When I signed up to take this class I signed up with the intention of it being a throw away class for my last semester here are Brigham Young University – Idaho. After a few short weeks I really learned to love the class and all of the important doctrine that is taught within.
As I have contemplated this paper and what I wanted to write about, it became evident that I did not have a clear direction that I felt I needed to take. My paper is going to include how I plan to implement or use what I learned from each week to continue to strengthen my marriage. I will use some of my favorite quotes related to the topics that are going to be discussed in my paper.
“Many of the social restraints which in the past have helped to reinforce and to shore up the family are dissolving and disappearing. The time will come when only those who believe deeply and actively in the family will be able to preserve their families in the midst of the gathering evil around us.” – Spencer W Kimbal
This quote hit my like a ton of bricks. It is very powerful and is exactly the words that I needed when I read them. I have never wanted to get divorced and make that a plan. I know marriage is tough and will take a lot of work from both parties, but as I constantly work to live worthy of God, I know that my relationship with my husband will continually strengthen and we will be able to overcome the struggles that are in the world today.
Threats to Marriage
“[…] solemly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children…”
This is my favorite line from the Proclamation to the Family. I have always loved that document and have always tried to think of ways to make sure my family is now threatened by outside influences. I want to do everything in my power to have a successful marriage and a strong family, so I need to make sure to avoid the threats that are out there and could affect my family.
There are many threats, but the one that really sticks out is the threats that are put in front of us on a daily basis. Pornography, in my mind, is the worst thing that can destroy marriages. It leads all, not just husbands, down the path that can create contention and separation in a marriage.
I know it is essential for relationships to be built on trust and I do not want pornography to ever stand in the way of having a successful family. I will do everything in my power to fight this evil head on and make sure it doesn’t plague my family.
Doctrine of Eternal Marriage
“By diving design, men and women are intended to progress together toward perfection and a fullness of glory.” – David A Bendar
I have always known that marriage was an important doctrine and is needed to progress in this life and the life after. But this talk really hit home for me. I never realized that marriage is needed to move toward perfection. Without a good companion we are not able to work on becoming perfect and returning to live with Heavenly Father.
I want to always work in unison with my husband. Even when we bicker and nitpick I want to always remember the end goal. As I am able to remember the end goal of eternal life, I know that we will be able to overcome obstacles that come our way. It is not a matter of if, but it is a matter of when. And I want to be ready.
Behaviors that Negatively Affect Marriage
One of the questions that was asked the in the preparation was if I would say that my marriage is characterized by positive or negative sentiment override? After being in this class, I can firmly say that we have a lot more positive override than negative. I know my marriage is not perfect, but both myself and my husband strive daily to not be affected by negative issues in our relationship.
It is easy to look at the negative of someone and that is what causes a lot of strife and problems in relationships. We work really hard to have an open line of communication. We always talk and are open without feelings. This is what makes our relationship so successful.
Cherishing Your Spouse
This is the week we started the Date Night activities. My husband and I took this task on and were extremely excited about the chance that it presented. We have always been great on going on dates, but we usually would just do something and it would be an activity that we weren’t able to talk much.
During the duration of this activity we really did everything we could to come up with fun activities that would build our friendship and relationship. We had a blast with the dates and we are going to make it a goal to continually find activities that build our relationship and not just allow us to coexist in a place, like a movie does.
Staying Emotionally Connected
“One important aspect of a marriage is to show interest in your spouse’s interests.” – Martha Arnell
I really loved this quote in the reading. I have always struggled with this, but I have made it a point to try to understand my husband and allow him to pursue his interests. When I have done this and show interest, I have been able to understand what makes him excited about his hobbies. Regardless of how ridiculous I think his hobbies are I know that my support will improve our relationship and make him happy.
Beware of Pride
Pride is a scary attribute that most of us have a lot of in our life. I know I have a lot and my husband has his fair share as well. When I learned this less, I was able to sit down and talk with my husband about how we could not be as prideful and how it would affect our relationship. As we talked we were able to pinpoint examples where we both were prideful.
We made a goal to not let pride affect our love. We have seen a huge increase in our relationship as we have tried our best to not be prideful. Even when we slip up and are prideful, the effects aren’t as harsh because we understand that each other are trying our best to make the relationship less prideful and more loving.
Managing Conflict; Consecrating Ourselves
“A cunning part of [Satan’s] strategy is to dissociate anger from agency, making us believe that we are victims of an emotion that we cannot control.” – Lynn G Robbins
One of the quickest ways to get into a fight with your loved ones is the get angry and show that emotion. I love this quote by Elder Robbins and think that it is something I need to live by in my life. If I am able to live by this quote I will have a successful marriage. I will not let little things anger me because I understand it is an emotion that I can control and I will not let it control me. As I do this my marriage will be extremely happy and successful.
Seeking to Understand
I had never heard of gridlock like it was described in Gottman’s book, but I love the idea that we can make our relationship struggle because of gridlock. We let our unfulfilled dreams and hopes cause us to hold down our relationships.
When I learned this I made a concerted effort to not let my past affect my current relationship. There have been times that I have noticed my past allowing me to judge my husband. As I did this I was not trying to understand him or the situation and I would get mad at him for things that he could not change. I plan to not do this in the future and I want to always strive to understand my husband and be a blessing to his life and understand him.
This class has been a huge blessing in my marriage. I thought my marriage was strong before, but I have seen a huge benefit of this class in my marriage. As I work on the different topics and improving my martial relationship, I know that both I and my husband will be blessed greatly. We will have a successful and strong marriage and we will be able to raise a righteous generation of children that will bless the world.
This was a great learning activity for me. As I took the time to identify situations that caused arguments in our relationship I was able to see how little things were really the things that affected us the most. The three situations that I mention are all menial things and should not really be issues. I think we do a great job of not letting big things bother us, but we need to really work on the small issues and allowing those to go over easier.
If we allowed the smaller situations to not be a big deal like the big problems, then we would likely not have very many situations that caused us to have disagreements. I really feel like we do a great job of getting along and expressing ourselves in ways that do not cause arguments.
My husband is a great example of making amends when he knows it will truly help make a difference in the argument. He never lets little things get under his skin. He is truly amazing and makes me love him when he is able to have a level head and respect the situations that arise in our relationship.
I really appreciated being able to look for situations throughout the week that led to arguments and being able to study those. As I stepped back I learned the keys to what will help my husband and I be successful. I plan to share my understanding and findings with him. I know that as we strive to always be understanding before we argue and let the little things become big that we will have a long and happy marriage.
Beware of Pride
After reading this week and considering the questions from this assignment I think the most common pride game that my husband and I play in our marriage is keeping score. I have always tried to not play this game, but my husband in notorious at playing this game and trying to keep everything even on our relationship. I try to point out to him that that is not the way that a relationship works. When we don’t try to keep score our relationship is a lot more positive.
The second marriage game that I see a lot in my relationship is getting others to create an alliance. I have noticed that both my husband and I like to get our friends involved and side with us so that we feel justified in our decisions. But this is not what is going to make us most happy because we are always going to bicker with each other when our friends and family get involved.
This was an eye opening assignment and I enjoyed considering the pride games that affect my relationship with my husband. I am going to do everything that I can to not play these games so we can continue to have a strong and happy relationship. I really want to continue to have a strong relationship so this is key.
When I look at my marriage, because that is what I have to bring and compare to this class, I think Elder Christiansen’s quote is perfect. I look at the times that my marriage is smooth and it is when we aren’t pinpricking each other. But the times when it can be bumpy or we have a disagreement, it tends to start from some sort of pinpricking. I would definitely say this is something to watch for in the future in my relationship with my spouse. When we look at the positive in someone, we are going to be happier than when we look at the negative.
This week I decided to work on overlooking the faults of my husband. I love him dearly and think the world of him, but sometimes I feel that he needs to pay more attention to the details. He often overlooks them and it bothers me.
This week as I tried to overlook his faults, I felt that I didn’t complain as much about the things that he was or wasn’t doing. I truly felt that as I tried to be “ok” with the things he was doing that I was happier and it made our relationship better. We didn’t argue as much as we might normal do and we laughed more than usual, so we were laughing all the time.
I think of my husband’s example and how he works really hard to forgive me for my faults and how happy he always is, but I have always struggled with it. After I realized that doing this has helped me have a better attitude, I can definitely see the positives of not pinpricking every little thing that he does, even if it bothers me a lot. I want to make it a goal to always look at the positive and not focus on the negative.
I also tried this with my father. My husband and I moved in with my dad back in August and there have been times that we have struggled to get along with my dad because he does some things that bug us. We have tried out best to ignore it, but haven’t done a good job. This week we made a concerted effort to not let his actions bother us and I can already see the benefits and how the spirit is stronger in our house than it is when we don’t get along with my dad.
I am going to do everything I can to not pinprick when people do things that bother me. Not only will it benefit my relationship with that person, but it will also benefit my attitude and make me a happier person.