The One On Your Husband’s New Habits Now that He Has Left the LDS Church.

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I read an article by an LDS women named Violet M. Tate, which was called: When the Lord Changed My Heart.  Her husband drank a lot and she had spent her entire marriage angry and blaming him for her unhappiness.  She finally went to a meeting that supported spouses’ and this is what she shared:

“I told them of all the years my family had suffered. I told them about the heartache my husband had brought to my eleven children. All the blame was his; all the problems were his doing. After all, didn’t I attend church every week? Wasn’t I the better person of the two of us? Hurt and angry, I was too blind to see that some of the blame was mine. I wanted to make him responsible for all of our unhappiness.

When I finished, the leader said quietly, “We want you to know one thing, Mrs. Tate. You are not here to do anything about your husband’s drinking. Nothing you can do will ever make him stop. He’s got to want to do that himself. You are here to preserve your own sanity.”

Many spouses’ who have changed their beliefs about the LDS church begin to pick up some new habits that go against what we have been taught our whole lives as Mormons.  Some may begin drinking alcohol, looking at pornography, drinking coffee, cursing more etc.  It can feel heartbreaking when they decide to no longer share the same beliefs in the gospel, but now this adds a new layer that many women don’t know how to navigate.

I want to reiterate what that leader said to Sister Tate: This is not about your husband’s drinking (or fill in any new habit), he has to want to stop it for himself.  This is about helping you preserve your own sanity.

There are two steps that will help you when there are some new habits added to the relationship.

1-  Get to a loving place.  You want to start by getting to a more loving place in your mind about the whole thing.  You can write out all your thoughts about it on paper and pray to Heavenly Father to help change your heart.  To help you to see where your husband is coming from.  Ask to feel the Lord’s love for you, He understands how you feel and still loves your husband.

2- Set a loving boundary.  When setting a boundary, you don’t want it to come from a place of anger, resentment, fear etc.  This will result in you still trying to change and control your husband.  Boundaries are set from a place of love for you and for your spouse.  If your husband chooses to be hurt or upset, it is not on you so long as you have approached it from a positive place.  What happens in the end is you can move forward in your relationship from a place of authenticity and without resentment.  Your relationships become genuine and intimate when you’re willing to do this work.

Here is one example of how it can look if your spouse started having alcohol in the home:

You approach your spouse from a loving place and say, “I’m not going to ask you to stop or ask you to change.  I just want you to know some of my concerns about having alcohol in the home.”  This part requires you to be brave and open about how you are feeling about it all.  Once you have shared some of your personal concerns (not judgements), then you see if there are some ways you can come up with together that would work for you both.  “I really prefer the kids don’t see alcohol in the home, is there a way we can have it in the garage.” etc.

It doesn’t matter how your spouse reacts or responds to you- you are honoring yourself and trying to find a way to keep more peace in the home.  Some husbands will completely understand and be supportive.  Some will say they still want to have it in the house and don’t think it is a big deal if the kids see it.  The point is that you want to share how you feel and first come up with a solution that feels win/win for both of you.  You want your beliefs to still be respected, so you need to respect his new beliefs (not agree or condone them, but respect his agency).

If your spouse is someone who is not willing to come up with a solution that works for you both, then you can state your loving boundary:  If you drink alcohol in the home, then I will take a drive with the kids or go visit the neighbor etc.  A loving boundary is never about changing them, it is about what YOU are going to do- that is all you have control over.  Sometimes you can say the boundary out loud to the person or sometimes you can just do it.  The key is to always follow through with your boundaries.

Setting loving boundaries has the potential to add so much intimacy and peace in your life, you don’t have to harbor all those negative feelings about his behavior and build resentment.  Remember, this takes the bravest kind of love.  To honor yourself by sharing how you feel, while loving your spouse on his path.  It is his path, not yours.  Keep love on your path.

I can help walk you through this process of setting loving boundaries and getting to a place where you can give them with love.  Set-up a free coaching session to start feeling more peace around the new habits.  Click Here: I want a Free session

 

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The One On: Need More Attention From Your Spouse?

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Imagine that the only way you could eat during the day was if your husband fed you.  How would you feel?  It may not be too bad when you weren’t hungry, but once you were ready to eat, you relied on him completely.

Would you be kind and loving about it?  Usually when we need something, we act needy and a little desperate, or even demanding.  You may even be constantly disappointed because only you really knows what you are craving and want to eat it in the moment.

Many of my clients talk about how they need attention from their husband.

What if you just fed it to yourself and didn’t rely on him feeding it to you?

Early in my marriage, I was starving for attention.  It was definitely a huge need for me, I had always been someone who required a lot of attention.  My husband was automatically set up to fail.  There was no way he could possibly satisfy my appetite in this area.  I acted desperate in trying to see if he would notice how clean I kept the house, what an awesome Mom I was and how “busy” I was during the day, anything to get his approval and attention.  I repeatedly disappointed myself by his reactions.  I was giving him a responsibility (like feeding me food), that was not his.  I was capable of feeding myself.

Slowly, I started to give myself the attention I needed.  At the end of a productive day, I acknowledged to myself all the things I accomplished.  I stopped beating myself up and being so hard on myself.  I started to only speak kindly and be curious about why I was behaving certain ways.  Why did I need so much attention?  I found answers and solved them myself.

This last Valentine’s Day, my boo surprised me with a dozen Lavender roses.  In the past, I would of used that as a sign that he loved me and sees me, but now I already know that.  And I love me and see me.  So when I got those roses, I was just filled with more love for my husband- it felt like a bonus in my life, instead of a need.

Start feeding yourself the attention that you need.  You are the only person who knows exactly how to do it.  Then everything else from your spouse is just a bonus in your marriage.

Anything that we give attention too (good or bad) grows.  Give yourself and your spouse loving attention, and your love for both will grow.

Many women don’t know how to give themselves attention.  Set-up a free session and I can help you right there on the call.  It’s free, just click the link below: 

https://CoachingwithKendraHuffman.as.me/FreeMiniSession

 

The One On: A List of Exceptions on Who to Love.

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 Best Friends are easy to love.

Love one another as I have loved you…

We are commanded to love others like the Savior loves us, except…

The teacher who doesn’t like my child

My annoying co-worker who makes work miserable

My family member who is impossible to get along with

People who abuse children

Someone who has different political beliefs than me

The list could go on and on.  We think there are exceptions to who we can love and can give many good reasons to support it.

Except, there are no exceptions.  The Savior loves you no matter how you behave.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. -Matthew 5:44

There would be no test, no challenge, no growth if we were only required to love those who we find easy to love.  They usually agree with us, think like us, see things the way we do, and don’t question us.

We may think if we love someone, then we love what they are doing.  We don’t have to agree with or condone anyone’s behavior to still love them.  Just like the Savior doesn’t always agree or condone what we are choosing, but He still loves us.

If you find someone hard to love, first try to understand why.  Connect the dots back to yourself and be curious why they are a problem for YOU.

I had a co-worker once that I absolutely dreaded going into work everyday and having to see them.  Everything they did started to bother me and get under my skin.  At the time, I couldn’t see past what I only wanted to see about them (all the bad), but now I can connect the dots and see how it was really about me.  I didn’t have the courage to tell her how I really felt about something, so I kept it in and resented her for not getting my own back.   I was upset in my life that I had to be working at that job and I made her another reason to support why I hated having to work and not being home with my kids.  I would of run things completely differently than her and chose to let it bother me.

The truth is, she is a human who has had her own life experiences and is showing up the way she wants too in the world.  She is an adult, and adults get to do whatever they want.  I may not do things the way she does, behave like her, or understand all her choices- but Heavenly Father loves her.  He placed her in my life to learn how to really love someone that wasn’t easy for me to love.  I had two options- I could work really hard and try to control and change her (never going to happen) or I could change the way I was thinking about her and my job.  I left that job with her as a true friend.  She didn’t change at all.

When we follow the commandment to love even our enemies- guess what happens to us (not them)- we are the ones who get to feel the love.  We no longer have to feel tension, anger, stress, resentment etc- which all feel terrible.

Love feels the best and we get to feel it, not them.

Who do you find challenging to love?  I could of used some coaching while I was with my co-worker.  It definitely would of sped up the process and helped give me some clarity in the situation.  Let’s chat about it.  kendra@bravestlove.com

The One On: How to be “Seen” in your marriage.

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…As I look back on my own life and what Daring Greatly has meant to me, I can honestly say that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as believing that I’m standing on the outside of my life looking in and wondering what it would be like if I had the courage to show up and let myself be seen.  -Brene Brown

What stops us from showing up and letting ourselves be seen?  There are many answers to this question, but one of them is having a victim mentality.

You are not a victim.

You may be a victim during an actual act done by someone else, but once that act is over, you no longer are a victim.  Yet, we carry that story in our pocket reminding us repeatedly that we are still a victim.  My friend, the story is over.

Victim mentality is not a sign of weakness, it is just a mentality that has been looping over and over in our brains.  The problem with this mentality is that you give all your power over to someone else, probably the last person you would ever want to have power over you.

You have put them in charge of how you feel, but that is your job.

If someone else is put in charge of your feelings, then you can feel hopeless, lost, and powerless to do anything.  When you take full responsibility for how you feel and show up, then you drive the feelings that you want and make things happen in your life.  It feels a lot better!

Here are some signs of the Victim Mentality showing up in marriages:

1- Blame.  It is always your spouse’s fault.  You feel very justified in your reasons.  Blaming is a waste of time and energy and seldom leads to results.  Skip the blame part and start coming up with solutions if you aren’t happy about something.  No one needs to change for you to feel better.  You will feel better when you take responsibility for how you choose to show up.

2- Defensiveness.  Anytime you feel defensive or start to attack someone personally, then you have placed yourself as a victim.  You may be feeling insecure about something and your spouse says something innocently, and it puts you on the defense.  It wasn’t about your spouse, it is about you.  Tell yourself the truth.  If there is something that put you on guard, connect the dots and figure out why.  This is how we learn about ourselves.

3- Hiding.  You don’t want to share your feelings.  You don’t want to express yourself.  You are afraid of getting “attacked.”

4- Complaining.  Typically you find yourself complaining a lot, being negative, thinking “poor me.”  These kinds of actions can be poisonous in a marriage.  It doesn’t serve anyone and doesn’t ever help a situation.  You can always share how you feel about something, but complaining about it just adds layers of unnecessary pain.

I find myself in victim mentality, a lot.

It feels terrible.  I have a lot of negative emotions when I am in it.

I remind myself: This is my life and I am choosing every part of it, even if I don’t always like my choices or options.

A victim is on the outside of their life, I want to be all in.

Coaching is a huge help to pull yourself out of this mentality and look at how it may be affecting your life and relationship.  Would love to help.  Kendra@bravestlove.com

The One On: How To Ask For What You Want In Your Marriage.

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You get an invitation in the mail and it reads:

You will come to my party, you will buy me this present, and you will be on time.

How would you react?  For most of us it may put us on the defense.  We wouldn’t even be thinking about the details of the party, we would be so focused on someone demanding us to be at their party.  We might even start to come up with reasons why we don’t want to come to the party and find things wrong with the person who invited us.

The Lord invites us to follow Him, He doesn’t want to compel us.

“Whosever will come may come and partake of the waters of life freely; and whosever will not come the same is not compelled to come…” Alma 42:27

When it comes to communicating with our spouse, an invitation to do something is received a lot better.  Usually it doesn’t cause the person to be defensive, so they decide from a better place whether or not they want to do it.

No one likes to be compelled to do anything.

You may be afraid to invite your spouse to do something because they can say no, but just like an invitation, the people don’t have to come.  Even if you really want them too.

If your spouse doesn’t want to do something that you request, it doesn’t have to mean anything about you- they really just don’t want too.  Chances are you probably don’t want to do it either and that is why you are asking for them to do it, so you get it.

There can be so much more peace in the home if there are more invitations and respecting the person’s ability to choose.  And if they say no, you probably will do it better yourself anyway because it will be the way you want it done.

Keep inviting, not demanding or expecting, and soon you will see more RSVP’s that are replied yes.