Well, gentle readers, it would been that when it rains it pours. I haven’t had anything to say for days and now I’m finding that I have a lot to say. I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.
I was raised to think, from the time I was quite young, that I would get married to a man someday. In the LDS (aka, Mormon) church there are different organizations you belong to as you grow up. Ages 1 1/2 – 3 go to Nursery. Ages 3-12 go to Primary. Ages 12-18 go to Young Men’s or Young Women’s (depending on your sex). Ages 18-death go to Relief Society (for women) or Priesthood (for men.)
From the time I was 12 I have been making lists enumerating the qualities that a potential mate would have. My top two were that the man had to hold the priesthood (for more information on that click here) and he had to be college educated. I picked those things because all my friends were picking those things and because I believed they were important.
However, I had no idea exactly what I was looking for. Just as an example, let’s say I went Brigham Young University (BYU, it’s owned by the LDS church.) There would be over 14,000 men that fit the criteria of being priesthood holders and college educated. That’s a big pool to swim in!
One day in my mid-teens I was bemoaning the difficulty of finding decent guys and trying to figure out how I’d know who to marry, my mom gave me some valuable insight. She told me that if I was dating someone that fit my criteria but I wasn’t sure if he was “the one” I should ask myself one question. Does this man make me want to be better? And not in a controling way where my significant other is telling me that I need to hurry up and finish my degree, or that I need to lose weight, or that I need to improve myself. This man should appreciate me for who I am, but also want me to develop my talents and grow as a person.
Armed with this piece of advice I went out into the world. I found many males (not all of them were men.) Almost none of them made me want to be better than I was today. Following being in an abusive relationship I will admit that the priesthood criteria dropped off. Now it was (and is) important to me to find someone that will accept the part of me that has been hurt by that other guy, along with everything else.
I am so pleased to be able to say that I have found that person in my sweet husband. His presence and example makes me want to be better than I am. Every day is a new adventure. I may not improve every day, but the desire is there. He makes me want to be better each and every day.