Some Thoughts on Marriage

IMGP0064
Marriage is so wonderful. It is the best to be in a secure relationship where you know that you are on each other’s team and that you have a number one fan, no matter what. John is so supportive and so sensitive and patient. I’m not an easy woman to live with, and he is amazing at pretending that I am so that I feel confident in our relationship. He works so hard on us. And really, that’s why we have such an easy relationship — because we are constantly working at it! It’s when you don’t work at it that it becomes difficult. That might sound counter-intuitive, but when you are consistently on top of the relationship it doesn’t ever get a chance to slip away, right? But it does need to always be at the forefront of your mind and the top priority in your life. Yes, other things are important and can enhance the marriage, but they are not as important as simply investing in each other and being friends. That’s what makes a marriage strong. Now, I’ve only been married for three months, so I’m not claiming that I know a whole lot about it, yet. But I have studied relationships for years and have learned a thing or two about the mechanics of healthy marriages. Being friends is one of the few universal aspects of every healthy relationship I’ve studied, and the lack thereof of every unhealthy one. In fact, together John and I are reading The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John M. Gottman (LOVE HIM! I study him all the time in social science…) and he says,
 
“The determining factor in whether wives feel satisfied with the sex,
romance, and passion in their marriage is, by 70 percent, the quality of the
couple’s friendship. For men, the determining factor is, by
70 percent, the quality of the couple’s friendship. So men and
women come from the same planet after all.”
 
John truly is my best friend. We have so much fun and love just being together. But, like I said earlier, we work at our friendship. Somedays it doesn’t come as naturally, and that’s okay. We talk about it, try to figure out why we may not be as in sync with each other, and resolve to be more sensitive to each others’ needs. We try not to take things personally or offensively when the other is expressing their needs, and we always try to keep humor easily accessible. And the result: a fun, happy marriage!
 
This reminds me of an article my mission president sent me recently from Stephen R. Covey’s website. There are six emotional “cancers” that Covey identifies that, if allowed in, can and will metastasize and bring down any organization, whether it be a business, a ward, a family, a marriage, what have you. The six cancers identified by Covey are: 


1) Criticizing
2) Complaining
3) Comparing
4) Competing
5) Contending
and 
6) Cynicism


 Covey says, “These emotional cancers are the forces that literally undermine and destroy relationships. However, trust makes all things possible.”

I love the idea of trust. Sometimes it might be hard to trust someone. Other times you might trust too easily and get let down. But without trust relationships are stagnant. They can’t develop and flourish. So what do we need to do? We need to take the risk, and choose to trust. John and I choose to trust each other. We choose to trust that the other won’t judge or mock us if we disclose personal information. We choose to trust that the other is always on our side and that they will always be supportive, even at the risk of embarrassment. We choose to trust that the other is managing their spiritual development and integrity so that we can grow closer to our God together. We choose to trust that even if we don’t see eye-to-eye about something, we can listen openly and empathetically and still love each other if neither of our minds are changed. We choose to trust that the other does not talk negatively about us in absence. And we choose to trust that we can be ourselves around each other without reservations, and still be adored. We don’t criticize each other, but build each other up. Because of that, John and I both have reached new heights in our personal development, and have become better people together than we have ever been before on our own. It’s so fun being us. It’s even fun to work on us. I guess that’s why our marriage has been so easy. Because of the work!

3 comments

  1. Tricia Jeanne says:

    Oh I feel the exact same way! Being best friends is the best!!! I’m so happy to hear that you’re reading The Seven Principles, isn’t it just fabulous? I hope you’re enjoying the other ones too!

  2. It's a wonderful life says:

    I am truely happy for you! and I’m very proud to know the special girl that is you. It matters not the length of time u have been a member of the Married People’s club, we all have our own experiences and lessons that help us to get better at the game, if we so wish. Being best friends helps! It is what helps us to get by… to find things to talk about and to be comfortable in with the silence that is inevitable at times.
    You are one blessed belle, my friend. And never take the lessons you are learning for granted. I pray that you will find joy in everyday that you spend together. All my love, Palesa

Comments are closed.