How I know my wife married the 'wrong' person


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  • J.D. Aurora, CO
    June 15, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Wonderful article,we need more like it. Tyler's blog "More Cross Shaped Stuff" is worthwile to read as well.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 15, 2013 6:14 a.m.

    For many of you they're a great analogy in the Church.
    In the mission field there was always that elder/sister you wanted to be companions with. You were sure you would be the best, happiest, successful missionaries in the mission. Then it happened. You were put together and within a month you couldn't stand the sight of one another. It didn't stop the work, but you were in the depths of emotional purgatory trying to bear through this.
    Sometimes you marry the wrong person because you didn't take the time to learn to know them. Engagements don't last 2 months. If you haven't known him/her for at least a year or two you have no business getting married.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    June 14, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    (part2 Y-ask-Y)

    I longed to grow up and get away from him, without realizing even that trait had been taught to me by him! That is, solve problems by getting away. I was lucky to find my wife, who has been the most patient, devoted woman I have ever known. She has helped me change and I think we may make me a decent person one day. After 43 years of marriage, 5 children (3 RM's, all married in temple, 14 grandchildren, etc.)

    I wonder what would have happened if either of us had decided the other was not "the one"? Fortunately, when we were dating, President Kimball was writing books and preaching sermons about marriage, so we followed his advice, and tolerated each other's imperfections. I think we both "settled", in that we did not hold out for an ideal mate. There is a slide show which I've seen while watching a talk on BYU TV about "Fanny", a girl who dreamed of marrying a prince and living in a castle. It taught that "good enough" was an acceptable attitude, ie, "settling" is OK. It is on the BYU web site.

  • kosimov Riverdale, UT
    June 14, 2013 1:13 p.m.

    To: Y ask Y (first of two part message)

    While most of the posts here are overwhelmingly positive, your first one had a little negative in it, as a warning against potential problems you see that we should look out for in our quest to find a mate. That isn't bad at all. It is just how you see things. And, I can agree with you to a point, as well as disagree with you, to a point.

    One thing I noticed, which I find interesting, is that your examples of the problems you advise us to watch out for seem to be mostly about male traits that cause problems. I find myself wondering if you had experiences in your life which were negative and which were also predominantly male dominated? Again, that isn't "bad"; it just "is what it is".

    Perhaps I noticed this because it is also where my experiences mostly come from. My father was a very troubled man, who often told us about the various things in his past which caused the problems. (continued part two, next message. I just couldn't edit it enough!)

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    June 13, 2013 1:08 a.m.

    I once asked a woman who was coming up on her 65th wedding anniversary if she could somehow distil what worked best into one simple sentence. She cocked her head and looked at me (as it to figure out if I was worth the gem of wisdom she was about to give me). I smiled at her and expected a joke to follow. But what she said was one of the most solid bits of marriage advice I have ever heard.

    She finally said, "He really tries to put me first in everything he does... and I... I try to do the same. I know that sounds strange. But somehow... it has worked."

  • Y-Ask-Y? Provo, UT
    June 12, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    Eastern girl

    "But just because you didn't see the warning signs (yes, they were there) doesn't mean that there isn't a place for an article addressing keeping expectations real when you have a marriage between two decent people."

    Who are you talking about? I am still married to the love of my life, my first and only wife, now coming up on 25 years!

    But just because I found and married the perfect woman does not mean that there aren't a lot of people who didn't, through no fault of their own.

    My point still stands.

  • A Guy With A Brain Enid, OK
    June 12, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    I say this as a person married 24 1/2 yrs who has struggled a ton with a difficult marriage:

    On the one hand, the perfect future spouse simply does not exist.

    Yet, on the other hand, looking for, and holding out for a person who has some basic "human interaction" skills AND personality traits that are somewhat complimentary with your own personality traits and needs, is wise. Know that "holding out" does NOT mean there's only one person like that for each person on the planet. Such thinking is foolishness; there's probably tens of thousands of people who would make good spouses for each of us.

    Look for them. Keep your eyes open and your mind totally objective. Obeying the Lord's law of sexual conduct is probably the BEST tool to helping you find that kind of person. Why? Because sexual activity before marriage invariably causes one to lose their objectivity; it messes up our ability to see things as they really are. We each need a "friend" far, far more than we need a "lover" because "fireworks" sex eventually fades, or at least, does not occur every encounter, and that's OK.

    Read "The Five Love Languages"!

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    June 12, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    I heard today on the radio driving in to work that a survey of 18-65 yr olds rated a good, solid marriage as 8th or 9th on their list of "must haves".

    In this survey, among other things, a nice TV, an internet connection and air conditioning beat out marriage.

    That is absolutely pathetic.

    How long, Lord, how long?....

  • Eastern girl New Haven, CT
    June 12, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    @Y ask Y-- The article addresses unrealistic expectations that are set up in society about marriage. You are talking about something totally different-- being married to a controlling, abusive person. Obviously, that's a different scenario and when there's any kind of abuse you should get out. But just because you didn't see the warning signs (yes, they were there) doesn't mean that there isn't a place for an article addressing keeping expectations real when you have a marriage between two decent people.

  • richl Farmington, UT
    June 12, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    My wife and I have been married for close to 40 years. When people ask us to list a reason for our success, I use one word, commitment. My wife is committed to making our marriage work; so am I. Without her forgiveness, we would have quit trying long ago. Without my becoming a more empathetic and loving person, our marriage would have failed decades ago. But nothing has been more vital to the length of our marriage than our mutual commitment. I have never thought of divorce; my wife seldom has. I'm imperfect but still trying. She hardly has to try to be a better person than I, and I don't seek perfection in her or dwell on her imperfections. I hope to be a better husband next year than I am this year. And she has faith that I will improve, or maybe she would give up, but she truly loves me for the person I am, warts and all.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    June 12, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    Before leaving the mission field, our mission president counseled us to not get married as soon as we got home - saying that was usually just hormones. Also, not to wait too long - since during that time, we tend to add to our list of expectations for marriage to the point that such a person doesn't exist; and if they did, he said, they wouldn't marry us.

    Society has taught us that gratification is instant, credit cards can almost buy happiness and someone else is at fault when ever something goes wrong.

    Marriage isn't a past time, a hobby or a diversion; nor is it an escape from problems. It is an adventure that can have a happy ending, but only after the challenges have been faced and overcome as a loyal team.

  • cval Hyde Park, UT
    June 12, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    @ Y ask Y:

    I understand your point, and unfortunately there are many marriages where just being treated nicely and reasonably would be a big step forward.... But most of us seek for more more than that. The kind of fulfillment this article speaks to is attainable through several steps.

    Choosing the right one is what you are referring to, someone reasonable and nice.
    Supporting and building up your spouse is how we help them become more than they could ever be alone.

    If both parties take this position, the kind of fulfillment the articles speaks to is more than just possible. It is likely.

    A great marriage makes both parties more than they could ever be on their own.

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    So, I disagree with this article. I don't think most people are looking for perfect spouses. I think most people are just looking for someone who won't turn into a nut case; who won't take them for granted and treat them like property; who won't yell and scream at them and belittle them constantly; who won't become a control freak and try to be the "patriarch" of the family and force everyone to comply with their whims; who won't flip out over every little thing, and then try to make up for it by buying stuff, as if money can fix abuse.

    People are just looking to be treated decently.

    People are not so stupid as to believe they will find a perfect spouse. But they are hopefully getting smart enough to believe the wisdom of Proverbs 21:19 "It is better to dwell alone and in the wilderness than with a contentious, angry, abusive spouse."

  • Y Ask Y Provo, UT
    June 12, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Many of the sentiments expressed in this article and the comments are ideas that abused women and children (most often) invoke to justify sticking with abusive, very bad marriages.

    I get the idea that nobody's perfect, and we should be more tolerant of that fact in order to make our relationships work... but there really are far too many "wrong" spouses!

    And for those who proclaim their imperfections and think they are being pseudo-humble, but are hiding abuse and trying to get away with it, you should take a hard look at yourselves and determine whether or not you really are "the wrong person"!

    Domestic violence, physical and emotional spouse and child abuse, are rampant, under-reported, and a plague in our society - yes, even in LDS society! Church leaders too often help cover it up; co-dependant spouses too often hide it, thereby enabling the abuser to continue; too many emotionally and physically abusive, controlling spouses (typically men) continue in denial, telling themselves they are not abusive.

    Only the truth will set anyone free.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    June 12, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    There is one rule of thumb that if most people follow, they will avoid marriage and life issues.
    Try not to be selfish.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 12, 2013 5:47 a.m.

    The real problem with looking for the perfect woman is this: when you find her, she's not going to be interested in you because she'll be looking for the perfect man. The best any of us can hope for is to find someone whose flaws we can live with and who can accept our flaws.

  • JayTee Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2013 10:45 p.m.

    Once there, it's best to make the best of it. But it's not like buying a hamburger, and anyone who advises young people to go into a "settle-for" relationship is simply not giving sound counsel. It's the most important of decisions, and there are reasons why so many marriages fail, and why so many of the failed marriages actually end in divorce. Not the time to be just reaching in the barrel and pulling out someone who can fog a mirror on a cold day.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    June 11, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    TwoBitsWorth - So well said! I'm at 25 years and counting, not even half way to where you are. Your rules are wise!

    I love the other positive comments. Marriage is not easy - even in the best of marriages. But it really is worth the sacrifice required of both.

  • Ilovethejjs medford, MA
    June 11, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    President Hinckley said, "marriage is an adventure." Like navigating together in a car. there will be bumps in the road, but overall, enjoy the ride. love comes in layers. After 35 years of marriage, when I'm with my husband, I feel like I just sat in a comfortable chair. I'm not worried about my looks anymore, nor am I clamoring around tending to young children. The difficulties add a layer of love each time you resolve it. When young people tell me that a marriage certificate is 'just a piece of paper" I reply, "So is a $100 bill."

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 10, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    I was a drug addict when my wife married me. What she saw was not the drug addict, but the man I could and did become. I'm no longer a drug addict and would never touch the stuff again. I had severe depression and PTSD, she helped me break it and I'm now depression free and the PTSD is quickly leaving. I'm fat, balding and have terrible arthritis, but she still loves me.

    It isn't the outside that counts, it's what's inside.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 10, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    She had me at hello.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    June 10, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    Everybody living longer is a downside to sainted widow and widower-hood. Statistically, people have just about even odds divorcing or dying in a marriage. Some People who have qualms about divorce and are in awlful marriages secretly pray for death everyday but won't admit to it.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    June 10, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    True, true and Amen! Marriage was meant to be hard work and sacrifice from the first kick 'out the Garden'.

    However, I'm thankful God allows second chances and lessons learned. this year marks 25 years with the love of my life, my best friend, most awesome counselor/advisor/helper/partner any woman could ever hope for. He ain't perfect, but pretty darn close. He sez it like it is, is a gentleman and a rogue when it is appropriate. Will never let you down, but expects honesty and commitment commensurate with his. Oh, and we love the same God. That's our key.

    My first husband and I tried hard, hevwas "all that and a bag of chips", gave me five beautiful children in 14 years of marriage. But we were/are like oil and water and tried too hard to please family, friends and church.

    True love is worth the fight and the work.

  • TwoBitsWorth Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    As I read this article, I realize that I have been happily married to the wrong person for 63 years now, and counting. We made a deal when we got married - we agreed to do things together, and to accept each other (faults and all) and never let an argument last longer than today. If some difficult decision needed to be made, and anger seemed to get in the way, we would put it on our calendar for another day (when tempers could be cool) and put it out of our minds for now. We are far from perfect as our 10 children well know. But we are happy - and the happiness becomes broader and stronger every day.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 10, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    For the most part I quite agree with the article. There are a lot of people out there that don't impress me as capable of marriage today because they expect perfection, don't want to compromise and certainly don't want to work at it. Trouble is, they do it anyway, seeking the perfection and redemption of 'happily ever after'. That idea is a myth. And they make it worse with kids. Having kids should require more proof of qualification than almost anything else the average person would do. I'm not worried about any of this decline of the family, marriage under attack, population not growing, whatever theme of the week we're on here. I'm worried that people seem to be losing the ability to think things through, plan, take responsibility for themselves, or make a sound commitment. To anything. I'm not fretting marriage; we need to have those characteristics and skills for everything. At least we should, if we want to be adults. If you haven't the sense to get into a marriage that lasts, or stay out of one that won't, how are you going to get ahead in life?