Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I Don't Want to be Married

After my divorce, the thought of getting remarried was utterly terrifying. I dated Glen four years before we got married. I lived with him first, too, because I was so scared of what could go wrong. My plan was: I don't want to be married. I knew very well what a person could hide, even when you live together and think you're just fine. Marriage became just a piece of paper...something most people crumple up or tear in half. In the end, my beliefs in the institution of marriage and God overruled my fear (barely!). 

There have been times throughout our marriage I have been consumed with fear. I've been angry (both at my past and my present). In my darkest moments I have thought: I don't want to be married.

Time and time again, Glen and I figure stuff out. We combat financial issues and parenting challenges as a team. We are good communicators and work together. By some miracle, we always pull through.

All through these experiences I learned one really important lesson:

It is far easier to love a human mortally when you have learned to love God eternally.

Last year was a rough year for Glen and I. We had a lot of personal struggles. I have read countless talks on marriages, studied books, and am currently in therapy. I am proactive and believe in always fighting for what you want. Never give up.

My heart was saddened by this weak year and I began comparing myself to others. In doing so, I began to focus on the negative about myself and my spouse. This brought me great unhappiness and unwanted stress. I can tell you this attitude is ADDICTIVE and spreads like cancer.

Fortunately, the opposite is also true.
I decided to focus on the positive things in my life. To talk about them more. To praise my husband and ponder his good qualities instead of the faults. And to NEVER EVER compare, "Comparison is the theif of joy." 

This includes comparing yourself to people who "have it better" but also lumping yourself into the category of people who "have it worse". Both are toxic.

When I decided to focus on all the things my husband did right, and outwardly express it, this TOO SPREADS and becomes habitual. He would return the compliments and expressions of love. We started showing affection to one another again, something I had found to be awkward and tense after a year long friction. I have been thinking to myself, "I don't want to be Married." 
I want to be SEALED. Forever.

There is a difference to me in just being married civilly and having a mortal capacity to love, and being sealed for eternity with the eternal love and power of God.
Russel M. Nielsen said: The noblest yearning of the human heart is for a marriage that can endure beyond death. Fidelity to a temple marriage does that. It allows families to be together forever.

I don't want to just be married. I want it all. I want to be sealed as a family,

We went on a date last weekend to the Utes football game and had a blast. It was so fun to just be out together, my worries and fears seemed far away. I thought about the Savior and His atonement all Sunday, and said many prayers of gratitude for the happiness I am feeling. It is a testament that positivity can grow just like negativity can. And you have to be cautious EVERY DAY. I've always said I will "guard my marriage." But I think last year I did the opposite. I was attacking it without even being aware, I allow d negative thoughts to infect my mind and they are contagious. That's the kicker. Be aware of where these thoughts come from and if there is a negative influence in your life. I notice when I don't feel cared about by other people, I reflect that in my marriage. I feel like my husband doesn't care about me and use all of his faults to back up this farce. Instead, when I started telling myself he did love me and backed it up with all the kind things he does for me and our kids, I began to FEEL more loved by him. 
Nielsen also said: The family proclamation also reminds us that “husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other.”

Now when I look back, some of the struggles we faced seem silly. I spent unnecessary energy worrying. We have a great marriage and we don't face hardships others don't face. Everyone has a problem now and then, and the way you get through it is TOGETHER. It is our duty, and it is promised that when we follow through it will bring us a fullness of joy. I've always wanted this joy. 
It has been my motivation to make better choices and pursue happiness EVEN when I'm not surrounded by it. Even if I'm not the recipient of good choices. This habit can be formed by watching other people and learning by their example.
L. Whitney Clayton said: First, I have observed that in the happiest marriages both the husband and wife consider their relationship to be a pearl beyond price, a treasure of infinite worth. They both leave their fathers and mothers and set out together to build a marriage that will prosper for eternity. They understand that they walk a divinely ordained path. They know that no other relationship of any kind can bring as much joy, generate as much good, or produce as much personal refinement. Watch and learn: the best marriage partners regard their marriages as priceless.

This cute drink called "Purple Stuff" is a stress relieving drink my husband bought for me when we made a quick stop at the store before the football game. It was a sweet gesture by him, because he knows I get stressed and that I like my bubbly drinks. He knows my love language is gifts and he does an excellent job meeting that need of mine.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a theologist, stated in a letter to his niece before her marriage: Marriage is more than your love for each other. … In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal—it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. … So love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God.

I've made an effort to be more positive, not just with my husband but in my own mind too. I don't need to compare my life to anyone else's. I have so much to be grateful for. 
So, no, I don't want to be married anymore--I want to be sealed and I want this "office". I accept the responsibility and know my marriage affects generations far beyond my own. That is my responsibility. I am feeling so happy this week and I want this feeling to last forever. I just wanted to share that with you. Hope you have a great week!

Brittany Shannon

I don't want to be Married. I want to be very married.

"If I get married, I want to be very married."
Audrey Hepburn

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