Friday, June 14, 2013

my first attempt at giving marriage advice

Soooo... I am following a couple blogs that often give advice on marriage; pretty good advice in fact. But sometimes I wonder what makes them credible to give such advice. They aren't a therapist, they don't have a PHD, they aren't a world-renowned book author or anything like that, so why do their readers often go to them with marriage questions? I've decided it's because they have experience, they reflect on their experience, and they are honest in their writing. Well, last I checked, I do all three of those things. So I thought, why not give it a go? Why not share my advice? 

So here I go. Here is my marriage advice. {More like just the beginning of it} 

Ammon and I have been married for a little over a year now. While it has been a blast and I never regret my decision to marry Ammon, it has also been challenging. When you become so comfortable with someone, it's easy to get comfortably lazy with how you treat them. 

For example. If someone at work says something we don't like, or they are acting fist-clenching annoying, we usually just brush it off and just ignore it-or we approach them very carefully to discuss the matter. However, when it comes to spouses, we tend to say whatever first comes to our mind because we've gotten so comfortable. Isn't it sad that the ones we love the most are the ones we tend to say the most hurtful things to? 

From experience, this is my solution: the second you are about to say something negative about your spouse, learn to say these words instead: I... love... you. And even if you don't mean it at first, you will. There are times when Ammon will do something that is completely harmless, but because I'm in a bad mood, I start to get annoyed. I've learned that if I just turn to him and say, "Hey Ammon? I love you." Then the results that come are much more wonderful than if I had said, "stop that." It is the smallest thing, but I think it makes the biggest difference. 

I absolutely love the following quote:
How often do we have this grandiose plan in our head to do something nice for our spouse, but because they say something or do something that we don't like, then we decide they don't deserve it? So then we get hurt and we don't end up serving our spouse at all. 

For example, at the beginning of our marriage, Ammon was still at work and I wanted to serve him. So I executed my elaborate plan to give Ammon a massage when he got home. I dimmed all the lights in the house, I set up candles, and I had Enya playing in the background. In my head, this was going to be the best service. Well, when Ammon came home from work, he didn't want a massage. {not yet, anyway.} He had just worked at Brick Oven, so he wanted to shower and he was also very hungry. Well, unfortunately, I became offended. I couldn't believe he didn't want a massage right when he got home from work? My plan was to serve Ammon, but what I didn't realize, is that by getting offended and not allowing my husband some time to switch from work mode to home mode, my act of kindness was only an intention. A true act of kindness would have been serving Ammon how he needed to be served in that moment. 

This story leads me to my other advice and that is not getting offended. There are so many disagreements and hurtful feelings that could be avoided if we just stopped getting offended. When someone says something or does something that can be taken either way, take it the way that doesn't hurt! Brush it off, turn it into a joke, laugh at yourself, whatever makes it so you aren't offended. And if they do say something that is legitimately hurtful, then pull them aside and talk it out, rather than just saying something hurtful back. {this is something I am still working on}

Okay. Last bit of advice. Pray to see the good.
When Ammon and I were attending the single's ward, we went to a few firesides specifically given for couples who knew they wanted to get married. During the firesides, my stake president would always give the 80:20 advice. He said that when you get married, you will love 80 percent of the things your spouse does, and the other 20 percent, are going to be things you can't stand. Focus on the 80 percent and ignore the 20 percent. You will continually struggle with the grass is greener syndrome if you can't learn to focus on the 80 percent. I got really lucky, so it's usually really easy for me to see Ammon's 80 percent. In fact, it's more like 90:10. Haha.

Elder Eyering gives great advice on how to see the 80 percent:

Oh! And one more thing:


  1. Leah, that was beautiful. You have Ammon read all your blogs right? Is he trying his hardest to live by this? He better be, or his momma will have a thing or two to say to him! JK :) It is so wonderful to see and feel growth in a marriage. I love to see that in you two. Love you Leah! I am so glad to have you in our family!

  2. Great advice! I love to hear thoughts like this from real couples who live real lives :) job and I have been married 3 1/2 years now and are always still learning and growing. That's was makes marriage so exciting and wonderful! Thanks for sharing and I am looking forward to more!


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