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Becoming One in Marriage: What It Means and How to Attain It Richard B Miller, Ph.D. School of Family Life Brigham Young University.

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Presentation on theme: "Becoming One in Marriage: What It Means and How to Attain It Richard B Miller, Ph.D. School of Family Life Brigham Young University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Becoming One in Marriage: What It Means and How to Attain It Richard B Miller, Ph.D. School of Family Life Brigham Young University

2 One Mind Focus is on the cognitive aspects of marriage. Being on the same page in goals and expectations.

3 Unity in Purpose and Goals

4 Unity in Purpose A long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together. Joseph Smith (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 271–280)

5 Role Expectations  Expectations about what qualities your spouse should have.  Expectations about what your spouse SHOULD do and be.  Challenge: Possible incompatible expectations.  Solution: Talk before you get married about major role expectations. Negotiate shared expectations.  Solution: Talk after you get married about unexpected role expectations. Negotiate shared expectations.

6 More “Very Important” Characteristics of Spouse

7 “Very Important” Characteristics of Spouse

8 Both Males and Females want a Spouse who:  Loves me  Is Spiritual/Active in Church  Communicates Well, Open, Easy to Talk with  Wants Children  Kind and Understanding  Fun/Has a Sense of Humor

9 There are a few Key Gender Differences Males  Physically attractive Females  Ambitious, hardworking  Educated

10 Scripts  Expectations about HOW an event should transpire.  Challenge: Unknown scripts; your spouse doesn’t know your script and doesn’t come in “on cue”.  Solution: Share your scripts and negotiate joint scripts.

11 Role Expectations and Scripts regarding the Government of Marriage

12 The wife you choose will be your equal. Paul declared, “Neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:11).1 Cor. 11:11 In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey. Gordon B. Hinckley May 2002 Ensign, 52

13 Remember, brethren, that in your role as leader in the family, your wife is your companion. As President Gordon B. Hinckley has taught: "In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are coequals." Since the beginning, God has instructed mankind that marriage should unite husband and wife together in unity. Therefore, there is not a president or a vice president in a family. The couple works together eternally for the good of the family. They are united together in word, in deed, and in action as they lead, guide, and direct their family unit. They are on equal footing. L. Tom Perry, May 2004 Ensign, 71

14 25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;

15 27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:

16 A most important difference in the functioning of priesthood authority in the family and in the Church results from the fact that the government of the family is patriarchal, whereas the government of the Church is hierarchical. The concept of partnership functions differently in the family than in the Church…. President Kimball also declared, “We have heard of men who have said to their wives, ‘I hold the priesthood and you’ve got to do what I say.’” He decisively rejected that abuse of priesthood authority in a marriage, declaring that such a man “should not be honored in his priesthood” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 316). (Dallin H. Oaks, October 2005 General Conference).

17 Standards  Expectations about HOW WELL a role should be performed; acceptable level of performance.  Challenge: Unrealistic standard; Incompatible standards  Solution: Develop realistic standards Negotiate joint standards

18 Expectations about Finances The girl who marries you will not wish to be married to a tightwad. Neither will she wish to be married to a spendthrift. She is entitled to know all about family finances. She will be your partner. Unless there is full and complete understanding between you and your wife on these matters, there likely will come misunderstandings and suspicions that will cause trouble that can lead to greater problems. Gordon B. Hinckley, May 1998 Ensign, 49

19 Expectations about Finances Where there is respect, there is also transparency, which is a key element of happy marriages. There are no secrets about relevant matters in marriages based on mutual respect and transparency. Husbands and wives make all decisions about finances together, and both have access to all information. L. Whitney Clayton, April 2013 General Conference

20 Beliefs about Marriage  “Good marriages don’t have disagreements.”  “Getting married will solve all my problems.”  “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  “I will always be happy when I’m married.”  “I’ll kiss a frog and he’ll turn into a prince.”  “A good, righteous marriage never has disappointments or challenges.”  “My marriage will constantly be wonderfully, blissfully romantic.”  “We will always agree on parenting.”

21 Beliefs about Marriage  Challenge: These unrealistic beliefs are based on incorrect information and idealistic thinking. They are a leading cause of marital disillusionment.  They make you at risk for severe disillusionment in your marriage.  Solution: Expectations about marriage should be based on accurate beliefs and facts about marriage.

22 There seems to be a superstition among many thousands of our young [men and women] who hold hands and smooch in the drive-ins that marriage is a cottage surrounded by perpetual hollyhocks to which a perpetually young and handsome husband comes home to a perpetually young and [beautiful] wife. When the hollyhocks wither and boredom and bills appear the divorce courts are jammed. …

23 Anyone who imagines that bliss [in marriage] is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. [The fact is] most putts don’t drop. Most beef is tough. Most children grow up to be just people. Most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration. Most jobs are more often dull than otherwise…

24 Life is like an old-time rail journey— delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride. Gordon B. Hinckley, quoting Jenkins Lloyd Jones, Ensign, Mar. 1997, p. 60

25 Gender Differences in Marital Expectations  Women think more than men about expectations. They spend more time in “relationship reflection”.  Women’s behavior is more consistent with expectations.  Women become more upset when expectations aren’t met.

26 Where do expectations come from?  Parents and families-of-origin  Previous Relationships  Television and movies  Gospel teachings

27 What do you do about expectations?  Be aware of your own expectations.  Develop reasonable expectations based on accurate information.  Be clear about your expectations.  Communicate each other’s expectations. Negotiate joint expectations.


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