Adjusting to Married Life !. If You Have Kids or Don’t ……. The following came from an anonymous mother in Austin, Texas: Things I’ve learned from my children :. A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2,000 square foot house four inches deep.
The following came from an anonymous mother in Austin, Texas:
Things I’ve learned from my children:
A king size waterbed holds enough water to fill a 2,000 square foot house four inches deep.
If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
A three-year-olds voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42 pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 20x20 foot room.
You should not throw baseballs up in the air when the ceiling fan is on.
When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.
A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
The glass in windows (even double-pane) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
When you hear the toilet flush and the words “uh oh,” it’s already too late.
Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke, and lots of it.
A six-year-old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
Certain Lego’s will pass through the digestive tract of a four year old.
Play dough and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool you still can’t walk on water.
Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
VCR’s do not eject peanut butter and jam sandwiches even though TV commercials show they do.
Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
You probably do not want to know what that odor is.
Always look in the oven before you turn it on (plastic toys do not like ovens).
The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy. It will, however, make cats dizzy.
Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
Sixty percent of men who read this will try mixing Clorox and brake fluid.
(First grade…True story)
One day the first grade teacher was reading the story of the three little pigs to her class. She came to the part of the story where the first pig was trying to accumulate the building materials for his home. She read, “… And so the pig went up to the man with the wheelbarrow full of straw and said, ‘pardon me sir, but may I have some of that straw to build my house?’” The teacher paused then asked the class, “And what do you think that man said?”
One little boy raised his hand and said, “I think he said… ‘Holy sh_t! A talking pig!’”
(The teacher was unable to teach for the next 10 minutes)
“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.”
Why was a young husband in ancient Israel not required to perform military duty during the first year of his marriage? Why was he cautioned not to become excessively involved with business or other pursuits during that important first year? Why was he admonished to stay home and be with his new wife during that time? Is this counsel given anciently still relevant today?
James Dobson, a psychologist, responded to the question, “what are the major marriage killers in contemporary marriage?”
“Beware of the danger [of over commitment and physical exhaustion]. It is especially [harmful] for young couples who are trying to get started in a profession or in school.
Do not try to go to college, work full-time, have a baby, manage a toddler, fix up a house, start a business [all] at the same time.
It sounds ridiculous, but many young couples do just that and are then surprised when their marriage falls apart. Why wouldn’t it? The only time they see each other is when they are worn out! It is especially dangerous to have the husband vastly overcommitted and the wife staying home with a preschooler. Her profound loneliness builds discontent and depression and we all know where that leads. You must reserve time for one another if you want to keep your love alive.”
Many divorces occur, not because couples don’t try hard enough, but because they try to live their entire married life during the first year.
Excessive expectations can wear down or wear out a potentially good marriage before it has time to develop.
Pressure may be felt to have a nice home, nice car, nice clothes, and other possessions within the first year of marriage.
Like an athlete needs time to warm up to prevent injury and enhance performance, so do marriages.
Many newlyweds are confused because they don’t know how married couples are suppose to act.
Frequently we want to be married like our parents, or some other couple we admire, not realizing that they have had many years of experience.
Each couple needs to let their own unique relationship evolve.
If you\'re not careful, there is the tendency to turn every minor event or experience into a major crisis– “to get caught up in the thick of thin things,” or to “strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.”
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that just because you have a disagreement, you have married the wrong person or that there is no hope for the future.
Differences of opinion arise in all marriages, and problems merely suggest that you are not yet perfect.
Be flexible. Be willing to change when necessary.
Dr. Barlow suggests 3 reasons why spouses must continuously adapt in marriage:
First, some things about spouses can only be known after marriage.
During courtship, individuals may hide part of themselves, or some may not be as perceptive as they should because of the romantic and physical attraction of the engagement periods. But after marriage, the facades come down, and the partners became known for what they are.
Second, many aspects of married life are difficult to anticipate or understand until they are experienced.
Things such as joint money management, in-law relationships, the sexual relationship etc. can only be reconciled when they are experienced.
Third, individuals will change during marriage.
People and relationships, are by their very nature, dynamic. They change. You are not the same person you were five years ago. You will not be the same person you are now, five years from today.
Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. Having a sense of humor can be a saving grace for marriage and can help life be much more enjoyable.
See the humor in the little tragedies that come along.
“If you’re going to be able to look back on something and laugh about it, you might as well laugh about it now.
Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like medicine.
Laugh more than you cry!
You’ve got to laugh, or some things in life are just to difficult.
Sometimes couples get caught in the sarcasm trap. If you are trying to be funny and clever at the expense of your mate, it will backfire. Even if your mate laughs at the time, he or she is doing it only to save face. This kind of humor carries a deep hurt.
In your use of humor you must be certain that your spouse is never hurt by it. It’s okay to have a little fun by making yourself the brunt of the joke, but never your spouse.
We’ve all been there when the fine line between laughing at our mate and merely chuckling respectfully is hard to define, or hard to resist.
We must be careful to distinguish between genuine humor, which everyone can enjoy, and hurtful humor, which is at someone else’s expense.
Remember the final caution: you need to be careful about making light of something that is very serious to your mate.
Marriage is the most important decision we will ever make. But, as you have learned, the best things are not the easiest. Anything of real value takes effort, time, sacrifice, and dedication.
This is certainly true of marriage.
President Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Some think of happiness as a glamorous life of ease, luxury, and constant thrills; but true marriage is based on a happiness that is more than that, one that comes from giving, serving, sharing, sacrificing, and selflessness.”
A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.
And for most of us happiness includes being married to our best friend and having children, a home, and a good job.
Another situation that can harm your marriage a great deal is when one spouse is jealous of the other. This sometimes wears a disguise called, “But it means I love her (or him).” Wrong! Jealousy does not mean you love or really care about your spouse. It means you are frightened and don’t trust your spouse.
“There is a never-failing formula that will guarantee to every couple a happy an eternal marriage… The formula is simple; the ingredients are few.
First, there must be the proper approach to marriage, which includes the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters that are of importance to the individuals. Then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.”
Second, there must be great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life… to the good of the family, and subjugating self.
Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.
Fourth, there must be complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Marriage and Divorce 12, 17-18).
Elder Bruce R. McConkie said:
“The three greatest events that have ever occurred or will ever occur are:
(2) The fall…
(3) The infinite and eternal atonement, which ransoms man… from [his] fallen state so that salvation… may be completed” (New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 81).
Based on that inspired insight of Elder McConkie, may I suggest that the following is also true:
“The three greatest events that ever have occurred or ever will occur in marriage are these:
The infinite and eternal atonement, which ransoms husbands and wives from their fallen state so that celestial marriage… may be completed.”
Every relationship that culminates in marriage experiences all three events.
We could liken the dating and courtship stage of the relationship to the creation. While Adam and Ever were in the Garden of Eden they experienced no pain, no sorrow, and no death. Life was wonderful and essentially problem-free. It was the state of innocence. It was paradise.
Dating and courtship, for most couples, also tends to be pretty paradisiacal. It is a state of relative innocence, comparatively few problems and little responsibility. But just as the paradisiacal state ended for Adam and Eve so it does for every married couple. Adam and Eve experienced a fall and so do all married couples.
The fall in marriage could be linked to the end of the honeymoon or fantasy period, the time when reality begins to set in.
Research suggest that the “fall” in marriage tends to occur fairly early.
Forty-two percent of all couples report that marriage is harder than they expected.
Some of the most difficult adjustments in marriage are:
Leaving your family origin.
Losing some of your independence.
Thirty-nine percent report that their partner was more critical of them after marriage than they were before marriage.
(5) Managing a household, dividing up household responsibilities.
Sixty-three percent have marital problems related to money.
Fifty percent report that their financial problems are significant.
(8) Sexual adjustments
Forty-six percent report dissatisfaction with frequency.
Twenty-five percent report significant sexual problems.
(10) In-law relationships
There seems to be a major adjustment in the last half of the first year, when couples begin to reassess their marital relationship.
During dating, engagement, and the first six months of marriage, the couple experiences an extended honeymoon of sorts. It is highly romantic period, with emphasis on the ideal. Spouses overlook each other’s shortcomings or do not even notice them because of the emotional ecstasy they are experiencing. That’s partly because people tend to marry what they wish the other person to be, or the fantasy they have of each other.
But sooner or later the “honeymoon” ends and the couple finds themselves living in a world that may bear little resemblance to the Garden of Eden.
For Adam and Eve, the fall brought pain, sorrow, and death for the first time.
For husbands and wives, the fall in marriage brings new pains, new sorrows, and perhaps the apparent death of some hopes, dreams, and expectations.
Upon closer inspection, you discover that the “shining armor” your husband wore during courtship now appears tarnished and flawed. And that perfect “10” you married begins to look more like an imperfect “5” or “6”.
As a result of the fall, Eve was required to bring forth children in pain and sorrow.
As children are born, wives experience this pain and sorrow. Morning-sickness is no fun and delivering a baby is no picnic.
In marriage, husbands and wives may have to “labor” a great deal to make the adjustments to parenthood.
Both may be left saying “I didn\'t know it was going to be like this!”
They learned that if left unchecked, the weeds would overrun the plants. When the fall comes in marriage, husbands and wives discover that the “bed or roses” they thought they had is producing some irritating weeds. Husbands and wives may say “But, I’ve always hated weeding!” Weeds grow fast and can, if they are not “pulled” early, prevent you from seeing the good in the relationship. It can also cause you to lose your eternal perspective. We see today’s problems as forever problems.
Elder Russell M. Nelson said:
“Keeping the garden of marriage well cultivated and free from weeds of neglect requires the time and commitment of love. It is not only a pleasant privilege, it is a scriptural requirement with promise of eternal glory” (Ensign, May 1991, 23).
Food, clothing, and shelter were no longer provided for them.
For many couples, marriage brings the responsibility of working for the first time in their lives. For all couples, it represents the difficult challenge of trying to balance work and school, family and church responsibilities.
God knew that Adam and Eve would fall. He provided a way whereby they might overcome the effects of the fall. A Savior was provided.
God also knows that every marriage will experience a fall of some sort.
For each of us, a Savior is provided. Without the Savior, it would have been impossible for Adam and Eve and for us to overcome the fall.
Five keys are given to overcoming the fall through the atonement.
Prayer is essential to overcoming disappointment, hurt and the struggles that sometimes come in marriage. Pray as an individual and pray as a couple.
Brigham Young counseled: “Say your prayers always before going to work… We may say… we have not time to pray, hardly time to eat our breakfast. Then let the breakfast go, and pray…It matters not whether you are or I feel like praying, when the time comes to pray, pray. If we do not feel like it, we should pray till we do… You will find that those who wait till the Spirit bids them to pray, will never pray much on this earth…If the devil says you cannot pray when you are angry, tell him it is none of his business, and pray until that species of insanity is dispelled and serenity is resorted to the mind(Discourses of Brigham Young, 44-45).
We must worship the Lord. In other words, we must build upon the sure foundation of Christ, and be Christ-centered.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said:
“Sacrifice is the … keystone of a happy home life” (“Without Sacrifice There Is No True Worship,” BYU Speeches of the Year, 1962, 4).
President Harold B. Lee said:
“If young people would resolve at the moment of their marriage that from that time forth they would do everything in their power to please each other in things that are right, even to the sacrifice of their own pleasures, their own appetites, their own desires, the problem of adjustment in married life would take care of itself, and their home would indeed be happy. Great love is built on great sacrifice, and that home where the principle of sacrifice for the welfare of each other is daily expressed is that home where there abides a great love” (Ensign, Feb. 1973, 77).
As Elder McConkie stated, after the marriage decision, the most important thing any member of the church does is to keep his/her covenants. To overcome the fall in marriage, we must be obedient to our covenants.
Adam and Eve made mistakes. They were guilty of personal sin. They undoubtedly had good days and bad days in their marriage. None of us are any different. Repentance is a need we all have. Be especially careful with the sins of pride and selfishness. They will cause more problems in marriage than anything else.
In your marriage, learn to speak with the “language of love.” That is. Learn to say “I am sorry,” and really mean it. Learn to say “I love you,” and really mean it. Every day, express your love to your spouse .
None of us can make it on our own. Achieving an eternal marriage is impossible without the atonement.
“Two people coming from different backgrounds soon learn after the ceremony is performed that stark reality must be faced. There is no longer a life of fantasy or of make-believe; we must come out of the clouds and put our feet firmly on the earth. Responsibility must be assumed and new duties must be accepted. Some personal freedoms must be relinquished, and many adjustments, unselfish adjustments must be made. One comes to realize very soon after the marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow to relatively small, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions…” (TSWK, 305).
“If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity.”
Gordon B. Hinckley
To be adored by your mate puts all of life into perspective. When you are number one in your spouse’s eyes, you can make it through anything.
In making the adjustment to marriage, the more we know about each other and the more similar we are, the easier the transition.
The more realistic we are about what will be expected from each partner and the more we can agree about those expectations, the easier the transition will be.
The more we learn to be of “one heart and one mind, and dwelling in righteousness [with] no poor among us” (Moses 7:18), the easier the transition will be. The more we learn to serve, contribute, cooperate, and encourage each other, the easier the transition will be.
In his book, Just For Newlyweds, Dr. Brent Barlow, a professor at Brigham Young University, suggested the following:
CUT THE APRON STRINGS
The Savior counseled: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh” (Moses 3:24). Separate yourselves enough from your families of origin that you learn to depend on each other and turn to each other in times of need, rather than to your parents.
“Frequently people continue to cleave unto their mothers and their fathers as their chums. Sometimes mothers will not relinquish the hold they have had upon their children; and husbands as well as wives return to their mothers and fathers to obtain advice and counsel and to confide… all intimacies should be kept in great secrecy and privacy from others. Couples do well to immediately find their own home, separate and apart form that of the in-laws on either side.
In marriage, making the transition from “I” to “we” can be rewarding and yet a somewhat frustrating experience. During our single years we become accustomed to doing things in our own way, in our own time, and at our own unique pace. But after we marry, we are expected to suddenly merge into a “oneness,” a union, a couple identity to which we are not accustomed. And this transition is often expected to be done quickly, even immediately, right after the wedding. Seldom does it occur like that. It takes time and we must resist the temptation to want to change our partners.
To synergize is to value the difference found in others (physical, social, mental, emotional, and spiritual)– to respect them, to build on strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Synergy helps us to see that our differences can actually make us stronger, not weaker, create more harmony not less. Synergy helps us to see that by pooling our resources and using our creativity, we can discover alternatives that are even better than yours or mine. It is that the combined efforts of a couple, working cooperatively, will out produce the efforts of those same individuals working independently. Synergy enables us to consider alternatives that simply would not be available alone and to accomplish things that otherwise would not be possible. When we become aware of differences in our perceptions, we can say, “Good! You see it differently! Help me see what you see.” rather than, “Oh no, here we go again!” If two people have the same opinion, one is unnecessary, Relationships can be blessed, not cursed by diversity.
To sharpen the saw is to give time and attention, every day, to each of the five dimensions we have talked about– physical, spiritual, mental, social, and emotional.
Sharpening the saw allows us to experience continued growth and progress. It keeps us fresh. It brings renewal to our body an sprit. It is learning to sing and dance. The early saints experienced constant upheaval, frequent persecution, and many test of their faith. Driven form New York, then Ohio, then Missouri, and finally Illinois the saints were in process of moving again, this time to the unknown territory of the Great Basin.
With Brigham Young leading the Church, the Saints began their westward trek. While at Winter Quarters, Nebraska, Brigham Young sought revelation as to how they should make the rest of the journey, the most difficult part of the journey.
On January 14, 1847, Brigham Young received D&C 136. Among other things, the Lord commanded them to praise the Lord with singing and dancing.
Why did the Lord command them to sing and dance during the difficult journey across the plains?
Put yourself in their place. You have been driving a team of oxen or mules all day in the hot weather. Perhaps you have been riding in the back of a jostling, stuffy wagon, tending little children for ten or twelve hours. Perhaps either you or your spouse has walked much of the distance that day, maybe twenty miles or more. It is now nighttime. All in the family are tired and hungry. After the evening meal-which is almost always the same thing you have been eating at all your other meals-you are ready for bed. While you are thinking about the much-needed rest that awaits you, you hear someone tuning up a fiddle near the central campfire. “Oh no,” you think to yourself, “not that again.” Yes, it is that time. The evening dance is about to begin!
Why did the Lord counsel the Saints to sing and dance under such circumstances? It would seem to make more sense to counsel them to “conserve your strength” or “get as much rest as possible.”
Why? Because they needed to sharpen the saw!
Joseph Smith also understood that principle. Apparently Joseph, even though he carried the heavy burdens of the restoration, know the importance of relaxing and unwinding.
One associate noted:
“At that time Joseph was studying Greek and Latin. When he got tired of studying he would go and play with the children in their games about the house, to give himself exercise. Then he would go back to his studies as before. He was preaching once, and he said it tried some of the pious folks to see him play ball with the boys. He then related a story of a certain prophet who was sitting under the shade of a tree amusing himself in some way, when a hunter came along with his bow and arrow, and reproved him. The prophet asked him if he kept his bow strung up all the time. The hunter answered that he did not. The prophet asked why, and he said it would lose its elasticity if he did. The prophet said it was just so with his mind, he did not want it strung up all the time” (Recollections of the Prophet Joseph Smith,” Juvenile Instructor 27 (1892): 302, 472).
In June, 1850, just 3 years after the pioneers arrived in Utah, the first theatrical play was preformed in the Bowery on Temple Square. Why did President Young place so much emphasis on drama, literature, the arts, singing, and dancing during those early and often difficult years of conquering the Western deserts? Two of his daughters later quoted their father saying:
“Life is best enjoyed with time periods are evenly divided between labour, sleep, and recreation. All men and women and children should labour; all must sleep; and if mental and physical balance is to be maintained, all people should spend one-third of their time in recreation, which is rebuilding, voluntary activity-never idleness. ‘Eight hours work, eight hours sleep, and eight hours recreation’ was Brigham Young’s motto. Re-creation indeed the meaning of recreation” (Susa Young Gates and Leah D. Widtsoe, The Life Story of Brigham Young, 251).