Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2000
When we married, I knew we would probably have a lot of adjustments to make with hers/his children, but I never knew it would be this hard. My children feel that I have chosen him over them. There are times that he expects me to pay for my children needs and he his.
My husband and I did go to the Bishop a few months back to see if he could help and twice while we were talking we noticed the Bishop was asleep! We haven't been back.
I don't know what to do anymore. How can I improve/save my marriage? I have held all my feelings inside of me. On top of that I have gained 50 pounds since our marriage.
How can I help my children know how important it is to remain true to the Gospel,
despite the examples that they have had from parents and stepparents?
Dear Just Wanting to Be Happy,
Keep your perspective! You have to choose him over them if this is an eternal marriage... Your children will move on. They are temporary members of the marital unit that consists of your husband and you. This does not mean that you do not love them, because you do. Your eternal progress depends on the relationship you develop with your husband.
You are charged by the Lord to teach your children to walk up rightly before Him. Then you launch the children on their own. Hopefully after the children are gone, your relationship with your husband still exists and you are growing together in all aspects of your lives. This is mandatory!
Teens are notorious in being "me-oriented." Do not let their selfishness tear your marriage apart because of their demands for all your time and attention.
This is not to say they shouldn't have a special time with you. This is also important in developing an eternal family.
Your place now is by his side. The two of you need to build a solid companionship. All decisions need to be made JOINTLY between the THREE of you.
When you married in the temple you invited to the union, God. He is the head of this union. You both should be praying daily for help in your union and with your family so that you can receive inspiration as it is needed.
When decisions need to be made, the two of you work it out the best you can then take it to the Lord. Guess who is the BOSS? It is the Lord. God should have the last word, not the husband nor the wife.
If this is not how things are working now, the two of you do not have an eternal marriage. This is also the reason why the marriage isn't working as well as it should.
1. There should not be any sneaking around behind each others back.
2. The money expenditures should be set down jointly in a budget. All assets are owned jointly and should be accessible to each partner, otherwise this is not a partnership. The only reason that money should be kept from the other is because that partner will squander the family assets on addiction/s such as drugs, alcohol, or gambling.
3. When a man with children marries a woman with children he does not marry the woman alone, but also her children and visa-versa. This does not mean that the women is to provide for her children and the man his children, but all is owned jointly and all are cared for jointly. If this is not so, there is no union.
Withholding monitory or moral support is being selfish and petty. Complaining because monitory or moral support is expected and/or has be given for one's stepchildren is also selfish and petty.
If one does not expect to share why then should one marry?
My husband and I went to the Bishop a few months back to see if he could help and twice while my husband and I were talking we looked up and the Bishop was asleep! I haven't been back to him since.
Get counseling from the LDS Social Services. You can get a referral to them from the Bishop. If this is not available check with reputable LDS marriage counselors in your area. Also petition the Lord for His help with each problem. He will help if asked.
I have held all of this inside of me...
You have to talk this all out with your husband and the Lord. If you hold it inside you will burst. Continually collecting the slights, bad feelings, and wrong doings of your family will make you miserable. When you are miserable so is everyone in the home, because you set the tone of the home. Use "I-Messages" to help you talk to him. See...
The stress of festering feelings being bottled up inside will eventually give you bad physical health, poor mental health, and cause the marriage to disintegrate. If that is not enough to cause you concern, remember that you are modeling poor coping and social skills for you children to learn and emulate in their adult relationships and teach their children.
My main concerns are.
1) How can I help my children know how important it is to remain true to the Gospel,
despite the examples that they have had from parents/stepparents?
Discuss with them these things, perhaps during a Family Home Evening...
They will be punished for their own sins and not their father's transgressions, unless they follow in his footsteps.
At Christ's second coming he will use three criteria to decide whether your children will be caught up to meet God or be left to be burned as stubble, with the burning of the earth.
To make the cut they must be able to say "No" to the following...
1. Are they liars?
2. Are they murders?
3. Are they thieves?
Now is the time for men/women to meet God. Tell your children they must prepare now by making good choices. They must be "Temple Ready" so they can take out their own endowments and have to have a temple marriage. Discuss with them...
Discuss the importance of the covenants made in the endowment and blessings from keeping those covenants.
* We promise to keep the commandments.
* We promise all we have to the building up of the Kingdom of God.
* We promise to be true to our marriage vows.
God promises that if we do these things:
* We will inherit the kingdom of God and possess all that He has.
* We will become gods and goddesses.
* We will be able to have eternal increase ... that is having the ability to have spirit children and worlds without number.
* We can still be married and have our mate forever.
* We can have eternal families.
God will not let us have these blessings if we do not:
* have a temple marriage or have taken out our own endowments
* keep the commandments to the best of our ability
Being a complete eternal family is contingent on each person doing his/her best to keep the commandments and be "Temple Ready" so when the time comes to take out their endowments and/or be sealed in the temple, or they die, they are ready.
To be "Temple Ready" means that:
* you live the Word of Wisdom
* you live the law of chastity
* you are honest with your dealing with your fellow men
* you accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior
* you accept and support the general authorities, stake and ward leaders
* your relationship with your family is in keeping with the standards of the church
* your behaviors are in keep with the standards of the church
* you do not support any apostate groups.
* if you have had a divorce it needs to be cleared up
Teenagers tend to forget important things like this so remind them frequently as needed to help them to make wise choices in family relationships (getting alone with each other) and in their unwise behaviors that may resemble poor role models.
I have many articles for families at my website at...
2) How can I improve/save my marriage?
* I suggest you read them with your husband and discuss them. If there is a disagreement, both of you follow the steps outlined in...
* I highly suggest you maintain a date night each week, run the family together by making joint decisions for rules and consequences as outlined in
I have gained about 50 pounds since our marriage.
Instead of eating to cover up your worry and pain learn coping skills that will not hurt you. See...
After you have read the information I have outlined above and have discussed it with your husband and made joint decisions as to how this information will be implemented in your lives, you may not need help from a counselor. I say this not because I think so highly of my articles and counseling, but because you will note that I invite you to bring God into every facet of your lives. If you let Him in and let Him run your lives there will be no problems that will be unsolvable, either instantly or over time.
God's work is to get us all back and He will surely do so if you use your free agency to allow Him to help! Don't go it alone or you will loose the battle.
PS Don't be too hard on the Bishop he has a lot on his shoulders. He has a right to be tired.
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