I wrote this ten years ago to answer a friend's question.
I had just read this article in our church magazine and remembered the question you once asked me about how to have lasting relationships. This couple is one of the happiest, most charming couples I have ever met. He is the Lord’s prophet and the leader of our church. They are in their nineties now and President Gordon B. Hinkley recently said:
"I am so grateful for her. For 66 years we have walked together, hand in hand, with love and encouragement, with appreciation and respect. It cannot be very long before one of us will step through the veil (of death). I hope the other will follow soon. I just would not know how to get along without her, even on the other side, "(life after death).
Talk about a love story!
My husband and I both came from unhappy homes where our parents were divorced. We each joined the Church in our teens and have tried to follow true principles instead of our parents examples. It has been very difficult for us, but we have learned so much, now we have a fulfilling relationship, and the joy of seeing two of our children happily married.
I have been thinking of what we have tried to teach our children about what makes a good, lasting relationship.
goals- I think having the same basic goals and values helps to create unity between you
commitment- Committing to each other for eternity gives a different perspective. You work out your problems. Our children know that we have no sympathy for “they didn’t make me happy so I’ll look for another to make me happy”. Love grows nourished by service.
faith- I think you need to have faith in each other- faith that they really do love you and that they really didn’t mean to hurt you (women are so guilty of judging a man from a woman’s perspective)
God- People are not capable of recognizing, accepting, and changing their weaknesses without divine help. Without change and growth a marriage will fail.
humor- If you can laugh at yourself and at your differences, then you will enjoy being together.
encouragement- Helping each other to develop and use their talents makes life fulfilling. My husband has always supported me in all I’ve wanted to do. This is far more than merely “allowing” me to do something. For instance, he is my proofreader (I am the editor of our monthly town Newsletter), he is taking my elementary education recertification classes with me, and he encourages my writing. Yes, I’ve got a good one too!