I believe most divorces (maybe all) could be avoided if there was mutual respect between spouses.  The 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), Gordon B. Hinckley taught:

Brethren, treat your wives with love and respect and kindness.  And, wives, you treat your husbands with love and respect and kindness.”. . .

Under the gospel plan marriage is a companionship, with equality between the partners.  We walk side by side with respect, appreciation, and love one for another.  There can be nothing of inferiority or superiority between the husband and wife in the plan of the Lord.”  (Gordon B. Hinckley, Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley [1997], 209, 322.)

Marriage requires respect between the spouses.If we don’t respect our spouse, how can we possibly expect to have a happy marriage?  We are all children of God, deserving respect.  We all make mistakes, but we all deserve to be forgiven.  In fact, we are commanded to forgive.  Respect, like love, grows with time and patience.  Respect is nourished.  It is mutual.

Each evening as you say your prayers, think of one thing you admire about your spouse.  Write it in your journal or on a slip of paper on your nightstand.  Add something to the list every day.  It won’t be long before you will want to write more than one thing per day.  As the week goes by, review the list and then act on it.  Show your spouse appreciation.  You will be amazed at how quickly the respect and admiration is returned.  You will also be enlightened at the number of qualities in your partner that you had previously overlooked.

Marriage is not easy, especially after you have children.  It is something that requires constant tender loving care.  If you can’t think of something you like about your spouse now, wait an hour and cool off.  Then remember why you married him/her in the first place.  Look through your photo albums, reread journal entries, visit places you’ve made memories—anything to soften your heart so you can forget the bad things and remember the good things.

Your marriage is worth the effort.  As mutual respect develops, love deepens, patience broadens, communication happens, friendship flourishes, and happiness abounds.

Marriage  To read all of Tudie Rose's article on marriage, click the picture.

Marriage

To read all of Tudie Rose’s article on marriage, click the picture.

Sometimes when I’m frustrated with my husband, I go back to some of the hardest moments of our lives together—the tough things we worked out together.  I remember our first born child in NICU struggling for her life, something we would go through twice more.  I remember a miscarriage.  I remember the death of my stepson when he was only 35 years old.  I remember getting through all of that together.  No matter how upset I am with him, when I remember those tender moments, anger melts away.

Anger and frustration is replaced with memories of comfort and love I received from him on the really hard days.  My eyes fill with tears picturing him walking the floors with a sick child when I was too exhausted to move.  I’m filled with love remembering my mother telling me how he had sobbed on the telephone when he called my parents to tell them I had miscarried.  My heart is tender when I remember his gentle touch when my father passed away.  Suddenly, the latest frustration of the day doesn’t seem to matter anymore.  Burned popcorn smell will dissipate, finger prints on the walls will wash off, mud on the carpet will dry and be vacuumed away, the argument over whether I really heard a funny noise in the car engine will be forgotten.  What will remain in my heart is the best moment of every day when I curl up beside him in bed and feel safe from the world.

Developing respect for your spouse is simply this:  Live your lives together as a team and make memories to fall back on when life seems to smack you in the face.  We can choose to remember the nitpicky frustrations about our spouse, or we can choose to remember when our spouse carried us through the rough spots of life.  If we choose the latter, there will be plenty of respect to go around.

About Tudie Rose
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.

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