Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fear of Marriage

Dear Bro Jo,

I am currently attending BYU-Idaho.

I am 19, but I have been independent since I was 17.

For those who know BYUI (Or BYU-I Do), marriage seems to come up fairly often in Church, class, devotionals, and common talk.

I love the idea of marriage. I am with a boy who I can see myself marrying. I love him for who he is and who he helps me to be. He is the type of boy that will put God before me- this is of great importance to me.

This all being said, I am a child of an abusive father.

Once a member, he started to drink again and become more and more abusive to my mother- part of the reason I left was to escape him.

I want to be married, but I am scared to have my marriage crumble into what my parents have.

I know the boy I love would never do what my father has done and continues to do, but that example has scarred me for future relationships.

How can I fear something, that I want so badly?

This may sound like a strange question, but how do I let people in?

How can I get over the fear of marrying a person like my father?

How does the child of an abusive parent let someone in and create the happy family they greatly crave?

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

If you're struggling with the scars of abuse you may need more specific and personal counseling than I can give here.

If you're not sure where to go, talk to your Bishop.

He has access to local numbers and resources.

In more general terms, marriage can be scary.

And that is a good thing.

A little fear can show that we respect the importance of something.

Having the desire to do so is the first step towards creating the family life you're hoping for.

You've clearly got that.

The second step is to do your due diligence.

That means to date with a purpose; yes, dating should be fun, and yes you shouldn't take those first few dates too seriously, but you also need to keep your goal of a happy eternal family in mind.

No sense getting serious with someone who can't help that happen.

Another part of due diligence is to do your research.

That can include things like Bro Jo's Five A's of Why Not to Marry That Person and Bro Jo's Things You Need to Know Before You Get Engaged, but the bottom line is that there needs to be an understanding that marriage is not just a box you check off of your bucket list.

As marriage becomes a possibility you'll want to share your fears and concerns with the young man in question.

As your relationship grows you'll feel more open and confident.

And that brings us to the third thing: work.

No marriage is blissful every moment of every day.

You both need to be willing to work on your marriage constantly and trust that the other person is willing to work, too.

A good friend of mine says "everyone thinks that Love is at the top of the list to make a marriage successful, but that's not true; love is great, but no honest person loves their spouse every minute of every day; the key to a long and successful marriage is TRUST".

And that's 100% true.

You'll know things will be okay when you Trust that this man won't abuse you or your children.

And when he can trust that you trust him.

And you each understand that people make mistakes, that they can trust you to give them a chance to make it right, and you can trust that they will make it right.

Lastly, remember that Fear is the opposite of Faith.  As we grow in our Faith and Testimony of the Savior, we'll fear less.

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

J-Dawg Fluffy said...

BYU-Idaho has free counseling at the student health center