Bill: Little Magpie: If you are talking about saying, "You should listen to this," then it is not a good idea. If you are going to share something that helped you, it is okay.
Little Magpie: Bill - I guess you are right. We both do that to each other. I sometimes react badly and say things like - Why did I ever open my mouth, etc. because we feel horrible and frustrated
dumbfounded2: Bill - Gosh, Bill, sounds like our marriage, but his mom is not dominating in a mean way, it is subtle, disapproving looks or comments, almost unrecognizable unless you watch for it. I am a take charge, assertive woman, and do have opinions on things that matter to me, not everything under the sun. I don't want to run his life, but he has always let me run the house, handle bills, etc. and he went to work and provided for us. I think over the years I became more resentful of the load I was carrying and H didn't take on more, of course that is all water under the bridge as he has said in the past few years that he didn't appreciate what he had, that he didn't like handling bills, banks, and taxes. I am praying for a heartfelt change in H's heart and spirit and he does thank me specifically for prayers for him. He was raised in church, his parents are heavily involved in church, his brother is a deacon and I know that in H's heart he knows he is not walking the correct path spiritually.
Bill: dumbfounded2: No doubt. I think your H knows you are a good choice for him and that you would work with him to make things different. It sounds to me that he doesn't trust himself yet. It also sounds to me he is warming up to the idea (slowly of course).
dumbfounded2: Bill - In your statement that the fear in my H is "real and powerful", is this why I should always let H lead and not push for relationship talks. There are times when H's behavior pushes past one of my personal boundaries and when I call him on it, he reacts by pulling close. I feel that he doesn't want to lose our marriage and it takes a great deal of time for him to overcome the fear and reengage.
Bill: dumbfounded2: You are right but I would make one adjustment. This kind of change is not about time, it is about a breakthrough of the heart. At some point, God will lead your H to a point of clarity where he can make a choice. That is the critical point that determines whether he walks in victory or continues in his pain. The problem is we cannot predict when the moment of clarity will happen.
Little Magpie: Swan - I will need to get more organized in order to make some calls but that is on the miles long list of things I need to get to. I get so nervous and then go into the paralyzed anxiety. I am really getting tired of the PTSD and the Fight/Flight/ Freeze syndrome that I seem to be plagued by.
Swan: Little Magpie - rather than having a mile long list, cut it down to the top two things, do them and then make another list of no more than two things (only one if it is a large task). You can only do one thing at a time and having long lists of things can actually create anxiousness which overwhelms the mind and nothing gets done.
Little Magpie: Bill - I took a free seminar with Leslie Vernick about the Emotionally Destructive Marriage and It was good. I did realize that our whole family is "Emotionally Destructive"
Bill: Little Magpie: All families have the potential to be emotionally destructive and most families operate this way. Every generation, however, has the opportunity to begin a healthy legacy. It is done step by step, choice by choice and it never happens instantly. God is faithful; however, when we just keep doing what we know is right and leave the results to him.
happymommy1101: I have a question I've been wrestling with, so when my H and I discussed what days he would have our son and which days were mine it worked out that I pick him up from daycare Wed and have him until about noon on Sunday. Normally I spend all my non working time with my son but this coming Friday I was asked by a co worker (going through a similar situation) asked me to check out this art gathering. I really want to go but don't want to ask my H to take our son. I have an amazing friend who has babysat our son before, but I feel a little guilty about sending him to a babysitter on one of my nights.
Bill: happymommy1101: Just another thought on who should "babysit." I think it is best if you make this decision based on how it affects your son rather than how it affects either you or your H. When you make decisions on H's guilt, you are training your son to do the same thing later in life. When you take the approach, "I will ask my H first. IF he is available, great. If not, I will use a trusted babysitter." If H tries to make it more complicated than that, don't argue with him or explain things to him. Just say, "Ok, thanks for letting me know. I will take care of it." Your H gave up his right to evaluate you when he left so you don't owe him explanations until he decides to reconcile. Just a thought.
Little Magpie: Hi All! Bill - I have had A LOT of stress in my life and have fallen into bed as soon as I have returned home the past couple of weeks. Youngest just made cheerleader for next school year and financially it is ugly, she is also learning to drive and we are trying to get quotes for insurance. Thankful she is a good student. Last week found out H and my Myers- Briggs personalities and boy do we have some BIG differences. We did it at our couples counseling and the results just came back. I hate being overwhelmed by everything.
Bill: Little Magpie: It is common in my experience for H and W to have different temperaments. We tend to marry what we don't have in terms of motivation and processing but tend to marry people who experience a similar level of pain to our own.
happymommy1101: Bill, one last question, how do I know when God his pushing me toward the right direction? I know what I think I should do but how do I know it's really right?
Bill: happymommy1101: First, ask God to cause verses from the Bible to "jump out at you." The Bible is a living book (Hebrews 4:12) and the Holy Spirit uses it often to give us specific wisdom. Second, ask yourself two strategic questions. The first is, "Would I encourage my best friend to do what I am about to do?" The second, "Is the way I am thinking about responding to my H something I would normally come up with on my own?" - If it is different than you would normally come up, it is probably God leading you. If it is an idea you would normally expect yourself to come up with, it is probably just you. Does that help?
dumbfounded2: Bill - She needs to detach from his behavior and show him by example, it seems that men, once left alone, will eventually take the woman's lead. Many men get the idea at some point that a woman is trying to control them, when actually the man has not taken the steps needed to lead and realizes it later in life. What is so sad is most women do not feel a man should not show weakness, for men most feel they are inferior if they show weakness, we as wives want to share in all areas of our husband's life, but pride keeps a man from being vulnerable with the one person they should feel the most comfortable with.
Bill: dumbfounded2: I agree with your thoughts that many men do not take the lead, leaving a void in the marriage and family. Sometimes it is because they lack the confidence or training to do so. Sometimes it is because they feel criticized too quickly and use it as an excuse to not lead. Pride is definitely a big hindrance for men. What do you think women can do knowing this is all true? Identifying the causes is awesome but it doesn't necessarily point to what will be effective. Any advice?
Little Magpie: Swan and Bill - I am reactive. I always feel that I need to protect myself and justify why I do what I do and say what I say.
Bill: Little Magpie: At least you are aware of the fact that you are reactive. Because we are made in the image of God we can "create" solutions. You can choose ahead of time how you want to respond, practice your response when things are calm then pray for strength and wisdom to use your new response next time you want to react.
Little Magpie: Bill - I don't know what to do and the parallel lives are back in full swing and I don't know what to do about it. I feel I can accept it but I don't want to, how can things change?
Bill: Little Magpie: All I can say is grace is stronger than pressure. When we are determined to grow in our own lives, we become more attractive in all settings. When we accept others as they are, we become magnetic. When we compassionately pray for those we love without demanding change, it seems to unleash God's grace. These are all hard things to do because they feel passive compared to talking, arguing and planning. Ultimately, the change you want to see in your H and the change everyone here wants to see in the ones they love is a work of God. Our job is to put ourselves in a position to cooperate with Him.