Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard. However, through persistence, humility, and love, a couple can maintain their close relationship and overcome the trials that occur within marriage.
For most couples, the first few weeks of marriage are total bliss—love, laughter, and happiness abound. However, that honeymoon phase doesn’t last forever. He says she chomps too loud. She says he never screws the cap of the toothpaste back on. She likes the toilet seat down; he likes the toilet seat up. She wants to spend time watching Netflix and cuddling; he wants to play basketball with his homies. The love and peace both individuals felt in the beginning of marriage is replaced with anger and tension. Small problems become big problems and create rifts in the couple’s relationship. These rifts can expand into craters, aggressively pushing the husband and wife away from each other.
In the BYU devotional address “Repentance and Forgiveness in Marriage,” Richard Miller acknowledges that marriage is difficult. He provides simple tips that husbands and wives should follow when problems arise in their relationship:
- Repent. As an imperfect person entering into marriage, you are bound to hurt your spouse. When this happens, repent and ask your spouse for forgiveness. Elder Joe J. Christensen stated that “true love is developed by those who are willing to readily admit personal mistakes and offenses” (as quoted by Brother Miller).
- Apologize sincerely. A simple sorry doesn’t show remorse. Make sure that your apologies are genuine. Apologize several times to your spouse if the size of your offense requires you to do so.
- Strive to improve. Try to overcome your weaknesses. Show your spouse through your words and your actions that you’re striving to be better.
- Conquer pride. Pride prevents you from changing and progressing individually and as a couple. As you look outward and repent, you’ll develop humility.
- Forgive. Resentment poisons a marriage. Forgive your spouse for his or her shortcomings to prevent resentment from building up.
- Let go of the hurt. Letting go will allow you to fully forgive your spouse. Don’t dwell on the negative things he or she does.
- Rely on the Atonement. In situations when you can’t seem to forgive your spouse, rely on the Atonement to heal your suffering. The Atonement will not only cure your pain but will also help you let go and fully forgive.
By following these tips and relying on the Savior, you and your spouse can overcome hardships, learn to forgive and forget, and deepen your love for one another. For more ideas on how to strengthen your marriage, read “Repentance and Forgiveness in Marriage,” by Richard Miller.
Source: BYU Speeches
—Marisa Peel, Mormon Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY DREW COFMAN
Take a look at the article “The Marriage that Endures,” by President Gordon B. Hinckley, to learn more about what you can do to be a better spouse.
Read “Finding and Becoming the One: Using the Atonement in Relationships,” by Miranda Christensen, for more ideas on how to rely on Christ in your relationship.