Why Did I Get Married: We are NOT the Huxtables!

Growing up I never had a tangible view of a successful marriage. I was what they call a “statistic.” I was of the percentage of children raised in a single-parent home due to a divorce. Anyway, my absolute favorite show to watch was the Cosby Show. I grew up dreaming that my marriage would be just like theirs. We would have family jokes, my husband and I would sit and listen to jazz all evening in expensive silk pajamas, our arguments would end in us feeding each other cakes and pies and giving each other foot massages. We would automatically know how to handle disciplining our children and when to tag team, etc. The year of 2006 I was in for a rude awakening. This is the year I married my husband. We were not best friends or high school sweet hearts. We were two people who fell in love with each other and figured the rest would work itself out. (I later learned this was infatuation not love.)

Shortly after the honeymoon reality set in. The arguments arose, the issues we ignored during our two and a half year courtship surfaced and I was under the impression that we were supposed to pattern ourselves after the Huxtables! I started blaming my husband for ignoring me because he didn’t romance me every night of the week. You see unlike Cliff, he was working two jobs, back to back. His concern was paying bills, not rubbing my feet. One night we had a huge argument and he belted out, “I can’t reach these unrealistic expectations you have!!” And he was right (insert Empowermoment here!). My expectations were unrealistic. Not only that, they were unfair, disrespectful and ridiculous. Expecting him to act like Cliff, or any other “dreamy” husband was a direct blow to his character. It spoke, “you are not good enough as you are, and I need you to strive to be like so and so.” If God had not taken us through a series of events that exposed both of our weaknesses and taught us how to be each other’s “right hand man”, best friend, and even more, I do not know where we would be. Almost seven years later he jokes about how I “thought” we were the Huxtables, because I now know that expectation was ridiculous. We are the Burtons, we have defined our own marriage on God’s terms, we set our own rules and boundaries as guided by God, and recognize that we have a journey to enjoy opposed to a journey to endure.

There are two lessons that I learned from this misconception. Chapter 5 of Ephesians goes into greater detail with instructions on how to imitate Christ, but verse 22, “Wives submit to your OWN husband as you do unto the Lord,” gave new meaning. This command does not read submit to my husband as Claire would to Cliff, as First Lady Michelle Obama would to President Obama, or even as Tiny would to T.I., but as YOU would unto the LORD. This means, the submission to your OWN husband should be a reflection of your submission to Christ….OUCH!! The second lesson in this was that wives are to respect their husbands. Would you say it is respectful or disrespectful to expect your spouse to act like another man? Disrespectful!! I’m learning everyday how to fulfill my duty to respect him in ways I didn’t even know existed, but thanks to the Helper, the Holy Spirit, I am certain I am being steered in the right direction. I just have to listen.

Dear Daddy,

When he asked me to marry him I didn’t realize I was signing up for the most important ministry in my life. Thank You for revealing to us Your Word so that we may learn it, live it, and share it! Please help us as wives and wives to be, to be humble in Your statutes, listeners and lovers to our husbands and women after Your own heart. Help us to look to the gift You gave US to cherish and not yearn to imitate someone else’s. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Ladies, Single or Married, I EMPOWER you not to try and design your marriage or your future marriage using someone else’s pattern. Allow God to take the lead. Pay attention to your mate, his quirks, weird ways, and all the things that make him who he is. After all, when we try to fit someone into someone else’s mold, it always ends up breaking.

Have you ever had an “AH-HA” moment during an argument with your spouse, in which the Holy Spirit redirected your attitude towards healing your marriage? Share with us your testimony in a comment below, on our Facebook page, or send us a tweet.

Read a Related EmpowerMoment: The Reality of Relationships


As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She and her husband serve as Co-Service leaders and Co-Group leaders of SustainedLove, which supports marriage get-a-ways from Family Life. Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They attend Vaughn Forest Church. Check out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.


7 thoughts on “Why Did I Get Married: We are NOT the Huxtables!”

  1. Well written Kay! As a newlywed, the line “I can’t reach these unrealistic expectations you have!!” caught me by surprised because that is something my husband has said out of frustration to me as well, pretty much verbatim. I grew up in a 2 parent home, and my husband was raised primarily by his mother. Additionally, we dated for 8 1/2 years before we got married so I really thought I had everything figured out, lol. I didn’t think we would be like Cliff & Claire, but I did go into our marriage thinking we would take our “happy marriage” cues from Ron & Bernice (my parents who have been married going on 32 years). I figured between our two sets of parents my parents are the ones that had it figured out so lets just do what they do, right? WRONG!

    As you noted in your post, respecting who your spouse is, letting them be who God made them, and letting Christ guide your relationship makes a world of difference. I’m new to this, so I’m still a work in progress, but I at least have enough sense to thank GOD for giving me a husband who is patient while I get it right :).

    1. Cherice, you are NOT alone!! It is very hard not to pattern yourself after something you were raised in. And you probably learned alot of tools that you and your husband will be able to use, from your parents, but they’ll need to be modified to fit the two of you. I am sure that they have much to offer a new couple, but in the end, you and your husband are to become one flesh. Thank you for sharing your story, I am certain you have blessed other newlyweds and brides to be! Have fun, Marriage rocks!!!

  2. Yes ma’am! I totally agree! I did the same thing. I had this laundry list of expectations for him yet he had none for me! I’ve yet to meet a husband fussing at a wife about the toilet seat, bed not being made up, the dishes, etc etc. however we are quick to do it. Someone told me a long time ago that helped me…”Why make someone abide by a rule that doesn’t bother them? If you have an issue with the toilet seat, you let it down. Why have a big blown out arguement about a toilet seat?!?!”

    1. Nakia, that was an “AH HA” moment for me too. I realized I was expecting him to do all of these things and he never made a request of me. He was simply happy with who I was. That moment was life changing in our marriage. Thank you for supporting Empowermoments and sharing your story!

  3. I love this post! Though I am single, I am definitely in a relationship with God. For the past few years, I have been very frustrated with my relationship… After reading your posts I realized that I may have some unrealistic views about what it means to be in a relationship with Christ. Relationships are hard and I don’t have many good examples about what a good relationship is, so of course God and I are constantly battling… It doesn’t help that I am stubborn too! Lol. But I think it is time to get real with myself and reevaluate my expectations. I really want my relationship with Christ to work, but I have to let go of what I think He should be doing and embrace what He is doing. Thank you for this posts again. Hope all is well with you and your family. Have a wonderful holiday season!


    1. Beyondai, this was such a powerful comment to this post. The ultimate relationship we have is with God (married or not). I am blessed by your comment because it is so true, when we don’t have good examples, it is easy for us to “make up” how we think it should go. My prayer is that you continue to grow in Christ as you have shared with us. Thank you for always supporting Empowermoments. Thank you for the well wishes, and I pray you have a Merry Christmas!

  4. Wow I love your transparency! What we have to remember that the “Huxtables” are on tv..lol..There might be some married couples that are like the Huxtables but our life is our reality. I’m glad that you and your husband worked out ya’ll differences! It’s good to hear that ya’ll have grow since the honeymoon stage of ya’ll marriage! I heard that marriage is hard work! I’m glad that ya’ll discovered what works for ya’ll marriage. I know what it’s like to have unexpected expectations of other people..lol..I understand not having the examples of a successful marriage. I haven’t really seen that in my family. Neither of my parents have been married to each other or to other people. o_O

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