We married people are responsible for changing this terrible attitude toward married life. If all we do is complain about the bad and encourage every negative stereotype about husbands and wives, then that is all people will think of marriage. If we focus on the good and break negative stereotypes, then perhaps more people will want to be like us.
What is it about marriage that changes things? Regular boyfriends and girlfriends work, go to school, have kids, maybe live together--things married people do too--and yet still have time for each other and find their relationships exciting and desirable. I think it is the fact that a legal marriage makes people feel stuck or more accountable. And people like easy exits. The fear of such a high commitment level is the reason such things as renewable marriage contracts are arising. Also, people misunderstand the purpose of marriage. To them it is an option for people who love each other and truly want to be with each other for the rest of their lives.
Marriage was instituted for two reasons: to create families and to give us eternal companions. The significance of the second is often understated. We know we need to be sealed to achieve exaltation, but why? Why is marriage so important?
Heavenly Father knew we would need help in returning to Him. He has given us so many spiritual aids: prayer, scriptures, prophets, the Holy Ghost. He also gave us family and friends, because we need relationships. We need people whom we love, trust, confide in, receive strength from, and experience joys and sorrows with. Marriage gives us a best friend who will fulfill all of the above for eternity, someone who will always be there for us, who cares about our spiritual welfare, who helps us change into a celestial being. Marriage is about working together to make it back to Heavenly Father.
If we show people that side of marriage, it becomes a much more desirable and worthy goal. And in fulfilling the purposes of marriage, we build stronger, more loving families and communities.
Challenge: If you're in a rut in your marriage, remember the reason you got married and your heavenly goal and change your attitude!