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Friday, December 2, 2016

Too Worldly? Part 1

Dear Bro Jo,

Thanks for your advice at random times when I have just needed someone else's opinion on something. This is another one of those times.

I am dating a wonderful man who makes me so very happy, I love him a lot. He is a strong member of the church, and attends the temple. There has been a lot of talk about marriage, and I feel very good about it most of the time. I have been to the temple a few times to help make my decision about if this is the man who I want to marry, and I really think he is.

However he is still deciding a little bit, we talk as if we are going to be married but at times he still mentions that he hasn't gotten his answers about it yet, and that scares me a little. He was married once before and has a son. I think that the problems he had in the previous marriage are what fuels his doubt now, he says he has no doubt about me, he just wants to make sure this is truly the right thing, and I want him to make sure.

I am writing you because I sometimes have doubts myself... He is a very driven individual (works full time+ and is taking 15 credits) and has very high aspirations of being rich someday. I am so glad he is a hard worker and wants to provide but it seems to be a very very large focus of his life... We have had multiple conversations where I have asked him if he could be happy with our life even of he wasn't rich. He says he could.

I guess I'm just concerned if he is too worldly and if it will make our lives unhappy? He talks a lot about money and physical beauty... I am a fairly thin girl which he loves, so he mentions a lot that he doesn't want his future wife to get fat. He wants me to be fit and healthy and I want that too, but he just dwells on it a little more than I do.

He is a wonderful man who treats me really great and he is a great father as well. There are so many things that I love so much about him. I am just wondering if these concerns are just Satan's way of trying to keep a good eternal marriage from happening or if I should be more worried about his focus on worldly things? How much of this is just a guy being a guy?

Thanks for any insight you can give me!

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I do think that much of what you both seem to be worrying about are indeed the things that Satan uses to try and keep two people from forming an eternal family.

I also think the cure is very simple:  you two need to talk.

You need to share the concerns you shared with me with him.  Everything you told me, you need to tell this man.

It's like the post from the other day:  more than attraction, even more than love, what makes a marriage successful is Trust.

And the key to trust is communication.

For example:  you need to trust that, for whatever reason, if you do "get fat" (whatever that happens to mean) that he won't belittle you or mock you or abandon you.

Marriage isn't about manipulating the other person to make them be what you want them to be, or keep them from changing.

I've quoted this many times before, but too many people go in to marriage this way:

"Men marry women hoping they'll never change, and women marry men hoping they will change; both are horribly wrong"  (or something like that).

I do have to say, there's an element here that is making me uncomfortable:  and that is his need to manipulate and control.  Now perhaps that's just the part that you've chosen to share with me . . . and I have no doubt that this is residual from his failed marriage, but I'm wondering how happy you're going to be with him controlling you . . . or how he may cast you aside when things seem out of his control . . .

Look, there are no guarantees, and I honestly believe that people delay (or avoid) good eternal marriages because they're looking for that non-existent guarantee.

Again, the bottom line is I think you two need to talk.


And I think you both need to decide if these are just nervous ponderings or if you're both clinging to a relationship that will never be more than 80% there?

Does that make sense?

I mean, is this really going somewhere?  Or is it just easier to keep on going down this dead-end road because it's familiar?

I'm not saying breakup.

I'm saying have a mature conversation about these concerns you're both having.

And yes, if these aren't things you both can get to a point that you feel comfortable with, then move on.

Good luck, and please let me know what you come up with.

- Bro Jo

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