A Share the Love post highlighting Sabrina and Matt’s love story and advice.
It’s been far too long since we’ve done a Share the Love post! Thankfully today we are going to remedy that. We’ve got my good friend Sabrina here to share the love with us all. Sabrina is a friend forever close to my heart. We worked together for seven months as missionary companions in Slovenia. Rada njej imam! – Celeste
What’s Your Love Story?
Matt and I met in Provo Canyon in Utah. I had recently moved to take a job at BYU, and he was in my ward (church congregation). I am a firm believer that nothing is coincidence, and that we are led into and through situations for a reason, and in meeting Matt there were so many little things that led up to it that in my mind couldn’t just be coincidence.
After my mission, I looked for a job in the area where my family lived but could not find anything in my field. I went back to school in web design and programming, and absolutely loved it. Before I could graduate, I felt compelled to take a job at BYU in the Research Accounting office. I was not happy about moving to Utah but thought I could make it work if I could live with a good friend, Tara. That wasn’t immediately possible but I moved into her ward in what turned out to be a pretty rough housing situation. Throw in some ridiculous would-be suitors and I was thinking it was a mistake to be at BYU.
One evening after contemplating my dating prospects, in my typical planning way, I pictured an ideal way to date and marry. I felt a voice say, “That’s not how it’s going to happen. You’re going to know immediately that he’s the one for you.” I kind of resisted, but the message was repeated. I wasn’t sure what to make of it, so I tried to put it out of my mind.
A few days later at a ward activity I noticed Matt who had said a few things that reminded me of my brother, with whom I had a really close relationship. I told Tara that he seemed interesting and I would like to get to know him. The next evening I sat by him at a church function, and he seemed quite nice, though reserved. After church the next day, as I was leaving my house, I opened the door to see Tara and a couple other girls standing on my doorstep. I told them I was leaving to find a piano to play on campus. Tara suggested that I play the piano at Ben’s house (wink, wink… Ben was Matt’s roommate). These sweet girls made multiple calls to friends to arrange for me to go over there.
I went feeling embarrassed to intrude (and I even considered not actually going), but enjoyed playing their piano. And then Matt pulled out his flute, was surprisingly good and we played duets for what felt like hours. It was so much like home, and I was so comfortable and happy, the first time really since moving. Matt saw me to the door, and I felt so much happiness that when he shut the door I gave a little hop, skip and jump for joy. At that moment I felt a little voice say, “You could marry him.” The memory from just a few days prior came back, and I went home surprised and excited.
Matt and I dated for a short time, and were engaged 23 days after we met – that was definitely not my plan!
What Do You Love About Your Spouse?
As I got to know him better, I was impressed with Matt’s willingness to serve wherever he was needed, whether it was helping people move, cleaning up after a dinner, or tutoring friends. He was kind and thoughtful, had high standards and deep faith, and we had a lot of interests in common.
Over the years we’ve been married, we have tried to cultivate more common interests, and support each other in the separate hobbies we have. He peruses jewelry magazines for designs that look interesting and he enjoys seeing what I’ve made. We have been able to take dancing lessons and voice lessons together. He pushes me to play the piano and harp, and he is the one who instigates my taking lessons and going to workshops and learning new things. I have some friends that have told their engineer husbands that they don’t even want to know what they do all day, or the husband has told the wife he’s not interested in her hobbies. For us, life is sweeter being more involved and supporting each other.
I love Matt’s kindness. So many situations have come up where I have appreciated his it. Our son hemorrhaged from his mouth after a surgery, and in my rush to take him to the ER, I left our van door open at the hospital. Matt met us there, put his bike in the van and shut the door. And that was it. When we were newlyweds, I left an envelope with over $1,000 in cash in it from our wedding reception at a fast food place. Instead of berating me for foolishly forgetting that much money, he just said, kindly, “Let’s go look for it.”
Best Marriage Advice?
Sometimes one partner in a relationship will make a mistake that makes things difficult for both of you. When situations like this arise, it’s important to remember that you are on the same team, working together to solve problems. You should not attack each other, or focus on who is to blame for the situation; it’s more than likely the person to blame already knows, and already feels bad about it. There is no need to rub it in, just to solve the problem. Maybe next time it’ll be you who puts you both into an unfortunate situation – would you want your spouse to rub it in your face when it’s your fault?
For example, when Matt and I were getting engaged, we drove with a friend to my home in Idaho so that Matt could meet my family. It was a dark and stormy night, pitch black, and as I was driving I missed the exit that led to the east part of the state where my family was living. Matt and I were laughing and talking, and eventually I looked around and realized I had no idea where we were. Suddenly I realized we were on the way to the other side of the state! I was mortified! Matt and I traded places, and he drove back to where I’d taken the wrong exit and on to my home, arriving at 3:30 am. I was completely embarrassed, but he joked it off and said it would make for a funny story someday. He knew I already felt bad, so what good could come from making me feel worse? Right then, I knew we were on the same team and I was so glad to be marrying him!
Apologizing sincerely and quickly when there has been hurt has been valuable to our relationship. I feel safe with Matt and trust that he holds my heart carefully. I am grateful that Matt forgives me quickly when I’ve hurt him. Sometimes we have been intentionally hurt by someone, perhaps our spouse, but if we hold onto the pain, it only continues to hurt us. Forgiving our spouse when they have hurt us frees us to greater understanding and peace. As Elder Kevin R Duncan said recently,
“Gratefully, God, in His love and mercy for His children, has prepared a way to help us navigate these sometimes turbulent experiences of life. He has provided an escape for all who fall victim to the misdeeds of others. He has taught us that we can forgive! Even though we may be a victim once, we need not be a victim twice by carrying the burden of hate, bitterness, pain, resentment, or even revenge. We can forgive, and we can be free!”
I love this. Forgiving is freeing. And forgiving your spouse, and being forgiven by your spouse is beautiful.
Being married to my husband has been wonderful. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but when we clearly communicate with each other, sincerely apologize and forgive when we make mistakes, and solve problems together instead of fighting with each other, our marriage is stronger and sweeter.