Adjustments in Marriage

Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003), 9–10


The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning.

—President Spencer W. Kimball

Selected Teachings

President Spencer W. Kimball

“Two people coming from different backgrounds learn soon after the ceremony is performed that stark reality must be faced. There is no longer a life of fantasy or of make-believe; we must come out of the clouds and put our feet firmly on the earth. Responsibility must be assumed and new duties must be accepted. Some personal freedoms must be relinquished, and many adjustments, unselfish adjustments, must be made.

“One comes to realize very soon after marriage that the spouse has weaknesses not previously revealed or discovered. The virtues which were constantly magnified during courtship now grow relatively smaller, and the weaknesses which seemed so small and insignificant during courtship now grow to sizable proportions. The hour has come for understanding hearts, for self-appraisal, and for good common sense, reasoning, and planning. The habits of years now show themselves; the spouse may be stingy or prodigal, lazy or industrious, devout or irreligious; he may be kind and cooperative or petulant and cross, demanding or giving, egotistical or self-effacing. The in-law problem comes closer into focus, and the relationships of the spouse to them is again magnified” (“Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, 3).

Elder Harold B. Lee

If young people “would resolve from the moment of their marriage, that from that time forth they would resolve and do everything in their power to please each other in things that are right, even to the sacrifice of their own pleasures, their own appetites, their own desires, the problem of adjustment in married life would take care of itself, and their home would indeed be a happy home. Great love is built on great sacrifice, and that home where the principle of sacrifice for the welfare of each other is daily expressed is that home where there abides a great love” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1947, 49).

Adjusting to In-Laws

President Spencer W. Kimball

“Couples do well to immediately find their own home, separate and apart from that of the in-laws on either side. The home may be very modest and unpretentious, but still it is an independent domicile. Your married life should become independent of her folks and his folks. You love them more than ever; you cherish their counsel; you appreciate their association; but you live your own lives, being governed by your decisions, by your own prayerful considerations after you have received the counsel from those who should give it. To cleave does not mean merely to occupy the same home; it means to adhere closely, to stick together:

“‘Wherefore, it is lawful that … they twain shall be one flesh, and all this that the earth might answer the end of its creation;

“‘And that it might be filled with the measure of man, according to his creation before the world was made.’ (D&C 49:16–17.)” (“Oneness in Marriage,” Ensign, Mar. 1977, 5).

Financial Adjustments

President Joseph F. Smith

“We are engaged in a temporal as well as in a spiritual labor. You must continue to bear in mind that the temporal and the spiritual are blended. They are not separate. One cannot be carried on without the other, so long as we are here in mortality” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1900, 46).

Adjusting to an Intimate Relationship

President Joseph F. Smith

“The lawful association of the sexes is ordained of God, not only as the sole means of race perpetuation, but for the development of the higher faculties and nobler traits of human nature, which the love-inspired companionship of man and woman alone can insure” (“Unchastity the Dominant Evil of the Age,” Improvement Era, June 1917, 739).

Related Scriptures

Marriage requires adjustment, as do all relationships. Skills and attitudes that can aid adjustment include a loving relationship, communication, common goals, sacrifice, repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and confidentiality.

Areas of Concern

Reasons Adjustment May Be Needed

Scriptural Counsel

Finances

Improper management, selfishness, debt, inflation, laziness, love of money, greed, envy, failure to communicate about financial goals

Matthew 16:26

D&C 75:28–29

D&C 104:78

Reality and new responsibilities

Physical separation due to school, work, and church

Psychological separation due to the return to reality

Demands on time

Ephesians 5:25

D&C 42:22

Sexual adjustment, or intimacy

New experience, ignorance, selfishness, lust, lack of self-control, perversions, pregnancy

1 Corinthians 7:3–5

Hebrews 13:4

Extended family

Overdependence, being too close to parents, competition for time, different traditions and lifestyles, demands of grandparents

Mark 10:6–9

3 Nephi 13:24

Children

Not wanting or postponing children, neglecting children, demands of children, adjustment to parenthood

Psalm 127:3–5

Isaiah 54:13

D&C 68:25–28

Moses 2:27–28