Lars is getting married.
We've already discussed the roller coaster of emotions about that here.
As the wedding gets closer I've been thinking about what wedding advice I could offer him now that I am an old married woman. ;) It really is almost comical how quickly we think we have become the expert at things.
I think of typical wedding advice you hear. Things like "Sometimes it's okay to let them be right even when they are wrong." or "Never go to bed angry" or "Don't expect the other person to change" or heck even sometimes so arbitrary as "Be nice to each other".
I think of these bits of wisdom that surely would help any relationship, marriage or not, and smile. Of course those are great ideas. I think we like to say these things in hopes that we'll do them more or better. But I hardly believe that any newly married person in the midst of a heated debate will suddenly think, "Oh! On our wedding day my cousin said be kind to each other so I am going to stop fighting."
And so I've been racking my brain in search for real advice. (Of course because of my deep need to be original and authentic due to my personality type.) And I've come up with two ideas that I want to share with Lars.
1. For me, the hardest thing about being married is the fact that someone else makes decisions everyday that affect me almost as much as my own decisions. I'm sure being older and independent plays a role in how hard it is to accept and deal with this concept but you've got to find a way to cope with this.
Which leads me to my number 2. The only way I've found to cope with this concept, this idea that someone else... someone that I'm sure everyone in the world would say is so completely different from themselves in the first year of marriage, is to have the same goals in the end. It's only because I know that my partner and I want the same things in the end that I am able to cope with the reality that his decisions drastically affect me and my own future.
I've struggled with this piece of advice because it is so cliche. But I do believe it's truth more now than ever before.
God and His Gospel are the saving grace. I truly believe what President Kimball said. I believe any two people who CHOSE to get married can have a wonderful marriage if God and the Gospel are number 1. Because that way there is no question, that way you don't have to worry, that way the differences are more trivial, if both you and your partner are doing everything in your power to get to heaven, both of you are making decisions towards that goal. Even if it is true that you and your partner see the rest of the world completely differently, it's okay because you have that one strong hold that will win out in the end.
So my advice for Lars.
Put the Gospel number 1 and hold on tight because it's one hell of a ride.