Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mawwaige. Mawwaige is what bwings us togeveh today.

I fell in love with our next guest blogger's work when she was a Misplaced American living in Brazil.  Back in the States now, she is Becky from Pensievity!  
You'll love her: unruly bangs, and hand motions, and rants, and all.
I especially love what she shares about family, motherhood, and marriage.

Because of this, I've asked her to talk about Marriage today.
Take it away, Becky...

I'm pretty sure it's not news that men and women are different.

image here
So why do we like each other so much? What's up with the world anyway? Why the love songs? Why the romantic comedies? Why the politics? Why the obsession and the gossip and the scandals and the ALL WE EVER TALK ABOUT IS RELATIONSHIPS-NESS?

(Seriously. If love wasn't on the earth, we'd have nothing at all to talk about.)

In the Proclamation to the World, it says:
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan....

Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be 
united eternally.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to 
love and care for each other and for their children.
Go here to read the whole thing.

So back to my question. Why are we obsessed with love and marriage? Why do we bother looking for a companion when, statistically, half of us will end in divorce? What drives us to begin such a seemingly hopeless endeavor?

Because the family is ordained of God.

Frankly, we keep on keepin' on because that's how we were made.

But it's so much more than just the perpetuation of our species. It is my belief that Heavenly Father created us with a very specific idea in mind. To be happy. (See this scripture for further information.) And you know what? He knew that it wasn't possible to be His kind of happy on our own.

Disclaimer: If you're not happy as a single adult, you won't just magically become happy as a married one. (And vice versa!)  The commandment to get married does not exclude you from living a full, rich, independent life. You still need to be your own person and know who you are.
But to reach your full potential you need someone else. 
We all do.
And what about all of those married folks who seem to have it all, but still can't seem to enjoy what they've got?

Now, I am not an expert on marriage or anything. But in our just-got-married-yesterday/I-can't-remember-life-without-him eight years of matrimony, we have learned three 'secrets' to marital bliss.

(And I'm going to share my holy grail of happiness in marriage with you!  At no cost.  Ready?)

1. You have to actually be married. 

Commitment counts. Countless studies have proven time and again that married couples are significantly happier than unmarried people - or even those who simply live together. Something about publicly binding yourself to one person can actually increase love. It's true. You can read about it here and here and here and here.

And for those of you who are already married and think you're off the hook for this one, go back and read that line up there again. Commitment counts. If you're married, be married. This means divorce is not an option. Ever. So no "we'll stay married UNLESS ...." lists. No. No. Stop. You will stay married. Period.

This leads to:

2. Selflessness and sacrifice. 

(I don't know why this picture represents selflessness. But apparently Google Images thinks it does.)

I firmly believe that any two decent people can make a marriage work if they're willing to pay the price. (I learned that from President Spencer W. Kimball.)

It means bending yourself to the other. It means putting their needs before your own. It means giving 100% of yourself ... and not expecting anything in return. No "I'll change this about me IF he changes that about him." Just "I will change for him because I love him" ... even if you don't like him all that much at the time.

I don't believe in soul mates. I don't believe that in heaven we pranced around promising enduring love throughout the eternities, with desperate pleas to find each other on earth.

Instead, I believe that we have to work hard to become one another's soul mates.

This means change.

But WAIT! you say. I want to marry someone who loves me for who I am! you say. I shouldn't have to change! you say. CORRECT, I say!  And yet change you will, and change you must. Because that's what marriage is all about:Loving the other without the change, but changing yourself because you love the other.

That's why it's so hard.

[And let me just say something right here. To make a marriage the joyful state of ecstasy that I know God intends, it takes two. TWO people working hard to sacrifice and change. That said, everyone has ups and downs. Sometimes one person will be working harder than the other. One will be giving, giving, giving without getting anything back. Sometimes BOTH will be down in the dumps. That's why the whole commitment thing is so important - to get us through the normal ebb and flow of human nature.]

3. This is where God comes in. 

Now, I would be stupid to claim that a non-religious couple can't make it. Nonsense. I know plenty of happily married couples that don't go to church. And plenty of unhappy couples who do.

What I will say is this: Heavenly Father makes it a heckuva a lot easier. That's because when that one spouse is struggling, or when both of you are losing focus, He's there to remind you. A covenant marriage involves three people: husband, wife, and the Lord. That way, one of you is always pulling. And that one (the Lord) is pulling harder than the other two could ever manage on their own.

Not to mention the fact that changing one's very nature to match someone else is nothing short of a miracle. And the Lord? He knows miracles.

So there we are. That's it. One, two, three. All the little tips and advice (like communication, prayer, date nights, lots of intimacy, etc.) somehow fit into one of those three categories.
Just three secrets, when it comes right down to it.

And....Pssst!  I want you to know something.

I sure love My Man.

I love him because he's hot. Because he makes me laugh. Because he's fascinating. Because he's a wonderful father. Because I could talk to him for several decades and not come close to being done.

And yet -

If he were in an accident that rendered him speechless - mindless - bruised and battered and broken - 
I would still love him.

I love him because love is a gift from God. It is the very best gift of all.

And I am so thankful for it.

Now you tell me...
What do you love about your spouse?
And what are your secrets to happiness in married life?


1, 2, 3!  Thank you, Becky!

Please join in the discussion any way that you can:
COMMENT & BLOG about Family.

We had some amazing posts linked up yesterday: 33 of them!
Take time to read through the links if you have a moment.
It's very worth the read!
(You'll have another opportunity to link-up again tomorrow...)

Remember that every post/comment enters you to win one of our Party Favors!
Here is one of the prizes that you will be entering to win:

$50 to spend 
the digital scrapping site:

Skittles and Scraps
She just moved her shop to a new site and is having a 40% off sale

~~AND ~~


So go say hi and let her know that you came by way of our Family Proclamation Celebration!

Another prize you'll be entered to win:

~~these earrings by Julie at Crafty Jules who is getting ready to have TWINS!  
So please wish Julie the best of luck!
And comment away to be entered to win!

Small Sterling Silver Hoop Earrings

Click here for more posts on Family at Chocolate On My Cranium!


  1. Beautiful post! It couldn't have been said any clearer I think! I love my husband so much! It's been a rough road for the last 12 1/2 years, but I think we've handled the bumps pretty well. I get up at 4 am every morning that my hubby works and make him a hot breakfast, put his lunch together, make sure he has a container full of ice water to take with him, help him find his socks because I haven't folded them yet and/or actually put them in the drawer and then give him a kiss good-bye and tell him that I love him and he's says it back. All of my friends look at me like I'm crazy when they hear this, but I do it because I love him so much! I'm trying to give my 100% because I am completely committed to our marriage. It's a beautiful and sacred thing and I wouldn't change any of it for the world! Thank you Becky and Jocelyn!

  2. Good article, enjoyed reading it but I do want to add there are those marriages where one spouse is heading in the wrong direction and won't return from that path despite counseling, time and love. In cases of adultery, alcoholism or abuse, it may be necessary for one spouse to divorce the unrepentant one to protect themselves or minor children even though they have given their marriage their all, and counseled with local authorities and our Heavenly Father in prayer. It's not the plan, but does happen because of FREE AGENCY on all of our parts. That happened to me after a temple marriage, but I've continued to pursue the ideal of an eternal family and marriage.

  3. This post is so cool. When I was planning my blog post last night I was thinking about my wonderful husband. So I called It I Love My Husband. then I scheduled it to post today
    Than I hopped over here this morning to check whats going on today and see a post about Marriage.
    Talk about inspiration.I will Linkup my link
    This Post was so inspiring

  4. That was great. THank you for sharing this with us. I think it is a great reminder to all of us.

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  6. Ok So I did it again forgot to add My Blog Link
    for I Love My Family Jocelyn sorry about the deleted post

  7. What a perfect way to begin...that map of the mall. And it's so true. While the men cut to the chase and get what they want directly, or as directly as possible, we gentler sex have to check out possible alternatives. But we all end up at the same spot.

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  9. Ok I think I finally have it right.
    What can I say I Have having a weird day LOL
    Hopefully this will finally work.

  10. What a wonderful post! I just found you through "Chocolate". Perfect timing. You have beautifully expressed so many of the things that I believed over 30 years ago when I when I was a newly wed and was practicing it as hard as I could. Many years, with many trials and challenges, have made it hard to remember at times.

    I have seen it nearly impossible to others who are much younger and watched the sorrow caused by the lack of this understanding.

    I plan to refer some to this, including my hubby with a big old thanks for his patience. He is serving at the local institute as I am as his eternal companion. I REALLY plan to share part of it there as well!

  11. Thank you for the post. A good marriage does take work on both parts. I love my husband for his unconditional love.

    Our secret? We look for the good in each other and just ignore the little things that could annoy, but don't have too!!

  12. That was great, I totally agree, we couldn't be more different, and we couldn't be more whole together.

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  14. I loved that post. It makes me want to go write about my awesome husband! I loved the quote "Loving the other without the change, but changing yourself because you love the other."
    Thanks Becky and Jocelyn

  15. I agree with the post...all the way through. (although in my sibs patriarcal blessing it promised him he would find his wife he promised he would marry...just sayin) What a beautifully written and thought provoking post. Thanks for adding and sharing.

  16. Awesome, awesome post! It made me list all the things I love about my husband in my head as I read.! Yea for families!

  17. True, true. Our marriage started out pretty darn rough, like, the first few years.
    But luckily we had the same goals and were both willing to keep trying.
    Well said!

  18. It is amazing how focused we are on relationships. What would we talk about without them. I love the three things. They are very true!

  19. Becky. We should totally be friends! This was an awesome post. And when I have time later I'm going to shout it to the (blog)world! I love every single thing you said in here. Divorce is not an option. I tell that to everyone I know getting married and sometimes I get the strangest looks. Marriage is made up of 3! I have always had a happy marriage with my man, but when I understood that God was right there in it with us pulling harder when one or both of us slump my happiness to a huge spike in the charts. I still am amazed that I can get happier and fall even more in love with my husband! And you're "you have to actually be married" part made me laugh out loud:)
    Seriously. We should be friends:)

  20. Thank you for the three secrets to marital bliss. I love what you said about your husband it's wonderful to see how much you love him. Great post.

  21. Couldn't agree more. Marriage is hard work, but worth it.

  22. Amen!! Some would say "How can it be so simple as 1, 2, 3?" But is it! Really and truly.

  23. This is a terrific and inspiring post. Isn't love wonderful?

  24. Beautiful reminder of the sanctity of marriage. People are forgetting how important it is to actually be committed and do that through actually getting married! Imagine that? :)

    I watched my mom go through two unhappy marriages and she counseled me from the time I was small to pray that I would find a righteous husband (and that I would also be a righteous wife). I followed her counsel and I am so grateful for my sweet husband of 15 years. I believe my prayers were answered.

  25. What a tender post. Helps break everything back down into the basics of what a family should be.

  26. Did you ever see the TV show "Veronica Mars" before it was ever so untimely taken off the air (due to the writer's strike)? The show had some great one-liners, but one of the best was good at heart bad boy Logan, "They don't write songs about the easy ones." (regarding romances)

    Jocelyn- I've got the badge up on my site!

  27. Marriage is the foundation to a family. A man and a women....together.

  28. Becky, Becky, Becky! You are so amazing. Way to go on yet another beautiful post.

  29. I wrote about my husband just a few days ago as well! teamchaffee (dot) blogspot (dot) com/2010/08/daddy (dot) html

    It's funny this marriage thing, isn't it? I think even for the best-suited, most-prepared, it is still a lot harder than you think, for different reasons than you could have ever imagined. Or maybe for the EXACT reasons you found when you CHOSE -- using your OWN FREE WILL AND CHOICE -- to be with the person you are married to. My husband and I were talking the other night about what makes our marriage great -- and it's forgiveness. Sometimes without even realizing that you just forgave. It's not holding onto the imperfections so you have EYES TO SEE and EARS TO HEAR when the perfections abound, which is every day if you're up to it! And forgiveness includes NOT running off to your girlfriends or sisters or moms or whoever when those imperfection perk up. Just let go. Just move on. Just focus on the things you love. Just focus on changing YOUR imperfections. And then you will find that you HAVE your soul mate, you HAVE your eternal sweetheart, you HAVE the love of your life. When my cousin got married to a man who had been married a few times before, she told him, "From the moment you put that ring on her finger, she is the perfect person for you, she is your Queen, she is your ideal, she is your everything. Because if you go looking for something better, you WILL find it; but if you look at what you have as the BEST, you will be RIGHT every time!"

  30. Oh - the "she told him" is my aunt speaking to my cousin's husband, not my cousin! ;-)

  31. Fabulous post.

    I always love the quote (and I can't remember who said it)--"The most important thing a man can do for his children is love their mother" and I think the same thing is true for a woman--the relationship between mom and dad is so important.

    My husband and I are pretty much empty nesters (our youngest is on a mission) and I'm enjoying all the quiet time. Some days it gets a tad too quiet, but that's okay. Just remember your whole life cannot be all about the kids.

  32. I really liked this post today! I posted a quote today on facebook that says, "We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly". I think that when we can look past the difficulties and trials and problems and still find the compassion and understanding and caring, that we will have that love that our Heavenly Father wants us to have. My husband spoils me rotten. He compliments me, he cares about me, he does little things for me, he never raises his voice at me and he never critizes me. I think I couldn't help loving him because he treats me like a queen.

  33. This was such a great post to read! I think it was written perfectly. I love the reminder to always give your 100% in being the best you can for your spouse. Marriage is a lot of giving, and I know if both husband and wife are working at it, things will work out.

    I love this quote...

    "When you are tempted to look elsewhere for greener pastures, just remember someone else is probably looking at yours. And if another pasture looks greener, perhaps it is getting better care and attention. Grass is always greener . . . where it is watered."

    -Ezra Taft Benson

    Thanks for an uplifting lesson today :)

  34. I absolutely loved this post! It was amazing! Thanks for sharing! It's definitely uplifting to read about marriage! Thanks so much! -Cassie

  35. I love the sentence about working hard to be each others soul mates. Well said. Good points.

  36. Beautifully said with humor and truth! Just how I like it. The Gap diagram is completely awesome. Jocelyn you are so amazing for putting this together. I look forward to the rest of the month!

  37. marriage is all about selflessness. it is learned over and over again.

  38. I just love Becky!! I enjoy her posts so much!! She's got a way of saying things that just makes me laugh and just KNOW she gets me (even tho, we've never met!!) lol.

    I love what you all are doing with the Proclamation, such an inspiration, as always!

  39. Wonderful post! I am already enjoying this Proclaimation celebration SO much! I just might have to save this one and read it over and over (maybe on our anniversary?) every year. So well written!

  40. Mmmm! I L-O-V-E-D this post!

    And what are my hubby and I doing to stay together?
    "Being" each other's soul mates in everything.
    Tanks for the great post!

  41. I love you BECKY! (and so does my husband ;) and I LOVE how you say things exactly the way I feel! I was at book club a few months ago and we were discussing the book "Shiver" and began talking about relationships and such...anyways, most of the women at the club are either my age of older and we began discussing love vs lust and falling in love. When asked the question "when did you fall in love with your husband?" my immediate response was "I'm still falling in love!" that got a lot of "oh that's so cheesy" remarks, but I think it's because my husband and I truly do use these "3 secrets" that becky has given us here.

    We have that 3 member marraige that we try to remember, and as for the way we treat eachother, we remember who we are, and who the other one is too, Children Loved by our Heavenly Father. And if ever we have the temptation to say an unkind word, we stop. PERIOD. just stop. we don't say it. because I would never want to be the cause for his pain and he would never want to be the cause for mine. (that's how we've gone through nearly 9 years of marraige WITHOUT ever fighting!!) for real honest and TRUE!

    sorry for taking so long to say this! have a great day and thanks for a wonderful 3 days so far!

  42. I love her 3 secrets to a happy marriage!

  43. How can you not love That Girl? Great stuff, darling, as usual.

  44. Becky is AWESOME!!! She always explains things in such a way that makes you think about things deeper, but yet it is in a simple way. Thank you, Becky, for being who you are!

  45. Good job, Becky. Some great points made here. I love seeing pix of you and your husband. You're obviously very well matched!

  46. This post was so amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!

  47. Incredible post. One line that really struck me was "I believe that we have to work hard to become one another's soul mates." What a concept--and yet, it feels right to me. Becky--thanks for putting together such a coherent, personal, sound description of the great mystery of "love."