Saving your marriage
A daughter of these are fabulous friends of ours, Sara and Johnny, snapped this photo when they went skating together recently. We love this family! They have endured challenges just like every other family, but they have clung to the Lord and each other, and their happiness, love and unity are reflected in their faces.
Yesterday morning I woke up and went downstairs to see my beautiful hydrangeas completely wilted. I have lost hydrangeas before by forgetting to water them.
The blossoms were wilting. The leaves were curling in. I knew I had to get the plant water right away.
I did. I watered it. I prayed over it! I love hydrangeas! They are expensive! I didn’t want my plant to die!
This is my plant this morning. Saved! Water and love helped it come back!
How much more important are our marriages! Marriage can be eternal and full of eternal joy. They are worth watering and nurturing, even if they don’t look right now like they might in 100 years from now. I don’t think we have any idea how good marriage can be then. But I have had tastes of how good it can be. Marriage can be so wonderful!
Lane and I have had some hard times. I am so grateful to be married to someone who doesn’t give up. I prayed all of my youth to marry someone like that. God answered my prayers. My husband and I turn to the Lord and we keep working when things are hurtful or difficult. Lane is my best friend. Heavenly Father has helped us climb over obstacles, and I believe He will keep helping us forever.
Today I visited with a dear friend who is in a difficult marriage but has turned to God for help. He is helping her! It is still hard, but with God’s help, she is seeing miracles.
Here is an excerpt from that talk by Elder Oaks:
Under the law of the Lord, a marriage, like a human life, is a precious, living thing. If our bodies are sick, we seek to heal them. We do not give up. While there is any prospect of life, we seek healing again and again. The same should be true of our marriages, and if we seek Him, the Lord will help us and heal us.
Latter-day Saint spouses should do all within their power to preserve their marriages. They should follow the marriage enrichment counsel in the First Presidency’s message in the April 2007 Ensign and Liahona.5 To avoid so-called “incompatibility,” they should be best friends, kind and considerate, sensitive to each other’s needs, always seeking to make each other happy. They should be partners in family finances, working together to regulate their desires for temporal things.
Of course, there can be times when one spouse falls short and the other is wounded and feels pain. When that happens, the one who is wronged should balance current disappointments against the good of the past and the brighter prospects of the future.
Don’t treasure up past wrongs, reprocessing them again and again. In a marriage relationship, festering is destructive; forgiving is divine (see D&C 64:9–10). Plead for the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord to forgive wrongs (as President Faust has just taught us so beautifully), to overcome faults, and to strengthen relationships.
If you are already descending into the low state of marriage-in-name-only, please join hands, kneel together, and prayerfully plead for help and the healing power of the Atonement. Your humble and united pleadings will bring you closer to the Lord and to each other and will help you in the hard climb back to marital harmony. (Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Divorce,” April 2007)
I would add that if you need encouragement and hope, pray and also go to places that will give you encouragement! Go to mormonchannel.org and type “saving marriage” in the search box. You’ll find a lot of encouraging videos and other resources! I have no criticism for struggling couples. Life is full of the hardest challenges! I only know from the pain of living with divorce, as a child of divorced parents, and watching the ensuing pain that my parents and siblings have suffered, that it is worth the effort to try to save a marriage. Truly loving your spouse is one of the best ways you can nurture your children.
And here is a great article on how Richard Paul Evans made an effort to save his marriage.
I bet there are people praying for you–if not on this earth, beyond the veil. Before you choose divorce, choose one more day of trying to love your enemy. Choose to reach upward for more help. Don’t give up!