you’ll make him angry, too). To expect that someone will never ever hurt you is to fail to understand the nature of marriage.

In marriage, we’re joining two incomplete, imperfect people who love each other together forever.

While they may love, what will really hold that marriage together is commitment. And why do we need that commitment? Because if it just depended on love, few would ever stick it out. Many of us go through times, especially early in our marriage, or right after the kids arrive, when we start to resent our spouse, or marriage becomes really difficult. We have different priorities. We have different personalities. The thing that we once thought was so cute and quirky about our spouse when we were dating now drives us crazy.

But because of that commitment, we stay and eventually things grow.

Something deeper than love grows–or perhaps I should say a deeper form of love.

And every time we hurt each other, and work through that hurt, and reaffirm the fact that we’re together forever, that love gets deeper.

It’s a special kind of love, too. It’s possessive, and it encompasses every part of us: spirit, soul, and body. It’s one reason we’re so upset about affairs, and have such a hard time accepting any kind of adultery, or recovering from betrayal, as that poll I had running a while ago showed. At this point, 16% of you think that if you hurt a guy who has cheated on you, the law should treat you exactly the same way as it would treat a regular assault, but the other 84% think some sort of allowance should be made, or that we should be able to send a posse out with some crazy glue to do some damage. Of course the poll was tongue in cheek, but it shows we understand how deeply we can be hurt by betrayal.

What we need to do in a marriage, though, is recognize that there is betrayal, and then there is betrayal. There is adultery, and then there is simple conflict. My husband has never cheated on me, but he has made me cry. He has been insensitive, he has put his needs first, he has denigrated me, especially early in our marriage. And I have done the same to him. These aren’t things I’m proud of, but they’re the consequence of two people joining together, and we have worked through them.

The one type of tear that my husband has never made me shed is the worry that he will leave me or cheat on me. I have complete faith in him on these counts. I know our marriage is rock solid, but there are still things that we butt heads about. Those things are far rarer now after 17 years of marriage than they were at the beginning, but with lack of sleep or some other problem we are still occasionally insensitive, and we need to get over it.

This idea, though, that a man should never make you cry can make you feel like the first time in a marriage that he is insensitive the marriage itself is at stake, or there’s something dreadfully wrong with him.

No, the marriage is not at stake, and the only thing wrong with him is that he’s human.

In marriage we will have conflict. Let’s not assume that he will always be an angel; that just makes it worse, and it’s not fair. But by the same token, let’s put that conflict in perspective. Being insensitive is not the same as having an affair, being abusive, or becoming addicted to something. So work through your problems. Pray through them. Learn selflessness. Learn how to confront in love.

Tears do not mean something is ending; it just means you’re walking through a healing process in some difficult area in your marriage, and healing always hurts.

Our false expectations about romance make these conflicts seem worse than they really are. Yes, you’ll have difficulties. Yes, you’ll have tears. But keep that commitment, and you’ll find that when you say, “he makes me cry”, it’s not always a bad thing.

If you’re struggling with your husband making you cry because of some pretty deep issues, I have a list of all of the issues in marriage that I’ve dealt with on the blog. Whether it’s feelings of loneliness or porn use or parenting issues, I’ve likely got some thoughts there!

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