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Episode #111: Marriage

Our relationship with our spouse is probably the relationship we should be spending the most time strengthening. I believe families can be together forever, even after we die. But I have millions of ancestors and could potentially have millions of predecessors so that seems like a bigger gathering than I can imagine. But I can wrap my mind around being with my husband forever. We worry about being with our children for eternity because of some of their behaviors. But what about my behavior toward my husband isn showing him love, kindness, and respect? Could I be better? Both relationships are important but I believe that if I work at managing my thoughts around my husband, if I practice being the person I want to be around my husband, it then transfers to how I treat everyone. Love is always the best choice.

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Episode 111: Marriage This is Bonnie Lyman, and you're listening to the podcast, loving On Purpose, episode 111 Marriage. Welcome to the podcast, loving On Purpose. I'm your host, Bonnie Lyman. If you're having trouble navigating through your relationships with your adult children, if you are struggling to connect with them or having specific challenges, you're in the right place. Hey there my friend. Aloha, I am still in this magical gold paradise on Hawaii and it's pretty darn cold and gloomy back in Spokane where I am from. So I am, I am grateful to be here, and I don't like to throw it in other people's face that. Look at me. Look where I get to be. I just wish everybody had the opportunity to escape winter for a while and come to a beautiful part of the world. So happy Valentine's Day to everybody out there, this love thing. That's what I talk about all the time, loving on purpose. And so today we're going to. Talk about marriage. Something I don't refer to a lot, but something I think a lot about In my church, we believe that if we go to the temple, that we can be sealed not only to our spouse, but to all of our children. Forever, and that after we die, we can all live. If we have been loving, kind, and respectful that we can all live with our Heavenly father again. So we use the term families are forever. Well, the last couple years as I have been coaching people on how to love children, that might be difficult and. Love will always feel best, better than resentful, better than judgmental. And learning how to do that is quite a process. I had been thinking about this idea of. My adult children or any adult children, and some of the decisions that they make that I could say are not exactly Christ-like, and you know, where. Where does that fit in with Heavenly Father's plan and where do they end up and are we able to repent after we die, and are we able to be forgiven and all of that stuff? I don't. Or none of us need to really worry about because we're not gonna know until after we die. But I do believe we're going to end up in the place where we are going to be most happy. But going back to this, families are forever. I started thinking about the number of people in a family, so. When I first learned of this concept or realized how important it was that I wanted to be with my family forever, it was my husband and I and five young children. Well now my children have gotten married and they have children. And their children are gonna get married and have children. And then, so we have all those millions. I don't know how long it's gonna' be before, you know the world comes to an end or the Savior returns. There's a lot of family, and then if I think about the family behind me, my ancestors, and the thousands and millions of people going backwards, that's a lot of people. And so it's like. Do I really wanna be in that big of a crowd? And of course, I don't understand how we get around in heaven or how this whole heaven thing works, but what I figured out is, and what I can visualize and what I can identify with. Is me and my husband being together in heaven. And so my thought was of all the relationships I should be working on, it should be with my husband. I can remember one time. We had gone to Seattle and I don't know if all of my kids were there, but most. All of my kids and whoever was married and whatever grandchildren had been born at that time, we had all gone to Seattle for spring break for a vacation. Now we live in Spokane, and so it's about a four and a half hour drive. And so some flew in, but we drove over and as we were getting ready to leave and get in the car, I remember turning to my husband and saying, I still love you best, and when it comes right down to it, maybe because I can comprehend. Being with my husband forever rather than all these millions and you know, who wants to be with who, etc. That I figured out that it's like I wanna tell the world, yes, it's important to work. And have good relationships and not be in hurt over things that our adult children do. But the most important thing we can be working on is our marriage in our relationship with our husband. So that's what I'm gonna talk to you today about. And coincidentally, it's exactly the same things. To have a good relationship with my husband is exactly the same things I need to do to have a good relationship with my adult children. My husband's retired, and so coincidentally, I. I just have a whole lot more time and experiences and opportunities to work on my relationship with my husband, but that also means there's more opportunities to be challenged in that relationship, so. I'm going to give you 18 things, and I just kind of jotted these down quickly. Not out of trying to put a podcast together quickly, but they just came that way and it's because it's so many of the things that I have already talked about. So number one, I feel to have a, a good marriage is you have to be looking for the good in your marriage. And there's this saying what you look for, you'll find. Or the brain sees what the I'm sorry the eye sees what the brain looks for. If, if we're in the mode of what we wish our husband was or what we wish our husband would do. We're gonna miss out on a lot of good things that he does, and it's the things that harm and I think are detrimental to a marriage. Are sneaky little thoughts. It's the little things that can make us feel most annoyed, especially when we lived with a person for a long time. I find myself having the thought, you have lived with me for over 15 years. And, you know, I don't like it when you do that, but for my husband, from his perspective, he, he is coming from a place. Yes. I mean, I don't even think he thinks of it as annoying, but. This is how I react. This is what I do, and usually it's something pretty minor about, I mean, I don't like the way my husband puts the silverware in the little silverware cart in the dishwasher. He likes 'em all. Sticking up the spoon and the fork and the knife, and I want 'em turned facing down because when I go to unload the dishwasher, I don't wanna touch the part of the silverware that we eat off of. So what happens though, the longer we've lived with somebody? And the more frequent they do something that annoys us or says something to us, we begin to think their action, what they said is a fact, but it's still what we're making it mean that is causing this. To be annoyed. So, you know, catch yourself. I call it getting your button pushed, and it seems like my husband can push my button faster than anybody just because of some expectations I have of him that I shouldn't have. So the best way, the easiest way, and this is number two, to get out of being judgmental of someone, but let's say our husband is to be curious. I wonder why. He still doesn't come up and help with dinner, or at least sit in the room with me when I'm making dinner. When I've mentioned to him that I kind of like that, I just go to curiosity. I wonder if he's forgotten. I wonder if he feels like it's a waste of time. I wonder, you know, I just get curious, not even with specifics as I just mentioned, but just to be, I wonder why you know he's not meeting that request. And that takes away all the judgment. Number three is I think we need to find something that we can connect with. With our spouses. I often wondered what Heavenly father was thinking when he thought a man and a woman could get along for over 50 years or eternity. But I don't know what life is gonna be like after we die. So. I can't visualize that, but I know that, you know, it feels like eternity since my husband has retired and we have all this time together, and my husband and I are so different. I would say on seventy-five percent of the things in our lives of what we like to do, how we, the type of people that we like the type of movies. The type of books we like to read, how we like to spend our free time, you know, all of that is different. When my husband retired, I, I just couldn't, and it came a little earlier than what he was thinking. I was concerned that he was not going to find any purpose or be bored in his life. I could not live the life that he is living right now. I, we are in Hawaii and I'm doing my coaching every day, and he is going golfing every day. I. And we are both just happy as clams, but where we connect is we come home or I'm al I'm here, or I'm outside, or I am out, you know, in a, in about, I'm enjoying. What I like to enjoy in Hawaii, and that's not getting in the water, but being by the water and being in the sunshine. But we, we find something on TV that we sit and we watch and we enjoy together. Another thing we have in common is that we connect with is the concern and love we have for our children and our grandchildren, and we had a huge connection. Even though it was difficult the first time being around each other, twenty-four, seven was when we went on our mission to Africa. But we discuss and talk about some of those memories with a lot of infect affection and glad that we could share that together. Number four. Is we have to be willing to be wrong. We think we know what's better for the other person, but we really don't, and it's really none of our business. We need to get more in the habit of redirecting our thoughts to they could be right. I wanna give you an example. Last Christmas I wanted to make a Costco run and I like to go to Costco at seven 30, quarter to eight. At nine, right before they close, it's easier to get a parking place. The store isn't as busy, and so the way I get to Costco is I get on the freeway, take the nearest X exit that gets me on this busy street. That that runs for probably twenty-five miles called Sprague. And then I'm at Costco in about 10 minutes. So my husband is driving and he decides not to get on the freeway, but to get on Sprague, the street that Costco is located on. But 20 miles away and there's all these shops and stores and stoplights, so it takes quite a bit longer. And I looked at him and you know, I said, why aren't we getting on the freeway? And he said, Hey. When I'm driving the horses, we're going my way. But you know what? Driving down that street, it must have. Just have snowed, and I don't know if you've ever been somewhere at night where it snows. It almost is kind of pink in color, but it just glows. And there were all these little shops with all these Christmas lights and decorations inside, and they were closed, but decorations along the street. And it was a magical feeling and I was so glad that we had taken that route. I was glad I was willing not to put up a stink about taking this very indirect route to Costco. Number five. Brooke Castile said we don't get married to have someone to make us feel happy. We get married. To have someone special to love on. All the time, our own special someone, and in a more intimate way than we show love to other people. We are responsible for fulfilling our own needs, and so that is one reason. Why When my husband retired we then went on our mission and I came home and started a coaching business. I had a, a need besides just sitting around. Because of a health problem I had run into, I couldn't go to the gym like I used to do. I had some ambitions to go snow. Not skiing, but oh, I can't think of a snowshoe, hiking, whatever it's called. And so my need was to have something to do every day when I got up that had real direction and purpose and deadlines and schedules and being with people. And so I started my coaching business. But he is not responsible for making me happy or feeling fulfilled. That is my responsibility. Number six is because we think so differently. I have to remind myself not to go to the place of, I think I know what he's thinking, or he must be thinking this if he's acting this way or saying that. Something we don't know what other people are thinking, and that one act gets us in more trouble with our relationships than just about anything else because we make up these stories of why they are doing certain things. That are usually attached to us, and so we end up taking their actions personally, and usually it's in a negative way. Number seven is. People don't like to be controlled. People don't like to be told what to do. People don't like to be shoulded. I call it, you should be doing this or you should be doing that. And so I wanna give you a hint on a word I found quite effective, and that word is wood if we have a request of somebody. But I find, I especially use this with my husband if I need him to go to the store for something Saturday night, because we don't shop on Sunday. Instead of saying, can you go to the store or Could you go to the store? I say, would you go to the store? And it sounds a whole lot more loving and endearing and respectful than those other words that I could use. But nobody, and that's number seven, likes to be controlled or told what to do. I mean, my husband just told me the other day, you should go to this physical therapist so he can tell you exactly what you need to do to re. Leave that pain in your back and right away the hairs kind of went up on my neck of I am in charge of me and I will decide what my next step is going to be regarding. This pain number. Number eight is you don't have to agree on everything. In fact, you can disagree on a lot of things, but we disagree out of respect. And we disagree out of not making it mean something personal about us. They just have a different perspective or viewpoint as to what is going on. And so, you know, we just don't have to. Agree on everything. I have a friend that keeps a list of 10 things of why she loves her husband posted on the inside of her closet that she reads every morning, just for a little help to remind her. I think it's because we get too familiar with each other. That we expect the other person perhaps to read our mind or to figure out our likes and our dislikes. But you know, it just doesn't work that way. We just need to be more often. The kind of person we want to be. We need to treat our spouses more like we would our best friend. He's he's not our punching bag. Yes, we can unload and vent and take out some of our frustrations on him or on our spouse, but there is a limit to how we treat a person that way because everybody is the same and we all have feelings and we, we all like to be. Treated with kindness and love and respect. I had a good friend that just a couple weeks ago lost her husband. He was taking down the Christmas lights and fell off a ladder and died, and my thought was she had gone to work. My thought was, what were her last words? She said to him, I hope it wasn't, you better have those lights down by the time I get home today. I hope it was something kind and pleasant, but that has really caught my attention to be on guard as to the things I say to my husband. I. Number nine is marriage is dynamic because the people that make up a marriage are dynamic and that means nothing stays the same. And it doesn't need to stay the same. We can change our likes and our dislikes, and we have to allow our spouses to change their outlook on life. Number 10 is. In my case, my spouse's name is Jeff. Jeff just needs to be as Jeff as he can be. That's all. He just needs to be himself. He doesn't need to be, have a different personality or different likes. Than what I have. Are there boundaries in marriage? Of course. And we all have those boundaries, but they're usually pretty serious offenses and there are some things we will not tolerate, but most of the time those are just a given. So I think that kind of comes down to we don't need to be on the same page with our parenting. We don't need to be on the same page of what time of day we like to eat our meals, or how we like to dress. How you know our feelings of how we spend the Sabbath day, but there does need to be respect on both sides, and that is is what you need to discuss and work out in your marriage. I think of my clients, well, it was when, when their children left the church, but a lot of times it's when our spouse leaves the faith. They were when we married them and we thought we would raise our kids in that faith. Yes, it's disappointing, but it's only a small piece of the pie of that person and why you married him. That was not the only reason you married him. W was because you were of the same faith. So again, agency is such a big part of marriage and respecting that and allowing others to feel and do as they want to do. We're pretty starry-eyed when we first got. Get married. It's almost like a fairy tale and everything is so blissful, and yet reality is we do have differences. There are going to be different viewpoints, there are going to be disagreements, but. As President Nelson says, it's not the circumstances that bring us joy, but I'm paraphrasing it, but it's how we respond to those. So number 12 then, and you're probably not keeping track of the number, which is good, is we need to praise our spouses more often and I feel fall really short of this. I can be quick to point out, I don't like how he's driving to Costco. But I did turn around and thank him for an experience that I had that I wouldn't have had unless he had chosen that route. But we just don't praise each other enough. And so we need to get in that habit of praising our spouses for the things that we like that they do. We need to remind ourselves, which is number 13, that life is fifty-fifty. We only get it our way 50% of the time, but it's that other 50. The 50 we don't like. That's still acceptable, but we just don't like it. That helps us grow and become even a better spouse. So number 14, and I probably kind of mentioned this before, was just like in the relationship with our adult children, to have more love for someone, we need to focus on what you like about your story. Your spouse, write a whole story. About why you like them, and just see how that makes you feel. Number 15 is to work on your relationship with yourself. If you're finding a lot of fault with yourself, then you're going to find fault. With not only your spouse and your kids and everyone else, but everything in your life is not going to be what you want to be. So work on your relationship with yourself. And be compassionate with yourself and praise yourself and make a list of the good things about yourself. If you feel number 16 is feel that you need to express your feelings. To your spouse of something that has gone on that is hurtful or you don't like. The best way to do that is with I messages. I feel embarrassed when. What, whatever. Sorry. I couldn't think of, of something. It may be, I feel embarrassed when we go to somebody's house and you just sit in the other chair away from everybody and play on your phone. People cannot argue with your feelings. And that is not making judgment on him. You're just letting him know your feelings. Then you decide whether you go to somebody else's house. Together in that type of situation, or if you decline it or just exactly what you want to do about that, he is under, your spouse, is under no entitlement to change his actions just because we don't like how they're acting. It's our responsibility to just accept him the way he is or not. Put yourself in that situation that makes you feel embarrassed. Number 17. Is love. Just loves. Love is always a choice. Love is optional. Love is always available, and it's up to us to do the choosing. We. I, I feel like I have the best marriage anyone could possibly have, and there were about 10 things my husband did in the first five years of our marriage that really would tick me off, and he is still doing those same. Five to 10 annoying things, but I have looked past it and I focus on the goodness in this person and what I do love about him, knowing that I have my shortcomings and faults. Also, I hope you have a great Valentine's day. And I hope you have a great week, and I'll talk to you next week. If you like this, be this episode and you felt it was of benefit to you, I ask you to share it with somebody that perhaps it could also benefit. But if you're still feeling kind of stuck in that you don't know how to apply what was talked about or where to start. On, on changing your thoughts, on changing your perspective, on bettering your relationship. Get on a call with me and we can have a discussion and I can tell you how to apply it and where we start, and then you get to decide what you want to do. About this relationship that maybe you're struggling with with your adult children. There is no reason to go on the rest of our lives struggling with our relationships with our adult children. Let's assume the best. Let's assume that we all love each other and we're just trying to figure out how to maintain our own boundaries. And respect another ones, but I can help you with everything. So just go to Bonnie and book a call. I can't wait to hear from you. .

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