Do you remember when you were there? If you have forgotten just watch Hallmark they are all feel-good movies.
She is constantly texting him or talking to him on the phone. Everything is about her.
When you are growing up what is life about? It’s about you! It’s about how you feel. Then you meet someone who you think feels ‘all about you’. You want someone who has you as number one. When you are dating or engaged that is not a problem. The problem is that you can do nothing else in life.
You don’t become an adult and get married you get married and they become adults together.
We go into marriage with those feelings. There is a high intensity.
HOMEWORK: Lynn Robbins “Agency and Love in Marriage” or “Love is a Choice” (book)
“It is almost humorous to observe a young unmarried couple in love. After spending an entire day together, they are back together again on the phone that same night. It’s sheer torture for them to be separated. Even in their thoughts they can hardly focus on anything else. Love begins to disrupt their studies or work. Everything else in life becomes a nuisance and an interruption that keeps them apart until they can be together again. In their minds there was never, in the history of the world, a truer love than theirs. We call this level of premarriage intensity “infatuation.”
What happens then? About 5 years in when your first inventory of what it’s like to be married. You probably have a couple of kids, you are out of school. About that time you look at marriage and say, “This is not what I thought this was going to be.” We do a poor job as parents of teaching children the reality of what marriage is. We teach them to be worthy and get married in the temple.
It’s not the Cinderella Syndrome after you are married. Most of us got married not expecting that. Our feelings in our heart were, “My marriage will not be like my parents.” Most are saying we are going to do this different.
Most of you that have been married for at least 5 years are not wanting a divorce. The relationship in the marriage has become stagnant. It’s comfortable and you are there, but it doesn’t light any fires in you. It’s just there.
When you hit 10 years….that’s when we start getting some problems.
Alma 32 (This is the Parable of Marriage)
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit.
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out.
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof.
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life.
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life.
Change the words
- Heat of the sun=family life, teenagers, busy-ness, car won’t work….real life
It takes no effort right then at the beginning.
“IF” ye nourish it with much care. That is the key. You are doing something and if you do it with much care you have real intent. You are focused on it. It takes thought. It takes effort. It takes sacrifice.
“IF ye neglect the marriage”…from day to day you aren’t thinking about your marriage. You are thinking about your church calling, the house, kids, laundry, bills, dinner….but never in your mind does it become…what can I do for my spouse. You are actively involved in logistics. It has passed from your heart to your head. It is because of busy-ness.
Nourishment is to ‘focus’ on building the relationship.
“You pluck it up and cast it out”---That means you become emotionally disengaged in building the relationship. It’s almost an emotional divorce. There is no more connection. You become roommates passing in the night. There are many empty nesters that are getting divorced because they haven’t built the relationship along the way.
The key is consistency. You have to do this all the time. Satan is 100% aware of marriage and hates it. He is 100% anxiously engaged.
David A Bednar “Marriage is Essential To His Eternal Plan”
“The adversary’s attacks upon eternal marriage will continue to increase in intensity, frequency, and sophistication.”
“After they marry, this intensity tapers off. Living under the same roof, they each begin to discover a few peculiar idiosyncracies in the other that they had not seen before. Some of these are irritating. The infatuation begins to fade. Those who have confused infatuation for love begin to worry and wonder if they are falling out of love. “Where is that level of passion, the fire I had during courtship?” they may ask themselves. Their relationship is passing through a common stage and is at an important crossroad. If they believe they have fallen out of love, they may begin to drift apart.” (Lynn Robbins)
It’s the 80/20. 80% is good so you focus on that until after they are married. Then after marriage you focus on the 20% to try to make them better.
“People think marriages end with an affair or something equally explosive,” says John Gottman, author of Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. “In fact, most end gradually, sliding down a slope of complaint, criticism, defensiveness and withdrawal until it’s difficult to scramble back up. Yet there are usually early warnings that the relationship could be headed for trouble.”
Most marriages just ‘slide’ out of love.
People don’t fall out of love. You don’t fall out of kindness. You quit doing kind things. If you think you are falling out of love it’s because you have quit doing loving things. Being in love is your choice to do loving things. It’s not about keeping a score card.
Are you going to make a commitment to be in love? One person in a marriage can change the feel.
Jenkins Lloyd Jones
“There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young [men and women] who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and [beautiful] wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed. …
“Anyone who imagines that bliss [in marriage] is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed.
“[The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. …
“Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed.
“The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride” (“Big Rock Candy Mountains,” Deseret News, 12 June 1973, A4).
Obedience—Life’s Great (Donald Stahli)
“When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.”
Too often we go immediately into comparison.
HOMEWORK: President Uchtdorf “In Praise of Those Who Save”
- Read this talk write all the “to do’s” you need to do to make your marriage good.
- I found 10 counsels to perk up your marriage
One of the biggest things Satan is using is Social Media and Phones…and being in the same room and texting other people. There are problems with people looking up an old flame and having long conversations. This is dangerous. It’s destructive. Don’t talk to people at work and talk about your spouse and confide in them.
We need to be 100% loyal to our spouse! That is where criticism stops. You aren’t comparing them. There is a danger in reading romance novels. When you are reading the novels it fills you with infatuation feelings. You create unreal expectations in your head.
Pornography is rampant in the church. Don’t for a minute think this stops with teenagers. It is a problem with men and women that become disenchanted with their marriage. Pornography in any form is dangerous in marriage. It takes those feelings and puts them somewhere else other than your marriage. It’s available on so many levels.
Another problem is we throw temper tantrums. It’s actually the silent treatment. We say, “I don’t want to talk about it.” We think if we don’t talk about it then it will just go away. We have to learn to not take offense when things are said. We need to talk them through. We need to learn to listen and not take offense.
“You were stuck in your own perspective. You didn’t mean to be late, but your lateness affected your spouse and their feelings.” Lynn Robbins (Love is a Choice—book)
As we discuss things it becomes a debate about who is the most right.
He realizes that he should have said, ‘I understand you are angry. I’m sorry you have been waiting for me for so long and this is not the first time. It must seem I give meetings higher priority than you. That must be frustrating. It will not happen again.”
Anytime you seek first to understand them and then you can explain your side.
Question: What would it be like to be married to me? Am I causing my spouse offense? Am I causing him grief? Am I causing him unhappiness?
“Lord is it I?” President Uchtdorf
“What Lack I Yet?” Larry Lawrence
These give you quite an inventory
Ways to reignite your marriage after you have accepted your responsibility to ‘nurture with much care’!
- Remember when….What did you use to do when you had no money? Do it again. Create something you can do together…read a book together. Pull out pictures and scrapbooks.
- Learn to not take offense….We take offense way to quickly. They are just stating an opinion. Just don’t do it! Sometimes you just have to hold your tongue
As the decades passed, the moment came that her husband took the box down and asked if he could finally know what it contained. The wife consented, and he opened it to discover two doilies and $25,000. When he asked his wife what this meant, she responded, “When we were married, my mother told me that whenever I was angry with you or whenever you said or did something I didn’t like, I should knit a small doily and then talk things through with you.” The husband was moved to tears by this sweet story. He marveled that during 60 years of marriage he had only disturbed his wife enough for her to knit two doilies. Feeling extremely good about himself, he took his wife’s hand and said, “That explains the doilies, but what about the $25,000?” His wife smiled sweetly and said, “That’s the money I got from selling all the doilies I’ve knitted over the years.” (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “What is Truth”, CES Broadcast, January 2013)
- Live within your means….Women, this means you also don’t complain about what those means are. Stop complaining. Be grateful for what you have and that you have means. Live within your means and have a savings. Save something every month. Find a way to save something and express gratitude regularly over what you have so he feels adequate in taking care of the family
- Maintain complete fidelity…Don’t vent to everyone. You don’t have the right to confess your husband’s sins. We need a safe place and it better only be one sacred confident place. Be careful about that.
- Live the gospel…do not create spiritual goals for them. You are there to support them and sustain them in their goals. If you have a spouse that is not where you are spiritually and you are frustrated. You pray that your heart will be changed and you will feel loved. It gives them the courage to change. Only love will build them.
Class member: I listened to that last year. I heard this. In a few things that I thought our family was lacking I have been praying for a whole year for these things. I don’t know if he has gone through things to open his eyes. In the last 3 months he is finally get it. It’s been wonderful for the Lord to help me and to help him at the same time. I took this to heart. I have watched the Lord work in our marriage and in our lives.
The Holy Ghost will change them. You won’t.
If you support your spouse 100% the Lord will make up the difference with your children. The Lord knows where you are and the Lord will make up the difference. You have to nourish him. They have an empty bucket. They have nothing left to give. You have to put it in for a long time before they can give it back out.
This is an eternal marriage not a marriage for right now. There will be times in all of your marriages where one of you will be stronger than the other.
You choose to make yourself good and them happy.
- Look for the good in your spouse…..write it down so they can see it.
- Be quick to say I’m sorry even if you aren’t wrong. You can be sorry about the rift you have put in the relationship.
- Spend time together
- Learn your spouses love language
- Meet and greet at the cross roads
- Be kind….we are kinder to the people we meet or those that are in our ward. Tell your face! J
- Take responsibility for your own emotional well being….your spouse is not responsible to make you happy. You are responsible to make yourself happy.
- Avoid unreal expectations….this comes from comparison. This comes from an unreal expectations in what you thought your marriage would be. It matters what you do about where you are. Mourn if you need to mourn. Bury the person you thought you married. All of you will find that they are not who you thought you married. Fall in love with who they are and who you have.
Class member: My niece just got married. He said love your spouse just a little bit more than anyone else…your moms, dads, friends, kids.
Love is a commitment to do loving things!
- Learn to listen.
- Remember that you have an eternal marriage and they may not be resolved in this life. You will see something different in the eternities. Go to the temple often.
“When supper was cleared away, dad would support mother’s slight weight and help her to the bathroom, trailing the bubbling, transparent oxygen tube. There he would tenderly undress her, and slipping out of his own clothes, hold her failing body against himself while he washed her in the shower and shampooed her hair. After their shower, he would help her to the side of the rented hospital bed where he perched her for dressing in her nightgown. I was deeply touched by his tender care of her, how totally absorbed he became in these simple tasks as he softly brushed the limp hair back from her forehead. But then would come my favorite scene of all—the one most deeply etched in memory that was to forever epitomize this experience and this season for me.
On knees still from his own seventy years, dad knelt on the floor at mother’s feet. Tipping the contents of a fragrant pink bottle into the palms of his hands and rubbing them together, he applied the soothing lotion ever so carefully to the delicate, dry skin of her legs and feet. Bent there before her, the glow of his snow-white hair in the tiny Christmas lights almost gave him the appearance of a holy man. A Holy Man….images of two distinct silhouettes converged into one in my mind. Of one who knelt now in love and service in the stillness of this tiny room. Another, much younger, much longer ago, who knelt in a similar way to wash the feet of ones He loved. A Holy Man….They were two thousand years apart, but they were one. The entire meaning of the sacred season told in a simple task.” (Written by Sandi Errigo)
Our marriage becomes celestial when we are more concerned kneeling at the feet of our spouse in giving rather than getting what we want.