Marital Identity

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”Genesis 2:24

Before I got married, my grandpa told me to remember that it’s supposed to be me and my husband against the world- and he emphasized that it should be just us.

A month after my husband and I got married, we packed up everything we had into the back of our ’94 Tacoma and moved 16 hours north into our very first apartment. It was both exhilarating and scary! We lived with my husband’s family for the first month of marriage while we waited for our teeny tiny ity bity baby apartment to be ready haha. Being on our own, we began to create our own home environment or marital identity.

And I’ll tell you straight up- it wasn’t easy creating our own marital identity.

Okay so we’ve all heard the phrase “the first year is the hardest” when referring to marriage, right? I did not believe it at all! I thought- how could it be that hard? I get a sleepover with my best friend every night, we always get to hang out, and no restrictions on intimacy!! Buuutttt it was hard-  the best sort of hard there is though. We learned how to serve each other better, learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes, make up after fights, and a ton of other things!

But we lived! And we sort of made a hybrid between our two parent’s homes. We took our favorite parts and made them part of our family culture…like eating Mexican food three times a week and spending Saturday afternoon’s reading and going outside.

A common way that marital identity is compromised is when at least one of the spouses is too dependent on their parents. Physical dependence and emotional dependence are no-no’s. Physically dependence is like continuing to live with your parents and having them continue to financially support you even after being married. Emotional dependence is like calling your mom too much, tattle-telling on your spouse, sharing confidential information with pops, or even consulting with your parents on important matters without talking with your spouse first.

If you’re feeling a little guilty about doing one of these things- quit it. Don’t be that guy. It’s hurtful to your spouse and (duh) your marriage. What you can do is apologize to your spouse and resolve to do better. Find an apartment and move out. Think twice before calling your mom if it’s to talk poorly about your spouse. Try to make your decisions as a couple.

-It’s you guys against the world-

xoxo rhaine

 

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Family Unity <3

“Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27)

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24)

Family unity brings an atmosphere of either love or contention. Unity can be kind of hard to achieve in marriages and families. Both husband and wife were raised differently, had different experiences, and therefore have different perspectives in life. That can make things tough when you’re trying to come to important decisions or just agree on simple things. But unity is still possible! I imagine it gets easier as you go through life with your spouse to see and understand the world the same…but until then what can be done to become more united?

  1. Remember that as husband and wife you are equal to one another.
    • “In the marriage companionship, there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey (Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2002, p. 52).
    • Even though men and women have different responsibilities- they are still equal partners
  2. Be humble!
    • Pride will get in the way of your marriage 😦
  3. Invite the Spirit of God into your home
    • Through prayer
    • Through scripture study
    • Through church attendance
    • Through example
    • Through good media
    • Through love and kindness
    • Through service
    • There are tons of things you can do to have a spirit of love in your home!
  4. H A V E   F U N !
    • Do things as a family that make you happy! My husband and I like to exercise together and go on weekend road trips!
    • Try new things together! We’re gonna try to go camping three times this summer and see if we like it (I have a love/hate relationship with camping so we’ll see how this goes haha)

Family unity is NOT impossible. Is it hard? Heck yes. More likely than not, the harmony will be disrupted from time to time since we’re perfect but if we have a solid family unity built up, then we can overcome any challenge we face.

Spiritual Fidelity

“Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22)

There were so many ideas running through my head but I think that I’m going to talk about spiritual fidelity in marriage a.k.a. emotional affairs. Emotional affairs are basically when you go to another person (who is not your spouse) for emotional support, encouragement, or just because you prefer their company. It’s easy to think that emotional affairs are harmless because nothing physical happened but that is not the case. Broken trust, feelings of betrayal, and fear of divorce come from an emotional affair. It starts off as something harmless like “oh but we’ve been friends forever”, then you spend time together, start to flirt, spend even more time together, fantasize about the other person, and then physical affairs begin.

When my husband and I started to date, we talked about emotional affairs (but I didn’t know there was actually a word for it) and thankfully learned together once and for all what to avoid.

Growing up, one of my best friends was a guy…let’s call him Matt (that’s not actually his name). The week that I started dating my hubs, Matt got home from his mission and I took a plane to see him and, of course, all of my other buddies in the area. So we kept texting, talking, and skyping occasionally. I really did not think that it was a problem because I had known him since we were like 7 and nothing romantic ever happened between us…ever. Then one day, I made a mistake and realized that our little friendship had gone farther than I had intended. I got in a fight with my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and called Matt for emotional support and to feel better instead of working things out with my bf. I felt horrible after I had called Matt…I wanted to progress towards an eternal relationship with my boyfriend but instead of going to him- I went to someone else. That wasn’t very celestial marriage-y of me.

From that moment on, I knew that I had to change my friendship with Matt. But by that point, I had messed things up. Matt thought that my phone call was a declaration of true love/cry for help/ whatever it is he thought and actively tried to break up my hubby (by then fiancé) and I. I remember the conversation when my husband told me that he was hurt and didn’t understand my choice to be so close to this guy. I guess I didn’t understand my choice either and I never wanted to hurt him.

It was a hard, but I had to end my friendship with Matt. And I mean end it- delete his number, unfriend on Facebook, the whole thing but you know what? I don’t regret it for a second. I know that I did the right thing because I was able to put my marriage first and God first. It was worth it to me to lose one friend for my forever best friend. I had always loved my husband but I just didn’t get how my actions were affecting my relationship. Emotional affairs are sneaky like that… but I promise that spiritual fidelity is worth its weight in gold : )

I put a link to another great source about spiritual fidelity and some questions at the bottom that can help you determine if you are possibly in danger of an emotional affair : )

xoxo rhaine


Questions that Evaluate Your Spiritual Fidelity

  • “Do you find yourself thinking about your friend even when you’re at home?”
  • “Do you seek opportunities to be with your friend even when work doesn’t require you to be together?”
  • “Do you e-mail and text your friend when you’re not together?”
  • “Have you told your spouse about these messages?”
  • “Does the relationship with your friend take more of your time and energy than your relationship with your spouse?”
  • “Do you compare your spouse to your friend?”
  • “Would you be uncomfortable introducing your spouse to your friend?”

***LINK TO AMAZING TALK RIGHT HERE***


Progressing Together

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how far I have come since I’ve been married. I’ve encountered some old demons and found some new but I’ve never had more success battling them than when I am married.

With my husband by my side, I have begun to overcome so many things that I thought I would be stuck with for the rest of my life! Nothing horrible, just little personality flaws. For example, I am probably one of the most forgetful people. I can do an ENTIRE task like putting away clothes and then thirty minutes later look for that basket of clothes that I need to put away lol. I misplace my wedding rings, car keys, and cell phone on a regular basis. And although sometimes he gets frustrated with me, he has helped me work on being more conscientious of where I set things down. Of course, this works both ways. We help each other out.

I’ve been feeling worried lately that we had to hurry up and perfect ourselves because we never know when we are going to die and meet God. Not gonna lie- it’s been tough because I’ve felt that maybe my marriage won’t last because of all of the sin that we both have in our lives. I have been so crazy stressed about that it has been keeping me up at night worried.

But then last night it hit me- we don’t need to become perfect right now… we just need to be progressing together. We need to be working towards our common goal of getting into heaven and living together as a family forever. As long as we are trying our hardest and giving it our all and as long as we are progressing together we are okay.  God wants us to be perfect and to strive for perfection but He has promised us that if we give our absolute all- Jesus Christ, by grace, will make up the difference and make us perfect. If we are working our hardest and applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our marriages and families will make it.

xoxo rhaine

 

Consecration in marriage

Marriage requires more than dedication- it requires consecration. A few posts back I brought up how in contract marriages each partner gives 50% and in covenant marriages each partner gives 100%. That’s the difference between dedication and consecration in marriage, respectively. When we consecrate ourselves to marriage we lay aside our own needs and wants and give ourselves to our spouse. I think the best way that I can illustrate this point is with a scripture.

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:23)

Think about the service that Christ gave for God and His Church.

I mean really think about it.

His entire life revolved around the service of God’s children, around loving them, around building them up, forgiving, and healing them. Christ, being innocent and perfect, suffered incomprehensible pain so that we can feel peace. He died for us so that we may live again. I mean honestly though- He never got a day off! Even on the Sabbath He continued to serve others.

Husbands, love your wives and wives, love your husbands in the same way that Christ loves us. After the pattern that He gave of living and dying for us. Just be like Christ ok? Make your life revolve around the service of your spouse, around loving them, building them up, forgiving, and healing them. Even when you aren’t deserving be willing to suffer so that they can feel peace!

My husband is so good at this…I had a superrrr rough day today at work (cause temper tantrums and potty-training are my not fav) and was stressed because I knew that I would come home to a messy house and still had at least 8 hours of homework to do. So he got up early (he works night shift at wakes up around 4pm) and cleaned the kitchen and did laundry before I got home from work so that I could do my homework without stressing about house cleaning. It’s amazing how simple acts of service like these can bring so much love into your marriage.

Just take it one day at a time and think about all of the little ways that you can serve, love, and support them 🙂

xoxo rhaine

Pride in Marriage

Pride is a sneaky little thing and can find its way into just about any part of your life if you’re not careful. I was wondering how it is that pride can find itself into marriages so easily. I mean why is it so dang hard for me to forgive my husband or admit that I am wrong? Why do I sometimes feel like I am better than my husband? Why are my bad qualities forgivable and understandable but his are absolutely intolerable?

We should hold our marriages to a high standard of quality. We should bring out the best, look for the best, and expect the best in our spouse and marriages. But what happens when the quality of our marriage is not the caliber that you expect and want? Do you lay all the blame on your spouse? Do you use divorce as your scapegoat when the quality of your marriage is poor? OR do you repent of your own weaknesses and forgive the weaknesses of your husband?

Repenting when we feel frustrated in marriage might seem kind of silly. There are so many times when I am convinced that I am 100% right and my hubby is 100% wrong. So why would I need to repent for “his” mistakes? I think that the answer is because that going beyond the fight- I am prideful in my heart for thinking that I am better than him or for pointing out his flaws so rudely. Being prideful is much more ugly and sinful than a simple mistake of doing the laundry wrong…even if the task has been explained a billion times.

Here are a couple other ways that pride can enter our marriages that Ezra Taft Benson explains in his talk “Beware of Pride”:

“Selfishness is one of the more common faces of pride. “How everything affects me” is the center of all that matters—self-conceit, self-pity, worldly self-fulfillment, self-gratification, and self-seeking…Another face of pride is contention. Arguments, fights, unrighteous dominion, generation gaps, divorces, spouse abuse, riots, and disturbances all fall into this category of pride” -Ezra Taft Benson

It’s hard to admit when we have been prideful but getting rid of this vice is something that worth the effort. Try think back on past arguments and try to point out where you were being prideful and how eliminating that pride would have changed the tone of the argument. Now think about how getting rid of pride completely would change the tone of your marriage. It’s a lifelong pursuit, I think but it’s one that is more than worth it.

I put a link in the quote if you are interested in reading the entire sermon on pride.

xoxo rhaine

What’s worth fighting for?

This is a question that I had to ask myself this week. We’ve all heard the phrase “pick your battles” but do we actually do that? Fighting for and fighting over are two different enchiladas. Fighting for suggests something with moral integrity and standing up for something we believe in. Fighting over can be anything from two toddlers who want the same toy to two adults who can’t pick a temperature for the thermostat.

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.” 3 Nephi 11:29

Okay, this week my husband and I literally got into the stupidest fight in the whole entire history of stupid fights haha. I honestly don’t even remember what it was about…that’s how worthless it was lol! All I remember is that I had worked 11 hours on Wednesday, had at least 8 hours of intense homework to do and my husband was the nearest living thing to my wrath. We called each other up a couple hours after the fight and I started laughing because of how silly I felt about fighting with him.

I had this sort of epiphany (which might be obvious but it helped me)! If my fight with my husband is happening because I am sick, tired, stressed, doing excessive amounts of research, etc. then automatically I am going to discredit the fight and walk away. Because the fight wasn’t really about him not helping me clean up spilled Dr. Pepper- yup I finally remembered and this was my stupid fight haha how embarrassing- it was about MY stress, MY sleepiness, MY homework. Not his.

Next, think if you actually care about the fight or if it’s a cover for something else. Like: do I actually care that he is playing video games or is that I feel that I need more one on one time or I want the T.V. to watch Vampire Diaries and the video games are ruining my chances of that.

Is the fight over something that, eternally speaking, has consequences? Those are things that are worth fighting for but not getting into fights over. Nothing is worth fighting over because fighting accomplishes nothing!!! Really, can you honestly tell yourself that you “win” fights? Nobody wins in a fight- there are just two people who are hurt to varying degrees.

When you fight for something in a marriage you discuss, debate, and argue your points in a Christ-like manner. You can fight for anything with value in your marriage like having more family time, practicing healthier behaviors, controlling the type of media in your home, religion, God, whatever that has eternal value.

The truth is, there are a lot of gray areas in these areas… but just use your best judgement and let the Spirit guide you in deciding if something is worth fighting for. 🙂

xoxo rhaine

p.s.  I am most certainly not perfect at this! I’m just trying my best to get rid of those silly fights that my hubby and I have 🙂

Why I quit being the butt-head wife

I’m the oldest of 9 children in my family (including steps and halves) …so I guess you could say that I’m pretty used to being in charge. I love my husband dearly and he is my best friend but despite that, it’s so incredibly easy for me to complain about his behavior. Small things like- please put the toilet lid down, put your dishes in the dishwasher, and dang that show looks violent maybe you should turn it off! I’m not really sure what changed but one day I woke up and sort of realized that I was being a total punk to him! I began to see putting the dishes and dirty socks away as an act of service to him and ways to show that I love him. In the grand spectrum of things what’s more important: getting him to pick up his dirty socks every once in a while or a healthy, loving, and service filled marriage?

“Avoid ‘ceaseless pinpricking.’ Don’t be too critical of each other’s faults. Recognize that none of us is perfect. We all have a long way to go to become as Christlike as our leaders have urged us to become.

“ ‘Ceaseless pinpricking,’ as President Spencer W. Kimball called it, can deflate almost any marriage. … Generally each of us is painfully aware of our weaknesses, and we don’t need frequent reminders. Few people have ever changed for the better as a result of constant criticism or nagging. If we are not careful, some of what we offer as constructive criticism is actually destructive” – Elder Joe J. Christensen

Not one of us is perfect so let’s try to stop demanding perfection from our spouse and instead give them the love and support that they need in order to attain it. A.K.A you’re not perfect and neither is he so stop whining cause nagging him ain’t goin’ nowhere.

xoxo rhaine

Putting the hubs in the friend zone

One of my friends was talking to me about her relationship with her husband. He told her something along the lines of ‘You’re my wife, the mother to my children, and my business partner. I don’t need you as my best friend anymore…you need to find someone else for that.’ How sad! Literally my heart breaks when I think about this because why would you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who doesn’t see you as their best friend? Their marriage isn’t in shambles, but it isn’t in great shape either

At the center of a healthy marriage is a thriving friendship. In crumbling marriages, the husband and wife aren’t friends at all. If two people aren’t even friends, how can they maintain a relationship that is based upon love and respect? Well, they can’t because the preface to love is friendship. Think about a best friend who isn’t your spouse. What makes them your best friend? My best friend is Meghan. We haven’t lived in the same state for 5 years since we graduated high school but we’re still close! We call each other and have lengthy conversations at least three times a week, we respect our differences on religion and politics, we support each other in our goals, we have the same humor, and we can listen to each other without any judgmental feelings. Those things make our friendship work and why would a friendship with my husband be any different?

My husband is my ultimate best friend of all time. Some things that we do to keep up on our friendship is we watch T.V. together at night and drink chocolate milk, we make plans to exercise together (and then end up watching more T.V and drinking chocolate milk), and since we work opposite schedules (he works 10:30pm-7am and I work 8:30-5pm) so we spend a lot of time on the phone during our breaks talking about everything and anything. Our relationship is NOT perfect, but I’d say that it’s happy and we are more in love than ever.

If your marriage is falling apart, try to become your spouse’s friend again. This means learning about their likes, dislikes, dreams, hopes, and fears all over again…even if you think you know them.

You can’t go wrong with friend zoning them 😉

xoxo rhaine

Contract Marriages vs Covenant Marriages

I think that there are basically two types of marriages. We have a contractual marriage and a covenant marriage.

A contractual marriage is viewing your whole marriage like a contract. A contract has some guidelines or rules that both parties agree to. In the event that at least one of the parties fails to follow the rules that have been set forth, the contract is terminated. A contractual marriage goes along the same idea. So if at least one of the spouses fail to follow the “rules” that were set out in the beginning- then divorce is fair game.

In a covenant marriage, you view your marriage as sacred. You view it as this living thing that came from God. You’re in it to win it- through thick and thin- through sickness and health- no matter what. For you, divorce is not an option so you work through your problems.

I don’t know about everyone else but I want a covenant marriage. I want to feel confident and secure in my relationship that my husband is going to be there for me at the end of the day and that I will be there for him too. I want to know that my husband isn’t going to leave me because of my faults and I want him to know that I’ll always be there for him despite his weaknesses.

But just simply stating that what you want to do doesn’t mean anything. Goals require plans otherwise it’s just a wish. (Thanks Grandpa for teaching me that!) Okay did you get that? You need to make plans as a couple if you want a lasting marriage!

Here’s the plan for my husband and I:
1. We both put in 100% all day e’ry day. If we want our marriage to last then why on earth would we only put in 50% of our effort? (Notice that in contract marriages each person puts in 50% only- any more than that is “unfair” to them.)
2. We have weekly date nights. Just us two. No cell-phones. No work. Nada.
3. We go to the temple together regularly to worship together and remember the commitments that we made.
4. We support each other’s goals. Always.
5. We work hard to forgive each other and not bring up the past.
6. Daily make out sessions. Kissing is fun and so why not?

Spend an evening talking to your significant other about your marriage goals and how you are going to turn your marriage from a contractual marriage to a covenant marriage that’ll last forever.

xoxo rhaine