22 April 2009

Oh marriage

When I was at BYU, I studied Marriage, Family, and Human Development. The text for one of my classes was a great book called Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, by Drs Les and Leslie Parrott. I busted it out the other day, and it appears that I was a bit highlighter happy while I was reading it years ago. But there is a lot (I mean A LOT) of good stuff in it. Allow me to share.

The authors talk about different myths of marriage. They say that some people expect everything in their relationship to get better once they get married. Not so, good soldier. Not so.

They say:

  • Marriage is filled with both enjoyable and tedious tradeoffs, but by far the most dramatic loss experienced in a new marriage is the idealized image you have of your partner.
  • Many things improve in relationships, but some things become more difficult. Every successful marriage requires necessary losses, and in choosing to marry, you inevitably go through a mourning process.
  • No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough. This does not mean that we cease loving our partner. It means that the feeling of ecstatic love that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes.
  • An attorney that handles a number of divorce cases [said] that the number one reason two people split up is that they refuse to accept the fact that they are married to a human being.
  • Most of the complaints about matrimony arise not because it is worse than the rest of life, but because it is not incomparably better.

I know, right? Pretty interesting stuff to think about. Do you agree with them? Chew on it for a while.


Anonymous said...

Love Love Love this! It is soooo true! I wish more people were taught this...heck I wish I was taught this when I was growing up! The hardest thing for me once I got married was realizing that marriage is NOT A FAIRYTALE!! Fabulous stuff. I am going to have to go and get that book!

Let's be real...It's just Suz said...

The most important lesson I learned after getting married is that marriage doesn't get rid of any problems, it only MAGNIFIES them. This doesn't mean to be fearful of marriage, it really just allows you to know what to expect. You have insecurity or trust issues now, just wait, it'll get worse! You feel like he/she is hiding something? He/she probably is, and will continue to do so even more when they lose some of that freedom. Nose picking and chewing with the mouth opens bugs you a little bit? You are going to want to pull your hair out.

It's sometimes comforting to know that marriage isn't supposed to be a fairytale because, one, you realize it is OK to get frustrated every once in a while and know that everyone has been there and you can get through it, and, two, when things do seem like a fairy tale, you realize how lucky you're to still have moments like that.

brookebaby said...

I just took my marriage prep final today and they mentioned all of these things. strange.

jan said...

Ha. This is so random. I gave this book to Calee a few weeks ago when you guys were in town for the David Arch concert. Awesome book. Love it.

Anonymous said...

Why do I feel skitchy sharing on this blog unless I am anon.? I guess anon. gives the freedom to say what's real. Last night in book club, marriage/fights/divorce came up and I didn't feel comfortable sharing...anything. I sat there and laughed along with everyone else. But it's easier to talk about serious stuff, when..it's anon. Off topic.

I don't think I really fell in love with my husband till we were married about 6 years. Or rather, that's when all the fights died down and I think we both accepted other. The passion only took us so far. Then it was real life..pregnancy, job, money issues, callings, chores, weight gain, etc. It seems like we fought about everything for the first 5 or so years. Life was tough. I remember walking outside with a screaming baby during church thinking..I am so sick of being unhappy. On the flip side, I thought I was happy most of the time, I was living the dream I thought I wanted - marriage, children. But we could not stop nit picking about stuff. Then when we finished college, moved away to a town where we had no family, no friends - it was like a light went off and we felt an easing.

On a different note...Boyd K. Packer says that sexual desire is what keeps men in a relationship, what causes men to want to form families, that if it wasn't for sexual desire, men would remain solitary hunter - gatherers (or more likely adventurous/motorcyle riding/video gaming creatures). Interesting view.

Caroline said...

Thanks for sharing Nikki! That was so interesting. It also helps put things into perspective. I got married when I was 25 (old for LDS standards) and my husband was 26. I think because we were a little more mature when we got married, it helped us not buy into the fantasy of a perfect marriage. As such, when the fights came on after marriage, and they came on strong in the first two years, we were able to weather through it. We also had dated so much, and were so tired of not finding the "right" one, that when we finally met each other we knew that aside from our faults, we were a perfect match for one another and we wouldn't find anyone else better suited to each other (but that only came after dating tons of people that were not best suited to us, so we knew what we wanted in a partner, and were happy when we found it in each other). That has really helped our marriage. I think all couples should take a marriage course before being married (like they do in the Catholic religion) so that they can learn some of these things. Love, love, love what you shared. Thanks!

Brandi Raye Turner said...

great observations, and so true. thanks for sharing...

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