Dr. John Van Epp, in his book How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk (or Jerkette), presents the Relationship Attachment Model (RAM). The RAM consists of five variables of bonding in a relationship: knowing each other, mutual trust, reliance, committment, and touch. When building a relationship, he says, we need to go in that order of prority.
Many people think they are ready to increase the level of touch in their relationship, for example, long before they really are.
In a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology in December of 2010, 2,035 married couples with diverse educational, religious, sexual and relationship backgrounds were asked at what point in time during their relationship they had had sexual intercourse for the first time. The quality of their relationship was also evaluated. Results turned out to be that generally, those with the best marriage quality had waited to have sex either until they were married or until they had been together for two years or more!
When a couple amps up the touch (or likewise the commitment, according to Dr. Van Epp) too early in the relationship, it becomes more difficult for them to get to know important things about each other, to build a healthy trust together, and to show mutual reliability.
Dr. Van Epp affirms that in a marriage, all five variables should be maintained at about the same levels, paying special attention to the first three.
In premarital and marital relationships, the vital areas of knowing, trusting and relying cannot be replaced by simply increasing commitment or touch. Knowing, trust and reliance must be maintained consistently by spending enough time together in a variety of activities, being attentive to one another's needs and putting forth a concerted effort to be what the other truly needs you to be.
How have you and your loved one(s) come to know, trust, and rely on each other in healthy ways?
I believe this also applies to our relationships with Deity. Everyone has the opportunity to build a unique and personal relationship with God. You could say I began to "get to know" God by reading scriptures with my family and hearing about Him in church. I learned about His Son, about His way of seeing the world and acting, and about what He wanted in a relationship with me. There came a moment when I was ready to trust Him and prayed to Him. When He showed me how trustworthy He was, I began to rely on Him by keeping His commandments, knowing that He would make it worthwhile. Our Heavenly Father is pleased when we commit to Him, especially when we're ready and we follow through. His Spirit has touched me: for example, during prayers, I have noticed a peaceful relaxation. As I show commitment by serving Him, sometimes it gets tiring. But one of the most effective ways I've found to rekindle the fire is to get to know Him more deeply by diving into Scripture and attending the temple. He reciprocates every time. He has always known you. He is reliable, trustworthy, and committed to you, and if you're not sure about those things, you can find out for yourself.
As per The Family: A Proclamation to the World, our Heavenly Father intended for earthly fathers to "preside over the family in love and righteousness," to protect the family, and to provide for them the necessities of life. My dad is a good example of all these things. So good, in fact, that my mother has referred to him as "too perfect."
1. For as long as I can remember, he has lovingly led the family in daily scripture study and weekly family home evening, and the occasional family council.
2. It's not dinnertime until he gets home from work.
3. When his kids don't come to church, he has been known to leave in the middle of meetings to "rescue" them.
4. He and my mother have begun their own family traditions that bind us together, including hugs all around after daily family prayer.
5. He expends his best effort to keep the family together and
6. free of addictive substances and behaviors.
7. He stands up for my mom when she needs it.
8. His nonviolent, patient example has become a part of me.
9. He comes on family vacations as much as possible.
10. Instead of choosing a "fun" career, he went into something he knew he could use to support a family.
11. He worked against hardship, including poverty, to finish his college education.
12. He consults with his Father in Heaven about big career decisions.
13. He goes to work and fixes machines, then comes home and fixes machines. (My parents are masters of inexpensive living!)
14. When I was little, I saw him as the cool dad who would take us fishing and
15. play rock and roll.
16. When he was our branch president, he helped me learn to love and obey the Lord 100%.
17. During high school, he became my go-to guy for help on math and science homework.
18. He loves my mom and puts their marriage first, even before us.
19. He loved being a missionary and lives it every day.
20. He spends time on things my mom is interested in, even if they don't make sense to him at first.
21. I believe that if I talk with him about my experiences and decisions, it will be hard to go wrong.
"If ... you expect that your spouse is always going to make you happy ... your expectations are unrealistic." (Lauer and Lauer, Marriage and Family: The Quest for Intimacy, 8th edition)
What do you expect your marriage to be like? Before getting married, and even before getting engaged, you and your loved one should be on the same page. In 1982, Dr. William Garrett's book, Seasons of Marriage and Family Life, was published. He suggests that couples even write out agreements, called informal marriage contracts. When couples use these contracts to clarify expectations and prepare to face challenges, they will be less likely to experience conflict and confusion later over questions couples commonly face. It is important to always be open for compromise on these matters. Here are some of the topics Garrett invites you to discuss:
I would like to add that if these are hard questions, or if you have any doubt, they are questions you can study out and then take to God. Some of these issues may be more important to Him than others, but He has a plan for your family. If you strive to perceive that plan and live by it, then He will make you into the person and the family you were meant to be.
As someone who used to struggle with same-sex attraction, this video report resounded deeply with me. I found a way out through the grace of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I believe people of any religion or no religion can change. Here is some scientific evidence that it is possible to choose your sexual orientation.
In other words, don't be a slave. You have inherent value, because you are a son or daughter of the Almighty God. If you with all your soul want to be homosexual, that's your decision. I wish you the best. If you don't want to want what you want and you haven't started your journey of change, I encourage you to embark. It took me years, but as in Caleb's experience, one day I just noticed it wasn't there anymore. It is gone. I am free. If you have tried and have not met your goals yet, there are several options.
First, it might be in your best interest to adjust the ways in which you are trying to meet your goals. Are you designing your environment so as to avoid those factors that would damage you emotionally? Are you spending enough time with people who truly respect and value you? What are you doing about unhealthy relationships? How is your relationship with your body: do you give appropriate TLC to your health? your appearance? can you love being in your own skin? Who are your same-gender role models? Are they truly happy and why? What kind of a parent would you like to be? What kind of a husband or wife would you like to be? How can you get there? Do you respect your parents and their good qualities and emulate those good qualities while seeking greater light? Do you feel loved? Because you are loved. Are you finding joy in your gender? Are you strengthening your gender-specific talents, sharing them and appreciating them?
Or, as Dr. Satinover says, for some people it doesn't change. I don't know what problem Paul had, but in the Bible he wrote about it:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the
revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of
Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory
in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities,
in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak,
then am I strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-11
Maybe you will struggle for the rest of your life. Maybe you will not have the opportunity to marry in this life. But the Lord's plan of salvation is that if you stay true to His gospel and His commandments, this life might not be a bowl of roses, but you will have the chance to receive His promised blessings in the next life: marriage, children, peace. Paul made peace with his problem in his mortal lifetime. You can too.
Hello, readers! Thanks for coming to Love Also. Glad to have you. Here I hope to discuss with you the topics that matter most: family life, marriage, and how you can achieve your dreams. You may ask yourself, how does this apply to me? I don't have a family. But one day you can achieve your dream of having a family of your own and we must prepare for that day.
I hope to share research as well as other uplifting material, most of which I will have just learned about. Tag along on the journey! I would love to hear your opinions, whatever they may be, and hope to enjoy respectful interactions with all.
¡Bienvenidos, amigos! Gracias por acudir a También Amor. Me da gusto que me acompañen. Aquí espero platicar con ustedes los temas que más importan en la vida: la familia, el matrimonio, y cómo pueden ustedes lograr sus metas. A lo mejor se pregunta, ¿cómo se aplica esto a mí? No tengo familia. Le aseguro que puede un día lograr su sueño de tener una familia y para aquel día hay que prepararse.
Espero compartir información científica y materiales elevadores de otras fuentes buenas. La verdad, mucha de dicha información yo lo acabaré de aprender, así que ¡vamos juntos en la jornada! Me encantaría escuchar sus opiniones, sin importar lo que sean, y con todos espero poder gozar de intercambios respetuosos.