Is this marriage worth saving? She thinks it is
The bond of a marriage can hold a special place in a person's heart for a lifetime. Over time a marriage can experience hardships leading to strained relationships and even divorce. But some people believe there are secrets to long lasting marriages.
Carma Sirrine, 76, decided to see for herself what made marriages last and how couples maintained a lasting and loving bond together.
Her book, 10 Secrets for a Happy Marriage, did just that by gathering stories from family, friends and other acquaintances on how they kept their marriages going.
Sirrine took the stories and categorized them eventually leading to 10 different chapters on ways to keep a happy marriage such as relying on the lord, having total commitment, money matters, having a good attitude and remembering the best times.
"People that are newly married develop and learn from experiences," Sirrine said. "I hoped people reading these stories in the book would have a change in their lives for the better."
A former Wellington resident, Sirrine has been living in Sandy since 1972.
Sirrine grew up in Wellington, Utah and attended her high school and junior college years in Price at Carbon High and Eastern Utah respectively.
Sirrine comes from the Bunderson line, which has been in Emery County since February 1889 when Sirrine's grandfather and grandmother moved there from Mayfield with two small children.
Sirrine moved up to Salt Lake City after finishing up at College of Eastern Utah where she would eventually meet her husband, Gordon. The two met through their involvement with the LDS church and have been married for 52 years.
In 1999, Sirrine and her husband served a senior mission for the LDS church in Manila, Philippines for 19 months. There she noticed how devoted couples were to each other in a place thousands of miles away from home with a goal of helping others. It was then she decided to write a book about marriage.
Originally the stories in the 111 page book were going to be anonymous, but questions arose from the publisher on how the stories would be presented as being authentic. So Sirrine put the names of people she talked to in a list of contributors at the end of the book.
Even so, not all of those who took time to talk with Sirrine were interested in having their names printed along with their stories in the book for other people to read about.
"Some people were very reluctant to share their stories with me," Sirrine said. "But that gave me the courage to continue on with the project."
Sirrine spent a total of three years working on the book before it was finally published in 2009.
Since the book has been published, Sirrine has received feedback ranging from people congratulating her for writing the book to people wishing the book had been published earlier.
"One person told me that if the book was out earlier they wouldn't be in the predicament they found themselves in which ultimately led to a divorce," Sirrine said.
Sirrine now spends much of her time with family including watching her grandchildren.
She also watches over a huge garden with many vegetables, fruits, apples and walnuts. While she is open to writing another book, it won't be another book about happy marriages.
Instead, Sirrine said she is mainly focusing on writing short stories while continuing to gather marriage stories on the side.
For those who have read the book or may possibly read it in the future, Sirrine hopes readers walk away knowing marriage and relationships takes hard work.
"Maybe reading these stories will help you with new ideas and situations leading to having a better life and marriage and improving relationships with your family, friends, wives and husbands," she said.
Sirrine's book can be found at local bookstores, online at Amazon.com or by visiting the publishers Web site, cedarfort.com.