Wednesday, December 18

Making Marriage

Marriage is awesome. If you aren't married yet, get excited. Like all things in life, it has its challenging moments, but they make the good ones even sweeter. And if you give at least 100% to your spouse, you'll always find that you get more out of it.

When you get married to your best friend, you look forward to being able to talk about anything and everything with your spouse at any given time. You want to teach each other and laugh together. You want to grow together. In some cases (particularly if you get married young like a lot of members of the LDS church), you grow up together. And if you want to stay best friends for a long, long time, you had better get really good at talking and listening to, serving, and thanking one another.

Talk. People always say that communication is most important in a relationship. While it is important that spouses can talk to one another, I don't think it's the most important thing. Still, most women do not  typically struggle with communicating to their husbands--that is, unless they're angry. For some reason, most women shut themselves up when they're angry. It's a pride thing. Women just want men to be able to read their minds or discern what they're thinking without help. It's unfair, but I've done it, too. It's something we need to get past. If we can look past our personal pride and just share what is bothering us, it can really help our husband's be able to work to change that thing. But they can't do it alone. We need to communicate our feelings better so our husband's aren't left in the dark. On any normal day, most women love to share their feelings about every subject under the sun. They love talking about every trivial detail that most men have never even thought about. They love analyzing other women and their habits and behavior. It's just something women do. Some men don't know how to handle that very well. That is where listening comes in.

Listen. This unfortunately seems to be a dying skill. People can hear just fine, but very few people are naturally good at listening. I think it's because of the electronic plague that everyone is infected with (I'm not hating on technology--but as I've mentioned in a previous post, I do think it's very addicting and should be moderated). Everyone (including me) is always so busy texting, gaming, blogging, typing, tweeting, etc. that they've lost the valuable ability to concentrate. That said, women want to be heard. So do husbands. Listen to your spouse. Ask them about their day, their troubles, their complaints, their victories, and then don't tune out their response. Learn to be a better listener. While listening to your spouse's response, think of a follow-up question to ask. Part of becoming a good listener is being able to respond. Sometimes this means stopping your current activity and giving your full attention. Women, if you're anything like me, you struggle with listening at times because you're so caught up with your own busy life and problems. There is a time to share the details of your day, but not when your husband is trying to share his.

Service. Seriously, if you serve your husband/wife, that will go a longggg way. I can tell you right now that even though I'm the one in our marriage staying home with our new baby and therefore technically in charge of taking care of our home (which is a job I love, but some wives do not) it means TONS when my husband takes three minutes and helps me with the dishes. Or when he takes two seconds and smooths out the bed. Or when he takes fifteen minutes and cleans the bathroom. It may not sound romantic, but that is one of the hottest thing a husband can do for his wife. This service goes beyond actual chores. Clean up after yourself. Pick up your socks. Offer to make dinner. Just serve her. Wives, you are always serving your husbands, and they often do notice whether they say something or not. They may not always express their gratitude, but they do see your service. Despite all that you do, it is important to sometimes go the extra mile. Leave a note on his pillow or the bathroom mirror reminding him how much he means to you. Buy his favorite candy or dessert and surprise him with it when he gets home. Do something random, like line up some balloons with a message written across them. Just make the effort to do something extra once in a while.

Express gratitude. I am thankful for a husband who is really good at this. Maybe I've not appreciated this quality in him as much as I should have until we began doing our Gratitude Journals. But since we've made this a daily habit, I've also picked up more on the gratitude he expresses for me in our family prayers at night. He shares that he is thankful for me taking care of Tenley and thankful that I clean the apartment, and sometimes he even thanks me for the small things, like making the bed and doing the laundry (which, admittedly is never a small thing in our house since I procrastinate doing it for way too long). He probably doesn't realize how much I appreciate his gratitude for those often mundane things I am responsible for. We need to show our spouses gratitude more often so they see that we do in fact recognize their many sacrifices and acts of love. Write a thank-you note every once in a while. Express sincere thankfulness in person. Say "I love you" more. All of these things, require virtually almost no effort but mean a great deal to the recipient.

Doing little things goes a long way. Love your spouse. Learn their love language and act on it. Be your best self and it will help them to do the same.

How do you love your spouse?
What ways do you make your marriage great?


  1. I Loved this post Olivia! What temple did you guys get married in? We got married in the twin falls temple when I was 18 so I totally agree with what you said about growing up together. Oh P.S. did you know that we're the same age just about? I just barely turned 23 in January! Fun fact.haha
    Keep it up girl! You're awesome.

    1. Um, first off, you have no idea how much you made my day by commenting on my blog. I was like, "What the...!" out loud and my husband was like, "What?" Haha. You seriously have the best blog and as you probably are aware, I stalked you like crazy the last few days because I just found your blog like a week ago. But anyway, we got married in the Boston temple! Also, I was wondering how old you are so thanks for answering that! You are so lovely! Thanks for making my day!


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