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Marriage in Trouble


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3 hours ago, rpn said:

Well, the first thing is not fighting for 5 hrs.   "Sweetheart, our Heavenly Parents have lots of children that choose different paths.  We don't think less of Them do we?  And They don't abandon the lost children either, do they?  If you choose to think about yourself as being a bad mother, or worry about others thinking that, that is YOU making yourself miserable.   I feel for you, and know you must work this out with yourself.  But I can't listen to you on this topic for more than [10 minutes a day OR for more than 1x per week for 30 minutes OR whatever you think you can handle].   Let's set the timer when you want to vent and when it goes off, if you still want to talk I'll just leave the room and go somewhere else for a while."    And then just list sympathetically as often and as long as you have negotiated, and every.single.time.thereafter get up and leave the situation.    You do not have to agree to be sucked into a spouse's worst moments as a requirement of being a loving spouse.

(You may need to establish a place that is soundproof and away from her normal coping places (backyard?  garage?  basement?  A spare bedroom you soundproof? and stock it with uplifting music and maybe some hobby items to distract you.   And if you do get that, your wife might reasonably want her own space to calm herself down.)
 

 

That is some really good practical advice.  There are others that have good advice, this was just very practical and succinct.  

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On 9/30/2020 at 9:37 PM, readstoomuch said:

She raised them from age 6 and 9.  My wife is a lovely person, but this is definitely one of her big faults.  Their rejection of the gospel makes her feel like a bad mother.  The need for people having to suffer for their bad choices is a "things should be fair in the universe" problem.  

One thing that has helped me is recognizing that it isn't all on me, but that my children have agency.  I can't tell you how difficult that has been.  When things were hardest for me with the choices my child was making my ward and stake was having a lot of talks and lessons on the responsibilities of mothers.  I finally had to walk out of one stake conference because I couldn't take it any more.

It is not like people were outright saying it is all my fault.  It was just the high position and respect we put mothers in.  How the prayers of a mother are everything etc. 

When I tried to speak to people about my grief so many tried to make me feel better by encouraging me to have more faith.  The problem with this was it 1. Put more pressure on me and 2. It was going against what the Spirit was telling me, but I didn't recognize that- that we can have all the faith in the world, but ultimately it is the child's agency that matters in their behavior.

The Spirit directs me to just love my child and put him in Heavenly Father's hands.  My child was God's child first.  Sometimes that works well, but sometimes still I get these flashes of irritation and anger that I feel put in a position to have "more faith".  I have to disengage myself from that at times so I can just allow myself to love.   

Your wife and I are a little different, but I recognize myself in your words enough to make me wonder if part of it is that mother pressure on her as well.  

So I don't know that your wife and I are going through some of the same feelings or not, but I wonder from what you said if this is a possibility.  

One thing to consider is to read the section on empathic listening in 7 Habits for Highly Effective People and really try to understand where she is coming from without trying to fix her or your relationship.  If she feels you really understand her that may help.  It also may help her understand herself.

 

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One thing to recognize is if this does have anything to do with mother faith that this weekend with conference having a focus on the proclamation may be extra tough for her.  

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On 10/1/2020 at 12:00 PM, Calm said:

Unfortunately this may be at the root of her emotion, it may be in a convoluted way from a need of being reassured she is loved by you and is the most important person in your life. Insecurity leads to a lot of self fulfilling prophecies of doom as in by pushing for evidence that you put her first, she creates situations where you don’t. 
 

The problem comes from assuming relationships are hierarchal, one is more valuable than another when it is more that relationships work together and isolation of value diminishes them. For example, if I demanded my husband always put family before work, not only would that impair his ability to contribute financially, but the feeling of accomplishment through and enjoyment of work relationships improves his mood and makes family relationships more meaningful for him as he is in a more social mood, rejuvenated, etc. 

But telling that to someone who has never felt really safe because they never sure if they would be “first” when they needed to be may not be able to reach the core that needs that extreme reassurance (this is an issue in my family and my husband’s family from what I have see. due to some mixed messages parents so unintentionally sent so I may be projecting some here).

I thought about this for awhile.  Children need unconditional love and spouses need unconditional love.  I just don`t think it is fair that I have to get caught up in that.  Of course life isn`t fair.  

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18 hours ago, readstoomuch said:

I thought about this for awhile.  Children need unconditional love and spouses need unconditional love.  I just don`t think it is fair that I have to get caught up in that.  Of course life isn`t fair.  

It is very hard to try and help everyone to feel secure and wanted as much as someone else you love. It is unrealistic to demand to always be first or even to get attention when someone else is having a crisis as chances are in the long run one will be better off if the person in trouble gets the help they need when they need it, but humans are not very realistic imo. 
 

I thought of this thread in listening to Elder Holland’s talk. 

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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

It is very hard to try and help everyone to feel secure and wanted as much as someone else you love. It is unrealistic to demand to always be first or even to get attention when someone else is having a crisis as chances are in the long run one will be better off if the person in trouble gets the help they need when they need it, but humans are not very realistic imo. 
 

I thought of this thread in listening to Elder Holland’s talk. 

I know I thought about it when he spoke.  My wife also mentioned that there were things she had to work on after listening to that talk and some others.  She mentioned the big stumbling block in her mind was if you live your covenants, then you forgive others, but if you choose not to live your covenants then you can do whatever the heck you want

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