Why do we make the choice of who we will be with for “all eternity” in a state of existence where we have the veil, are still developing and changing who we are, and are still so naive in our understanding and learning? The longer I am married I realize how very different in beliefs and desires my husband and I are. I am discouraged at the thought that I blew my “one” chance of who to marry. I wish so badly I could have a second chance. But it is impossible to know the future. Seems so unfair.
All I can offer you is speculation, but if you are interested in my thoughts, I’ll share them. Now, I’m not a therapist, or marriage counselor, what I offer is Grandfatherly wisdom based on observations.
First, I’m sorry that you are so unhappy in your marriage right now. One of the difficulties of the natural man is that we have a tendency to believe that whatever state we are in we will always be in. When we are young and in love and selecting a partner, we think we will always feel so in love. And when we are unhappy all we can see is unhappiness ahead. But this idea of static emotion is far from the truth. Emotions are more like ocean waves, they ebb and flow. They change. Just because you are unhappy now, does not mean you will always be unhappy. Most marriages can be improved. It takes work, but it can happen. I’ve seen couples work through hard times to become really, truly happy together.
That is what I think it is all about – the reason that we marry young. It is a bit mind-boggling that young people make a choice of a partner for life (let alone for eternity) when they are so young and often don’t even know themselves yet. But that is the beautiful thing about marriage. Aside from some exceptions (abuse, and adultery), I think the struggle is one of the main reasons for marriage. There is tremendous growth and love that can come from working through hard times together. Sometimes those hard times are “external”, in this case I mean not about the relationship itself, but illness, money problems, family issues etc. Other times the hard times are internal, by this I mean the marriage itself is the source of trial and sometimes deep pain and struggle.
Remember Ann, we came to this world to grow and learn lessons that we need to learn to be more like Heavenly Father and like the Savior. Dealing with a difficult marriage can be one way to accomplish that goal. Yes, it’s painful. Most growth opportunities are painful.
My suggestion to you then is first, fight the false idea that what you feel now about your marriage and your spouse is what you will always feel. The Lord healed the lame and the blind, He can also heal hearts and marriages. Remember that the Proclamation on the Family counsels us, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Put your trust in Him. Seek to improve your relationship with Christ and Heavenly Father. Seek to do their will. And in that seeking, ask them what they would have you do about your marriage. Give Him your heart, and your willingness to work, and watch the miracles unfold.