As a child whose parents divorced when I was in fifth grade, I was determined to marry once and forever. After some difficult dating experiences, I began to discover that I could not do this by myself. Both people in the relationship had to be committed to making a forever marriage. Even then, we still needed something greater than ourselves to make a marriage last: God.
Here are some specific reminders that have helped us bring God into our marriage; leading to the happiness that we love and share.
If you want to invite God in your marriage, ask him. Talk to him as if he is the Father who cares because he does. Talk to him as if he is the God with power to help because he can. Pray individually, but also pray as a couple and as a family. My husband and I have already noticed that praying together softens our hearts and prompts us to positive changes we can make individually and together.
If you want to know how God works, study the scriptures that describe what he has done. Study the teachings of prophets to learn how they have guided people for ages, even now. Study the writings of others who have great knowledge about marriage, families, or how to love. Study on your own and with your spouse. Learn specific skills to practice together. Learning how to have a happy marriage only feels hard when it feels like there is nothing you can do. However, a bit of knowledge adds up quickly. This feels empowering as you learn what not to do, as well as what little things you can do that make a big difference.
Working together on everything from chores, problem-solving, to future planning helps build your relationship. It will bring out unseen expectations for meeting needs, gender roles, and communication. This provides opportunity to clarify, improve, and solidify your relationship so that your time together is more productive and effective in meeting the needs of your unique family.
lf you have agreed together that divorce is not an option, know that problem-solving together is the answer. Follow the pattern of covenants to progress your relationship forward by keeping promises and following through on what you have agreed to do. Ignore negativity. Don't say bad things about your spouse in front of others, and stay away from activities that promote infidelity, like pornography and emotional attachments to others besides your spouse. Be fiercely loyal to your spouse. Be conscious and frequently notice the positive contributions your spouse makes to the family.
Love each other
To love someone else means to serve them willingly, and with good cheer. It means to forgive, apologize, and appreciate. Increase love by expressing it. Express it internally through positive thoughts and appreciation. Express it outwardly through continued and ongoing courtship. Serving each other will help you see the other the way God sees the other.
Finding my husband was a miracle to me. Not just that I found any husband, but that my husband was him, specifically. His parents maintain a strong marriage and remain a great example for us. We also knew of the famous triangle, where if each of us did our individual work to grow closer to God, we would also grow closer together as we progressed upward.