Last post I discussed anticipation and how that can sometimes feel way more intense than the actual event. You really want to get in a calm place before you have a discussion about Church beliefs and opinions.
Part 2: Having the Conversation
There are three ways to really show up as yourself during a conversation about the Church when your spouse now has different opinions, which may be very strong.
#1- Do not “mirror” your husband’s emotions or reactions. You may be coming to the conversation very calm and loving, but he may not. He may be very defensive, angry, or passionate when he is sharing his thoughts and feelings. Just because he acts and responds that way, it doesn’t mean you have to. You don’t need to “mirror” him. If he is angry, you don’t need to be angry that he is angry. If he gets upset, you don’t need to feel upset that he is upset. Keep reminding yourself how you want to feel while having this conversation, regardless of his reaction. This is staying true to you.
#2- Connection comes from being vulnerable, real, and authentic. It isn’t holding back your true feelings or only saying what you think the other person wants to hear. You have to have real integrity with yourself and be brave in sharing your true feelings. These aren’t meant to hurt anyone or cause anyone to feel guilty. It is meant for you to get out how you feel so that you aren’t burying your feelings and building resentment. Or making up things in your mind because you don’t have the courage to really hear what they have to say. Connection is what everyone is really after in their marriage and it only happens through sharing true feelings. Otherwise we are trying to connect with someone who isn’t really them.
#3- Listen. Listen hard. Many times we are afraid to hear their point of view because it may influence us or our children. It may just be super hard to hear where they are at and how it got this far. Not listening or not really dealing with it is what will cause true disconnection, not your differences. You will have to have many conversations about how you want to do things in the home, with the kids, etc. Listening is the first step to truly understanding- and from understanding, then change can come.
I just want to offer that it can all be okay. Discussing the Church can feel very black and white, right or wrong, but when it comes to relationships they are way more messy than that. It is about love and connection. At the end of the day, all you really can say is that you tried your best, and the other person is the only one who can truly say that for themselves. That is all the Lord asks from us.
If you understand these concepts, but have no idea how to actually apply them, then get on a call with me and I can explain more on how I help my clients with this. Click Here to schedule a time to learn more.