Getting Your Spouse to Do Things Your Way

Posted by Melanie Sarao on

Getting Your Spouse to Do Things Your Way

When you combine two different chemicals, you are going to have some sort of reaction. For example, by combining vinegar and baking soda, you get a rapid rise of bubbly- homemade- volcano- style foam. When you mix ammonia and bleach, you create a harmful gas called chloramine which can kill you if exposed to it for too long. Please take care not to do so.

My companion in the mission was given bad advice about removing a small tattoo with a combination of two seemingly innocent household products. She essentially burned her skin by creating acid which left a scar much larger than the tattoo itself.

Whenever you combine two different substances, there will be some response whether they combine well, creating a new compound or perhaps like oil and water, do not mix at all. The same could be said for relationships. The early days of marriage are sweet and exciting but as time goes on, we realize that living with someone with a different background, different experiences and tastes, and possibly even a different culture is going to create some undesirable “reactions”.

Should you fight tooth and nail for your own will to dominate when an issue arises? Do you dismiss your spouse’s input over your own beliefs? Do you just want your spouse to do things your way instead of you having to step outside of your comfort zone? When we stand firm and refuse to see our spouse’s perspective, we have the greater sin. The Lord has commanded us to “be one” because “if ye are not one, ye are not mine”. (Doctrine & Covenants 38:27)

Sister Sharon Eubank gave a great analogy in her talk in our October women’s conference. She stressed the importance of creating love and unity. She suggested that we have mercy on others by not judging them, by getting our efforts in sync with others and by seeking the Lord’s power as we show mercy to others. She used a beautiful description of rowing to illustrate this type of sync. She said,
“In the rowing world, they call it swing. Listen to this description based on the book The Boys in the Boat. There is a thing that sometimes happens that is hard to achieve and hard to define. It’s called swing. It happens when all are rowing in such perfect unison that not a single action is out of sync. Rowers must rein in their fierce independence and at the same time hold true to their individual capabilities…no rower is more valuable than another, all are assets to the boat, but if they are to row well together, each must adjust to the needs and capabilities of the others. The shorter armed person reaching a little farther, the longer armed person pulling in just a bit. Differences can be turned to advantage instead of disadvantage. Only then will it feel as though the boat is moving on its own. Only then does pain give way to exultation.”

As marriage partners, we each have our own strengths and capabilities. By bringing those differences to the table so to speak, we can strengthen our marriage in love and unity by recognizing that both partners have equal value.

I have my ways of doing things. My husband has his ways of doing things. If I try to force him to do things my way, it will end in disaster. Only when we are free to act out of love and through staying true to ourselves, can we truly “make our boats swing”.

May we seek the blessing of unity and love in our all our important relationships.

“By Union of Feeling, We Obtain Power with God,” Sister Sharon Eubank, General Women’s Session, General Conference 2020

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