Monday, April 8, 2013

Changing How You Think


This was definitely my favorite talk and quote from this past week's LDS General Conference.

I know that I talk about marriage in practically every single post, but hey, what else am I supposed to talk about? Plus, marriage is still very new to me and so I like sharing the things that I learn along the way, and getting advice from those of you who are more experienced. 

Living with someone is definitely an adjustment. Even if you think the two of you are so similar and get along so well, it's definitely still a shock. The first couple of months that H and I were married were hard. Like I said in this post, we were arguing all the time about things that didn't even matter. Obviously we are two different people, and so we respond to situations differently. Which is fine. Except it's not. Because I want him to agree with me or respond how I want him to. [Which is so wrong on my part.] So learning how to handle each situation and keeping your love and your marriage alive and happy is something that will always take work.

The things that have been the hardest for me since we got married are these:

First, H is someone who is very calm and reserved when it comes to how he feels. When we were dating, whenever we would disagree on something, he would just back down and let me have my way. [Which I didn't mind! ;] But now that we're married, I get so mad at him when he does that. Because if I say something that he doesn't agree with, I can see it on his face that he wants to argue, but then he just holds it back. But I know him so well that I already know by the look on his face what he's going to say, so it annoys me that he's not just saying it! You know? And in his mind, he thinks he's being the bigger person by not trying to start a fight. But in my crazy girl mind, he's starting the fight by not saying anything. And then when I start getting mad, he just shuts off and won't talk. Which gets me even more upset! [I know that right now I am making it seem like I'm a crazy wife; but to my single friends: just you wait. You'll understand what I mean one day. Or maybe you won't. Maybe I am just crazy!] 

And when it comes to housework, H comes from a family where his mom did everything for him. Literally everything. Made his lunch and dinner every day, did his laundry, cleaned his room [even though he won't admit it.] And I came from a family with 3 brothers, and my sweet daddy would always make the boys do everything. [No, I'm not spoiled... ;] So I would clean and cook when I wanted to, but when I didn't want to, usually I didn't have to. And one isn't better than the other, they were just different lifestyles. So when H and I got married, we kind of went through a little phase of "uhmm the bathroom is dirty, who's going to clean it?" And admittedly, we still sometimes struggle with this. I feel like as the wife, I should do most of the housework, but my days are longer than H's so then I also feel like he should do some of the work when he's home alone. So most days the dishes are piled up in the sink and there are baskets of laundry needing to get done, and we both want the other to do it. It's honestly a weird feeling. [But don't worry--I told H that as soon as he lets me have a baby and be a stay at home mom, I have no problem spending all day cooking and cleaning.]

Anyway, the point of this blog post is to let you all know that marriage is really hard. But it's meant to be hard. It's something that you both have to constantly work on and try to improve in order for the two of you to grow closer to God. And as long as you always remember why you fell in love and try to nurture your marriage [even if at times it seems like your spouse isn't trying], the small things won't even matter. Another one of my favorite quotes from Elder Clayton's talk was this: "Humility recognizes that no one can change someone else. But with faith, effort, and the help of God, we can undergo our own mighty change of heart." And I know from experience that trying to change your husband's habits or decisions does no one any good and most of the time it doesn't work. But what I have been working on doing is changing my reaction to his choices and habits. Because your reaction and attitude is truly what will make or break every situation. Whenever H says or does something that upsets me, I try to sit there and think before I say anything. Because there are always two choices: get upset and say something back that I will later regret, or let it go and think about all of the reasons why I'm in love with him. And I'll tell you this--every time that I choose the second option, our night goes a heck of a lot better than it would have if I had gotten upset and started a fight.

I'd love to hear what has/hasn't worked with you and your marriages! All advice and thoughts are welcome! 

xoxo,
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4 comments:

  1. I don't remember/know how we became friends on instagram, but I'm glad we did! If we have met before in person, please forgive me, and remind me.
    But anyways, I've only been married for about 11 months, and I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who feels like a crazy wife sometimes, or who has laundry piles, and dirty dishes. Definately the NORM. At least that's what I tell myself ;) The greatest thing that I have learned so far, is that marriage is hard, and it makes you realize a lot of your own faults. When you were single, and relationship problems came about with a boyfriend, it was so easy for me to just complain about it to my bff, or my mom, or whoever, but I have learned that with marriage you can't do that. Marriage is a lot more sacred. Being married has made me realize that the only person I should turn to for help, and to complain to is God! He won't side with either of you, he will make you realize how you can be better. Many times I have been so mad at my husband, and with all the stubbornness in my frustrated heart, I prayed to understand my husbands view, and the Lord helped open my eyes, and minimize my pride and frustration. This has changed my marriage so much. Hope it helps even a little. Cute blog girly :)

    xo -Loriel Christensen

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  2. hahahaha this makes me laugh because you and i are just so similar! i've come a LONG way from when j and i first got married, as has he. it just takes some getting used to, plus we both just had totally different expectations and like you guys, were raised differently. we used to argue all the time about the dumbest things! we still argue of course, and sometimes still about dumb things, but it's so different now. we both just sort of grew up i guess, i don't really know. if i've learned anything, it's that he comes first, before anyone- including myself. i've found that if i think about myself less, we're both much happier around here (and the same goes to him putting me first)! you just can't be selfish in a relationship. anyway, this is turning into a novel and actually, i started a marriage post a little bit ago but then my grandpa passed so i never got around to finishing it soooo i'll probably be posting one of these soon too!

    k for real i'm done. love you, v! dinner again soon PLEASE!

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  3. I loved a different quote from Conference, and he said it was his wife who said, “In order to contend, you need two people, and I will never be one of them.” Sound advice for us all.

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  4. Okay I'm totally stalking your blog right now. Don't judge me. I loved those talks as well and they were so helpful for me. The first year of marriage is hard. There is so much to learn and I feel like HF gives you so many hard trials to learn from (small and big) but that's also all the time in life. I loved how you said, "remember why you fell in love." That is so true and everyone needs that once in a while. It really helps me to realize that it doesn't matter if no one does the dishes one night- he is my eternal companion. We are coming up on our one year anniversary this weekend and I seriously feel like we have reached the top of a mountain. I'm not saying that the first year of marriage wasn't good- it was wonderful and I love my husband more than ever. But the first year of marriage is pretty equivalent to climbing a really tall mountain. We have learned a lot and we still have a lot to learn but it's kind of a good feeling. So you have that to look forward to :)

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