Monday, March 15, 2010

Thoughts on Marriage

So, tonight I had my first opportunity to watch the new NBC show "The Marriage Ref". For those not familiar with the show, here is the premise: A panel of celebrities listens to an argument between a married couple. They give their opinions about who is "right" and the "marriage ref" (not on the panel) makes a final decision. The idea is that the couple can then move forward with this decision.
The episode I watched had Larry David (from Curb Your Enthusiasm), Madonna, and Ricky Gervais (actor and comedian). There were four couples featured on this episode and their arguments were as follows:
1. The wife wanted the house clean but the husband was kinda messy. She was bartering sex for cleaning. They had been married over 25 years.
2. This was a couple who had both been married before. He was divorced and still had couches from his first marriage that his current wife wanted to get rid of. She was a widow who had kept her husbands ashes and prosthetic leg, which he wanted to get rid of. They had been married for 3 years.
3. The wife was very attached to a very large lizard thing (5 feet long). She spent more time and energy caring for it than anything else (meals, affection, etc). The husband wanted it to live outside in a cage. They had been married about 14 years.
4. The husband was very attached to his mother. He spoke to her on a "regular" basis, seeking advice and whatnot. However, his mother is very critical of his wife of 14 years.

Alright, so I've been married for 7 1/2 months and I'm not claiming to know all there is about marriage. I understand that this has been the easy part. We haven't dealt with any real issues. We're still goo-goo for each other, which makes getting over things pretty easy. We still want to spend all of our time together and want nothing more than for the other person to be happy. I hope these feelings continue forever, no matter what we go through, but I understand that marriage, like life, has its ups and downs. I understand (in my brain, at least) that someday we will struggle, that things will be harder than they are right now. I get that.

BUT...let me tell you what I think about all these fights.
I think that if these partners would step back and remember what it is they wanted and promised on their wedding day, to always love, honor, and cherish their partner, then these would be simple arguments to dispel.

A quote I always think about when it comes to marriage is this one, from Spencer W. Kimball:

Every divorce is the result of selfishness on the part of one or the other or both parties to a marriage contract. Someone is thinking of selfcomforts, conveniences, freedoms, luxuries, or ease. ... If each spouse submits to frequent self-analysis and measures his own imperfections by the yardstick of perfection and the Golden Rule, and if each spouse sets about to correct self in every deviation found by such analysis rather than to set about to correct the deviations in the other party, then transformation comes and happiness is the result.

I understand that we all have times where selfishness creeps in, when we think more about what we want or why we are right than how we can make life easier and happier for our partner. Even in my relatively short relationship with Simon, I have felt myself getting grumpy about housework or him working late or whatever. But, when I step back and remember what it is that I want for us, it becomes easier. I want him to be happy. I want us to move forward in life, growing in our relationship. I want us to work to become more Christlike, in our relationship and out in the world. I want to love him with all of my heart, and I know that I can't do that if part of my heart is stuck on why I always do the laundry, or blah blah blah.

Anyway, that's my take on marriage and the whole big thing. As a final note, I would like to point out that all three celebrities on the panel are unmarried, either divorced or just not married. Seems to me that whatever they said, the complete opposite should have been the advice given. Just my opinion...

Chinese New Year Celebration at the Crow in Dallas

So, a few weeks ago I was so excited to read about a Chinese New Year celebration going on in downtown Dallas. It was a free event at the Asian art museum. I had never been and thought it sounded like fun. It ended up being generally disappointing, but we were still glad for the adventure.

When we got there, they were handing out glow necklaces for the show later.

We found a man painting names in Chinese characters. We waited probably 45 minutes in a rather crowded and chaotic room, but we eventually made it to the front. They are beautiful!

We're still trying to figure out where to put them in the house. Luckily, the red paper and black ink goes pretty well with our style.

Next, we went outside to wait for the lion dance and martial arts show to start. We waited patiently in a great spot for the show, and about 10 minutes before it was to begin, someone moved the cones that were blocking off the performance area. When this happened, people rushed forward and our amazing view was gone! We were a little upset after having waited for so long, but oh well! We stood off to the side, people watched, and enjoyed a little public display of affection. We did get a peek or two over people's heads and then decided to head out.

The Crow had these really cool glowing Buddhas sitting on pillars. They changed colors and were rather pretty in the night sky.

This is me being sad cause the night hadn't exactly gone as planned...

However, we were grateful for a fun adventurous evening together. I love that Simon is willing to try new things with me. Mostly, I just love being with him all the time.

What a handsome devil!

a little variation on the necklace...heading home!

Even though it turned out to be a little crazy, we were still happy to have gone and spent the evening together. Spending time together means learning more and growing closer. I'm so grateful to be married to my best friend!