I want to begin by posting the link to where you can download the audio of my presentation–not to boast for me, but to promote it for North Star. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/spouses
So, I will continue with the second part of my presentation. Please remember that this can be applied to either spouse being SSA (or any marriage, really). Many things may also be applicable to the non-SSA spouse. This focused on five areas that our (and our spouses) needs may be categorized into.
- Allow, encourage, and support men in being the spiritual leaders in the home.
- If your spouse is not in full fellowship with the Church, do not put pressure on him/her for healing to take place. That is only between your spouse and the Lord.
- If ordinances need to take place, be sensitive and communicate!
- Allow your spouse to have “issues” with the Lord, but stay strong in your own testimony and do whatever you can to keep the Spirit strong in your home.
- Let him/her work things out on own without any pressure—pressure will push away
- Encourage what he/she does believe in
- Allow time for physical needs to be met:
- Gym, exercise, hair, etc.
- Support weight management/diet needs
- Keep home tidy
- Is your home a refuge from the storm of work and life?
- HANGRY—it’s a real thing!
- Are there physiological things that need to be taken care of?
- ?Mental illnesses that could be diagnosed/medicated
- ?Again, cannot push, just support to healing
- Get adequate sleep
- Keep budgets in check
- Know that connection with the same gender most likely is what is needed to talk-through/solve a problem
- You WILL NOT be able to meet all the needs; you never will be the whole solution
- Need both the SAME gender and the LORD
- Knowing that you will stick with it through the hard times
- Know that he/she is number two, but second only to God, on your list
- No children, work, callings, friends come first!
- Know that he/she is needed
- Know when/how to react (or not react)
- ?Allow time and space to figure things out
- Help support him/her in cutting any “apron-strings”
- Be there to “get him/her”
- Holding space/just listening
- Be friendly with other SSA friends
- ?Get to know them so you can trust and love them, too.
- LOVE LANGUAGES
- If you don’t know, a person will most easily show love in his/her language
- BLAST: bored, lonely, angry, stressed, tired
- Provide an opportunity to learn and grow together
- Encourage to develop talents
- Time and space given
- Support passionate pursuits
- Mature in all things
- Don’t take on the Mother/Father role
- If there is PTSD around abuse or a previous sexual history, special consideration may be necessary
- OPEN—if you can’t talk about it, you can’t do it.
- During sex is not the time to talk about it
- NO FANTASY, PERIOD!
- Times and Seasons
- Early on
- Later stages
- Alternatives to Intercourse
I love this quote from Elder David Baxter of the Seventy:
“This is not exactly what you hoped or planned, prayed for or expected, when you started out years ago. Your journey through life has had bumps, detours, twists, and turns, mostly as the result of life in a fallen world that is meant to be a place of proving and testing. …
“Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place while God respects the agency of man. …
“Many of you have already discovered the great, transforming truth that when you live to lift the burdens of others, your own burdens become lighter. … You have discovered that when we extend lines of hopeful credit to those whose life accounts seem empty, our own coffers of consolation are enriched and made full; our cup truly ‘runneth over’“ (Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents, April 2012). (Emphasis added)
I hope you have gained some insight into needs you might have in your relationship and even identify some ways you can help one another meet those needs. Pret and I definitely are not perfect, nor do we have a perfect marriage. But we have identified the major needs we have in our relationship and do our best to help support one another in getting those needs met. Seeing my husband happy truly makes me more happy than anything he can do for me. But when he is happy, with his needs met, I know that he is going to be doing everything he can to make me even more happy!