The One On: How to Feed your Mixed-Faith Marriage.

man and woman sitting while facing each other
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A marriage is like an appetite.  It needs to be nourished and fed properly.  We don’t want to give it “empty” calories- saying things we don’t really mean or not having any truth behind our words.  We also don’t want to force feed it with whatever we feel like eating.

In a mixed-faith marriage, we aren’t eating the same foods anymore, but we can still enjoy different foods at the same table.

We want to feed our marriage so it can continue to grow and even thrive.  When we are starving to be heard, starving to be seen, or starving to be understood in our marriage- then we don’t always act like our best selves.  I start to lose my patience and energy when I have gone too long from food.

To keep your marriage healthy, it is important for your spouse to be able to share his new beliefs with you since leaving the Church.  It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but if you starve your spouse of this, they can build even more resentment towards the Church and disconnect in the marriage.

I know it is hard to swallow sometimes what they are thinking and feeling.  It can feel very scary and you may believe they are under the influence of Satan or other negative influences.  Whatever you may believe, no one wants to feel like they are evil because they don’t see things the way you do anymore.

If you have to start with hearing little bites at a time, then start there.  Be very open with your spouse about how much you can digest.  The important thing is that the marriage is continually being fed with love, understanding, and patience.

I know how hard this can feel, it’s almost like being on a restrictive diet: uncomfortable, painful, and we just want to run from it.  However, there are good reasons why learning to listen to our spouse and not taking any of it personal is very healthy for your marriage in the long-term.  Most of us don’t see results right away when we begin a diet.  You may not see results in this right away, but I promise they will come.

Let me be your personal trainer and help you learn to digest all the changes that come when a spouse changes beliefs.  CLICK HERE to get started.

 

 

 

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The One On: Can Complaining Be Useful in a Marriage?

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My girls love to complain about each other.

Do you ever complain in your marriage?  Does complaining fix the problem?

I am always telling my clients that they need to be telling their husbands how they are really feeling about something so that they don’t build resentment and put up walls, which ultimately can lead to feeling disconnected and alone in your marriage.

There is a difference however in complaining and sharing how you are feeling with your spouse.

Complaining is when you are expressing your annoyance with something, finding fault, but aren’t really doing anything about it.  Complaining usually sounds like:  you always…, you never…., you should be…, you shouldn’t be… etc.

Complaining can seem so innocent because it feels like you are just sharing the news with everyone.  This is the truth.  I’m not going to pretend like this isn’t really happening.

Gratitude on the other hand is the complete opposite of complaining.  It can also sound like just sharing the news and is the truth.  But it feels a lot better to think about.

Gratitude focuses on the things that are going right and complaining focuses on all the things going wrong.  Both feel true.

So how do we express how we feel when we aren’t feeling good about something?  There is something bothering us or we are starting to feel resentful about a behavior.

Complaining is easier to do.  It just keeps coming out, but it is very negative.  Many of us complain without even noticing it, it’s like second nature.  However, when you are sharing how you really feel about something, you can feel nervous and uneasy, but there can be a calmness when you are sharing it.  It feels very vulnerable, which makes most people want to hide and not say anything.

It is easy to see why we end up complaining instead.  It is easier.  The problem with everything else that is easier in the moment, is it always leads to a dead end.  There are no real solutions that come from complaining.  It’s only prize is that it was easier to say.  The more we choose things that are harder in the moment- like genuinely sharing your feelings no matter how they may be received, will bring you what you really want.  An open and deeper relationship.  One built on trust and understanding.

When any of my kids start to complain, I immediately tune them out and get upset.  I start to think they are ungrateful or I try to make them see the good in their situation.  I usually get defensive and make it mean something about me as their Mom.  However, when I listen to them tell me their true feelings about something, although at times it can be hard to hear, I really do take to heart what they are saying.  I may not show it in that moment, but I hear them and will think about it.

This is true for all relationships.  Complaining causes others to tune you out and build resentment because they will feel like they can never make you happy.  You will never be satisfied.  By sharing your true feelings without expecting anything in return, this is what opens an opportunity for the other person to consider your feelings.  Not always, but either way you won’t build resentment by keeping it all in and complaining about it later.

Knowing the difference in your marriage will change communication completely.  What if you just decided today that you aren’t going to complain anymore because there isn’t any upside to it?  Notice how much better you will feel in your life and marriage.

I just sat down my daughter this week and explained the difference between complaining and sharing her feelings, we were able to really problem solve her issue after she realized the difference.  Get on a call with me and I help you solve your problems.  Click Here to set up a time to chat.

The One On: Joy Versus Pleasure

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A few years ago I was taking my daughter on a date.  We decided to ride our bikes to the nearest ice cream place.  It was a summer evening and the sun was starting to go down.  I felt the warm breeze on my face and watched my ballerina daughter riding in front of me.

I had a moment.  I felt instantly in that moment pure joy.  I realized in that moment that we didn’t have to travel around the world, be millionaires, have my dream home, or anything else I believed up until that moment that would finally make me happy… I realized that joy was already inside of me.  I just needed to pause, be present in the moment, and notice how grateful my thoughts were.

Grateful to spend this time with her one-on-one, loving the beautiful warm sun on us, feeling my body free to ride my bike, and thinking there wasn’t any other place I would rather be.

That moment changed me.  I had felt sorry for myself for a long time always thinking about all the things I felt like I was missing out on in my life.  I felt grateful for the basic things, but really thought my true happiness was tied to things outside of me.

If my husband did certain things, then I would be happy in my marriage.  If my child would stop behaving a certain way, then I could enjoy being a Mom.  If we had way more money, then we would never feel stress again… the list could go on.

Joy comes from within us, from managing our mind, and pleasure comes from outside of us.

We have been trained through society and marketing that the way to feel better is to seek pleasure.  The crazy thing is- the more pleasure we seek and the more we go outside of ourselves to feel that hit of pleasure, the less joy we feel.  Alternatively, the more joy we feel in our lives, the less we need to seek outside of us for pleasure.

Pleasure from outside things can work for awhile or for a quick minute.  It gives us a  quick release from the feelings we don’t want to be feeling or deal with.  But it never lasts.

My life changed when I realized the only thing I need to be seeking or managing is my mind.  I don’t need to spend so much energy trying to control things outside of me to feel better.  It was exhausting and I always felt like I was on a roller coaster with my feelings.

Now I feel a deep joy and gratitude for even the smallest things in my life.  I still have big dreams, but they are just the icing on the already amazing cake.  The joy was already in my mind, I just had to see it.

Getting on a call with me is the first step to feeling more joy in your life.  I give you the space on the call to share how you are really feeling about something, then I show you how you can feel better that lasts.  CLICK HERE to get your free call with me.