Today, on the boards of a site I belong to, the debate raged (partly due to something I posted about men as the sole provider) about roles, responsibilities, and being equally-yoked in a marriage. In the midst of all of that, a friend pointed out this quote which I am sharing with you which is A simple formula for a successful marriage from President Kimball (1978):
"There is a never-failing formula which will guarantee to every couple a happy and eternal marriage; but like all formulas, the principal ingredients must not be left out, reduced, or limited. The selection before courting and then the continued courting after the marriage process are equally important, but not more important than the marriage itself, the success of which depends upon the two individuals—not upon one, but upon two.
In a marriage commenced and based upon reasonable standards as already mentioned, there are not combinations of power which can destroy it except the power within either or both of the spouses themselves; and they must assume the responsibility generally. Other people and agencies may influence for good or bad. Financial, social, political, and other situations may seem to have a bearing; but the marriage depends first and always on the two spouses who can always make their marriage successful and happy if they are determined, unselfish, and righteous.
The formula is simple; the ingredients are few, though there are many amplifications of each.
First, there must be the proper approach toward marriage, which contemplates the selection of a spouse who reaches as nearly as possible the pinnacle of perfection in all the matters which are of importance to the individuals. And then those two parties must come to the altar in the temple realizing that they must work hard toward this successful joint living.
Second, there must be a great unselfishness, forgetting self and directing all of the family life and all pertaining thereunto to the good of the family, subjugating self.
Third, there must be continued courting and expressions of affection, kindness, and consideration to keep love alive and growing.
Fourth, there must be a complete living of the commandments of the Lord as defined in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With these ingredients properly mixed and continually kept functioning, it is quite impossible for unhappiness to come, misunderstandings to continue, or breaks to occur. Divorce attorneys would need to transfer to other fields and divorce courts would be padlocked."
Regardless of how a couple works things out or views 'roles and responsibilities', those elements President Kimball so eloquently addressed are crucial to the success of the marriage.
With that in mind, what is the most recent thing YOU have learned about being a partner to your future spouse?
Gospel Classics: Oneness in Marriage. President Spencer W. Kimball. Ensign, Oct 2002, 40