Marital Priorities

Marital Priorities by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist (FREE LDS online dating site)

A big part of the reason that so many marriages today—including temple marriages—end is because in some way, one or both spouses have a priority problem. Other things become more important than the marriage, the marriage suffers through conflict and neglect, and eventually ends. So when you marry (or marry again), this will be an opportunity to place the marriage as the top priority to give you the best chance and opportunity for success.

Spiritual Support for Marriage as the Priority

General authority quotes and scriptures clearly support that the marriage should be the top priority. President Spencer W. Kimball explained:
“When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. …
“The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. …
“Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God,’ so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family” (Faith Precedes the Miracle [1972], 142–43).

President Gordon B. Hinckley also taught: “When you are married, be fiercely loyal one to another. Selfishness is the great destroyer of happy family life. If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on throughout eternity” (Ensign, Dec. 1995, 67)

Other Priorities to be Careful With:

There are many possible competing priorities that often interrupt the marriage being nurtured and focused on. Children are important and unfortunately often become bigger priorities that the marriage. However, spouses need to remember that children grow up, move out, and there will still be a marriage there (hopefully). Children are served well by seeing their parents focus on and strengthen their marriage through regular conversation, date nights, and other bonding moments.

Another common priority to be careful with is work/career. Usually either the husband is working and the wife is staying home or both spouses work. A small but rising number of marriages include an employed wife and stay at home husband. In any event, an over emphasis on work can lead to neglect and friction in the marriage, as well as distance and a lack of common interests. Balancing work and marriage requires regular communication/updates, planned time together, and finding ways to become more efficient with work duties.

Finally, other friends, extended family members or hobbies can interfere with a marital focus. Time in these ways is important too, but should come after not only the marriage when it comes to priorities, as well as after children and work as well. Just plan them in and keep these final focuses as a part of your life as well, but probably less often and for shorter times. There is only so much of you to go around.

Final Thoughts

Any relationship, interest, hobby, or pursuit emphasized over the marriage will cause problems. This is a challenging but essential balancing act. Pray about it. Communicate together. Plan things with each other. Try. Make your future marriage all it can be. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).

Dr. G

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2018-08-20 Randy Gilchrist Marriage preparation

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (, practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at; email me questions to