My marriage has shifted, in a really good way, and it’s probably not the first time it’s happened nor will it be the last. It does that through the years. Marriages tend to “grow up” and mature. My husband and I have gone through a lot with each other, I said that I loved him when we first married, but I can honestly say I love him even more now. I am learning to love with a sincere and honest heart. When we married, I told him I loved him, and I meant it, but 23 years later, that love feels different. It is not clothed in pretenses like our early years were in some ways. We have always been honest with each other about the big stuff, but regarding the things that were smaller, I unknowingly withheld some of that info for fear of abandonment or rejection. Not sharing all of my feelings, was something I did my whole life. It’s those type of pretenses I’m speaking about. According to Merriam Webster’s Dictionary online, the definition of pretense is: “professed rather than real intention or purpose”. Can you see how pretending or avoiding feeling one way or the other might have made its way into most marriages? I can. It’s a pretty natural part to not always be aware of our feelings or thoughts. I know I wasn’t aware all the way. But I sure loved my husband. I did not understand all of who I was, nor did I understand all who my husband was either. I have learned over the years to share my feeling better. It has helped. I have learned to not judge my feelings or thoughts and just share them. It brings us together and helps us to feel more connection. We grew up with each other at our sides and with God guiding us. Now, being able to be more fully participating in our marriage, with both of us coming as our true selves, our relationship feels sweeter, and has more connection.
Marriage has a way of breaking off our crusty, hard layers and reveals underneath it, a soft cherished layer. This soft layer is where I want to stay. I am sure we will discover some hidden hard spots again, but we know how to uncover it to reveal the soft landing we both want to be in.
Elder Bednar, a member of the Quorum of Apostles quoted Parley P Pratt as saying:
“I had loved before, but I knew not why. But now I loved—with a pureness—an intensity of elevated, exalted feeling, which would lift my soul from the transitory things of this groveling sphere and expand it as the ocean. … In short, I could now love with the spirit and with the understanding also”.
I loved him before, but didn’t quite understand what that meant, and now, the love I feel for my husband is so sweet and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Dear reader, my advice to you is get comfortable sharing all your feelings, especially if they have to do with your spouse. Share them, your thoughts and feelings deserve a voice, and, in the end, it helps you and can propel you forward in your relationship. And remember to keep talking to your spouse. Work it through or agree to disagree, that’s ok too. Marriages can be tough at times, and if you’re at a tough spot, just know you’re normal and hang in there. Things get better. In fact, they can get great! I feel closer to my husband now vs when we were first married. It’s a wonderful thing when both partners work together and include God at the center.
- Bednar, David A. “Marriage is Essential to His Eternal Plan”. Ensign, June 2006. ChurchofJesusChrist.org. https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2006/06/marriage-is-essential-to-his-eternal-plan?lang=eng