Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Category: Dating & Marriage (page 3 of 4)

Wedding Wednesday: To Register or Not to Register?

The time just keeps flying by. I can’t believe it, but only a month from today I will be getting married! We have gotten a lot more wedding things done which is a huge relief. Just last week my fiancée and I sent out a majority of our invitations. Along with our invitations we had an insert card that said that we were registered at Target.

target couple

Image from here

So, last week we also went and registered at Target. I feel like today, registering at places like Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, or Kohl’s has become common for bridal showers or weddings. Way back when (your parents can probably remember) no one registered and often times just asked for money. In a way I wish it were more like that today, because really all a new married couple needs is money, but it is seen as tacky asking for it nowadays. I would like to share my experience registering for Target and the pros and cons that happened and it might help you decide whether or not registering is for you.

To begin, registering was tiring. It might sound like a lot of fun running around a department store with a scanner gun, pointing at things on the shelves. I won’t lie; it was fun at the beginning, but eventually all our energy got sucked out of us. Walking around a big store like Target can get tiring and annoying, especially when you can’t find the aisle you need. Eventually it became a chore trying to find the barcode on each item to scan.

By the end, my body was tired from walking around so much and my scrawny pathetic arms were sore from holding the scanning gun, I just wanted to go home. It was fun at the beginning, but the phrase “shop till you drop” became more literal to me at that moment than ever before.

Secondly, we will most likely not get half of the things we registered for that night. I think I have only ever used a registry to buy someone a gift once in my life. It’s sad but true; probably more than half your guests won’t use your registry to find you a gift. Thankfully, you will still get things you need and there will be those people who will get you a gift card or just give you money. At this point in your life when you don’t have much, any gift is going to be of help. My dilemma was, however, if I probably won’t get 75% of the things I asked for on my registry was it even worth it? I would have been easier not to make one at all.

 

The last thing I learned on my registering adventure was actually a positive thing that might trump all the negativity of the situation. Going and registering made me more excited to be married to my best friend and it gave me a dose of reality. Making the list before the trip and deciding what we needed for our new lives together made me excited to have my own “home” (if you can call a college apartment home). I’m so excited to share a living space with my new companion and be able to decorate it how I want and have the items that I want. It also opened my eyes to what two people require to live comfortably and what may not necessarily be needed for a comfortable and humble beginning. It was an enlightening experience that will most definitely help us in the future.

Image from here

Image from here


I still haven’t decided whether or not having a registry was worth it. Maybe I will make up my mind after opening the presents and seeing what we got and what we still need. It still was an interesting experience and something I’m not sure I would want to pass up, but I leave it to you to decide.

By Bryn Adams

Wedding Wednesday: Meeting The In-Laws

In exactly a month and sixteen days my fiancée and I will be walking through the doors of the Salt Lake Temple together. I am so excited and can’t believe how fast time is flying by, although it still isn’t coming soon enough! Nothing major has happened recently, I am still working on the little things for the wedding.

My fiancée’s parents came up from Arizona to meet my parents on the 25th of October, which was very exciting. Both my fiancée and I had already met the other’s parents, they just hadn’t met each other yet. Overall I would say it was a very successful visit. Meeting the in-laws is a big part of the wedding process that sometimes gets overlooked. It can be a little nerve-racking, but if you try to keep in mind these three tips, your initial first meeting should go a whole lot smoother.wedding family

#1 Be Yourself

I might sound like a broken record, but being yourself is incredibly important. You will most likely be interacting with your in-laws for the rest of your married life so it’s essential that they get to know YOU. Don’t try and change yourself in order to meet what you think their expectations are. It’s easy to tell when someone is trying to be fake, so don’t fake it. If you act like yourself then the people around you will act normal too, dissolving tension from a potentially stressful situation. Don’t be nervous, you know you better than anyone.

#2 Get to Know Them

Not only should they be getting to know you, but you should also get to know them. Don’t spend the whole time talking about your life—ask about theirs. Take real interest in their lives and passions; don’t feign interest. The more genuine you can be in this first meeting the better. Don’t just take interest in your mother or father-in-law; take interest in your fiancée’s siblings as well. Think of your in-laws as an addition to your family. Be kind and considerate, and treat them as you would treat your own family.

#3 Proper Setting The first time I met my fiancée’s parents was at his family’s condo in Cedar City. There were a lot of people there and we went snowboarding and played pool all day. He met my family at a birthday party for my cousin, where there were also a lot of people there talking and having fun. It is important that when you meet your in-laws for the first time that it is in the right setting, preferably, where not all the attention is on you. There are better times for you to interact one-on-one with your in-laws but for the first meeting that might be awkward. It’s best if it’s at a casual setting, with lots of people around and something going on. This way not all the pressure is on you and hopefully some of the awkwardness of that initial meeting will be diminished.

It’s always important to leave a good first impression. While that is true, don’t stress about meeting your in-laws, most likely they will love you just as much their son or daughter loves you.

By Bryn Adams

Wedding Wednesday: Picking the Perfect Dress

My name is Bryn Adams and about a month ago I got engaged to my best friend!

Over the last month, my fiancée and I got a lot of planning for the wedding done. One of the major things that happened two weeks ago was that I finally found my wedding dress! After searching for a while for the perfect dress, I believe that I have finally found the one. Through this dress shopping experience, I feel like I’ve learned a lot. So, allow me to share my newly gained wisdom with all you future brides.

wedding dress shopping

  1. Don’t feel pressured: Although the employees at bridal shops are usually helpful and nice, they want you to pick one of THEIR dresses. Bridal shops will tell you things in order to convince you to decide on a dress that day. However, don’t let them pressure you into a decision unless you’re sure about the dress. Check out other dress shops and pick the dress YOU want. Don’t let your friends or family members pressure you into a decision either. It’s your dress; you are the one who will be wearing it on your special day.
  2. Temple Appropriate: When picking out your wedding dress, you should consider the rules your temple has. Different temples have different requirements for dresses and you should look over them and know what is and is not appropriate. If you want to wear your wedding dress in the temple, then make sure it follows the guidelines. You could even talk to the matron of your temple to double-check. A word of advice, though—if you find a dress you love that is modest, but perhaps has too many sequins, or is ivory instead of white, don’t worry about it. Wearing a temple dress for your sealing is perfectly fine and may even make it more special. You will most likely wear that temple dress again when you go to the temple to do ordinances. Every time you wear it you will be reminded of that special day.
  3. The one that goes WOW: By wow, I mean pick the dress that makes you feel and look amazing. You’ll know when you find the one, your mom will start crying, and you won’t be able to stop smiling. There are a lot of pretty dresses out there, but pick the one that feels like a wedding dress, not just another prom dress that happens to be white. Picture yourself in the temple, in that dress, with your future husband staring back at you and you’ll know.

Just have fun! It’s not everyday that you get to try on tons of beautiful dresses and have people tell you how awesome you look. Good luck, I hope these tips come in handy.

 

Wedding Wednesday: Meet Bryn

My name is Bryn Adams. I am currently a junior at BYU, and…I just got ENGAGED!

IMG_0787

 

While being engaged has probably been one of the most exciting times in my life, it has also been the most stressful. Being a full-time student and planning a wedding is no easy task; it’s hard to find a balance between the two. While I wouldn’t say I’m an expert by any means, I have learned a few things in the past couple of weeks that I would like to share with any of you who are engaged at this moment or who hope to be in the near or distant future.

 

Tip #1: Start planning as soon as possible

Being engaged is an exciting, blissful moment and you should definitely revel in it. However, it’s important to start getting serious about planning the wedding as soon as possible. My fiancé and I immediately started calling businesses for consultations the day after he popped the question. It has only been two weeks and we already have the temple date set, the reception venue, the cake and food at the reception, decorations, and the honeymoon planned. Just this past week we took some engagement photos, and I’ve already gone dress shopping (with no luck yet). Thankfully, school has been put on the back burner only slightly. Planning a wedding isn’t something you want to procrastinate because it is stressful. The more you have out of the way beforehand, the less stressed you’ll be.

 

Tip #2: Use your family and friends’ talents

Everyone has that really artsy person or crazy micromanager in their family or circle of friends. I’m telling you that you will be grateful for your family and friends’ talents when it’s time to plan a wedding. They will be your lifesavers, stress savers, and money savers. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends or family to help you, in fact, many of them may even offer their talents to you. My cousin has always had a knack for art and wants to go into photography. She’s a pretty good photographer already and has an awesome camera to boot. I asked her if she would be willing to take my engagement and bridal photos, she was happy to help. Instead of paying a professional hundreds—maybe even thousands—of dollars to take our photos, we’re having my cousin do it for cheaper. When planning a wedding, your family and friends become your greatest assets. Oftentimes they’ll be more than happy to help.

 

Tip #3: Talk to your fiancé:

When it comes to weddings, it is usually the bride who has been dreaming and planning this day in her head since she was young. While planning your wedding, don’t leave your fiancé out of it, assuming that because he’s a guy, he wouldn’t be interested. Your soon-to-be-husband may have some good ideas that you never even thought of. Although he may not want to be involved with the whole thing, don’t leave him out. Ask him how involved he wants to be with the planning. Not only can your fiancé give ideas and advice, he can also be the one that keeps you sane. Tell him what your ideas are, what you’re stressed about, and what you want help with. Who knows, may he’ll surprise you with an awesome idea or give you comfort when you need it.

 

Though I feel like I’ve gotten a lot done in two weeks, there is still so much to do. I’m learning as I go, and I’m  grateful for all the help that I’ve been given by my friends and family, which I‘m sure I’ll need even more as the date draws closer. These tips have already helped me and I hope they’ll be helpful to others as well.

It’s all Greek to me: Dating a Foreigner

imageWhether you’ve just begun a steady relationship or you’ve been married for a while, being in a relationship with a person from a different country can be a journey. When I started dating my Canadian husband you can bet your bottom “loonie”* that we learned a lot about each other. Our differences are not as pronounced as other couples I have met, but here are three tips I’ve gathered for couples with different nationalities.

*a loonie is the Canadian dollar coin. Look, you just learned something new!

  1. Expect differences, and embrace them. When I say “expect differences,” I mean you shouldn’t assume that your significant other is going to do things the same way as you do. Regardless of whether your honey is from South Africa or South Jordan, there will always be differences. I really like this quote from a previous blog post:

“I wish I would have known that when two people get married, they bring two entirely different cultures into one house. It’s important to understand that while your spouse may cook rice differently, clean the bathroom differently, or do the dishes differently, it doesn’t mean that their way is wrong. Be willing to compromise on these things!” –Kaitlyn, What I Wish I Would Have Known (part one): Marriage

(see full post here)

The compromising Kaitlyn mentioned is one way of embracing the differences between you two. Another idea is to praise your significant other for things they may do better than you. Luckily for me my husband is way better at driving in the snow. Praising him for this always makes him feel good and needed. For two more ways to embrace your sweetheart’s specialties, keep reading!

  1. Try new things. My husband loves ice skating (a product of all the frozen water in Canada). Because I was raised in the desert of Nevada I only went ice skating a couple of times. For our first date we went ice skating… and it was embarrassing. I barely shuffled along as my husband literally skated circles around me. Ever since then I have begrudgingly gone skating with him at least once a year, and slowly I have gotten better. The only way to get better at things is to try! Even if you don’t particularly like your significant other’s favorite sport, food, or music, giving it a try shows your love for them and opens up your own mind as well.
  1. Get the facts. Do you know anything about llamas in Peru? Could you locate Yugoslavia on a map? When you’re dating someone from another country, pull out your atlas! This may seem obvious, but if you know nothing about their country there’s a chance you’re missing out on important aspects of their personality. This can also be true for couples from the same country but differing cultures. Fundamental to understanding someone is knowing where and how they grew up. When my husband and I were dating I spent at least a few hours researching hockey teams. I did it because I realized that if I didn’t understand hockey, then I didn’t understand Canada, and if I didn’t understand Canada, I wouldn’t understand this guy I was dating. My husband really appreciated it, and his family did as well (brownie points)!

Keeping these tips in mind has always helped me and other couples that I have talked to. Hopefully you and your foreign sweetheart will find meaning in them too!

By Sam Jenkins, Social Media Advisor

“Let No Man Put Asunder”: A Marriage Promise

By Jerrick Robbins

My sister recently bought a new cell phone. It has all the speed, all the data, and all the memory a person could want. Her brand-new technology puts my one-year-old technology to shame. In fact, it might as well own my phone. Her phone’s screen has better resolution, its width is thinner, and its camera can even take a video in slow motion. As much as I love my phone, I plan on getting the newest model as soon as I can update next year.

It seems like our culture is going toward a “newest and best model” theology. People need the newest technology, the best car, the best job, and the newest trends. I have to admit, I want it—all of it. All the new and best things. Yes, that thought might be a little materialistic and unobtainable, but a guy can dream, right? Yes, guys can dream, so can gals. People can dream, and people can have hope that they will obtain their dreams. But there’s one dream no one should entertain.

As I write this blog post, my fiancée is sitting next to me writing “thank you” cards. Earlier today, I massaged her feet as she relaxed from a hard day’s work. I love her, I love serving her, and at this moment, I could never see me leaving her. Sadly, that’s what many couples say at the beginning of their relationship, but they end up doing what they never thought possible.

image from flickr user urbiefoto

image from flickr user urbiefoto

Too many people fall into the “newest and best model” theology when it comes to a spouse. In effect, they think that if their marriage isn’t working, if they run into technical difficulties or glitches in marriage, it’s time to trade in for a new one. Our culture’s “newest and best model” theology has been taken too far. That thinking has removed commitment from a relationship and inserted change instead. It has removed responsibility and inserted replace.

Marriage is not meant to be easy, and it’s not meant to be perfect. Even though there may be difficulties or glitches, we shouldn’t replace it; instead, we should restore it. Rather than the “newest and best model” theology, let’s go back to “let no man put asunder.” A marriage promise should be a lifetime warranty, not a money back guarantee.

“Marriage Is Hard”: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Photo Credit: HAMED MASOUMI via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: HAMED MASOUMI via Compfight cc

by Rachel Nielsen

The article “3 Things I Wish I Knew Before We Got Married” by Tyler Ward has been travelling through the interwebs lately. Boasting over 73,600 likes on Facebook, its appeal comes from the author’s honesty about the difficulties in marriage and his feel-good takeaways: “the more you give to marriage, the more it gives back,” “marriage requires sacrifice,” “go home and love you wife,” “go home and love your husband.” His points are valid, and I agree with the suggestions he makes. However, his presentation of the idea that marriage is not always blissful is something I can’t quite get on board with.

Ward discusses marriage as an institution “designed to pull dysfunction to the surface of our lives, set it on fire and help us grow.” This is where my opinion splits. I do agree that marriages refine us because marriages aren’t perfect, but I don’t think he should present this idea by saying that marriage is “designed to pull dysfunction to the surface.” If you go into marriage with the expectation that dysfunction will become a prominent part of your live, that is exactly what you will get. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.

This issue boils down to word choice. A simple thing with major consequences.

When I got engaged, I heard the phrase “marriage is hard” a lot. This was my mom’s sage advice on the matter: “People will keep telling you marriage is hard. But, if you go into marriage with that attitude, you’ve already put yourself in a position to fail because that is what you are looking for.”

I vote that we never say “marriage is hard” ever again.

Let me explain. Some couples go into marriage assuming that marriage will solve their problems. But this is simply not true.  Life is hard no matter what situation you’re in, and marriage isn’t going to fix that. But the difference between explaining that marriage is not a cure-all and explaining that marriage is hard is huge.

What if engaged couples heard the phrase “marriage is extremely fulfilling but it requires selflessness” instead of “marriage is hard”? Would they be less likely to go into marriage nervously waiting for the dysfunction to come out of the dark?

I will try to illustrate my point through other examples of relationships. When people tell us about a new friend they’ve made, we don’t tell them, “Remember, friendships are hard.” Why? Because we know that friendships are worth it. We do not go into friendships expecting everything to be perfect or expecting the friendship to solve all of our problems. Friendship requires give and take to make it last, but it is not presented as a difficult situation because friendships benefit our lives.

I believe that if our attitude was one that painted marriage as a rewarding and fulfilling union that helps us grow, there would be less “hard” marriages and more marriages where two people are trying their best to work things out and have fun while they do.

I believe that I am part of a healthy and successful marriage because my husband and I never say “hard.” And consequently, we never find problems that don’t really exist—because we aren’t looking for them.

We aren’t expecting marriage to be hard. We are expecting marriage to be rewarding. And that has made all the difference.

Rachel Nielsen

In the Community: Valentine Dinner Theater

by Brittney Thompson

If you live in Provo, then you know it can be near impossible to come up with fun and creative dates in the middle of a deep, Wasatch winter. That is why I was so excited when I discovered a little Valentine gem a few weeks ago in the form of The Salty Dinner Theater. Anyone who knows me knows that I have two great loves in my life: food and theater. So you can imagine my delight when I learned that these two passions could be combined into one packaged date!

The Salty Dinner Theater is a troupe that performs in front of you during dinner. Unlike the traditional “dinner and a show” routine where you go out to a nice restaurant for your meal before heading to the theater, the Salty Dinner Theater brings the action to you. This month they will be performing Bonnie & Clyde: A Love Story at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Orem. It’s family friendly so whether you are looking for a night out with a special someone or a new family tradition, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

{Hint: The Feb 9th showing is already sold out, but Valentine’s Day is still available!}

Tickets are $15 for adults and $8 for kids. (Price of dinner not included). There are also shows in Midvale, Murray, Layton and Sandy, for those who live a little outside the Provo-Orem area. For more information about this month’s shows or the rest of the 2013 season check out http://www.saltydinnertheater.com/.

What I Wish I Would Have Known (Part 2): Kids

by Alissa Holm

My mom with her first child, circa 1978

We all have our own “What if’s” and “I wish’s” about past phases of life. In an attempt to learn from the past, I’ve come up with a series of blog posts based on this idea: Learning from other’s past experiences to enhance another’s future experiences. In part one, I discussed what married LDS women wish they would have known before they tied the knot. For this segment, I’d like to discuss what LDS women wish they would have known before they had kids.

Like I said in my last post, I am not married, nor do I have any children. However, I do have several connections in my life to wise women who do have children and know quite a bit on the subject. So, without further ado, I give you a list of ten “What I Wish I Would Have Known’s” in regards to having children.

1. Motherhood means sacrifice. Joseph Smith said, “Sacrifice is the first law of heaven.” From the moment you conceive your child, you will learn to sacrifice everything from your health, to your sleep, to your appear for them.
2. Kids won’t ever be happy when they are hungry or tired. Your kids need to be well fed and rested to be happy and perform well.
3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You can discipline children all day long for what they’re doing wrong. Some of these things aren’t THAT big of a deal. Who cares if the kids rearrange your silverware drawer? Yes, it is annoying, but it isn’t worth making a big deal out of it.
4. Emotional scars are just as bad as physical scars. Be careful with your little ones’ hearts.
5. Be silly. Sometimes this is the best way to connect with your child.
6. Read a lot. Turn off the TV and teach your children to love books.
7. Kids are mirrors. Sometimes they may be slow to listen, but they are very quick to imitate. Be careful.
8. Traditions matter. The traditions your family establishes will shape your child’s memories for the rest of their lives.
9. You can’t spoil your kids with time, just money. Spending extra time with your kids can only make them better.
10. Be quick to forgive. Kids are so quick to forgive, so don’t feel too bad when you make a mistake. Just try harder the next day.

What I Wish I Would Have Known (Part One): Marriage

by Alissa Holm

My oldest sister and her husband on their wedding day, August 21, 1999.

The experience of marrying another person is likely the biggest transition a person will ever make in their life. Each person goes into a marriage with their own set of values, beliefs, traditions, experiences, and testimony, and is expected to join with another to create a united eternal unit. While this experience may sound blissful from the outside, often this “clashing of minds” isn’t quite so easy from the inside.

Before I write any further, I should probably explain that I am not married, nor do I claim to know much about the subject. But in my associations and conversations with the married couples that I do know, I often hear them sticking in their two cents here and there about what they wish they would have known before they got married. Each of them has developed advice based on their experiences that they want to impart to us “unmarrieds” to help in our relationships and future marriages. And I’ll be the first to admit—I love hearing their tips so that I can better know what to expect once I reach that phase too.

I have polled my close family, friends, and coworkers to come up with a list of ideas and experiences LDS women say they wish they would have know prior to their own weddings and marriages. No matter your relationship status, try reading through at least a few of these. You might be surprised at what you can learn!

Newlywed Life

  1. Surprises are inevitable. “No matter how well you think you may know your future spouse, you’re bound to find out something new the first day you’re married,” says my co-worker Sarah.
  2. Recognize that differences will emerge. “I wish I would have known that when two people get married, they bring two entirely different cultures into one house,” says my friend Kaitlyn. It’s important to understand that while your spouse may cook rice differently, clean the bathroom differently, or do the dishes differently, it doesn’t mean that their way is wrong. Be willing to compromise on these things!
  3. “Any traits, positive or negative, you see in your future spouse will be amplified as soon as you’re married,” says my sister, Lara. The old saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin rings true—“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half-closed afterward.”
  4. Take some time for yourselves before you have kids. While this is a topic that is personal to all couples, most of the people I talked with expressed the importance of taking the necessary time before having children to enjoy each other’s company, get to know each other, and travel. Once you have kids, your lives will never be the same.

Your Married Relationship

  1. You don’t have to be brutally honest with each other all the time. “Sometimes, things are better left unsaid if they will hurt your spouse,” my sister, Lara, tells me.
  2. Fall in love with your spouse on this inside as well as the outside. We all age and change physically over time, usually for the worse. This bit of advice comes from my sister as well, who has been married for 11 years—enough time for a few new wrinkles and grey hairs to appear. Yet, I still look at the two of them and can see that they are just as in love now as they were 11 years ago.  
  3. Put his needs in front of yours. “When you are single the only person you really need to worry about and take care of is yourself—making yourself the best possible,” says my friend Jani. “But when you’re married, you have to cook, clean, budget, earn money, etc., with someone else.” She explains that this works well if you have a Christlike attitude, but if you don’t, Satan will try to find his way in and change your attitude to one of selfishness.   
  4. Remember, he can’t read your mind. If you have something on your mind, just tell him, don’t bother dropping hints. Communication is key!

Your New Family

  1. “Kill your in-laws and new family with love,” says my friend Kaitlyn. She also recommends not complaining to your spouse about their family—these are the people, other than you, that they love the most. “Be kind and love, love, love,” she says. “Chances are, you’ll end up falling in love with them as well.”
  2. Remember, you marry the family too. “As much as you want to think that you two get to run away and live happily ever after by yourselves, that is not true,” says my friend Jani. “He will want to spend time with his family (which is a good thing), and you will want to spend time with yours.” And remember to be yourself—don’t try to be someone else just to impress them.
  3. Don’t keep score. “If you spend time with his family one year, don’t think that it’s your house for Christmas the next year. If you see one family every week and the other once a year, it doesn’t matter because everyone wins—it’s not a competition,” says Jani.

 

So there you have it: a few basic tidbits of advice from married couples of all ages.

Whether you’re single, engaged, newly married, or have been married for several years, hopefully you can benefit from or at least relate to these points.

 

Have any advice of your own? Feel free to comment below—we’d love to hear from you!

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