Last month I read an interesting opinion piece in the Deseret News – We all should obey a new DOMA. In response to the Supreme Court overthrowing the Defense of Marriage Act, the author suggested we as individuals could unofficially pass our own defense of marriage acts. He gave a list of things individuals and families can do to defend marriage and the family, the core foundation of any society.
In our own home we do several acts to defend our marriage.
We defend each other fiercely. We are jokingly counting down to our fifth anniversary next year. Upon finding out we were getting married someone we know said she gave my husband five years before he’d figure out how mean I am and divorce me. My then fiancé’s response was to tell her if she couldn’t speak nice of me then he was done speaking to her.
We express gratitude to each other regularly. We believe part of our continued expressions of gratitude for the little things is that we were single for so long and had to do all the things, large and small, alone. It’s so wonderful to be able to share all the things now, both large and small.
We talk, a lot. Since we met online our relationship has been built on communication from the start. We still talk through everything, some of it even by email. We take a walk every Monday night around the neighborhood and touch base with each other about whatever we need to. Those walks were life savers during our infertility treatments as we figured out how we each felt and where we were going next.
We laugh, a lot. Oh the jokes we have. Most of them highly nerdy. And it is always a case of laughing with each other, not at each other.
We cleave. We left father and mother and cleave to each other as husband and wife. We love our respective families. We get along great with them. Calling them “in-laws” seems a bit weird because they’re just that much our family. But we are our own unit.
We are husband and wife first. This has been a bit tricky since the arrival of the baby, but I am my husband’s wife before I am my daughter’s mother. We’re already letting her know that she needs to see us kiss and give us time to be together so that we can maintain a stable home for her.
We keep the name of the other safe. You will never hear me bash my husband in public. You will never hear me talk about his faults. You will never hear me debase him. I will not take it to the internet to see what random strangers have to say about how annoyed I should be at him. I will not gossip about him. If there is a problem between us, it is between us.
We hold hands. It’s a bit harder now since we also have to hold on to our baby. But we still hold hands when we walk or are driving in the car. He still puts his arm around me at church.
We let each other be who they are as an individual. We support each other in our interests. I buy books on ancient Greek and Hebrew for him. He works chains at football games with me. He was the first person to read my dissertation cover-to-cover. I quiz him on his vocabulary and get excited about his database. I married him for who he is, not who I thought I could make him become.
We say “I love you.” We say it a lot. And we mean it.
What acts do you do to defend marriage and the family?
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.
– The Family: A Proclamation to the World
We have been married for a marvelous 54 years. We are more in love now than we were when we first got married. A lifetime of joys and sorrows makes for a great relationship.
These are all great, I can relate to the walking together. I think it is one of the best activities for a married couple! When we walk together the sharing and talking all comes out and brings us closer. Whenever we feel the need for “alone time” we take a walk to regroup. You’ve been blessed with an amazing family!! I think our trials have made our relationship that much stronger!
I really like all of these defenses of marriage, but the thoughts about keeping each other’s name safe is a particularly big one with me. Before I met Blake, it really bothered me when I see/hear other women complain about their husbands. I wanted to remind them that at least they had a husband and she should probably discuss whatever issues she had about his behavior with him. In fact, you may recall that I blogged about this elsewhere. Now that I am married, I think it bothers me even more. Blake and I have made the same pact you have – if there is a problem, it remains between us. We won’t even tease each other in front of other people or online since people might misconstrue as criticism. We really do love each other and we don’t want anyone to think otherwise!
I love my family and my role in it. That is my defense. 🙂