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  DTR: What You Should Know Before You Get Married!
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DTR: What You Should Know Before You Get Married!

Posted by Dr. Gourgouris on Tue, 05/13/2008 - 20:49

One of my all time favorite quotes on marriage comes from President Kimball who said, “Don’t pray to marry the one you love, pray to love the one you marry.”
 
And yet, most of us who are in love and desire to make that lifelong commitment, usually pray for the opportunity to marry the one we love. Now there’s nothing wrong with that particular prayer. After all we are asking the Lord to grant us the righteous desire to enter into an eternal covenant with someone we love. We get engaged, we set the date for the big event, we plan the wedding, the invitations, the cake (hopefully triple layered), the music, the dress and so on. These are wonderful things for a young couple to do together. It’s partly tradition but also the beginning of making mutual decisions together.
 
The big day of the wedding finally arrives and all our dreams, hopes and aspirations are fulfilled! Everyone is happy! So much optimism and love fills the air! The honeymoon is about to begin and that particular prayer has been answered!
 
Now what’s next, is the real question. In my experience in working with thousands of couples, I’ve heard many say, “Well he/she “changed” after we got married. When I’ve inquired further a certain pattern begins to develop.
 
It’s what I call the concept of Deposits v.s. Withdrawals. Deposits are the love languages put into action. When we date the “one and only” we tend to make more deposits and less withdrawals. If we didn’t, then that relationship would soon become “my ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend.” Why would I continue to date someone when there are more withdrawals than deposits made?
 
So now we’re engaged and the deposits are piling on: we are kind, we open doors, we show up on time smelling good, looking great, sometimes with flowers in hand. We talk and look into each other’s eyes, we listen attentively for hours on end and we can’t wait to be together again! All of these are deposits into the relationship account, or as I like to call it the TRUST FUND!
 
How about after marriage? What happens then? In my experience, when couples say he/she changed, that’s what they mean. Typically withdrawals tend to go up and deposits start to diminish. So now your once robust “trust fund” starts to erode. Sometimes it happens slowly by starting to take our spouse for granted…by not being quite as patient or kind, by giving less compliments etc. Sometimes the withdrawals are quick and overwhelming. Any breach of trust would fall in that category. So now the marriage has depleted the “trust fund” and is living “paycheck to emotional paycheck” if you will. Things are ok for the time being. If there’s a crisis however and little left in the “trust-fund” because of the lack of deposits, then the relationship that started with so much promise will face great difficulties.
 
Now the wisdom of President Kimball’s quote makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it? To pray to love the one you marry is an ongoing, life-long exercise in making loving deposits. The trust fund is always full and the marriage goes from just surviving (paycheck to emotional paycheck) to absolutely thriving!!!

Elia Gourgouris Ph.D.
www.LDSCoaching.com
303-523-6396

Dr. Elia Gourgouris is a nationally known speaker, relationship coach, and the president of LDSCoaching.com. With over 20 years of experience, he has inspired thousands of individuals and couples to find greater happiness and fulfillment, both in their careers and their personal lives. He holds a degree from UCLA and a Ph.D. in psychology. Dr. Gourgouris speaks to groups around the country regarding women's issues, self esteem, communications skills, and relationships. He is also a favorite presenter at both BYU and BYU-ID Education Weeks, and Time Out for Women conferences. He is the author of "DTR: What You Need to Know Before You Get Married" and he has an upcoming CD entitled "The Multi-Platinum Marriage: Going from Just Surviving to Thriving!" He and his wife, Sona, live near Boulder, Colorado, with their children.