June 11, 2013

Loving Christ the Bridegroom After Marriage

With many posts lined up to write but no time to write them I thought I'd dig deep in the archives (but not too deep because a lot of that stuff is crap) and re-post an oldie from October 2009 that I'm not embarrassed about.

Last time I met with my spiritual director we talked about my relationship with the Person of Christ and I was told to continue to ponder it until we meet again. And here's why: I don't really have one. I used to, but not any more.

I'm sure this sounds horrible to hear from a self-proclaimed "devout Catholic", or maybe it proves everything you've ever thought about us Catholics. ;) Before I got married, though, I had a great relationship with Christ. I fully understood him as my Bridegroom and I was in love. Prayer was easy and Adoration was a joy - seeing Him face to Face. I read Song of Songs with Him in mind and every Mass was a reminder of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. But then, well, I suppose He got replaced. (Doesn't that sound horrible?) Slowly we drifted away since I now had a Bridegroom in the flesh and I wasn't quite sure how to have that kind of relationship with two men. I'm still not sure.

Today in my life I revere Christ as Savior and King. I worship our Eucharistic Lord. I still see Him as a great comfort and I pray to be hidden within His wounds, the Fount of His Mercy. And I love Him in these ways, some of which are quite personal, yet as Friend, Lover, every day Companion there is something lacking.

But here's the thing, I actually feel like I have a great relationship with God the Father, and I'm quite drawn to God the Spirit. So the way I see it, I'm still doing okay with God. I think it's because at this point in my life I identify with Father more as motherhood has shown me how frustrating it must be to be God. Motherhood has made me understand Childhood. And I call on the Holy Spirit much more now than I ever have in the past.

So is this just a phase? Will I "return" to Christ as my Main Man? 

And what about you? Have you noticed a similar change in your spiritual life? And do you have any tips or ideas for me?

As a bit of a follow-up I wanted to say that in the years since I wrote this post I have found deep comfort in the arms of Christ, hidden in His wounds, joining in His suffering, worshiping Him as my God, honoring Him as my Savior. Much like my marriage, the loss of the initial giddiness left me wondering what was wrong but soon enough I discovered that my relationship had more trust, more fidelity, and more love than it ever had before. I just couldn't recognize it because I'd never experienced such a mature love before. And interestingly, this icon is called "Christ the Bridegroom."


  1. love.these.thoughts.

    I totally struggled with prayer after marriage, eepcially end-of-the-day which was always so special for me. Social animal though I may be, there was something so sacred and sweet about everybody being gone, closing myself in my room, knowing that my day was done and it was my time with "me & God" - Jesus.

    Marriage threw off my game big time! (While at the same time making me feel so loved and the details of my daily live so special in a "religious" or "spiritual" way that daily life sometimes lacked before if I was just at home etc. - knowing that we had established a family unit on the rock of Christ and our marriage made it all matter so much more.) But prayer - yup - changed big time. It's taken 5ish years (6th anniversary coming July 6th) to adjust and re-center, though I know in there is also the HUGE transition to motherhood and adding in THOSE little people to "throw off my game" a little more, namely in my experience of MASS! lol.

    I love your addendum in italics at the end, because I identify with it very much. Sometimes now Christ is just so close in the sense of understanding (well, perhaps, just a little, but a lot more than I previously could) some of his earthly experiences. Ditto for my relationship with Mary. Lastly, I love the icon, and that it is entitled as such. Freely giving everything, humbled, loving, poured out for His Beloved. Sometimes the path of life and suffering really does beat us down, and as spouses (esp husbands in particular?) they just have to pull out all the stops to give what their families need. Beautiful image. :)

    Thanks for the great thoughts Bonnie!

  2. Bonnie, I think it's kind of definitely providential that you re-posted this post. As a newlywed, I've been struggling with the same feelings that you express, although I wasn't quite sure how to put them into words. Thank God that had already done it for me! ;)

    Marriage truly is a wonderful time of adjustment, not only temporally but spiritually as well (and in ways that I don't think I was expecting). Thank you also for posting the update, looking back on that time and reflecting on how you've grown and changed since then. I'll be thinking about this for the rest of the day!

  3. Hello! I am not catholic, but I am a Christian who attends a Baptist church and loves Jesus with all my being and am so thankful His Spirit lives in me. Every since Jesus revealed Himself to me as my Lover and Groom, it's been painful to live in an earthly marriage. I do not mistreat my earthly husband, but I struggle with Jesus in prayer all the time, pouring out my heart to Him over this. He has taken me totally to Himself as my Husband and our eternal love relationship comes first and He has definitely made that known, but I am also in pain due to the fact that an earthly husband/spouse insists on having the same devotion, affection and attention that our Heavenly Groom does. I have kept this private with the body of Christ due to the fact that most think I am crazy or unusual! I have one friend that I can speak of this with, but I find that not many understand this paradox at all. Thank you for posting this and showing me that I am not alone. Jesus is my First Love and He always will be the only One for me and it's not my decision that this happened, it's His work in me for years now. I ask the Lord for wisdom on how to live now. This is definitely a "heart cross" and personal thorn that is almost unbearable. blessings.