It is much easier to make changes in yourself before marriage than after marriage.

1. The motivation to change after marriage is not as strong because the couple is involved in everyday matters and will not take the time to make the changes.

2. A couple is trying to impress each other, so they are on their best behavior at all times until the wedding day. After that, they are able to let their hair down and show their true selves. Also, when this happens, they are able to take each other for granted.

3. After marriage we can be hurt more easily. We give our trust to the person we thought that we married and now, they see us when we are more vulnerable and they have a chance to criticize instead of encourage.

This leads to the word “Pride” which halts all progression.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from President David O. McKay, “During courtship keep your eyes wide open, but after marriage keep them half shut!”I was married to my first husband over 25 years ago. I felt very old because of looking back and finding that instead of encouraging changes within myself during that marriage and to encourage it within him; we did fail through each of the 3 steps listed. In doing so, instead of finding the good in each other and encouraging each other, we sharpened #3.

Pride was a downfall. Pain is all I can remember of the last part of our marriage before I had to stand up and make the change in our lives. I found that after our divorce, I had to re-create myself and to allow myself to grow.

Now, I encourage the best in each person that I know and meet. I weep for the pain in my friends. I shout for joy when life is good. I have changed who I was to who I am now.

I believe that each day we have the opportunity to make changes within ourselves. Not only before marriage, but after. When I am sad, I know that I have friends who share my sadness, but also want me to feel happy. They are there for me and I appreciate all of them. When I change who I am, I try to be better.

I have a saying that I started a while ago that gives me hope. “I am as perfect as I can be today.”

Each day I wake up and I find that I have a clean slate. I am to decide what I am going to do with that day. If I make a mistake, I try to address it immediately so that I can say that quote in the evening. There are many times that I have not been able to say it, but then I have another day to work on it.

When we are in a relationship, I hope that each of us realizes that we are connected with someone who is also trying their best to be perfect. Encourage each other, find the good in each other, and shout for joy when your partner achieves what they are trying to do.

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