Commitment, Podcast

What if I Got Married Too Young (or I Don’t Want to Be Married Anymore?)

grayscale photo of man and woman standing on grass field

Have you ever had any thoughts of second-guessing your marriage? You’re not alone in this, but you must not stay in those thoughts. In this episode, we want to encourage you and remind you of what true covenantal love looks like.

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Transcript Shownotes

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Scripture, Show Notes, and Resources Mentioned

  • Referenced scripture:
    • Ezekiel 16:59-63
    • Mark 10:9
    • 1 Corinthians 13

Full Episode Transcript

Ryan: What if you feel like you got married too young or too fast, you rushed into things, and now you find yourself thinking-

Selena: Buyer’s remorse?

Ryan: Yeah. [Selena laughs] What if that’s you? Was that you?

Selena: No.

Ryan: No. You knew what you were buying. [laughs]

Selena: I’ve had moments of that. No, I’m kidding. [chuckles] No. I mean-

Ryan: Excuse me.

Selena: I don’t know. It’s an honest thing. I think there’s been moments where… have you never thought like, “Whoa, we got married pretty young,” or “Whoa, maybe we shouldn’t have… maybe we rushed.” We dated for a long time, though.

Ryan: Girl, I’ve been in on the Selena train hook line, and sinker, to mix analogies, [laughs] since day zero. All right? Before you even knew my name, I said-

Selena: Before Rysel was a thing?

Ryan: …I said, “That woman is wife material, and I would be a fool to think anything else.”

Selena: It’s true.

Ryan: But not everyone has that level of clarity. So today [laughs] I feel like it’s a legitimate question to ask, What if I feel like I got married too young? How am I to deal with this dissonance in my mind? So we’re gonna discuss that on the other side.


Ryan: You know, you mentioned having kind of this hesitation after the fact. Buyer’s remorse. I was pretty cavalier. There’s been times when I thought, “Well, maybe we went too fast.” I never questioned you. Because we got married when we were 20 and 21.

Selena: Yeah. Well, and I think our theology has, I don’t wanna say evolved, but we’ve become more clear in our beliefs. And our beliefs are a big thing when we’re not in agreement on that.

Ryan: Well, you’re sipping that baby’s milk when we got married and now we’re eating some steak, [laughs] which think that’s-

Selena: Well, I’m just saying that if happiness is the ultimate goal and pleasure is the ultimate goal, as little conflict as possible, if those are the goals, those are the gods that we’re gonna worship and serve and try to get, then I think you’re already at the wrong starting point. Those questions are gonna come automatically.

Ryan: It’s like a hot knife through butter. Selena getting right to the core of the issue. Well done, wife. Well done. So before we get into that, my name is Ryan. This is my lovely wife Selena. If you’re new here, welcome to the Fierce Marriage Podcast. We love, love, love to have new people visiting, listening to the podcast, watching.

Selena: Love, love.

Ryan: Love, love, love. [Selena laughs] If you are on YouTube, hit that ‘subscribe’ button. If you’re not on YouTube, you’re listening, get on over there, hit the ‘subscribe’ button.

Selena: Or just hit the five-star rating.

Ryan: Oh, yeah.

Selena: That’s helpful too.

Ryan: If there’s a sixth star, go for that one. [both laughs] Anyway thank you for joining us. If you wanna partner with us, that’s one of the main ways that we’re able to keep this ministry sustainable. The Lord’s been gracious through our patrons on Patreon. So I wanna say welcome to… we have some new ones. We’re getting new ones by the week, actually.

Selena: Praise God.

Ryan: And we’re almost to 300. We have 299 patrons.

Selena: Wow.

Ryan: Of them, the newest are Allie and Brady L. Welcome to the two of you. Christopher Ryan M. What a wonderful middle name, Christopher Ryan. Christina M, welcome. Valentina, welcome. And Angelica M., welcome to the Fierce Family patrons. There it is. Okay.

So this topic came from a listener.

Selena: A listener.

Ryan: If you want to ask a question, you can do that. We do make it through these questions periodically when we see themes arise. If you want to ask a question, go to, and that will lead you to a form. You can either text the question in, you can fill out the form, or you can call in if you feel like- [Selena laughs]

Selena: You wanna leave a voicemail?

Ryan: We haven’t got any voicemails in a while. This question comes from Jay. Selena, do you wanna read Jay’s question or should I read it since it’s from a man?

Selena: Probably that.

Ryan: Okay. [Selena chuckles] That’s right. All right. So here’s what he said. “I love my wife and I’m happy with her, but,” here it comes “I feel like I got married too fast. I miss meeting new people and first dates, but I also feel like I got married because I felt lonely. I tend to have feelings of divorcing her when she does things I find annoying, when she doesn’t do things a wife does when she expects me to do what a husband should do. What should I do?” Thank you, Jay, for the question.

It’s a loaded question. There’s a lot of terms that Jay is using and it seems to me that maybe they’re being used in the haphazard fashion.

Selena: Possibly a bit flippant.

Ryan: Yes. So what I wanna do is I wanna look at this pragmatically, I wanna look at it theologically, I wanna look at it honestly. Some of you listeners, longtime listeners will know this. My dad is a 35-year psychologist, right?

Selena: Mm-Hmm.

Ryan: Maybe 40 years at this point. Really love my dad. I respect him a lot. When this came in, I said, “Dad, what would you say? You know, because we get people writing. What would you say?” And my dad’s response was just chef’s kiss. He goes, “You know what I’d say to Jay?” [laughs] He goes, “I’d say, you bought the boat, buddy you gotta float it.” Which is just like, you made your bed, now you gotta sleep in it. That’s how covenant works. That’s how covenant works. And that’s what marriage is.

Now this, is this a reasonable question for Jay to be asking, given what my dad just said? I think it’s reasonable in the sense that it’s understandable. It’s understandable. And why is it understandable? Because I understand it because most people get into marriage without understanding truly what covenant is, without knowing what they’re actually getting into, without knowing what they’re committing to, without knowing what love is, without knowing what it’s gonna be like, which-

Selena: Also you can’t know some of the things. You can, you know, read up and do as much research as you can, but some of that stuff you just have to experience on your own. I’m with your dad. I’m like, Yeah, you bought the boat you gotta deal with it. But then that doesn’t… I mean, how much is that actually promoting love and covenant too, right?

Your dad’s addressing commitment. Like, you’ve made this commitment and now you need to stick to it. So all of these feelings of like you’re happy with her or you feel like you need to get divorced sometimes because she does things that are annoying or you guys miss each other’s expectations, that’s just marriage. I mean, really-

Ryan: And the biggest lie that you can believe is that that’s somehow not gonna be the same case into the next marriage. That you’re not gonna feel these same exact things.

Selena: You think divorce is gonna just magically change everything and it’ll be better. But that, again, a lie-

Ryan: Or the next marriage will somehow change it. The reality is, wherever you go, there you are. You’re the factor. You’re the common factors. So what we need to do in these cases is we need to look at the underlying assumptions that are actually giving rise to an occasion for these types of questions to come up in one’s heart and one’s mind. Okay?

So this question gets at the core of what marriage is, which then gets at the core to the heart of three foundational pillars. These are the foundational pillars of marriage: love, covenant and gospel, and or the rock that is Jesus Christ Himself.

How you define, how you view love, how you view covenant, how you view Christ in your relationship to Him and with Him is going to inform how you view marriage far more than any other thing informs marriage and your view of marriage. So I just wanna spend some time talking about these three things so that then we come back to this question and say, now what should I do? Which is-

Selena: And I think understanding what are your beliefs as a couple around the ideas of covenants, of love, and of the gospel. Because a lot of, I think, freedom and joy and courage and strength, I think, to kind of walk out of marriage when it felt annoying or expectations were missed, it came from rightly understanding these three pillars and being in agreement on them as a couple.

Ryan: So covenant. What is covenant? You know, one really clear visual you can use to basically lay down the magnitude or at least communicate the magnitude of what covenant is… I forget who it was, but it was Cortez maybe who they landed on the shores of Central America or, you know, North America. Mexico, I think. They landed on shores of wherever they were headed, and as the soldiers were headed out to war, he turned around and burned the ships. We have an episode called Burn the Ships.

And do that in your mind and say, “This ship has sailed. We are married. This vehicle, this… we’re careening down the highway at 120 miles an hour. Getting out is the worst thing for me to do.” [laughs] That’s the image of covenant that I think is really helpful.

Now, images are only worth something so long as they represent truth. So what is covenant biblically Well, how do we understand it? How does God view covenant? This has to drive our definition of it, not just cute-

Selena: Absolutely.

Ryan: …you know, helpful images or cute anecdotes. But really how does God view it and how are we to then submit to Him by His grace? I just wanna read a passage that I think very clearly shows how God views covenant. Selena… this comes from Ezekiel 16, starting in verse 59. Do you mind reading that for us?

Selena: I shall. I do not mind. “For thus says the Lord God: I will deal with you as you have done, you who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant, yet I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish for you an everlasting covenant. Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you take your sisters, both your elder and your younger, and I give them to you as daughters, but not on account of the covenant with you.

I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, that you may remember and be confounded, and never open your mouth again because of your shame, when I atone for you for all that you have done, declares the Lord God.”

Ryan: So is He-

Selena: Context. There we go.

Ryan: He’s speaking prophetically, warning God’s people like he has been throughout this book. Here He’s speaking as God’s mouthpiece saying that basically you’ve betrayed this co… God is talking to His people, saying, “You’ve betrayed Me. We had a covenant, you broke it. And because of that, you will bear the consequences of breaking that covenant. However, I will still hold it on my end. I will still uphold it.”

In the book of Hebrews, it’s talking about how God He didn’t have anything bigger than Himself to swear upon, so God literally swore upon Himself that He would make good of the covenant with Abraham. That He not only split the [cup? 00:10:13] but He walked through it. He paid the price and then guaranteed it with Himself that He would fulfill the covenant as an unconditional covenant.

So we have a God who’s covenantal. Covenant is one of the most prevalent themes throughout scripture. And for sure it’s the most prevalent theme in terms of how God relates to His people. And now He’s telling us as married people… and Jesus said this. He said in Mark 10:9 that what God has brought together let man not put a sunder. That He’s ratifying these covenants.

In other words, we are to view our covenant with each other in marriage as God views His covenant with His own people. That same picture is even more vivid when we realize that we are the church, Christ’s bride, His covenantal bride, He is our bridegroom. And that covenant will be brought into its full consummation on the second coming of Christ. It’s all covenant. Many times young folks will get married, they have no concept of what covenant is.

Selena: I don’t even think we had it. We knew what commitment was. We were all in from the beginning. There was no questions, no wondering if we, you know.. I didn’t think there was any buyer’s remorse. But we definitely didn’t know a lot. Again, you can only know so much and you can only experience so much. But I think-

Ryan: I knew that.

Selena: …if we would’ve been taught these things, I think it would’ve brought, I don’t know, would’ve given us more solid start.

Ryan: You know, in my mind God was gracious. To me, it was a done deal. Like it was done. My dad drilled that into my head at a young age. Like, “Hey, when you get married, it’s done, pal. Deal with it.” Which I really appreciate. We’re doing that with our girls right now. [chuckles]

But the point is lots of folks don’t understand what covenant is so they take it very lightly. So they begin asking these questions and throwing the word ‘divorce’ around. It’s like, what if God did that? What if God said, you know what, when you show up, you know, and you’re standing at the pearly gates and you’re before the judgment thrown and you’re banking on Christ interceding on your behalf, and Jesus turns around and looks at you and you say, “Hey, Jesus, I placed my faith in you. I trust you. I followed you. You are my savior.” And He says, “Actually, you know what?-

Selena: “One of those times you annoyed Me.”

Ryan: I made it… [both laughs].

Selena: I’m just kidding.

Ryan: “Do you remember when you were annoying? Do you remember when you didn’t do the things that you should have done?”

Selena: “That you said you were gonna do?”

Ryan: Or He says, “You know what? Our covenant’s off. My deal’s off. Get away from Me. I no longer want you in relationship like I said I did.” That’s the key.

Selena: Which is a huge message of love right there, or a denial of love in what we’re talking about.

Ryan: Oh, yes. It’s completely antithetical to love in that it’s… love is-

Selena: Or the right understanding of love. Because many of us think of love in that way.

Ryan: And we’ll get into love more specifically in a minute. But I mean, just let that sink in, the thought that you have a covenantal God that we take so for granted, that He is gonna give you grace, He’s gonna give you forgiveness, He’s gonna call you His own, He’s gonna adopt you into His family, He’s gonna bless you generation to generation, you know, those who have the fear of the Lord. He said He’s gonna do all these things. Now, what if all of a sudden He’s not gonna do those things, He changed His mind?

Now he said He would — and He will. And our same God has called us to let our yes be yes and our no be no. And when you stood on the altar before God, before your spouse, before your pastor, before those witnesses and said, “I do,” you said you would.

Selena: It’s covenant. It’s covenant.

Ryan: Your yes needs to be yes even when you don’t feel like letting your yes be yes. It’s done. That’s what covenant is. Now, why is it this way? Well, it’s for our own flourishing. I wanna read a written excerpt from our book, Fierce Marriage. This was published back in 2018 I believe. 2019. Somewhere around there. [laughs] It’s been a long time. You can find it anywhere books are sold.

It says this, “Your marriage covenant is as important to God as His own covenants with His beloved people. He cares about your marriage because He cares about you. A marriage covenant is not an arbitrary framework invented to make your life harder. It’s God’s design for human flourishing and a tool He uses to mold you and your spouse into images of Christ. God’s covenant with His chosen people, His beloved is likened repeatedly to a marriage.” And that’s where we read the passage from Ezekiel 16. “And it’s as if God, like a spurned spouse, He speaks with an intense love, emotion, and commitment as one who loves covenantally and desperately desires that covenant to be-

Selena: Fulfilled.

Ryan: …fulfilled on both sides.”

Selena: Right.

Ryan: So why is covenant there? Did God just do it arbitrarily? Did He just do it to make our lives harder because, you know, He figured, you know, these people are gonna be prone to wanting multiple first dates, they want to have multiple partners, they wanna have excitement? “Well, I don’t want them to have that, so I’m gonna put a covenant around this thing.” No. God put it there because it’s part of his nature and it’s how we flourish when we fall into His design.

Selena: It’s His design. Yeah.

Ryan: It’s because He loves us. Which brings us to the next big pillar. So we’ve talked about covenant, let’s talk about love.

Selena: I don’t know if I’d put these in this order, but… because it all, I mean, it will-

Ryan: I would.

Selena: …formulate at the end. I’m saying the gospel needs to start this conversation.

Ryan: But isn’t the gospel kind of the outpouring of the covenants and the love of God?

Selena: Well, I think if you don’t understand-

Ryan: It’s the end point.

Selena: If you don’t understand the gospel, how do you understand covenant rightly?

Ryan: We have ourselves in the chicken and the egg scenario. So that’s good. So Jay said this: “I’m happy with her and I love my wife, BUT then I feel like got married too fast.” He says, “I love my wife.” Does he though?

Selena: Right. Again-

Ryan: Does this question sound that way?

Selena: Again, are we having this shared meaning of what love is? Are we defining it correctly? Because Jay, buddy, we have so many people that write in and say, “Man, I wish my spouse loved me, or I wish I felt loved in my marriage. I mean, if you’re like, “Man, I love my wife, BUT,” then I question whether or not you’re actually loving your wife, or if she just makes you feel good and you feel like you love her.

Ryan: That’s the confusion is that love is an objective thing. We oftentimes treat love as if it is an adjective describing how I feel as opposed to an action describing how I should act. So love is an action. Here’s the thing: it’s not defined by us. It’s defined externally from us. God has defined love. God has defined love. He’s also executed love perfectly in that He’s shown us love. And then now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has given us the ability to love the way He loves.

So, how did God define love? 1 Corinthians 13, great place to start. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it’s not self-serving, love hopes all things, endures all things, believes all things. It’s all these things that are objective. It’s not love is great feelings, love is-

Selena: Love feels good, love is exciting, love is… [laughs]

Ryan: Love is exciting. [laughs] Love is exciting. So I think we’ve subjectivise love and we’ve thought, Well, I-

Selena: We love being loved.

Ryan: …I need to live my truth. Again, that’s a subjective statement. I need to love myself. I need to love and I need to feel love in a way that I identify love to be. And many people just mean I just need to feel puppy love. Again-

Selena: Right. We just need to submit to God’s definition of love and understand what it means and what it means to live underneath that.

Ryan: Here’s the promise though. There’s so much goodness to be had, so much far better goodness to be had by living out God’s design for love than letting ourselves dictate what it is. In that goodness, played out over time, that’s when you see the real beautiful picture of a marriage, a covenantal marriage where you’ve learned to live out love. We often say that marriage is like an arena. Like we are in a coliseum, and it’s you and your spouse and you’re there and you’re coexisting. And at times you’re raising weapons at one another, fighting one another. Well, the arena is a safe place where you can figure out how to love well, how not to fight like that, how not to, you know-

Selena: Right. You actually need to team up, right? What do they do, the gladiators? They would team up and they would go back to back and they would be fighting the enemies out there. Like you rightfully see-

Ryan: Amen. That’s good.

Selena: …where your enemies are and who they are.

Ryan: Using the analogy of careening down the highway at a hundred miles an hour, actually there was a time where I’d say one of our toughest fights. We were coming down from Canada, we had been on a short family vacation, Selena and I were not seeing eye to eye. It had been weeks of this, it felt like. And here we were arguing in the car, dealing with this issue and with no escape. So we had no choice but to-

Selena: We were literally in the car. [laughs]

Ryan: …talk it out and work out love and learn how to be selfless and learn how to speak with charity and to listen with charity and how to communicate hard things. We had to work through that. That’s what love is. It’s working through that saying, I choose to love you despite X, Y, and Z.

Selena: Get in that covenant car. Get in it. Seek it out. Figure out what love is. Remind yourselves, what is the gospel? What does it mean for our marriage? What is the purpose of our marriage? Right?

Ryan: Which is the third pillar: the gospel. Selena thinks it should be the first. I’ve got it down as the third. What is the gospel? It is knowing the person to work of Jesus Christ, knowing that I’m a sinner in desperate need of grace, and I have a perfect Savior who’s given that grace to me.

Now, if marriage is covenantal and it’s loving, the gospel is that and so much more, but now my marriage is now a reflection of loving covenantal relationship here on earth. Meaning that when I am loved in my imperfection by my wife, if she says, I still love you even if I screw up, even if I do something boneheaded-

Selena: Miss my expectations.

Ryan: …if I annoy her with my friendship and she says, “You know what? Ryan, I still love you. I’ll always love you.” I’ve experienced a glimpse of what it’s like to be loved by God in Christ and I also am being sanctified in learning to give that same kind of love. So marriage is a picture of this kind of love.

Selena: Reflection, yeah.

Ryan: So we need to understand what covenant is, understand what love is, understand that the gospel is, and how it shows us how to live.

Selena: Teaches us how to live and love covenantally and love rightly.

Ryan: And it empowers us.

Selena: Yeah, it does. God does that.

Ryan: The Holy Spirit, upon being saved, regenerates our hearts, gives us the faith to believe, and then now lives out the salvation through sanctification in our hearts. So here’s our encouragement for you, Jay. Stay married and just flat-out figure it out, man.

Selena: Stop looking to other places and stop entertaining those thoughts. I mean, take those thoughts captive.

Ryan: Burn those ships.

Selena: Burn those ships. Take the thoughts captive.

Ryan: That’s number one. Number two: You say you like first dates. Well, this means you like exciting dates. And so here’s the challenge.

Selena: Venture dates. Go find them.

Ryan: Have better dates. [laughs]

Selena: I think we had 50-

Ryan: I’m talking man-to-man here.

Selena: Yeah. Don’t we have 50 in one of our books or something?

Ryan: Check out the 31-Day Pursuit Challenge. The website is, I think. I think that’s what it is. It’s all about pursuing one another. And in the back there are 50 creative cheap date ideas. You know what? You gotta think, plan, spend a little bit of cash, invest, and just go and do it. Have another first date with your wife like she’s new every morning. [laughs]

Selena: Regarding the annoying things, you gotta talk through it, you gotta love through it, you gotta be gracious and charitable in it. I used to chew really loudly when my husband and I were dating. I didn’t know this about myself. And now I know this about everyone. [laughs]

Ryan: We also have three little loud chewers. Four little loud chewer.

Selena: Well, my husband is very acute to sound. So I’m learning that there are things that I do that I don’t know that I do that I need his help with. I mean, that’s for everybody. Nobody wants a wife that’s just yakking when they’re chewing all that.

Ryan: Or a husband for that matter.

Selena: Definitely.

Ryan: I’ve been known to smack [laughs] on my-

Selena: Now I just give him a look and smile, a time or two. [both laughs]

Ryan: Regarding roles, you said she thinks I should do the things a husband should do, but she’s not doing the things a wife should do.

Selena: You gotta divvy that up.

Ryan: Talk.

Selena: Work that out.

Ryan: You know, there’s a beautiful design behind marriage. Husbands are meant to be husbands, wives are meant to be wives. There’s a design there. There are specific roles to be filled out there by each of you uniquely.

Selena: And we’ve done podcasts on those as well. Check those out: roles and responsibilities.

Ryan: The encouragement is talk about it, figure it out. There’s plenty of resources. Look up good books, talk to your pastor, figure out those roles. And again, come back around to talk.

Tangible resource that could help you if you’re in Jay’s shoes or you are Jay. The 31-Day Pursuit challenge, Those books are from us. They’re directly speaking to this issue and pursuing one another.

All right. So if you’re watching, we thank you for your time. If you don’t know who Jesus is, we encourage you to find out who He is and we want you to become a brother or sister in Christ, we want you to follow Jesus, place your faith in Him, talk to a friend who’s a Christian, or find a church that preaches outta the Bible. Or go to our website,

Let’s pray. Our good Heavenly Father, we love You. Thank You for Your covenantal love for us, that You have not given up on us when we get annoying or when your feelings fade, which I’m sure they don’t. You are unchanging. Thank You that You are unchanging, that You are the alpha, the omega, and everything in between.

Thank You for loving us covenantally and sending Your own Son to make good on that promise. So Lord, help us to be married people who make good on the promises that we’ve made at the altar. We said ‘I do’ through sickness and in health, through annoyance, through frustration, through everything, every manner of disappointment we could still love covenantally. Jesus, help us to do that and do so obediently. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Selena: Amen.

Ryan: All right, thanks again for giving us your time. This episode of Fierce Marriage is—

Selena: In the can.

Ryan: See you again in seven days. Until next time—

Selena: Stay fierce.


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