Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Marriage Learning Curve, Lesson 3: Love the Person You Found

Love has never been something I struggled to give. During my courtship experiences I would fright those boys with too much love! That's right, they would sense that I had so much of it, and weren't ready to receive it :) My friends often told me that I needed to wait a long time when I was interested in someone before I showed all that love. I just couldn't help it.

I have been blessed with people around me who love too. I love, love. Isn't it strange then that love has a tendency to wax and wane with the people that are closest to us? Sometimes I am so full of it, I could burst, but sometimes I am am hanging on to a thread. In my relationships with my family, close friends, and now my sweetheart, I find that sometimes the moon is full, and sometimes the moon is a sliver fingernail in the dark sky. Sometimes I question, I doubt, I fear what true love can really be. Why - when, me....huge heart, amazing, me - loves love so much?

I believe the original post comes from the Empower Network, but I found this profound article through our favorite social media site FB.


During a seminar, a woman asked," How do I know if I am with the right person?"

The author then noticed that there was a large
man sitting next to her so he said, "It depends. Is that your partner?" In all seriousness, she answered "How do you know?" Let me answer this question because the chances are good that it's weighing on your mind replied the author.

Here's the answer.

Every relationship has a cycle… In the beginning; you fall in love with your partner. You anticipate their calls, want their touch, and like their idiosyncrasies. Falling in love wasn't hard. In fact, it was a completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to DO anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love.

People in love sometimes say, "I was swept of my feet."Picture the expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something happened TO YOU.

Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It's a natural cycle of EVERY relationship.

Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse's idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.

At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, "Am I with the right person?" And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.

The key to succeeding in a relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the person you found.

People blame their partners for their unhappiness and look outside for fulfillment. Extramarital fulfillment comes in all shapes and sizes.

Infidelity is the most common. But sometimes people turn to work, a hobby, friendship, excessive TV, or abusive substances. But the answer to this dilemma does NOT lie outside your relationship. It lies within it.

I'm not saying that you couldn't fall in love with someone else. You could. And TEMPORARILY you'd feel better. But you'd be in the same situation a few years later.

Because (listen carefully to this):

The key to succeeding in a Relationship is not finding the right person; it's learning to love the Person you found.

SUSTAINING love is not a passive or spontaneous experience. You have to work on it day in and day out. It takes time, effort, and energy. And most importantly, it demands WISDOM. You have to know
WHAT TO DO to make it work. Make no mistake about it.

Love is NOT a mystery. There are specific things you can do (with or without your partner), Just as there are physical laws Of the universe (such as gravity), there are also laws for relationships. If you know how to apply these laws, the results are predictable.

Love is therefore a "decision". Not just a feeling.

Remember this always: God determines who walks into your life. It is up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let GO! ♥


My takeaways from this is that love is not lazy; it requires work. I find that the emotions that I want are happiness, joy, love, peace, are possible...if I choose it, and if I work at it. Happiness doesn't just happen. Even for the person who seems like they have never experienced a bad day in their life. Their perception is what helps them get through the day. Driving positive perception is work. And it doesn't need to be hard work either. This is where I need to the Lord step in and help me...if I choose to, and if I let Him.

Most older and wiser people have told me that true love comes with time. In the Preparing for Eternal Marriage Lesson Manual: 14, True Love it reads:

Understanding love helps us in selecting an eternal companion and establishing an eternal marriage. Bruce C. Hafen, who was later a member of the Seventy, said: “Be friends first and sweethearts second. Lowell Bennion once said that relationships between young men and young women should be built like a pyramid. The base of the pyramid is friendship. And the ascending layers are built of things like time, understanding, respect, and restraint. Right at the top of the pyramid is a glittering little mystery called romance. And when weary travelers in the desert see that glitter on top of the pyramid from far off, they don’t see what underlies the jewel to give it such prominence and hold it so high” (“The Gospel and Romantic Love,” in Brigham Young University 1982–83 Fireside and Devotional Speeches [1983], 32). 

In another talk, Love Takes Time, by Marvin J. Ashton, it reads:

"True love is a process. True love requires personal action. Love must be continuing to be real. Love takes time. Too often expediency, infatuation, stimulation, persuasion, or lust are mistaken for love. How hollow, how empty if our love is no deeper than the arousal of momentary feeling or the expression in words of what is no more lasting than the time it takes to speak them. A group of college students recently indicated to me their least favorite expression to come from us as the older set is, “If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know.” They, as do others, much prefer actions over conversation.

Undoubtedly our Heavenly Father tires of expressions of love in words only. He has made it clear through his prophets and his word that his ways are ways of commitment, and not conversation. He prefers performance over lip service. We show our true love for him in proportion to our keeping his words and the processes of feeding."

Love=Action....steady and growing in intensity. So, going back to an earlier thought, it seems to me that love is more than a choice, it is a commitment that brings true joy and happiness. 

Loving the person I found (even though he found me) is part of this miraculous journey, and I need not be afraid.

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