Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Getting the bugs out of your marriage

Many years ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints produced a pamphlet on marriage which I really enjoyed. I haven't seen a copy in years, but came across one so I scanned it in and here it is. It is cute and well written with some excellent advice.

Also, there is a more extensive set of resources at Provident Living.

A List of known symptoms and secret cures from the Divorce Bug himself.

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Introduction Letter

Originally uploaded by m0smith.
From the desk of the Divorce Bug:


I'm the Divorce Bug. I'm highly contagious and terribly overworked. It seems that no marriage is completely immune from me ... so in an attempt to reduce my work load, I've developed this brochure on divorce. Contained herein are descriptions of my most potent viruses and divorce-fluenzas, which have successfully started thousands of unsuspecting married couples on the road to divorce. I've also included "top secret treatments" which have been developed by our "core prevention" research lab. Although the release of these findings is unprecedented. I believe the general public should be educated ... if not for their own sake, then for my own sanity. So please study this information carefully and try some of the treatments. Then maybe my wife and I will be able to take the Caribbean cruise we've been planning for the past five years.


The Divorce Bug

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Budgetitis

An inability to accept your spouse's attitudes toward money.


- Finances are primary topic of arguments
- A feeling your spouse is spending you into financial ruin
- Tendency to "surprise spouse" with items such as a new car, boat, etc.


- Tendency to spend money to get back at your spouse
- One spouse has complete control of the budget, forcing the other spouse to account for all money spent.


- Plan and hold one or more yearly discussions on budget and financial priorities.
- Evenly apply compromise
- Exercise understanding and consideration of your spouse's values and background.

CAUTION: If irritation breaks out during discussion, discontinue treatment until tempers cool down. Then increase dosage of compromise and understanding.

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Companion Minusis

Deficiency in time spent with your spouse.


- You are usually too busy to sit down and talk with your spouse
- You are not aware of the current interests of your spouse
- The two of you have not gone out of a "date" in at least a month
- You are only together when you are with children family or friends
- You only participate together in activities which involve family management and/or problems.


- You and your spouse have not have 1/2 hour of uninterrupted companionship in two weeks.
- You have not seen your spouse during waking hours in over a week.


- Conduct one planning session per week with your spouse to systematically schedule the time you will spend together
- Schedule at least one date per week ... NO CHILDREN ALLOWED

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: LackoAffectionitis

Lack of affection between you and your spouse


- You must always have a special occasion to give your spouse a gift
- You have not sincerely said "I Love You" in at least 24 hours
- You seldom kiss your spouse "Hello" or "Goodbye" in public or private
- There is a decreasing use of verbal endearments between you and your spouse
- You seldom hold your spouse's hand or display any similar physical affection in public


- You have never been "caught" kissing your spouse by your children
- You consider romance unrealistic


- Make one phone call per day to your spouse "just to talk"
- Experience one date per week
- Evenly apply verbal endearments and physical affection
- Exercise continuous use of the words "I Love You"
- Plan to spend more meaningful moments together (see: Companion Minusis)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Perfectomania Non

Deficiency of goals in your marriage


- Lack of direction in daily activities...your marriage seems to be going nowhere
- An increasing restless feeling between you and your spouse
- You have not discusssed the future with your spouse in two months
- You experience an increasing desire to turn back the clock and have things as they were
- You sense a realization that you have not accomplished the goals you set when first married
- You and your spouse have not jointly set goals for you marriage


- You feel a sense of fear when you think about your children going out on their own and leaving you alone with your spouse.
- There is a feeling of failure and despondency between you and your spouse


- Together, set specific, attainable goals for your marriage
- Strive to have daily as well as long term, activities which will help you both achieve your goals
- Exercise consideration and mutual support

CAUTION: DO NOT OVER PLAN. this too can be hazardous to the health of your marriage.

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Perfectomania

Unrealistic expectations for a perfect marriage and/or a perfect spouse


- You or your spouse have a tendency to ignore problems affecting your marriage
- You expect your spouse to look perfect at all times
- You or our spouse expect every moment to be romantic
- You expect your spouse to always be in a "good mood"
- You have a feeling your spouse is not "giving enough"


- You cannot cope with misunderstanding or disagreement with your spouse
- You experience increasing disenchantment with your spouse and your marriage


- Plan and have one, two or more discussions with your spouse as required
- Apply honesty as you compare your personal expectations with your actual marriage
- Allow equal expression of thoughts and feelings
- Exercise realism and an open mind as you and your spouse consider ways to make marriage more satisfying. Be realistic.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Spouse Modificosis


Obsession with remaking your spouse.


- You feel uncomfortable with your spouse's appearance, habits or personality
- You have a tendency to point out your spouse's faults
- You have not sincerely complimented your spouse recently (24-48 hours)
- You have a tendency to avoid introducing your spouse to friends


- Increasing desire to make biting comments to and about your spouse
- As a result of your discomfort with your spouse, you spend less time together (see Companion Minusus)


- Privately determine why your spouse's are causing you irritation. NOTE: Do not be too critical of your spouse's faults ... it may have ben those very faults that prevented him or her from getting a better mate
- Consider how you behavior could be modified to bring out the best in your partner
- Discuss you problem with your spouse, evenly applying love and support
- Mix well with suggestions on how you can work together to become your "best selves"
- Exercise patience, acceptance and understanding

"Why didn't you just send email?... Did you even have light bulbs then?"

"Why didn't you just send email?... Did you even have light bulbs then?": "tonight I'd be remiss not to try and capture an exchange Jacob (age six) and I had over ice-cream this evening..."

Children are wonderful. Read this for a classic exchange.

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Verbal Terminosis


The termination of open and honest communication between you and your spouse

CAUTION: Highly contagious, should be treated at fist sign of infection

- Tendency to watch for double meanings in spouse's statements
- You and your spouse both complain of being misunderstood
- Increasing difficulty in verbally expressing your feelings.
- Loss of intimate gestures, eye contact and private jokes only the two of you can understand.
- Increasing difficulty in finding something to discuss with your spouse.

- Difficulty having a conversation that does not end in an argument
- Long silences
- Cannot relax with your spouse ... conversation is stilted and repetitive

- Have two 1-hours conversation per week without interruptions
- Avoid accusations or defensive statements
- Allow equals uninterrupted expression of thoughts and feelings
- Exercise understaing acceptance and empathy

Getting the bugs out of your marriage: Last Page


A public service message produced for:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

by Bonneville Productions
130 Social Hall Ave. -- Salt Lake City, UT

(c) Copyright 1979 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint
50 East North Temple -- Salt Lake City, UT 84150

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