Recently Scott and I had the chance to attend a Saturday evening adult session of Stake Conference. I was pretty excited because 1) it was going to be an evening out for just the two of us, 2) I got to curl my hair (a break from my standard summer hair-do: messy ponytail), and 3) I got to wear my new dress from Soel Boutique. I just loved the creamy colors.
Much of the meeting focused on marriage counsel, advice, tips, lessons. I took many notes. Scott put his arm around me and squeezed me tight. And we both left the meeting with a lot of insights -- about ourselves and about each other.
We headed to the Cheesecake Factory for appetizers and desserts and discussed the talks, we went over my notes, made lists, and had a really good conversation.
One of the talks touched on Marriage Models.
You've heard of the "Emotional Bank Account", I'm sure. It's the idea that you can make deposits and withdrawals from your relationships. And that you should make a conscious effort to make more deposits than withdrawals from your spouse's emotional bank account.
Another marriage model stemmed from the questions -- what is important to you in your relationship and what do you need? A marriage therapist (I don't remember his name) identified 10 things that are most commonly listed as needs in marriage:
- Affection - expression of care, security, comfort
- Domestic Support - having domestic, household needs provided for
- Financial Support
- Family Commitment - spouse involvement in education & development of children
- Honesty & Openness
- Physical Attractiveness
- Recreational Companionship - doing things together
- Sexual Fulfillment
I think the key to a successful marriage is simply understanding what your spouse's needs are. Being aware of what they require to feel loved and fulfilled. And then doing your best to meet those needs.
Over appetizers Scott and I each made a list of our top 5. Of course most of our needs were different. And that's okay. That's what makes life interesting, right? We were able to discuss each point and what that means to us individually and as a couple. It was a great exercise and I highly recommend sitting down with your spouse and doing something similar.
Then I ate this. White chocolate caramel macadamia nut cheesecake. Yum.
And I was thankful for marriage, for all that it teaches me, for the way that our relationship has grown over the years, and for the opportunity to spend my life (and eternity) with him.
Marriage is good.
There is a song on Mindy Gledhill's new album that I just adore and each time it reaches the chorus I can't help but smile and be thankful for us.
If life's a picture show
I want to sit with you on the back row
In the film projector's glow
While we kiss on the lips as the credits roll.
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