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Achieving Your Happily Ever After: Overcoming Common Marriage Concerns

By Mormon.org
Couple holding hands, looking at each other, and smiling.

Happily ever afters aren’t just for Hollywood and fairy tales; they can and do exist. But they don’t end with a kiss on the wedding day. That’s when the story actually begins. Every beautiful wedding day has the potential for a happily-ever-after marriage with some effort. It’s all about navigating and avoiding the concerns and pitfalls every marriage faces.

Any basic Internet search yields a lengthy list of common marriage concerns. Recently, Time.com published “The 4 Most Common Relationship Problems—and How to Fix Them,” highlighting troublemakers like criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. One popular blogger cited pornography, laziness, passiveness, and immaturity as marriage killers. Other articles raise issues ranging from lack of communication and trust to disagreements over parenting styles and family finances. The list goes on and on. However, despite the varied issues, one common element runs through most of the discord in marriages today—a theme President Henry B. Eyring noted during a Vatican summit on marriage on November 18, 2014.

“You have seen enough unhappiness in marriages and families,” said President Eyring, “to ask why some marriages produce happiness while others create unhappiness. Many factors make a difference, but one stands out to me.”

He explained: “Where there is selfishness, natural differences of men and women often divide. Where there is unselfishness, differences become complementary and provide opportunities to help and build each other. Spouses and family members can lift each other and ascend together if they care more about the interests of the other than their own interests.”

Watch President Eyring’s address here.

Marriage is more than a 50/50 proposition. In order for couples to achieve the happily-ever-after marriage they seek, spouses need to give 100 percent of themselves to each other in selfless love and consideration. 

Here are some simple ways to overcome selfishness and build a happily-ever-after marriage one day at a time:

  • Write notes of love and encouragement
  • Offer compliments daily
  • Express gratitude
  • Go on weekly dates
  • Take time to listen more than talk
  • Forgive and love, over and over
  • Accentuate the positive
  • Hold hands
  • Say “I love you” frequently

President Eyring counsels that a happy marriage “will require people to try for the ideal—and to keep trying even when the happy result is slow to come and when loud voices mock the effort.” But he promises that “as we work to build and encourage faithful, loving marriages in which men and women become as one and nurture their families, the Lord will multiply our efforts.”

Want to find out more about creating your own happily-ever-after marriage? We invite you to meet with the missionaries.