From Dave and Gail : We don't know how or when this got started but since it has worked so well for us for over 50 years, we want to share it with you.
In spite of our deep love for, and friendship with, one another --- once in a while we each encounter little irritants in one another.
You know, little things like, one puts the glasses top side up in the cupboard while the other turns them upside down, one puts the toilet paper on the opposite way the other thinks it should go. Sound familiar? Little unimportant things that some couples let fester.
As they have occurred we have simply categorized each as an IN SPITE OF (relegating them to their proper place of unimportance) and go on with life.
As in, I love Dave in spite of . . . and Dave loves Gail in spite of . . .
In happy marriages both the husband and the wife consider their relationship to be a treasure of infinite worth---Something to be nourished and strengthened daily. Their marriages are based on cooperation, not negotiation.
Disagreements can be expected on occasion, as each spouse comes from different backgrounds and different ways of doing even simple everyday things. Discussion is the way to handle those times, along with mutually agreed upon compromise when needed. Arguing is nothing more than a power struggle!
Recognizing that the most important work that anyone can do takes place in their home, couples consciously turn off electronics and tune in together by making their dinner hour and the family time that follows the center of their day and the object of their best efforts.They share household duties, and share in getting their little children ready for, and putting them, to bed. Ideally, following that, the electronics stay off allowing the couples to share meaningful time together.
Successful marriages are built on the foundation of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and adherence to His teachings. Couples do not consider the commandments to be a buffet from which they can pick and choose only the most appealing offerings.
In happy marriages transparency is a key element to that happiness. Ideally, couples should make all financial decisions together, both have access to all information; both keep their social media use fully worthy in every way with no secret Internet experiences nor anything that approaches the appearance of impropriety---either virtually or physically.
Joy is gained when marriage is not a 50-50 relationship but rather a 100-100 --- one in which each spouse strives to give their best to the other.
In fulfilling marriages husbands and wives treat each other with respect and as equal partners, making decisions unanimously, with each of them acting as a full participant and entitled to an equal voice and vote in decisions. At no time should it be a competition.
Humility, (and repentance in partnership with forgiveness) maintains (or restores) harmony and peace.
Consider the letter at the center of the word pride. Pride is pure selfishness and the need to always be right.
Humility is selfless, not selfish. It doesn't demand its own way or speak with superiority. Humility answers softly and listens kindly for understanding, not vindication.
Working towards a great relationship requires each of us to realize, and accept the fact, that we cannot change someone else. With faith, effort, and the help of God, we can honestly examine our own self, and make changes in our own heart and behaviors. Taking needed steps to improve ourselves improves our attitude and our improved attitude improves the atmosphere in the home as we strive to treat others, especially our spouses, as we want to be treated.
Our Lord has commanded couples to cleave to one another, or in other words to be completely devoted and faithful to one another. Couples, when marrying, should leave behind their single life, establishing each other and their marriage as their first priority.
Much of the above comes from a talk by L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dave and I, still very much in love and "in like" after 50 years, second everything he says. If you would like to listen to, or read, the complete talk simply click below