Sunday, January 26

Being Comfortable With Husbands

Sorry but that deserved all caps because 8:30am church is cruel and we have a very hard time making it (at least on time) half the time. We were still late for the first hour, but hey, we made it.

I never regret going to church. But I do feel regret any time I miss it. Church just starts the week off right for me and every time I go, someone gives a message that seems like it was meant specifically for me. This week, that happened in Relief Society (third hour, when all the women gather for a class). I missed the first part of the lesson because I had taken Tenley in the mother's lounge to feed her. It would have been easy to stay in there, rocking in one of the many nice comfortable chairs, but I wanted to hear the message.

When I came into the Relief Society room, the lesson discussion seemed to be about husbands and dealing with marital trials. The woman speaking told of how she decided to try treating her husband as a guest in order to improve their relationship. I was so surprised to hear her say that because that was something I also had tried during the last few months to improve our relationship. And because it helped both of us, I decided to share my experience.
Photos from our dating days

I know I'm not alone after talking with several other wives about the subject, so I will try not to feel bad when I say that in the last few months I was not sure what was happening to my marriage. Things were not bad--nothing had really changed in our relationship, but things weren't GREAT. My attitude had changed. I grew repeatedly frustrated when I realized how different we were from the time we had gotten married more than two years before. Where was that lovey-dovey feeling from when we were dating? Where was the romance? Where was the passion when we kissed? Marriage changed that. Suddenly, we could do anything we wanted and because we could do it, there was less of a yearning for it. We could kiss whenever we wanted. We could do more than kiss. We didn't have to say goodbye ever. We stopped doing things for each other the way we had while dating and engaged. It was not like we never did things for each other, but they were less often and far between. And that angered me.

What is happening to us? I would ask in my head over and over. Why can't things be the same as when we were dating? I even asked Dalin this a few times and he finally told me that it hurt his feelings when I asked him that. I realized that in saying that, I sounded as though I did not love him as much as I did then. But that wasn't true. I loved him more. So what changed?

The answer: our attitudes. Specifically mine, because mine is the only one I can actually fix anyway. Time changed our attitudes. I do not love Dalin any less than when we were engaged, but over time, I have grown used to feeling that love so constantly that I do not notice it as much. It doesn't seem as magical or exciting because it has become the norm. Other things have changed, too--we have a daughter obviously for one, and we are in different places in our lives than we were then. We don't buy each other candy or flowers or write notes as often anymore because sometimes it feels like we've done it all, and we've said it all. We have grown too comfortable with one another.

That was something that I also allowed to bother me--us being too comfortable. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't like that we were so comfortable with one another that farting/tooting (whatever you say) was no big deal. Just because we're married doesn't mean we should give up being polite in front of one another. Dalin did not like that I had no problem burping in front of him (though obviously burping is way less gross than tooting...;) so we made a pact. No burping or tooting around each other intentionally and if we fail, the other person gets a freebie. (We're weird. And gross).

But anyway the point is, that just because we've grown comfortable doesn't mean we can't do new things for each other. We can serve each other. I can treat Dalin like I would a guest. By that I mean I can offer him something to drink and ask him questions like I did when we were dating. I can get him a snack once in a while. I can treat him like a friend because that's what he is to me. Why is it that we would be more willing to serve a guest than our spouse sometimes? (Well, this applies to me anyway.) I think we need to work on that. I'm going to work on that. I'm not going to complain when my husband asks me for a favor (at least, I'm going to try and stop myself when I start to). I'm going to be more polite around him. I'm going to be loving especially when he gets home from work. I'm going to thank him more often. I'm going to compliment him more often.

Another thing we discussed that will help us strengthen our marriages is going to the temple as often as possible. You may feel like you are incredibly busy or even like you do not want to be around your spouse. If you get to that point, know you can change your relationship. You can fix it. It will take work, but if that desire is in your heart, you can turn your relationship around. This is where the temple comes in. When we put the Lord before ourselves, we often find that everything else in our busy lives somehow falls into place. (It's the same as the principle of tithing). Dedicate yourself more fully to your spouse. If you are not yet married, you can still serve your future spouse. That may sound weird, but I'm serious. You can pray for him or her. The thought of doing that did not occur to me until I was sitting in a lesson in Young Women's during high school. Pray for your future spouse. Pray that he will make good choices. Pray that he will be safe. Pray that he will be happy. Prayer works.

I guess the goal of this post is to encourage men and women especially to re-commit to their spouses. You may have been feeling out of tune with your spouse lately and if that's the case then fix it. Fix it now before it gets worse or it's too late.
I need feedback. 
How do you stay in love with your husband (or wife)? 
How do you encourage your spouse? 
What are some ideas you have for serving your spouse?


  1. in our 2nd year of marriage PJ and I attended marriage counseling. It was a sore subject for us for a long time. we were embarssed that we needed help after only 2yrs. We went for 6 weeks and it was WONDERFUL! we learned so much and have since had a wonderful marriage. Before couseling whenever we would fight I always felt awful and belittled and like I didn't matter. After counseling we learned HOW to fight (sounds totally weird I know) now, even when Im' cranky at him, I don't feel....worthless!
    I have a fantasic marriage, I often have friends and other women from my ward comment on it, some ask "how?!" I have worked hard for this. we date, we kiss, we have sex (sorry, but I think it's important in a marriage!) we TALK! I now freely discuss counseling, because it was so vital to my marriage being saved! I reccomend it SO MUCH! we still fight,'s...not as bad! we're 2 stubborn and different people, so of course we fight.'s different!
    am I at all making sense?! sometimes I just ramble and can't get my point across!

  2. I have/am totally dealing with this right now! It's definitely a hard process, but I know that the Lord wants us to be completely happy, so I know it's possible to achieve this in marriage too! Thank you for your post - and ALL of your posts!! I love them all!

  3. Olivia, This is my favorite of all your blog posts. You sound so honest and real. You are unafraid to share the parts of yourself that you're working on. Jay loved it, too. He said it reminded him of us when we were where you and Dalin are now. We both thought your idea that becoming comfortable having someone to love all the time was insightful and spot on. As to how Jay and I stay in love I'll mention something I learned from my brother Paul. No matter how tight finances were for he and Tifani, they always went on a date. Every single Friday night. For as many years as I can remember. That can be especially tricky when you have little people but if you can arrange a trade with friends for babysitting or even if you can find some way of having a date at home that is not just like every other night you are home together...I don't know all the right ways to do it. I just know that building a relationship requires time together away from your child/children to remember what you loved and still love about your spouse, to remember that your real names aren't mommy and daddy. Jay and I and our family would love to babysit for you guys once a month if you want a temple trip together. We could schedule it in advance and you two could attend the Mount Timpanogas temple (8 minutes from our home). We would love to do this for you and Dalin. Call me to schedule a morning or a night in February. My number is 801 889-9964. I mean it. We love you!

  4. Olivia, you are wise beyond your years. John and I will have been married 27 years in June and we still have to work on our marriage. Anything worth having is worth putting time and effort into. We should never become so complacent that we say we have done enough. This life is way too short to stop learning and trying. A marriage is worth everything and with the blessing of the Lord's inspiration and the Lord's guidance we can have a marriage that will last through ETERNITY. I love you Olivia! Keep up the good work.

  5. I'm sorry but this is ridicukous! not farting in front of your husband?! it is part of human nature! are you just planning on getting up and walking away EVERY time you have to fart? burping can be done more politley but, i think the whole not farting thing is just.....stupid (sorry, I don't mean offense, i'm just saying)
    as for the rest of it. hang in there you are young. have sex. talk. date. be silly. and fart together!!

    1. That's fine that you feel comfortable doing that. We are halfway through our third year of marriage and it just bothers me that we're too comfortable with one another. I want our relationship to still be romantic like when we were dating. In other words, I want us to at least try to be polite and impress each other the way we did when our relationship was new. That's what I meant, not that we don't do it. I also don't think farting is that funny, where you seem to. It's not like it's never funny, but if it can be avoided, well, that would be preferable.

  6. Farting in front of each other means you are comfortable to do basically ANYTHING in front of your spouse. I like that we know and love each other to be able to do something as silly and gross as that. You shouldn't however, get too comfortable to not still do things with your spouse. That is the bad kind of comfortable. But hey, that's just my opinion.

  7. I agree. My husband and I have done everything uncomfortable one can possibly do in front of their spouse, but still, I don't think farting is that funny. I think it's impolite when done intentionally and even though we still do it, I just was requesting that we try to be a little more respectful around each other like we were when we were newly dating. That's all. Obviously, when it just happens, it happens.

  8. I'm just in my first year of marriage, but we've been dating for almost 7. I was having some issues before we got married--a lot was going to be changing for me, and I won't steal time and get into it here--so my pastor told me to read "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggeriches, and that REALLY opened up my eyes. The things going wrong...were my fault. It was on me. Not because I'm a woman, but because I perpetuated things that were just wrong to do.
    I don't know. Maybe you've read it, but it revolutionized my relationship.


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