My Unsolicited Marriage Advice

A friend wrote me about someone’s failing marriage. She said, “..they knew they were supposed to get married [but it was] before they had an opportunity to fall in love.” And now they are divorcing because they are so wrong for each other.

Well, here’s what I have to say about that:

They married before they had an opportunity to fall in love?

Did they forget that love is not something that happens to them, but something they’re supposed to DO? As if love is a noun, and not a verb.

Marriage is a commitment to learn how to love – it’s a lifelong pursuit, even in the best of marriages! The marriage covenant is what binds us together during those times when we don’t feel loving – it’s the glue that keeps us together until we come to ourselves and try loving each other again—else what is the promise for??

It’s the bond that holds the family unit together during the rough patches when only one of the partners feels like doing his/her part. This is what marriage is – a contract that society is leaving behind.

Sounds like they are expecting a fairy tale to me. All the fairy tale lovers who wake up one day and wonder where the magic went… what they wouldn’t give to have had a sure answer from God about what was right (like these two did).

Even if they had felt the “fall in love” feeling in the beginning, nobody can expect that “fall in love” feeling to last forever. And if they knew it was right before God even without that “feeling”, then what a gift they received. Thereafter, it was simply their opportunity to create the feeling.

To think it needs to be there from the beginning and forever after, let me tell you: that’s truly a fairy tale. This doesn’t mean you can’t feel more and more deeply in love as you go – you should! But you create that fairy tale love by paying a price: by working through challenges, sacrificing for one another, and sharing your life together.

Here’s where too many people get it wrong:

The price for that kind of fairy tale love cannot be paid without challenges to work though, sacrifices to make, and sharing a life while working and sacrificing. So, the sooner you can look at the challenges as a gift, and tenaciously do your best to respond well to them, your love will grow.

No matter what twitter-pated lovebirds feel before having an opportunity to prove their love through hardships, what they feel up front can NEVER compare to the feeling that comes as a reward for letting challenges bring them together instead of apart.

But it takes charity, as described by the apostle Paul in the Bible. If they both had a confirmation that they should marry each other – what a revelation! What knowledge! What a mystery revealed!

But now this:

“…though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

In other words, the revelation of who to marry is worthless if they do not continue on in charity toward each other. But if they do, what love can be built!

Here is the best marriage advice ever given:

“…Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-7)

Show me a person who lives by this creed, and in time, you will find a person who experiences something more grand, more rewarding, and more everlasting than any fairy-tale love. Yes, even if only ONE of the partners lives by it. Jesus Christ showed this kind of love to the vilest of sinners, never once receiving it to the same degree in return. He is the bridegroom, and showed us by the way he treated the church how we must treat our spouse.

And this kind of love is what changes people.

With this Christ-like love, hearts soften, wounds heal, inadequacies are filled, and injustices are eventually compensated. Yes, it’s a lofty ideal, but it’s worth the life-long effort to achieve it.

The adversary has developed tools that twist reality (movies, books, porn, etc) to confuse us about what we should expect out of marriage. I hope your friend is smart enough to know the difference between reality and fiction. Some people just don’t get it, but I really hope he does.

Love is a choice. It’s something you DO. It’s not something that happens TO YOU …at least not the kind that lasts.

(There is at least one exception to this: the love that Christ has for YOU. That love is freely given, and yours without condition. It is something that can happen TO you, as you allow it. Seek Him. And as you feel it from Him, you’ll more easily have it to give to your spouse and others.)

If only people could take the thousands of dollars normally spent on the wedding, and instead save it to celebrate the marriage after they’ve made it 25-50 years. Oh, what a worthy and deserved celebration that would be!

Rant over.

PS. I understand there are life-threatening circumstances and other situations that warrant divorce. But I also believe it happens too often with situations that do not.

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So… my husband lost his job

It’s been a very interesting New Year! As we said goodbye to 2016, there was a feeling in the air that change was coming.

So when my husband noticed an interesting position posted at (I’ll call it “Company B”, a vendor for his current employer), I told him: “You should look into it…”

Husband: “I was thinking about it…”

Me: “I’m wondering why you’re still standing there.”

Chuckling, he disappeared into his office. He messaged his friend (the man he knew from Company B), and based on their relationship, he fully expected an eager, enthusiastic response. But two weeks went by and there was no reply at all.

Oh well, we both thought. I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Then on January 13th my husband came home early, at about 10:00 am. A forced smile held back a flood of emotions as he sat down and broke the news to me that he had just been let go.

I was surprised, but not really. We had been feeling change coming, but didn’t know this is what the change would be. Remembering the Law of Polarity, I said, “Okay. This is good!”

He took a deep breath and said, “I choose to believe this is going to turn into something amazing.”

I agreed.

Let me pause to provide a little bit of back story for context. Here’s the sum up:

  • 1991-1997 – Really hard financial struggles.
  • 2000 – Big breakthrough, tripled our income in 3 months, started teaching seminars on what we learned. I tell the story in this video.
  • 2004 – Moved to our dream home pictured here.
  • 2005 – Released my books The Jackrabbit Factor and Hidden Treasures: Heaven’s Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters, international best-sellers (free downloads, by the way).
  • 2006 – Husband quit job to help me run the books/seminar business full time.
  • 2007 – Invested too much money in real estate at the TOP of the market.
  • 2008 – The real estate market tanked and we worked overtime trying to hold it all together.
  • 2009 – New breakthroughs – had our biggest month to that point: $43,000. Published the sequel, Portal to Genius to describe all I had learned since releasing The Jackrabbit Factor.
  • 2011 – Husband returned to the 9-5 workforce to heal our strained relationship and begin working a longer-term plan with a stronger foundation. I stepped back from doing the business full time to recover, heal, and focus m0re on the family (instead of speaking as much as I used to).
  • 2012 – Sold our dream home and started working the new plan.
  • 2015 – Finally dared to begin dreaming again.

So, for the last couple years we’ve just been plugging away at the long-term plan and have been feeling pretty great.

I tell you all THAT to tell you THIS:

2012 was probably one of the hardest years we’d ever had. Our finances were in the biggest mess they’d ever been in, and when the market plummeted, we couldn’t sell our investments, people who owed us money couldn’t pay, and because the ripple effect was devastating, we also became those people.

I watched my husband’s self esteem shrink to pretty much nothing and I was not able to encourage him. I myself was just as depleted, and instead of being his greatest support, I was openly critical. I was exhausted, embarrassed, disappointed, and angry that my business had gone from a hobby I loved (because of how it helped people), to something I hated (because it was now needed for paying gigantic real estate bills).

So I’ve seen him broken and depressed. I’ve seen him completely paralyzed and unable to think of solutions. I’ve seen him beat himself up because he knew better, but still couldn’t shake the darkness.

To illustrate where we were at and what we were feeling at the time, let me paint a picture. I wanted to approach our problems with the belief that anything was possible (I was still teaching it, after all), and that we could just apply the principles and turn things around. But I wanted him to solve it, because I was exhausted. However, while I knew he could apply Rare Faith to solve it, I struggled to believe that he would. I was too tired, and he was stuck in despair.

After years of running the business 12-16 hours/day while trying to homeschool 7 kids, I ran out of steam altogether. My husband was doing all he could to help build and support the systems that delivered our product, but didn’t have direct control over creating the paycheck like I did as the marketer. I berated him for letting me shoulder the burden of the bills, and he wondered why I kept jumping in all the time instead of trusting him t0 figure something out.

Ironically, I had encouraged him to quit his job five years earlier to help me with the business. But now I wanted nothing to do with it, and I wanted him to solve the problem—even though he no longer had his best source of income for solving it. Still, he kept telling me to slow down and let him handle it. I don’t know why it was so hard to let go.

(Actually, I do know why, but that’s a long story. Read The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Tried to Write for more about that).

Regardless, it was time.

So the next big bill came along, and I let him own it, no matter the outcome. I wasn’t even tempted to step in. But he couldn’t think of a single thing he could do to generate the money. I was too fatigued to implement any of my ideas, and all he could think of was to ask our Bishop for help. I thought, If this is the only thing he can think of, and if I’m really committed to letting him solve this, I need to support him in however he chooses to solve it.

Yes, this meant me showing up at the Bishop’s storehouse for a food order. We had plenty of long term food storage, but needed help with the weekly fresh foods.

Yes, this also meant running into people who knew my books and probably wondered why the Jackrabbit Factor lady needed welfare. I remember standing outside thinking, If I’m too proud to go in there and accept some help while we put our life back together and re-establish how we want our relationship to work, then I’m in a worse condition than I thought. 

Trusting the experience would be good for my soul, I took a deep breath and walked through those doors.

After a couple visits, consciously swallowing my pride each time, I told my husband, “I think you should take a turn.” I knew his pride was already shot full of holes, but facing humiliation head on can sometimes really shift things, as I discovered. After all:

  • Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
  • Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

So yes. I told him, “I think you should take a turn.”

My sweet husband answered, “That’s the least I can do.”

In time, he swallowed his pride even more and took a 9-5 job at 2/3 his previous salary so we could rebuild with a little bit of stability and give me a break.

A paper sack on the path: something to be grateful for, even if it wasn’t the ultimate goal.

Fast forward to just a few weeks ago, when he lost that job of five years.

We very quickly learned how far we’ve come. It surprised us, how natural it felt to think optimistically, in spite of the blow. It shocked us that we were able to feel increasingly excited about all the possibilities—all the things we could do with our future.

His options were now completely wide open!

He allowed himself to feel relief that he didn’t have to be at that job anymore, and we looked for evidence that the Lord was not only aware, but probably orchestrating things to bring us to even greater opportunities and blessings.

Thus, we began talking about all the reasons this “setback” was good:

  1. With all the experience he had gained over the last 5-6 years, he was now more marketable than he had ever been before.
  2. He had been unhappy and thinking about leaving anyway, but didn’t feel like quitting was the responsible thing to do. In some ways, it makes it easier when they just decide for you that you’re done.
  3. Because they let him go, he received severance, which would not have been available to him if he had left on his own.
  4. We had been hoping for a chance to finish the online school we had been revamping, so that the online version of the Mindset Mastery™ program could finally re-open for students. We thought, maybe this will give us the opportunity to finish it! And, by offering a more affordable format to our readers, the potential revenue could be more than 4 times what he was making at the job.
  5. We’ve already been through MUCH WORSE, so we knew we were going to be okay, no matter how this was going to play out.
  6. We’ve been independent business owners before, and while we didn’t really want to depend on our business to pay the bills again, we knew it could if we needed it to. (The advantage and power of having previously taken action to build multiple streams of income).
  7. Our relationship has never been stronger, and we’ve never been so trusting of the principles at the same time (instead of one of us being up while the other is down, or vice versa). Not an easy thing to do! But now we know it’s possible. So facing this together was proving to be a deeply rewarding experience instead of the opposite, as we had experienced before.
  8. We had been listening to Dave Ramsey and trying to follow his advice for the last few years, so we had a decent emergency fund in place—not fully funded, but better than nothing. I have to say, it is SO TRUE—the promise that if ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.

The promise was never, “If ye are prepared, ye shall not suffer.” It was that “if ye are prepared, ye shall not FEAR.”

Because truly, fear is the real enemy. When you do not fear, you qualify for blessings that cannot be given if fear is present:

“Behold and lo, mine eyes are upon you, and the heavens and the earth are in mine hands, and the riches of eternity are mine to give. Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.” (Doctrine and Covenants 67:2-3)

Needless to say, it only took a few minutes and we were feeling pretty excited and grateful for the blessing of his unexpected termination. Not without a little bit of apprehension, of course, but every time the worry crept in, we consciously kicked it out and focused on all of the happy possibilities.

Within 30 minutes of his termination, and just as we were talking about the possibilities, he received a reply from Company B’s representative: “Yes! I would love to talk to you about the position – how about breakfast on Tuesday at 8 am?”

Isn’t that interesting.

We were reminded about our experience at the restaurant in 2009 when we were at the end of our money, had no credit, and needed to find $15,000 in just a couple weeks. We had decided to forget about our immediate problems long enough to allow ourselves to get excited about what we’d be doing in ten years, after we had figured it all out. That’s when the waiter announced the meal was on the house, and that’s the month we ended up making $43,000.

We’ve learned that as long as we focus on where we’re going, and the happy outcome we expect to enjoy as though it’s already been accomplished, things just work out.

I dare you to test it.

Together, we’ve been testing it regularly now for about five years. As we raise our large family with all the unexpected expenses and needs that come with that, we’ve often wondered where the needed resources would come from. But as we strive to keep an optimistic, faithful approach, our needs have been met unfailingly, and without compromising our values.

It continues to prove itself to be a true and DEPENDABLE principle.

This job loss experience (okay I’m going to say it: he was fired!), is proving to be no different.

However, even though we were choosing optimism, we still didn’t know if the new job was going to work out, or if it would be the right next step for him to take. But the one thing we knew for sure: things always go better when we are optimistic.

Especially when we choose optimism and let go of our concern about how things will turn out. It’s a type of surrendering.

Related: How to Surrender (and why you’d want to)

By evening when it was time to tell the children, we had worked ourselves up into such a feeling of excitement that we told them it was time for a celebration! We announced that we needed to celebrate because Dad was just let go!

As he explained what had happened, he paused and said, “Wait…this happened on Friday the 13th… Seriously??” Everyone was like, WHOA… but then he added, “I thought nothing good was supposed to happen on that day!”

🙂

Originally, they were shocked, but after rehearsing to them all the reasons we believed this was happening because the Lord needed Dad more somewhere else, they understood.

We told them, “We have no idea how this is going to play out, but we trust that He is leading us. We just wanted you to understand why we might be saying no to some things, or eating food storage for a while until we get it all figured out.”

They were humbled, and supportive.

So anyway, instead of lamenting his loss (been there, done that, far too often, and for far too long…) we spent most of the day imagining the possibilities.

The next morning (Saturday), he had an idea come to him like a flash of intelligence, accompanied by a flood of details. (The Portal to Genius is real! You should really come experience it at Genius Bootcamp!) He immediately went to the computer and posted the following on a neighborhood Facebook group:

Yesterday my employment was terminated unexpectedly, so I’m now freed up to help you out. (Yay!)

I’m not looking for pity – I want to teach my seven children the value of work. I’m not too good for ANY honest work.

I have a little savings, so I’m ok for a little while, and I thought it would be fun to try an experiment.

So, here’s the deal: I will bring my own tools, and you supply the materials. I do work for you, you pay me whatever you feel it was worth – no questions asked.

Yep, simple as that. I have faith in God and in the humanity of people, and want to show my four boys that they aren’t too good for any honest work, and that as they rely on God and go to work with the resources they have available to them, their needs will be met.

I believe in Win-Win. If you don’t win, neither will I!

Need something fixed or created? I can help!

  • Home repair
  • Sprinkler repair
  • Furniture repair
  • Welding
  • Metal Signs (cut on a CNC machine)

I LOVE to build, repair, and create things. I’ve rehabbed homes over the years (outside of my normal computer software job), and I’m good at it. I can do just about anything, but if what you need isn’t something I am good at, I’ll let you know.

Disclaimer: I am not a contractor and I don’t have a license. I don’t have a business entity for this, and I’m not bonded nor insured, so I can’t do the jobs that require such. Also, if I get more requests than I can handle, I’ll choose the projects that seem like the best fit for my skills.

(My wife doesn’t know I’m doing this – hope I won’t be sleeping in the doghouse for it, haha)

Let’s have some fun and see where this goes!

PM me with your needs and I’ll let you know if it’s something I could do a good job with. I’m available to start today!

Immediately requests began to come in. He was out working that very day, and every day thereafter while he waited to see what might come of the job opportunity with Company B. One of our teenage sons even went with him as an apprentice (never let a good opportunity be wasted, right?)

He laid carpet, built cabinetry, fixed sprinklers, hung shelves, and performed a myriad of miscellaneous handyman tasks. Gratefully, he brought home some pretty good money, which put us ahead.

Quite a contrast from the last time life needed him to get creative.

My husband felt happy and free, and was having more FUN than he’d had in a long time. Yes, the concern would creep in sometimes, but we just kept replacing it with action, and optimism.

More than once he told me that he felt like he wasn’t just finding his feet; he had been pushed out of the nest, and was finding his WINGS.

Can I just say? We LOVE the feeling that the Lord is actively involved in our life, and we LOVE the opportunity to show our kids a better way to respond to setbacks than what they saw last time.

What a wonderful opportunity it has been, to discover for sure that we ARE different than who we were, even just 5 years ago. There’s no way we could have known this about ourselves without the opportunity to face something “awful” like this.

So the Tuesday interview went well. As did the Thursday follow-up. He was offered a position on Friday, but felt like he should negotiate a better package. Calming our nerves all weekend, by the next Tuesday they had come to an agreeable offer. It provides a higher salary than his last job, a wider array of potential opportunities in the future, the opportunity to work from home 3 days a week, and a little bit of travel.

A few other interesting things that convince us there was a divine plan behind it:

  • The man whose position he’s filling resigned the same morning my husband was fired.
  • Because he found another job so quickly, the severance pay helps us very quickly achieve one of our goals that we thought would take much longer.
  • Through a conversation because of his job loss with another former employee, my husband learned about a job opportunity that was exactly what my daughter has been looking for. She was hired and started that job two days ago.
  • And a whole lot more that I’m not going to take the time or space to explain here.

I’m just here to say that as scary as change can be, there’s no question that the Lord is mindful of ALL of us, and orchestrates things for our good when we do our best to stay faithful. Believe in good things! Optimism opens doors to opportunities that may otherwise remain hidden.

So if you’re feeling worried or stuck now, just imagine what you’ll be doing (and especially how you’ll be feeling) after you’ve finally solved the problem. Live THERE for a while, refuse to worry, have Rare Faith, and watch your world shift to a better place.

In gratitude,

Leslie

PS. If you struggle to have faith in the middle of a crisis, read Hidden Treasures: Heavens Astonishing Help with Your Money Matters – (it’s FREE!)

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It’s not just about money, it’s about marriages, too

From one of our readers (I’ll call her Susan), in a two year-old Facebook thread:

(Original post) October 15, 2014

…I get that you can’t make people do things by visualizing it, as explained in Jackrabbit Factor. But can I manifest a really great marriage where I feel like my husband and I are parenting equally and both are happy with how we are raising our kids? I mean REALLY happy, not just compromising to keep the peace. Can I do it while imagining my current husband? Because I really want the father of my children to be my forever spouse, I just want to feel like a part of a team, not pioneering on my own.

(Today) January 18, 2017

Over two years later, I thought I’d leave an UPDATE on how this went for me! It took a lot more than I ever imagined, a lot of crud came up and it was really hard, the hardest thing I’d ever done. We worked through it all, we put a great deal of effort into self-evaluating and growing as human beings. It HURT!! We both went places in ourselves and our relationship we were scared as heck to go. I felt like I was going through hell, actually, and I often was pretty sure our marriage wouldn’t survive, but it did. We would come to the brink and always one of us would pull back and try again. But I can tell you honestly … all the pain was worth it. I get to enjoy the exact marriage I described above. When I was first typing it I thought it was a pipe dream. I honestly didn’t believe I could ever have it. Thank you everyone, especially Leslie Robertson Householder, your book changed our lives, and our children’s lives! This will impact them and how they show up in their marriages and how they parent their children. The ripple effects will echo for generations! I am overwhelmed with gratitude!! I have no words. Now we both, as a team, are working on the money, and it is rewarding and brings us closer, and I am not alone anymore. Thank you all!!

(a few minutes later…)

In my original post, I didn’t describe how awful my marriage was. It was really bad. Addiction, emotional and verbal abuse, that post was written through tears after an incident of physical abuse. I re-read it and it sounded so sweet and simplistic, but it was really, really, awful. It took a lot of courage to change it. But fortunately we both wanted a change. Now after much work, things are so different. We’re best friends! Thanks again Leslie!

(my reply)

Wow Susan, thanks for taking the time to update [and tagging me]. I don’t think I had seen your original post. Well done! And congratulations – it IS worth it – the pain and all, to appreciate the glorious victory. I love that it’s a relationship victory… so many people don’t realize the books aren’t just about money.

Read The Jackrabbit Factor – FREE

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