Monday, October 13, 2014

More Secrets of a Happy Marriage-- Commitment

This is a moving video about not giving up on your marriage.

It is true what I said before, that love is a decision of the heart. Wanting to love is important, but I thought a few "how to's" might be appropriate. Some might say, "but I loved him (or her) and it didn't work out".  Maybe I should explain what I mean by love. I try to help him be the best person he can be and achieve what he most wants to do. Mainly I help his business be successful, help him relate to people, and help him build a good marriage. He helps me by handling most of the details (cleaning, finances, shopping), so I can write. He said, "Anyone who can write like you, shouldn't be doing housework." See why I love him!

Was it always so wonderful? No. We both came from broken homes, had never seen a happy marriage, and had no idea how to make one. Our first few years were pretty pathetic, but we were determined to keep working at it. One of the most important things which pulled us through is:

COMMITMENT -  Really being committed to the relationship is essential. When our future son-in-law asked my husband for our daughters hand in marriage, my husband asked, "Well, how long do you want her for?" The young man was pretty stunned, but that is an important question. As Mormon's we believe that marriage can be eternal if we are sealed (permanent not "til death do us part) by Priesthood authority in a Temple of God and live the commandments of God.  We had both joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) as teenagers and wanted to have an eternal marriage.

We had seen research which showed that people who stayed married and those who divorced have the same problems, they just don't quit. Commitment is what pulls you through the rough places. I also realized that we couldn't just keep running. Someday we both needed to face our problems and deal with them. We both needed to over come our weaknesses at some time and it might as well be now. I knew I had committed to an eternal relationship with my husband and he to me. Commitment made a huge difference in the success of our marriage.

It would have been easy for either of us to quit and go looking for someone else who was easier to live with. I experienced 35 years of depression, pain, and debilitating fatigue til I was diagnosed with Addison Disease (see my blog  ).  I was amazed and grateful that he stuck with me. I finally developed confidence that I was loved for who I was, a daughter of God, not for what I could do for other people. Before you start feeling too sympathetic for the poor plight of my husband, let me assure you that he was not easier to live with than I was. (Scary thought but true!) He felt comfortable doing details, always and endlessly. Recreation, humor, and relating were not part of his life. I felt that he took me off the shelf occasionally, but quickly put me back, and returned to his secure world of details where I was not allowed. We had little going for our marriage aside from our desire to make it work.

Most people can get along, or over look problems for a few years. When the problems become unbearable, you can either run to another person and enjoy again that "honeymoon" period, or take a good hard look at yourself and accept that you need to change. I used to pray that my husband would change. I could see how obvious it was that he had problems and needed to change. It was very annoying when I received answers to my prayers, because they always showed things I needed to change! When I quit seeing myself as a helpless victim and accepted responsibility for my part of our relationship, things began to improve-- when I changed, our relationship became better. What a shock! But it also felt good to know that I could have control over my own life. I couldn't force him to change, but I could change me. When I took responsibility for improving my own life, I also allowed him responsibility for his own life. I quite trying to make him into the man I felt he should be and started loving him for the man he was, now.

Though people shouldn't remain in very abusive relationships, they also shouldn't run from the need to change. It is true that we can't change by ourselves, but the good news is that we don't have to, We know the Lord has helped us to make many changes and grow. You just need to keep trying.  We firmly believe that if we can make a happy marriage, anybody can!

see Topics - Marriage at my blog
A New Love

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