“…That is good news because no matter how flat your relationship may be at present, if you keep adding pebbles of kindness, compassion, listening, sacrifice, understanding, and selflessness, eventually a mighty pyramid will begin to grow.”
This weekend I watched LDS General Conference and heard some great spiritual messages! I also heard great messages about marriage, too! I especially found one particular talk I wanted to share that was so “nailed on the head” and relatable to all marriages, not just religious ones. So even if you are not LDS or not religious, I encourage you to still read this post :) The particular message I loved was from a talk about saving your marriage by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I’m sharing some important parts as well as my own thoughts :)
Wanting the Perfect Marriage
In multiple ways, to the variety of people, Dieter F. Uchtdorf straight up told us you cannot find perfection.
He addresses the single men and their ideals to find the perfect woman, reminding them: “if there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you?” hahaha. He reminds us that we will not find the perfect person and that is not what we should be looking for, but instead point your efforts to “create a loving, lasting and more perfect relationship.”
He also addresses those of us who are married, about the perfection idea. He uses a similar thought that I had last week as I wrote a post about how none of us are fully safe from divorce. Dieter F. Uchtdorf has performed marriage ceremonies for many couples and just like my husband and I, none of us thought we would ever get divorced. But he confirms that some of those couples actually have gotten a divorce, sadly. As he shares his thoughts on why he thinks these marriages went downhill, I can’t help but agree with two hands way up! He said:
“Somehow, as the days multiply and the color of romantic love changes, there are some who slowly stop thinking of each other’s happiness and start noticing the little faults. In such an environment, some are enticed by the tragic conclusion that their spouse isn’t smart enough, fun enough or young enough. And somehow they get the idea that this gives them justification to start looking elsewhere.
“If we look for imperfections in our spouse or irritations in our marriage, we will certainly find them, because everyone has some. On the other hand, if we look for the good, we will surely find it, because everyone has many good qualities too.”
I love how he says all of this because this happens to every couple!! Life changes, romance changes, intimacy changes, and we tend to let those changes seem like issues. Having issues tends to put us on the path for finding each other’s flaws more often, and we get stuck here for awhile. And because we have noticed flaws much more and issues seem more prevalent than the newlywed years, the doubts sink in and suddenly we are unsatisfied in our marriage.
But what if we looked for the positive qualities and quirks in our spouse when the romance changes and when issues come up? Do you think that would help us get back on a better path of compassion towards our spouse? We will always always always find imperfections in our spouse because nobody is perfect. But we will always always always find amazing qualities in our spouse, too, because everybody has good qualities! To those of you who are having trouble seeing the good qualities in your spouse, remember that you wouldn’t have been attracted to them, or even married them for that matter, if they didn’t hold good qualities!
The Gardening that will save your marriage
How we react to it these normal changes and tendencies he has outlined, are the difference between a satisfactory or unsatisfactory marriage. It takes work to react positively, to react in humility! I’m working on this :) So how do you react more positively, and save your marriage?
“THEY CELEBRATE THE SMALL ACTS OF GRACE THAT SPARK TENDER FEELINGS OF CHARITY. THOSE WHO SAVE MARRIAGES SAVE FUTURE GENERATIONS.”
Weeds can be big, or they can be small. They can be hard to pull out or they can be easy to pull out. I think it’s best to start with the small weeds! Those are little annoyances or little occasional arguments that tend to have easy resolutions. The goal I tend to stress to couples is to focus on the little every day things you can do that will improve your marriage, and those little things add up and sometimes can trump the big things! Or at the very least, overcoming those little obstacles (weeds) prepare you for overcoming those big obstacles.
I appreciate how President Uchtdorf shared these marital situations with normalcy. Sometimes we think we are the only ones experiencing marital struggles. While there are some struggles that not every couple will experience, every couple will absolutely encounter the romantic love changes, noticing each other’s flaws, and the work necessary for building a strong marriage. Don’t forget that as you do your gardening :)