I remember one day in particular that I carefully wrapped tape around each and every finger covering up my fingerprints. As I went throughout the day like normal everything I touched was numb to the most sensitive part of my fingers and I loved the lack of feeling. There was no sane reason for taping up my fingers besides the giddiness I felt from creating physical numbness. At the time it was just a random thing a sleep deprived college student was doing at six o’clock in the morning that I didn’t think much about. Now, I realizes that it was much more concerning than just that. (more…)
Regardless of what my weight has been or how long I took to get ready for the day, every time I walk past a mirror I notice the physical imperfections. I think to myself that I am so ugly and fat that nothing I do can improve that. Then, I sadly continue on with my day feeling slightly more depressed then I had before I passed the mirror. This last Valentines Day I decided that I am doing something different, I am going to fall in love with someone I have never been able to stand, myself. (more…)
I am a huge Harry Potter fan! Like I was completely obsessed with it growing up to the point that I slept with all the books under my pillow and as punishments my mom threatened to take away my Harry Potter books. I am not joking…
One of my favorite popular quotes from the book comes from one of the best characters, Dumbledore, “Soon we must all face the choice between what is right, and what is easy.” Now, there is a lot of depth to this quote and I love and remember this quote often. As I was reading the talk We’ll Ascend Together by Sister Linda K. Burton, I came up with a twist on the quote to help me remember to make a happier marriage.
In the talk she asks a couple of questions to us wives and the one that stood out to me the most was, “When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be ‘right’?” This hit me because I love to be right and majority of the time I truly believe that I am correct and everyone else is wrong. This can cause problems in my marriage when both my husband and I believe we are correct about different things. Plus, I am stubborn and demand to be right.
The first thing that came to my mind when I read this question was a twist on Dumbledore’s quote and Sister Burton’s question, “Soon we must all face the choice between demanding to be right and being happy.” Now I know, it’s not as cool sounding but by combing the two quotes it made it easier for me to remember. That way it reminds me to work on this because I can quote it to myself often.
This week I had one of these times when the choice came up. My husband and I were going to meet my family at the temple to do one last session with sister before she left on her mission so I was very excited about it. My husband and I disagreed on what time we needed to leave in order to make it there in time. I am the kind of person who likes to be early where my husband likes to just show up right in time. I was super worried about leaving at my husband’s time for fear of missing the session but we left at his time regardless.
When we got into the temple we were too late and just missed the session and my family. I just sat their holding back tears as white hot anger towards him coursed through me. I so badly wanted to tell him that it was all his fault because I’m always right and he was being dumb to not listen to me! Then the “quote” hit me, “Soon we must all face the choice between demanding to be right and being happy.”
Yes, I had been right about what time to leave but did I need to demand from him to understand that and make him feel guilty about it? Or did I need let it go and just be happy that I get to go to the temple with my husband? I have to be honest, it wasn’t an easy choice because I was hurt and angry and those emotions were running deep and hot, but I decided to forgive him without saying anything about being right. I just focused on the positives of being in the temple with my husband.
By going through this experience I was surprised how much happier I can be by not demanding to be right. Yes, demanding to be right I get this short lived gleeful feeling that is addicting but it’s followed by a sad and hurt husband which in turn hurts me and my marriage. When instead of getting angry and gently forgiving my husband it created a a closer happier marriage. In to book, Fighting for you Marriage, it explains this when it, “When you experience your partner behaving toward you with care and sensitivity, you develop a greater sense of trust, which also deepens intimacy. We call this a positive feedback cycle: each positive behavior leads to another positive behavior.” When I choice to focus on the positives it gave me true happiness that lasted the rest of the night. I fell more in love with my husband and had one of the best temple sessions I had had in a long time all because I made the uneasy choice to be happy instead of right.
I want to know who I am. Why am I here? What is my purpose in life? I know that I am not alone in these questions! The issue is that I am asking the wrong questions and then the world likes to give me less then perfect answers.
I live in a time where people are always talking about discovering yourself, be true to yourself, and that it doesn’t matter what people, think just be yourself. These really are great philosophies! I fully believe that we should be ourselves, but I also know that they can also become an excuse to participate in wickedness. I need to be me and true to myself in the right way.
Several years ago I sat with a friend in the car and vented to her my frustration that I did not know who I was so I felt I couldn’t be myself. She kindly reminded me that this life is not about finding who we are but instead remembering who we are. I have always existed. The only difference is that I have not always had a body. Before I was born and obtained a body my spirit existed, and always has. My spirit had a personality and a life and I know this because of my patriarchal blessing*. That spirit is apart of me. That person that I have is always been is still with me!
I know from my patriarchal blessing that I have always had a personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and I choose the life that I have now. This spirit had full faith that when it came to earth that I would do the best I can and through the Saviors atonement I would be able to return home to my Heavenly Father.
My blessing has always intimidated me because I don’t feel like I am that awesome spirit that I was. That’s okay because I’m a spirit with an imperfect human body. My poor spirit has to put up with such an imperfect body that is so easily succumb to worldly temptations. That is part of my spirit’s progression, my progression. Someday I will become a resurrected being with a perfect body and spirit but that day is not today. I use to think, “Who am I?” but now I think, “Who was I?” and “Who can I become?” I need to find myself in a spiritual way and not a worldly way because it’s my spirit that I am rediscovering inside a human body.
I am so imperfect and life is so hard for me, because I make so many mistakes. But I know that I have people cheering me on in this life and beyond the veil. I was blessed in my patriarchal blessing to know more about who I was before I came to earth because I know that I am my own cheerleader and I can handle every challenge that comes my way if I stay close to the Lord and find myself spiritually.
*What’s a patriarchal blessing?
Over the course of our marriage my husband has changed a lot and all for the better! It’s to the point that other people have noticed and commented on it. I have have had several Individuals ask me how I was able to accomplish this and say that I need to keep up the good work. With these comments I wanted to reveal my secret of success to you!
The most important thing to know is I did not change my husband. All of the progress is my husbands doing! My husband wants to be a better person and is improving himself. It is really hard to change one’s habits and mindset and so credit needs to be due where credit is due. Please don’t tell me that I am doing a good job at changing him because it is not my doing. It saddens me greatly to hear that because instead my husband needs hear for himself that you have noticed his progression and that you are proud of him for all his hard work.
Now I understand why people congratulate me. Was I a lot of the motivation behind him wanting to be better? Yes. Am I his support system? Yes. I did have a lot to do with it but it’s like saying a paintbrush should get the credit for the beautiful painting. That’s completely forgetting the painter who did all of the hard work. Yes, I was an instrument in my husband becoming a more crafted masterpiece but that is all I was.
If you want to be and instrument in your spouses changing then that mindset is so vitally important. If a person thinks that they are going to change someone then they have already failed. I am writing this post because I want you to learn from my mistakes. I have tried improve him and it got me no where! I think that is one of the biggest misconceptions of being a wife, that we can change our spouse. I learned very quickly that when I tried to change my husband I only pushed him farther away and caused that behavior to be more sunken in.
What made a difference for me was reading this article on KSL “The real secret to a happy marriage” because being a Behavioral Science major with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Studies I weirdly enjoy reading Coach Kim’s articles. This article has a lot of great advice but three things really stood out to me and have helped me be a tool in my husbands progression.
The first is that behavior is motivated by emotions, especially fear and pain. I may not have liked the way my husband got angry and handled a certain situation but instead of getting annoyed by it like I use to I try to understand the emotion behind it. Anger and sadness in lots of cases are a way to escape fear and pain.
When I see that what I said or did caused him pain my heart aches and I want to fix it. When I see that what I said or did cause him to get angry I get defensive which only causes a situation to spiral out of control. So, I now let his anger cool off and discover what emotion was the root of the anger which allows the situation to get truly fixed instead of becoming an argument. Over time this it has allowed him to feel more comfortable not hiding his fear and pain with anger because he can trust me with it.
Next, was that I can not change my husband but I can change myself. I can not hold my husband to such a high expectation when I don’t even hold myself to that! If I want a exceptional husband then I need to be an exceptional wife. By working to better myself I stop focusing on my husbands faults and am able to change myself. My husband has to put up with such an imperfect wife so it’s okay that he is imperfect too. I also have a greater understanding of how hard it is to change behavior and habits so I’m much more sympathetic of his slip ups and so much prouder of his accomplishments.
The third and most important thing is to love your spouse today. I can’t wait for him to change to love him. That is ridiculous because no one is perfect in this life! I have to focus on why I love him today with his imperfections. Though that’s not all, I need him to feel and understand everyday that I love him, support him, and will always be there for him no matter what. Couch Kim explained it best when she wrote, “Remember, love is always the answer. No amount of nagging, talking, pointing things out, begging for changes, or threatening will ever change a situation the way love can.” Love must come first. I know it can be hard especially when frustration and exhaustion are so prevalent but it’s the only way you can be a tool in your spouses progression.
I just want to say how much I love my husband! I am so proud of all the improvements he has made in his life and all the challenges he has overcome. I am truly honored that he allowed me to be his help through it all and only hope that I can keep up with him. Change is a very difficult thing but very possible with hard work, time, and love. I just hope I can continue to be as patient with husband as he is with me because he is my reason to be a better better person and wife.