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Editor’s note: Quotes from blog post have been standardized for formatting.
SARASOTA, FL — Love is not about you, and neither is marriage, Seth Adam Smith believes.
In a blog post published Saturday, that has since gone viral, Smith, 27, wrote that “marriage isn’t for you.” His point was not that marriage doesn’t work for everybody, but that marriage is not about one person over the other.
“Love is an interest in what’s best for the other person. And sometimes what’s best for the other person is a very hard decision,” Smith told ksl.com. “Love really asks what’s best for the other person and then acts from there.
Smith, who grew up in Farmington and is working on his certification in Florida for teaching and hopes to be an English teacher, writes about overcoming challenges on Forward Walking, in addition to acting as the site’s editor-in-chief. His wife, Kim, is a graduate student studying theater.
The realization came to him following two events. The first occurred just before his April 2012 marriage, when his father told him that his fears and concerns about marrying were coming from a place of selfishness.
Smith wrote: “With a knowing smile he said, ‘Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.’ ”
After Smith’s father told him that, he said he realized he wanted to marry his now wife, Kim, and make her happy more than he trusted his fears.
The second event was a series of difficult events the couple faced toward which Smith felt resentful. When it recently came to a head, Smith said he was ready to fight it out but was stunned by his wife’s kindness.
“We had this very, beautiful, beautiful moment where she was just very sweet to me. So loving and so wonderful,” Smith told ksl.com. “I had a heart at war with her and she had a heart at peace with me. Her response was just beautiful. Coming out of that, I remembered what my dad had said. Writing this article was just the capstone of that.”
Those events culminated in the blog post, which has been picked up by news outlets nationally. Smith stands by his post that promotes selflessness over selfishness in a relationship. He said that doesn’t mean people are co-dependent or endure abuse, just that they are willing to check and balance their needs and wants with their spouse’s.
“You don’t change who you are, but you definitely become a new person, the fullest measure of yourself when you fully love,” Smith said.