Thursday, July 26, 2012
Saving Marriage -- Part I
Once upon a time there were two people who fell in love and got married.
As it happened, they met at work. He was an engineering from the “home office” to check on equipment for a heavy construction job the company was doing. She was the secretary in the boss’ office. He asked her to “take a letter” to the boss, detailing all the mistakes he was making with the maintenance of the equipment. And then he asked her to a movie.
When he picked her up, her father answered the door. The father also happened to the be the boss – the recipient of the letter from the young engineer who’d come to check the job site.
That’s a story that got told in our family from time to time. “He” was my father and “she” was my mother. (Her father and my dad obviously worked out their differences.)
Remembering how a romance began is important to keeping it alive. And we’ve done the same thing in our marriage. For years I’ve told the story of how my lovely wife and I met the first Friday of our freshman year at BYU, introduced by my roommate. (As it happens, I realized not long ago that it was, in fact, a Saturday, not a Friday.) And I love to tell stories of that first year at BYU together. It is, for me, more than just an exercise in waxing nostalgic. It is also linked to that Nephite (and Hebrew) practice of remembering where we came from and how we got to where we are today.
When I was in a position to counsel couples, I would often ask them how they met or when they first fell in love. I was a bishop, not a marriage counselor (and I knew I was not the latter; I didn’t hesitate to recommend professional help for some couples), but I believed then as I do now that remembering the romance we once felt helps us to keep it alive years later.
It is one way I believe that couples can keep a spark in their marriage, and maybe even rekindle one where it has faded.
What are ways that you remember the best times of your marriage?