Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Secrets of a Happy Marriage -- Common Goals

My husband and I are so different! Yes, having made eternal commitments to each other in the LDS temple has helped keep us going and trying over 42 years of marriage. We have, and continue to work at accepting and appreciating each others abilities and weaknesses. This has built a strong foundation to our marriage, but I wonder if it would work without common goals. As it is it is a challenge. He is always off and doing something while I sit and write. We have few interests in common (I try, but I just can't stay awake during a football game), but we do share the same major goals.

I think I would have a very difficult time being married to a person who
wasn't a Latter-day Saint (Mormon). I am an idealist. My beliefs are my life. The principles of the Gospel guide my life. Religion is not some hat I take off a shelf each Sunday and don for church. My faith is who I am. Sharing thoughts and feelings is how I connect to people and especially with my husband. I know both he and I want to have an eternal marriage and family. That forms a strong bond between us. It helps us continually renew our commitment to each other and use our abilities to build and strengthen our relationship. It helps us unite on the smaller goals and decisions giving us a more peaceful marriage.

I just read an interesting article about marriage, religion and divorce.

It said that the divorce rate for those with no religion was about 45%; for Protestant couples 30%; Catholics 20%,; for LDS (Mormons) 16%, and LDS with Temple marriages 6%.

I can't imagine how hard it would be to make a marriage without common goals and values, but I have seen some try. I remember when we were first married. We lived in a trailer court near BYU. It was the dream of most of us to get a real home someday. I knew one couple who had been saving money for several years, until the day the husband spent it all on a big, red pickup. I wondered what happen to that marriage.

I've known several men, and a couple women, who put their career before the needs of their spouse and family. Their marriages all ended in divorce. One of these men learned from his mistakes, and though he still had the same busy successful car dealership, he remarried and has built a strong happy marriage which has lasted for thirty years.

Would any common goals work? I don't think so. It would be great to both enjoy hiking or cooking, but it isn't enough to build a lasting relationship upon; trust me. Your goals have to be true and basic. You need to be united on the things that really matter, such as family. What is great is when family comes first and is supported by other common interests. I've seen whole families root at Little League games and clap at dance recitals; go 4 wheeling with Dad, and plays with Mom. Yes, not only are common goals essential, they make life fun!

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