Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Love You Anyway

I have been listening to my Jarrett Burns CD over and over and over. I noticed that the two songs that I repeat the most (although I love them all) are both duets. You can start the music here if you’d like to listen to it while you read the post. The lyrics are toward the end of the post, where I talk about them. (Sorry for the crazy formatting on this long post. I don't have time to figure out what I did to the HTML. The post ends with the question in purple.) 

I love duets, especially with a man and a woman singing together. 2 people singing, using their own unique voices, often singing different notes, sometimes even different words at the same time, but when they both do their part well and work together well, it is beautiful music. Of course, this is like a good marriage.

I’ve been debating writing marriage posts for months. Who would read what a divorced woman has to say about how to have a good marriage? And it’s emotionally hard for me to study and write about it. I thought about starting a series of posts entitled “Preparing for Mr. Right, #_” and then each post has another number. I thought that would get way too depressing to see post #2000 and #99,999, etc. so I decided against that. But I do want to learn, change and prepare now so that if I ever get a second chance, I can be ready, well, more ready. So the posts are really for me, but just sharing with you the quotes I collect and some of my ponderings and asking for your ideas too.  

So back to duets… Check out my beautiful and talented friend Elizabeth Sanchez's painting called “A Balancing Act”. She is an awesome painter. You can see more of her art at her website or her blog Personal Epiphanies. You can even meet her and some other women artists at Art Access Gallery 230 South 500 West #125, Salt Lake City on Feb. 9 from 6-9 pm. (Anybody wanna go with me?)
Isn’t this exactly what a marriage is like? It is so much work and you feel like at any moment you might fall off. And of course, there is the adversary making it harder to stay poised on the ball, keeping the marriage together. In order to remain steady, you must help your partner and allow them to help you. Sometimes you might feel like you are doing all of the supporting and holding, while your spouse just struggles, but if you let go because you are tired or impatient, you will fall too. Both husband and wife have to work together, doing their part well, but being aware of what the other needs. That is so not easy!
“Marriage, in its truest sense, is a partnership of equals, with neither person exercising dominion over the other, but with each encouraging, comforting, and helping the other…

Marriage partners must be loyal to one another and faithful in their marriage covenants in thought, word, and deed. The Lord has said, “Thou shalt love thy wife with all thy heart, and shalt cleave unto her and none else” (D&C 42:22). The phrase “none else” teaches that no person, activity, or possession should ever take precedence over the marriage relationship.”    LDS Study Topics: Marriage

My friend Shauna gave me the book Covenant Hearts  by Bruce C. Hafen before she realized that we had already filed for divorce. I still read the book and it is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I will be quoting from it in future marriage posts. I highly recommend you to add it to your reading list this year. Soooo much for me to learn. If you don’t have the book, you can look up some of his talks. Many of the talks are word for word (or almost) in the book, like this quote I took from one of his talks.   

“When troubles come, the parties to a contractual marriage seek happiness by walking away. They marry to obtain benefits and will stay only as long as they’re receiving what they bargained for. But when troubles come to a covenant marriage, the husband and wife work them through. They marry to give and to grow, bound by covenants to each other, to the community, and to God. Contract companions each give 50 percent; covenant companions each give 100 percent…

Marriage is by nature a covenant, not just a private contract one may cancel at will. Jesus taught about contractual attitudes when he described the “hireling,” who performs his conditional promise of care only when he receives something in return. When the hireling “seeth the wolf coming,” he “leaveth the sheep, and fleeth … because he … careth not for the sheep.” By contrast, the Savior said, “I am the good shepherd, … and I lay down my life for the sheep.”  Many people today marry as hirelings. And when the wolf comes, they flee. This idea is wrong. It curses the earth, turning parents’ hearts away from their children and from each other”.
Bruce C. Hafen, "Covenant Marriage"   Ensign, Nov. 1996, 26
That leads me back into the lyrics of the song. 
I Love You Anyway by Aaron Edson
V. 1
Things have not been easy
I guess everybody knows
We've had our highs
But oh we've had our lows
I hope that you remember
Those cozy summer nights
When something deep inside you
Told you this was right
And even when you tell me
We don't fit that well we
Got something beautiful I hope you agree
Cause you mean so much to me

That I love you anyway
Yes I love you anyway
Even on the rainy days
When you won't meet my gaze
And there's nothin left to say
That's when I know its true
That I was meant to be with you
So you can do what you may
But I will always stay cause I love you anyway

V. 2
Don't know if I'll ever
Be what you really need
But I'll just keep on tryin
Even if I don't succeed
I really hope I get there
Even if for just one day
And if I don't, I really hope you say

Chorus: 1X

Nobody likes to think that
Someone sees the ugly in them
But people wind up all alone
If they don't let somebody in them
And its a bit naive to think
That lovin, livin' together we won't see
All the shameful things inside us
But if we love, then we'll be free to be
You and me and we'll agree that unconditionally
Chorus: 1X

It’s a couple struggling to make things work, but they know it’s supposed to be work, and they keep trying and they don’t give up because of their love for each other. They know we are to be longsuffering and that there is much hardship but blessings in enduring, instead of fleeing. (This part brings out the tears every time.)

Even on the rainy days
When you won't meet my gaze
And there's nothin left to say

I also really like the end of the song, where they sing about how they see each other’s faults and their bad sides, but they know that because they are loved, it’s okay. That person isn’t going to leave you because of them.

But if we love, then we'll be free to be
You and me and we'll agree that unconditionally

Isn’t that what we all want (and many of you are blessed to have)? Someone to love us even when it’s hard and doesn’t seem to be working, someone who we feel safe being ourselves with. I know that’s what Heavenly Father wants in a celestial marriage.  

So, how do you stay balanced if you are married, or what is one way you feel you could use support from a future spouse if you’re not?    


  1. Thank you for writing this! I've already put the book on hold at the library. You know I've really struggled with depression over the years and my spouse has been pretty wonderful about picking up the pieces I was dropping. I think the thing that held us together during those times is that I was truly doing the best I was able to and he knew it. This last year has been one of serious trauma for our family and we've both been struggling to pull it back together and keep moving on.

    Something that has helped us is Elder Bednar's (?) talk a few years ago about Lifting Where You Stand. We've really been trying to individually focus on lifting all the "weight" that we can and trusting in the Lord that both of us together will be able to do and be enough. We've also been focusing on building a strong family with our boys.

    Not sure if I'm just rambling or if I answered your question.

    I pray for you!


  2. I think one of the ways to stay balanced is to care enough about each other to let each other do things they like and enjoy. You don't have to like everything the same. You don't have to do every single thing together. You do have to be willing to share with each other, and above all listen to each other. My husband doesn't like reading, but he doesn't mind if I read and study. He has discovered that he loves listening to the Ipod, and now he is listening to all the books that I have read. Sometimes he lifts me up, and sometimes I lift him. Marriage is about compromise and in remembering that it is forever. Great post Valerie! It is something we all need to focus on! I will have to try and see if I can find that book.

  3. Listening to the music right now. Awesome!
    Your friend's painting is very good and thought provoking!
    Great post for everyone, married or not.
    Both partners need to work on a marriage. It can't be one-sided or it won't work or will be miserable. When Sister Hinckley was asked how to make a marriage work, she said, "Lower Your Expectations." She was a wise woman.

  4. Great post! And i love that song... Tom often says to me "I love you anyway". It is a beautiful song! Sometimes I don't feel balanced in anything... let alone our marriage. but I think it is about supporting each other, being strong when the other isn't feeling so strong. I fight with my pride alot! I need to be more willing to say, "I was wrong. I am sorry." Tom is a good example of this to me, usually.

  5. I totally wish I could give an exceptional piece of advice on having a great marriage. The truth is, we can be as great of a spouse as we set our minds to be, but in all actuality, a good deal of it comes down to luck. Lucky in sounds so cliche, but there is a mountain of truth behind it's facade. We just have to do the best we can when we make our choice to be with someone forever. Of course, being mortal, we are only susceptible to our own (what we may consider) delusions, and misconceptions. Sadly, too, people fool us and change and become careless with their part of the relationship and marriage. We can only do the best we can and know the Lord loves us and will promise us happiness in the end. One of the books I love the most is The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger (?). WE read it together at least once a year. She isn't a member, but she has great insights on embracing our role as a woman. Things will be ok, in the end, it will all work out :) I met my awesome hubby on E-Harmony ;)

  6. Beautiful thoughts Valerie.
    I think it is totally great for you to post about marriage.
    I love the thoughts of the book.
    It is so true.

    When my husband was a bishop he would counsel couples often. He said in a talk once that marriage is not a competition.
    Both of the partners must win.
    If one loses they both lose.

    Hope you are doing well and keeping up with this semester.

  7. I have my 3 year old grandaughter on my lap, as I type this. She asked, "Mamar, why are the man and lady fighting?"....On second look, maybe she has a point :). We've had almost 42 years of married life, 33 of which we've been members of the Church. All five children are sealed in the temple to their sweethearts, all 17 grandkids being brought up in the Gospel....sometimes my husband wins, sometimes it's me, and YES...I did say WIN. We have a lot of fun, competing with each other...strengthens our appreciation of each other. Works for us :)

  8. Valerie this is a great post! I think it is very fine that you are writing on marriage. It definately helps you grow and reflect when you study something - and we can all use that.
    I know that all marraiges have their ups and downs. The painting really is right on target - it is definately a balancing act.
    Kurke and I have learned that it is the little things that make the biggest impact- we have gotten to a place of Yin and Yang, which took a long time to go. I know that as we have different stages and changes in our lives it is always the little things and the listening that helps us balance.

  9. Thanks so much for your input! I'm loving reading all these responses. Lots to learn. :)

  10. Great post & comments as well!
    I've really been thinking about balance a lot~ in all aspects of life. One thing I've really realized is that balance isn't static, it's not something that we achieve and then we are's a constant fluctuation of shifting and repositioning. Paying attention to the little nuances that demand a shifting of our postition or perspective.
    Very thought provoking post! Thank you!!!

  11. Good insight. I love the book Covenant Hearts. We are having VT (enrichment) based on on it this summer. (=

    Oh and here is just a cute little song that I thought of when you were talking about balancing and helping one another to not fall...

  12. Loving this song! It just may have to become a favorite! Thanks for sharing it. Lovely and thought provoking post. Even if not married, I think this has a lot of great advice for other family relationships, as well.

    Something a sealer said at a wedding that has always stood out in my mind... Loyalty is so much more than keeping yourself physically for only your companion... It is the way you regard them in attitude and deed. Is their name safe in your mouth? There is no room for spouse bashing to friends or family in a covenant marriage. If there are problems, you work through them together. Talking about faults behind their backs is a form of disloyalty... Those were not the exact words... his were much more eloquent... but that is the gist of it... ;D


  13. What an incredible post! Thank you for the heartfelt honesty, which I'm sure is painful at times.

    My favorite line from this post is:
    "Sometimes you might feel like you are doing all of the supporting and holding, while your spouse just struggles, but if you let go because you are tired or impatient, you will fall too."

    What an incredible description of the partnership that marriage truly is. Thank you for sharing ... I just found your blog, and I'm hoping I'll find additional posts on marriage -- you have wise words.


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