Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Pride in Marriage

Did you know that according to scientific research and countless hours of studies John Gottman has found that "when a man is not willing to share power with his partner there is an 81 percent chance that his marriage will self-destruct"?(Gottman, p. 116).
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That is extremely high, don't you think?

I think this can go the other way too, us women can be a little prideful too. Here's an example, you say something stupid, the Hubby calls you on it, you puff up your chest and walk away. OR, your hubby says something stupid, you call him on it, and when he apologizes you "harumph!" and walk away.
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Now, this doesn't mean that we should keep everything to ourselves either because as Gottman points out, "trying to suppress negative feelings in your spouse's presence wouldn't be good for your marriage or your blood pressure" (Gottman, p. 120).
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There are ways to express feelings in humble ways. Humbly expressing truth in a tenderly upfront kind of way is best, although at times difficult... there's that pride creeping in again!
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Dr. Goddard points out that if we want to have more spiritual power and eliminate pride it must be done in the spirit of total humility. He gave examples of Alma who did a complete turnaround, but only because he "cried within [his] heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death" (Alma 36:18). Other scriptural examples of men who were changed by repentance include the Publican in Luke 18:13 who said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner", King Benjamin's people in Mosiah 4:2 who cried out, "O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ", and the Brother of Jared in Ether 3:3 who pleaded, "Thou has been merciful unto us. O Lord, look upon me in pity (Goddard, p. 78).
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The Lord offers a chance for us to forsake our sins and our pride through His Infinite Atonement. President Ezra Taft Benson reminds us that "Pride is the universal sin, the great vice... Think of the repentance that could take place with lives changed, marriages preserved, and homes strengthened, if pride did not keep us from confessing our sins and forsaking them" (Benson, 1989).
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I pray that we can overcome pride in our own marriages by seeking to harness the strength that the Lord offers us. It takes humility to become strong. It takes a broken heart to heal the pain caused by pride.

Benson, E. T. (1989). "Beware of Pride". Ensign, May 1989, 4.

Goddard, H. (2009). “Drawing Heaven into Your Marriage: Eternal Doctrines that Change Relationships”. Joymap Publishing. 3933 W. 9850 N Ceder Hills, Utah, USA.

Gottman, J., and Silver, N. (1995, 2015). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert. Harmony Books Penguin Random House Company, New York.

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