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How to Deal with Tough Times in an Eternal Marriage

When I was a young single adult attending a university ward in Utah, I was really perplexed by a comment made by my bishop at the time. 

He said, “there are times in marriage where you will feel entirely alone and lonely.” Everyone could see how he and his wife kept the spark alive and well in their marriage so to hear such a comment was a bit of a surprise to me.

In my naivety, I thought how could anyone ever feel lonely when they were married to their best friend? I planned on finding and marrying my best friend and dreamed of having laughter- filled, happiness and smiles every day. Boy oh boy, was I young and naïve.

An imperfect rose for an imperfect person

Not perfect everyday

No marriage is ever going to be perfect every day, no matter how hard we work or how much we pray for help. I know of one sweet couple who said that they came close to arguing just once, but then both stopped and started to laugh. Clearly, they aren’t high maintenance, live wire kinds of people like everyone else in my family!

So how do we deal with those tough times? I believe by remembering that we are an eternal unit, we have something worth working for. When we are sealed together in the temple, we are not saying yes to the man or woman in front of us; we are making a covenant with our God that we will dedicate ourselves to this other person. We aren’t only a couple, we become a presidency with God at our head if we allow Him to be.

Hardships in life

What happens when we lose employment or illness comes? What happens when we bring children into the home who have severe disorders or behavior issues that we don’t know how to handle? Even just the demands of daily life can be enough to bring us to our knees. Hopefully, while we are there, we will plead with the Father to support and sustain us through whatever we are going through.

Dealing with hardships

We know who to turn to when we need comfort. It is through the Holy Ghost that we can feel God’s love, support, and closeness. He is never farther away than a prayer, silent or spoken.

Elder Marvin J. Ashton once said, “God knows the feelings in every human heart. He can soften sorrow and lead when there seems to be no light. Prayer can give guidance and confidence. It reminds us that no one need be alone in this world. If all else fails, remember God and one other person can be a family.” 1

You choose to come to earth.

I choose to come

I have been reminded often lately that I chose to come to earth at this time when everything is in commotion and when evil abounds. I know how to keep close to my Heavenly Father and find the strength I need whether it is during hardships as a family or challenges within my relationship with my eternal companion. We have all been counseled to look to God and live. (Alma 37:47)

The only way to endure those difficulties in our marriages is by looking to God, and He will work everything out for our good.

  1. “While They Are Waiting”, Marvin J. Ashton, May 1988 Ensign, p. 74

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