I was reading a talk from this past General Conference "Marriage: Watch and Learn" by Elder L. Whitney Clayton. It was my favorite talk and I love re-reading it. It makes me so thankful to have a marriage similar to what Elder Clayton describes. I've only been married 2 years, but I would like to think the happiness Bart and I share will always be there.
Throughout the talk Elder Clayton talks about happy and successful marriages. I'd like to add my 2 cents to the mix.
"Watch and learn: the best marriage partners regard their marriages as priceless."
"Watch and learn: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundation of happy eternal marriages."
I believe the reason this is so important is because having faith in Christ makes our personal lives better, so why wouldn't it strengthen a marriage? Having a testimony can do nothing but bless you! Sharing that testimony with the person you love can only make the two of you stronger. Faith in Christ is the foundation of happy marriages because it's the foundation to happy lives.
"Watch and learn: repentance and humility build happy marriages."
I have a personal testimony that this is true. Utilizing the atonement in our lives has been a tremendous blessing! When I first met Bart he wasn't an active member but seeing him use the atonement and seeing that transformation of his person is one of the most tender things I have witnessed. It made me a better person, and the things I have had to repent of has also made me better. We share these experiences and it helps strengthen our testimonies every day.
"Watch and learn: terrific marriages are completely respectful, transparent, and loyal."
This is one of my favorite points he makes. He mentions that husbands treat their wives as total partners, and all decisions are made together. There are no secrets. You both have access to all financial information and know each other's passwords. They are completely loyal to one another and make each other the most important person in their lives. I'm so blessed to be able to say that this describes our marriage perfectly! I married a wonderful man who is not only loyal as a dog, but he respects me and sees me as his partner. We make decisions together as a family and I never feel inferior to him.
"Watch and learn: successful couples love each other with complete devotion."
Love. Don't underestimate it! and don't let it fade! Bart and I were out together and a cute girl sat down next to me and asked when we were getting married. I told her we had been married for two years and she seemed a little surprised. I told Bart about it and he asked if it was because we still acted like we liked each other. How sad! Do only newlyweds grab each other's butts in public and steal a kiss? If so, we never got that memo! We are more in love with each other now than when we met 4 years ago and when we got married 2 years ago! Older and "wiser" people will tell you this fades. And to that I give them my middle finger. It doesn't have to fade! Keep that spark alive and show your spouse just how much you love them!
"Marriage is a gift from God to us; the quality of our marriages is a gift from us to Him. I bear testimony of the marvelous plan of our loving Heavenly Father, which provides for eternal, wondrous marriage." -Elder Clayton