I was in fourth grade when my Sunday School teacher told me the absolute BEST marriage advice I've ever heard: "Marry someone who you would still love even if they couldn't love you back."

I think the examples she used were if your spouse had Alzheimer's or was in a coma and physically could not love you back (or even remember you!), but I think the advice applies to many more situations than that. Depression, disagreements, addictions " there'a a number of things that can drive you and your spouse apart.

You see, too many people choose a marriage that will make them happy. And while that's all well and good for a while, the truth is that even if you marry the most amazing husband in the entire world, you are not going to be happy 100 percent of the time! Eventually, he's going to make you mad and you're going to wonder why you married him in the first place (Sorry, but it's true).

In fact, before my husband and I married, I warned him that I would make him happier than he'd ever been, sadder than he'd ever been, and angrier than he'd ever been. And let me just tell you - I've made good on that promise! Marriage is wonderful, but it definitely is not all sunshine and roses all the time (and that's OK).

So what happens when marriage gets tough? When you aren't happy anymore?

Do you just call it quits, cut your losses and move on? Or do you stick it out and figure it out? Honestly, if you are expecting your marriage to complete you and make you happy, I can see how leaving might be tempting.

Thankfully, your happiness in marriage doesn't have to depend on the other person. YOU can choose today to be happy and to love your spouse, even when he is acting unlovable. Even if he doesn't love you back. Even if the future looks hopeless. No matter how far you've strayed away from each other, how many hurts have come between you or how many bad habits you've developed. Love is a choice.

If you aren't married yet, but you have someone in mind,

take a minute to think and reflect. Why do you love the person you are with? Is it because they are fun, make you happy or "complete" you? Or is it because they are truly an amazing person to the core and someone who would make a great partner for life?

Now, imagine if something happened to them, and they physically couldn't love you back. Would you still love them? Would you stay?

If you are already married,

the good news is that love is a choice. You don't have to let your spouse's actions dictate your happiness or well-being. Love him for who he is, even when he doesn't deserve it. Choose to be happy and make the most out of every situation, whether good or bad. Choose to enjoy the good times and get through the hard times. The choice is up to you.

If you, your children or someone you know are being abused, you are NOT obligated to "make the most of it." Protect yourself and those you love. Get help today.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been modified and republished here with permission.

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