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Your Spouse is Not Your Enemy

Two will enter the ring and only one will leave

You will have days in your marriages when you feel alone.

When I was single, I had a Bishop who gave a message that has stuck with me for years. He and his wife had a beautiful relationship. They seemed like the perfect couple with the perfect marriage. He said, “You will have days in your marriages when you feel alone.” I wondered how that could be when you were marrying your best friend. Then I got married. It didn’t take me long to understand what he had meant.

Love Hate relationship

How is it that we can feel so upset or so angry by the person that we love the most? Or the person who is supposed to love us the most?

My husband comes from a different culture than mine. After twelve years, it is still a learning experience sometimes. I remember one evening early in our marriage when he asked me for something at dinner at home. I was close to whatever it was he wanted but not close to him. I grabbed the object then tossed it at him to catch. I didn’t know that I had just offended him hugely because in my family, it was perfectly acceptable to toss something to someone.

marriage is a love hate relationship

Good marriages take time. They take a lot of communication and a lot of patience.  Sometimes we forget that our spouse isn’t trying to ruin us. They aren’t trying to walk on us or put us down. Those differences of opinion can turn into heated conversations and nothing feels worse than feeling at odds with your spouse. Even if all we can do is pray for understanding of our spouse’s point of view when we are angry or hurt, we would be doing our marriage a favor. I am grateful for latter-day revelation on the importance of marriage because every marriage will have some extremely challenging moments.

marriage is rewarding

Marriage is rewarding

Elder Richard G. Scott said, “It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and impressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those growth experiences together.” 1

Do we allow the Lord to lead us through the trials and the challenges or do we allow resentment to build and harden our hearts to our spouses? It is up to each one of us, as partners in marriage, to give our best effort in this sacred role. We will be held accountable before God in this holy duty.

While serving in the Seventy, Elder James E. Faust said that one of the less obvious but more significant reasons for divorce is “the lack of a constant enrichment in marriage, … an absence of that something extra which makes it precious, special, and wonderful, when it is also drudgery, difficult, and dull.” He counseled: “In the enriching of marriage the big things are the little things. It is a constant appreciation for each other and a thoughtful demonstration of gratitude. It is the encouraging and the helping of each other to grow. Marriage is a joint quest for the good, the beautiful, and the divine” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1977, 13–14; or Ensign, Nov. 1977, 10–11) 2

Make time this week to do a little something extra for your spouse to let them know you love and appreciate all that they do for you. We live in a harsh world and your kindness will go a long way.

1 “The Eternal Blessings of Marriage”, Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, April 2011

2 “Lesson 3: Nurturing Love and Friendship in Marriage,” Marriage and Family Relations Instructor’s Manual (2000), 13–17

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