Dating My Wife

I love being married and now it’s easier than it is challenging. This was not always the case. After five years of marriage (year 2003), we had gone through some rough times in our relationship, and to repair it we decided we needed to spend more enjoyable time together. My wife and I had common convictions and some similar interests, but significantly different personalities. There are many personality theories and general counseling advice, that suggest we are incompatible and the odds are against us making it work.

Both of us believe in eternal marriage.

Now, twelve years later we enjoy a rock solid relationship. A critical element in our success is continuing to date. There are several activities we have rekindled and allow for renewing of our relationship.

Shows/Videos, this one is easy and low-cost for us, we started renting TV series and watching them together each evening. At first we went a little crazy on this and would get through a whole season in a week. The key is watching something we both enjoy. I cannot tolerate watching television with commercial interruptions and dislike watching one episode per week, so we wait for a whole season to release on disk and watch it that way. We both enjoy Science Fiction, Fantasy, Law, Spy and Crime (some) genre and we stick, for the most part, to those types of shows. If either of us is uncomfortable with the violence, language or general feel we’ll move onto something else.

We have also found common ground in books, discussion around our shared interests, vacations, and dining out. Most of the time we don’t read the same books, she reads interesting fiction and tells me about the story; I read educational non-fiction and share my discoveries and insights. We like to discuss what we read, watch and experience. We discuss while walking and eating out. Our vacations include walking, exploration and discussion.

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Walking Past Saint George LDS Temple
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Walking up Cedar City Canyon

Sometimes we just have fun being silly!Moroni dating wife 3OQDiG8QV-yZDCRRFkfGTnpJ0rF2pS5vU_FnBW-bjx0=w694-h921-no

Creating a beautiful relationship requires nurturing the relationship, it requires making the choice to put in the time necessary. We all must find what will stack the odds in our favor and then make those actions a priority!

 

My Identity: Freedom or Captivity?

My 16 year old daughter wants me to purchase her $150 Kelly Clarkson tickets. We got into a discussion about how she should have been saving her money that she earns from babysitting. She said something like “I guess I’m just not a person who saves money”. Something about that statement was like a stab in the brain, at the moment I wasn’t sure exactly why. I told her that she can change and start saving, but something about the statement was bothering me, something more than her not saving the money.

After some pondering, I realized the issue was with wrapping her identity around something negative. With saying “I’m not a person who does X good thing” you limit or “damn” yourself. On the flip side you can create a similar negative effect by stating something like “I’m just a person who does Y negative thing” (e.g. eats junk food, hates to exercise, doesn’t like people, etc…).

This is part of the Labeling Theory – From wikipedia: “Frank Tannenbaum first introduced the idea of ‘tagging’. While conducting his studies with delinquent youth, he found that a negative tag or label often contributed to further involvement in delinquent activities. This initial tagging may cause the individual to adopt it as part of their identity.”

Many years ago, personality typing engrossed me, I particularly liked the the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). In this theory there are 16 general personality types.
Every type has its strengths and weaknesses.
I mostly identified with one type, the INTP. This type is supposed to be drained by interactions with people (all types starting with “I” are introverts and have this same issue). There is danger in thinking this, I found myself avoiding people more because it seemed like the wise thing to do, based on my personality. I have discovered that people don’t drain me, exerting effort is tiring, sometimes it’s people, sometimes it’s thinking hard, writing code or even playing a challenging video game can all cause me to experience this “drain”. Depending on the interaction, all those same things can also excite me and provide great satisfaction and motivation.

There are dangers of saying “I’m not a person who does X positive thing” or “I”m a person who does Y negative thing”. Beware of personality typing, negative self talk, and anything or anyone who inprints these upon you.

Some dangerous and limiting identifiers:
– Lazy
– Not a healthy person
– Hate to learn
– With Criminals
– With Evil/Bad
– Not a “people person”

Good identifiers that give freedom:
– Child of God
– Hard worker
– I have the ability to be disciplined
– Love to learn and grow

What do you identify with, does it hold you back or set you free?