4.7 Marriage Blog

The reading this week was very interesting to me. I think one of the things that stuck out to me the most was when Gottman eluded to marriages needing conflict. I look at my relationship with my husband and think about the conflicts that we have had in our relationship. Even though the disagreements are annoying, I can definitely see how those conflicts have made us stronger and have helped our friendship grow.
My husband and I started out as friends and our relationship grew from there. Once we were friends we were comfortable together. Then we started dating. We dated for one and a half years and really got to know each other. I feel that because we took the time to really understand and know about each other we gained a stronger friendship than a lot of couples that didn’t date or court as long as we did.
I don’t want people to think that it isn’t possible to have a strong relationship when you dated a short time, but in my own experience it was a huge blessing to have been great friends for almost 2 years before we got married. It has helped our marriage really grow and be strengthened.
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3.3 Marriage Blog

All of the preparation material this week was amazing! I really learned everything that I read and looked for ways to apply it in my own marriage.
After 2 1/2 years of being married, I feel that I barely know anything about marriage and how to be successful in it. But after reading Elder Hafen’s talk I really feel that my marriage is as strong as it is because we have lived one key principle from his talk. He said that in a covenant marriage couples give 100%. I feel that both my husband and I try our hardest to make our marriage work. We aren’t perfect, but we always strive to keep the other person in our thoughts and support them in their actions.
From the talk by President Benson, we definitely have seen many blessings related to the things he mentioned at the end of the talk. When we go to the temple together we always have a strong bond and feel our relationship grow. The temple is definitely a place to help strengthen and grow a marriage. Another thing from the talk that I really liked is where he talked about doing service in the temple. As a couple when we do service we seem to be in a lot better mood and enjoy the Spirit as it attends us during our times of service.
The last thing that really stuck out to me was when Elder Bendar talked about spending time with your significant other and how we often times can take away from the most important time of the day by planning other menial activities. I think it is so important to have time every day devoted to getting to know your spouse. Not just who they are, but what they are and what they are trying to do to better their life. As we do this we will be blessed with stronger marriages.
I hope everyone has a great week.

1.8 Online Marriage Blog

Several things particularly impressed me as I completed the reading and video assignments this week.

As a member of the church marriage has always been something that I saw in my future because I was taught about the importance of eternal marriage from a young age. This eternal perspective on marriage helped me to realize why I should get married instead of choosing another option such as cohabitation. However, I often thought that if I wasn’t a member of the church I would most likely choose the cohabitation route, at least for a while, instead. In my mind I saw the benefits of being able to get to know a person better before entering into such a binding commitment like marriage. Even when I looked at marriage from a strictly secular point of view I knew that I never wanted to experience divorce and cohabitation seemed to be a way to help prevent that.

While I always felt like marriage was for me, I didn’t necessarily think it was for everyone. I felt that people could be just as happy in cohabitation relationships or even as single parents. I saw people with all different family situations and most of them seemed to be living happy, healthy lives with no more or less problems than me. So this brought me back to one central question; Does marriage really matter?

After reading through the research on this topic I was shocked to learn about all of the different secular benefits a healthy marriage and two parent home provide. One of the most dramatic findings to me was probably the estimated $1.1 billion savings annually for taxpayers if family fragmentation were reduced by just 1 percent. (State of Our Unions) Wow, and that’s just money! I think the biggest benefit that comes from a strong marriage are smart, productive, happy children. After all, as cliche as it sounds, they are our future. It’s scary to think about how the generation of children coming from increasingly fragmented homes will ultimately affect the future of our world.

Now I can say with 100% confidence that yes, marriage does matter from both an eternal and secular perspective.

The last point I want to touch on comes from Elder Oaks’ talk on divorce. The entire talk was excellent, but there was one particular thing he said that just resonated with me. He said, “Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.” I love this quote because it reminds me that marriage is a big deal and should not be taken lightly. While divorce cannot always be avoided it is up to us and our spouses to do everything we can to keep our marriages alive. Divorce brings death to not only your marriage, but so many other things.