Thursday, February 15, 2018

Choose Your Love and Love Your Choice

     As always, I am amazed how the Lord provides us with the wisdom and instruction that we need, when we need it.  One time, I was frustrated with my honey, and my scriptures fell open and I read "Love the husband of thy youth..." I have never found that scripture since, but it came at the moment I needed it.  Consequently, this lesson did too.  In the book, Drawing Heaven into your Marriage, H. Wallace Goddard sent me a timely message
 First of all, I love this paragraph:
"In every relationship there is an inevitable tension.  It is often worse in marriage than other relationships, in part because we share so much-money, time, food, space-even our own bodies. Marriage is not only intense, but can last for decades. As we are challenged to form our own little Zion, the natural man resists. 'For the natural (spouse) is an enemy to God (and partner), and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever...'" (Mosiah 3:19) (pg.30) 
My "natural woman" has been on the rampage this week.  It is interesting how one issue in our life has the ability to cause conflict in so many other areas.  "To become heavenly, we must endure earthly challenges-including the unexpected ones in marriage." (pg.34)

      These chapters were reassuring to me that everyone struggles at some time in their marriage, and that the suggestions these experts have made could help us in identifying our own issues.  I love that Goddard said, "We can pause to beseech God to grant us grace, goodness, mercy, compassion, and patience.  We can ask Father to help us see our partner and his or her struggles with the same loving-kindness with which He views them."  (pg. 36)  (And hopefully, they will do he same for us.)
     Daniel Wile said, "Each potential relationship has its own particular set of problems... There is a value, when choosing a long-term partner, in realizing that you will inevitably be choosing a particular set of unresolvable problems that you'll be grappling with for the next ten, twenty or fifty years." (Pg. 41) This reminds me of an experience that happened to a man I know.  His wife was very controlling and often called him 10 times a day wondering where he was and whom he was with.  She even called him in the middle of Bishop's meeting. Eventually, he ended up being unfaithful to her, and was excommunicated and subsequently, divorced.  He married the other lady, and as he stood before the High Council to be reinstated back into the church he said, "I love my wife.  But, the truth of the matter is; we still fight over money, we still argue about our issues, we still have disagreements like my first wife and I did except the topics are different.  The only thing that is not the same is I am raising her children, and someone else is raising mine."  I really learned from this experience, that contrary to what the Country Western songs say, there is not a "one and only".  You will still have problems, just a different variety.  This has always been a reminder to me to "stay the course."

        Under Mapping the Future, we are reminded we have to rely on the Lord and his Atonement.  "Try as we might, we won't do it perfectly right away.  We will be distracted by ego, tripped by pride, snared by temper, or sidetracked by pain." (pg. 44)  That is when we reevaluate, and start again.  I have never considered asking my husband for patience with me as I learn to do better, have you?  (This is Pride!)
     All in all, I really enjoyed this lesson and what it taught me.  I am grateful for Heavenly Father, and that he is aware of me and my needs. I am thankful for a living church that has Prophets and Apostles who share their wisdom and inspiration with us. This makes mapping so much easier to do when we are trying to take the teachings of the church and instill them in our marriage.    
I love this book by H. Wallace Goddard because it teaches facts backed up by doctrine.  

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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Work in Progress...

     I agree with John Gottman completely when he said that marriage has a better foundation when founded on friendship.  However, my husband and I did it backward.  We fell in love, and then started asking questions like "What's your favorite color?"  "Where were you born?"  "How many siblings do you have?" OK, not quite that bad.  But, there was a lot that we did not know about each other. As we have studied the four horsemen, I can see how they could enter into any marriage, because the closeness in marriage sometimes varies. And who has not had a disagreement in their marriage?  My favorite plaque says, "A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refused to give up on each another" After all, who's perfect?

  I have found when I am down on myself, I am more critical of my husband. I tend to look for his imperfections because I was so aware of mine! Sometimes, I was a little witchy...
Even though I know that he is the one I should turn to, I don't always do it.          

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wolves at the door...

     I really enjoyed the talk by Bruce C. Hafen entitled "Covenant Marriage". It is about the wolves in our lives.  The scriptures tell us to be aware of "wolves in sheep's clothing." This has always reminded me of Little Red Riding Hood, and the wolf who disguised himself as her grandmother and lay in wait for her.  I think we all have something that lurks in wait for us whether it be of our own making or not.  Elder Hafen talked about the wolf of adversity, the wolf of our own imperfections, or the wolf of excessive individualism.  All of these can be in disguise and we might not recognize them if we are not careful. As I looked at my Genogram, which is a family tree that highlights relationships between family members, I could see patterns from all three of these wolves.  I would think that the greatest tragedy would be the wolf of our own imperfection, knowing a flaw in our character caused our downfall.          
     My family battled alcoholism.  I can see the imperfection that caused individuals to partake of alcohol, not realizing the propensity we have in our family to become addicted to it. It follows a path leaving much hurt along the way.  I am sure that I would have that tendency too, as "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."!  Once again, I feel gratitude for finding the gospel and having it protect me from an outcome in life that might not have been pleasant.  This is where I would have to say I became a transitional character.  By joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I avoided the pattern of alcohol addiction. A transitional character changes the pattern in their family tree.
      For the sake of my children, and myself, I am grateful that the Word of Wisdom has been such a constant in our life.  That is one wolf that I would not have wanted to battle.  My husband and I were Addiction Recovery Missionaries for 2.5 years and it was the best calling in the world. However, the battle in watching people try to overcome addictions was a heartbreaking conflict to watch.  Wonderful, wonderful people with the wolf of addiction on their back! I could relate, in a small way, because of my addiction to chocolate!  We all have our own personal wolves, just to different degrees.
  1. What things in particular are you going to implement into your life to ensure that your marriage is a covenant marriage and not a contractual marriage?
  2. Out of the three "wolves"described, do you feel one is particularly detrimental to our society? Which one? Explain.
  3. What did you learn from the talks by President Benson or President Joseph Fielding Smith that you did not already know?
  4. What is the most important lesson you learned regarding the genogr

  1. What themes and patterns did you see in? What lessons did you learn 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

This post is talking about a relationship model that can define whether your feelings towards an individual are a good foundation for a relationship. I really liked the Ram plan, but found myself thinking, “I’m glad my husband didn’t take that test or he probably wouldn’t have married me!  Too late to do the right thing now!!  Ha!  Looking at the Relationship Attachment Model, I really did find myself plugging my husband and my courtship into the slots.  We only knew each other three months before we got engaged.  We dated quite a bit, but often talk about how it was a good thing neither of us had any deep, dark skeletons in our closets.  I do feel like we had one aspect that was not covered in the RAM model, and that is revelation.  We fasted and prayed when we were considering our engagement, and the answer I got was undeniable.  It wasn’t your typical “He is your knight in shining armor and you will never have another problem in your life!”  It said “It’s the right thing to do, but you will never feel this good about it again, so remember this feeling.”  It was 5:00am and I literally looked behind me to see who was talking to me.  I have often heard that quote come back to me in my 38.8 years of marriage and it has kept me from doing some drastic things, like jumping ship when things got hard! I did trust my husband, because he did not ever try to overstep any boundaries like other boys had. He always treated me with respect and kept his distance morally.  This trust has deepened as we have been married in the fact that I feel like I can tell him anything, even my immaturities and insecurities, and he never uses them against me or makes fun of me for them. (Ok-sometimes he does!) Because of this, I rely on him in many areas to help me keep perspective in my life.  I trust him to tell me the truth without hurting me.  The level of our commitment has deepened with time.  This, in turn has increased our level of touch.  I remember a quote that struck home with me, it said “Make not a beggar of thy mate.”  It really hit home to me because our mates should never have to beg for our time, trust, the ability to rely on us, our commitment or our touch. I think this model is really a good theory to developing a healthy relationship.

Monday, January 22, 2018

I Am Confused!

2nd Post for Marriage Blog:

I must admit, this week the subject matter, same-sex marriage has got me a little confused!  Not about what I believe, my testimony is firm about that. However, I find it a little disturbing as we talk about same-sex attraction or same sex-marriage, that when I picture the people who feel so strongly about it,  I remember that they are my brothers and sisters. We were all in the prexistence together, and that they are beloved children of our Heavenly Father.  I know we all come down here with different issues and just because that is not mine, doesn't mean they are not wonderful people.  As I look at the pictures of all of my grandchildren, will I love them any less if they are gay?  That is an issue facing more and more LDS people, and although I know the doctrine will never change, it causes us to feel love on a different level.  Last semester, we had to look at 3 videos about families that had sons that decided they were gay, but besides that, they had the exact same dreams and goals as my family. And they all served and loved the Lord. (They didn't act on it) It is a reality for many LDS people. I was fascinated by the four Supreme Justices who did not vote for the gay marriage issue, and I absolutely loved their reasoning why.  It was about not having OUR rights violated by 9 people who decided they could change the Constitution of the United States and represent us, without having the majority of the people's support.  Talk about inequality?

My husband and I


My daughter told me that a true sign you were in love was when your sweetheart kissed you, your foot would "POP" and kick up to the back. (See example) She was taking our picture so when my husband kissed me, I kicked my foot to the front, not the back, just to be dumb!  We laughed! She does look way cuter and more in love than I do!

Im not old...