Raise your hand if when you got married you thought you would end up divorced or heartbroken. Or, you got married with the intention of your marriage not lasting. No, none of us did. We married because we were in love and we could see ourselves spending a lifetime, or eternity, with our spouse.
But marriage is full of peaks and valleys. As we grow in our marriages, that romantic love we experienced when we were dating and first married changes. It can change into something even more wonderful, if the marriage is truly nurtured, or it can change into a relationship where we stop thinking about our spouse’s happiness.
Many of us come to a place where our thoughts are ‘me’ focused. We forget that one of the main reasons for marrying someone is to create an environment where they will be happy. When we take our eye off of that goal, and become ‘me’ focused, we can begin to be frustrated by the imperfections in our partner. Some people see this frustration as justification to begin looking elsewhere, to begin to ‘throw away’ the marriage they were so excited about a short time earlier.
When this happens, not only is this marriage impacted, but future generations are effected as well. If you are finding your mate less attractive, in whatever sense – be that intelligence, appearance, humor, etc., I strongly encourage you to return to the reasons you fell in love with them in the first place. If you are having trouble remembering or recognizing what you love about them, start a gratitude journal. Every day write something in that journal about your spouse for which you are grateful. Then, take it to the next step and actually express that gratitude to them.
When Rendel and I met, and quickly fell in love, scaring everyone around us as we acted upon that by marrying in a very short time, I said many prayers to know that it was right. I recall one day of questioning if Rendel was the right person for me. I recounted all of his good qualities. After doing so, I asked myself what more did I want. He is a good man, with integrity, loves the Lord, loves me, loves his family, dearly loves his wife who passed earlier this year, we have much in common including shared values. What more was I looking for? In a word, Nothing!
Over a period of time (short though it might have been) I received the assurances that I was looking for that Rendel was indeed the right man for me. Is he perfect, no. Am I perfect, definitely not. But with the Lord’s plan, and the Lord’s help, we recognize that we have not only the earthly attributes of time and patience but we also have the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to help us create an amazing marriage.
So, how do we do that? Can it happen in an instant? No. It requires us to be kind, envy not, seek not our own, be not easily provoked, think no evil, and rejoice in the truth, or in other words, it requires charity, the pure love of Christ. Great marriages are built moment by moment, action by action, thought by thought, day after day, over a lifetime.
Sometimes, you may feel that it is taking forever to create this happy marriage; but remember it is supposed to last forever, it is worth the time and the effort.
When I speak of marriage being work, I am not speaking of drudgery. I am speaking of putting forth the effort to understand the needs of your partner, to create an environment in which they can be happy. When your efforts are concentrated on their happiness, you will also be happy, and they will be more interested in your happiness.
Abraham Lincoln said “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”. So, choose happiness. Save your Marriage. Look for the good in your partner. Pull out the weeds and water the flowers. Celebrate the small acts of kindness that engender feelings of charity. Realize that when you save a marriage, you also save future generations.
Remember that one way of working on your marriage is keeping a gratitude journal. What are you grateful for about your spouse? What do you love about your marriage? Keeping a daily gratitude journal can do wonders for your marriage. It re-ignites your love and passion for your partner.
Would you like to experience renewed love and passion for your partner? Then join us for the 30 day Marriage Gratitude Journal Challenge. Join the conversation on our Facebook group, 30 Day Marriage Journal Challenge.
I look forward to seeing you in the group!
Have an amazing day. Dare to dream!
PS Don’t forget to check out the Bulletproof Your Marriage Couples’ Retreat. You can find information and registration forms at Bridgeport Coaching. There you can also find a link to order your copy of “Bulletproof Your Marriage”.