Hard to find the right words

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Hard to find the right words

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 09 Apr 2018, 11:50

Some background first. My spouse knows that I have more nuanced views and have different opinions than most 'normal' church members. Lol
I feel like I can give ok advice to others when I read their struggles but I'm not sure how or if I'm helping in this case. My wife is very tbm, and a mostly black and white thinker.

She is struggling with the change she has gone through over the last few years, mourning the loss of the place that she used to be in (much more spiritual than now) partly from what she was doing (more temple attendance, serving more, etc.) We have talked about how there are seasons where we can serve more/less, and these ebbs and flows are normal, she's working more, serving family more etc.

She sees that her nature has changed, she is more compromising on her Faith (she says she is the frog in the pot, slowly getting boiled without realizing it). Citing the fact that she is less patient with people, comprises the wow by drinking stuff with green tea in it etc. She looks at some of my views as excuses and justification. We talked a lot about how differing viewpoints will skew the same situation.

Perhaps because I am close to this situation it is harder for me to see what I should be saying and we could discuss.

I think I have hesitated to comment on others posts when they have expressed differences with spouses as there are not only personal issues, but there are SO many facets to relationships that is hard to get the whole story.

What have you done in similar situations?
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Roy
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by Roy » 09 Apr 2018, 12:39

I think you should love her, serve her, and praise her.

By the time DW and I were married, I think she could count the number of R rated movies she had seen on one hand. Over the last 15 years we have both changed a lot and become more non-traditional in our ideas and behavior.

Still DW is more guilt ridden. She will say things like, "Why can't I be more Christlike?" or "I know it is bad but I am tired and just don't feel like serving today." To which I might respond, "because you are not Jesus." or "Why is it bad to engage in self care and avoid burnout?"

She sees some of my ways of thinking as excuses and rationalization and in some ways she is right. I certainly prefer rationalization to guilt, shame, and beating myself up.
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 11:50
she is the frog in the pot, slowly getting boiled without realizing it
in a number of the other threads we have discussed how the church has changed incrementally over the years and that if JS or BY came back today they would likely have a hard time recognizing it. Because we have a mythos of a perfect church with unchanging doctrine the idea of a changing church can be challenging for some. However, a perfect unchanging church is just not realistic for any time or place. The church grows and changes. Some of the changes are bad - but most of the changes are towards a net positive.

Similarly, I feel it would be unrealistic and unhealthy to hold oneself to a higher standard than the church. People grow and change, hopefully adding wisdom as they add experience. Some of the changes may be bad. Don't worry too much about those. That is what the atonement and this living laboratory called life are all about. Most of the changes are towards a net positive.

Unfortunately, all that reasoning may sound like rationalizations and excuses to the trained/conditioned ear.

Therefore, in summary, I think you should love her, serve her, and praise her.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

AmyJ
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by AmyJ » 09 Apr 2018, 13:25

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 11:50
She is struggling with the change she has gone through over the last few years, mourning the loss of the place that she used to be in (much more spiritual than now) partly from what she was doing (more temple attendance, serving more, etc.) We have talked about how there are seasons where we can serve more/less, and these ebbs and flows are normal, she's working more, serving family more etc.
I have mourned over the fact that I can no longer do what I used to freely and without cost. It sucks. Here is what helps me:
1. What does God want from me now? (Not based on what I used to do, not what do I expect God to expect from me). This requires being quiet. This comes piecemeal over time.

2. Personal Spirituality seems to mirror growth spurts in toddlers. The toddler goes through tons of food and puts it into mass, and just when you as the parent feel comfortable (and have the right clothing size) they shoot up outgrowing shoes, and other cute outfits. There are times when I was making spiritual connections left, right, and center - and now, it's different.... the connections I make are fewer, but they feel more meaningful to me.

3. What brings meaning into my life? Am I making time enough for meaningful activities in my life that supplement the responsibilities I have? IE, I don't read scriptures or inspirational material every day. I am not interested in finding the time (and I have less time) than I used to. But I do reflect on the scriptures/inspirational quotes I have learned and apply them (and yes, sometimes that is Facebook memes). I may be doing less activity-wise, but what I am doing has more meaning to me. When the meaning goes away after a few weeks, it means that I need to look to see what is going on (requires more personal quiet reflection time).
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 11:50
She sees that her nature has changed, she is more compromising on her Faith (she says she is the frog in the pot, slowly getting boiled without realizing it). Citing the fact that she is less patient with people, comprises the wow by drinking stuff with green tea in it etc. She looks at some of my views as excuses and justification. We talked a lot about how differing viewpoints will skew the same situation.
Yes, growing older and being a human means that your nature changes. I believe (and see around me) the older you get, the less crap you put up with without calling it like it is and advocating for change on whatever level possible. Youth may have the energy to rebel, but aging causes you to sharpen your focus to the point where you can laser into some things to strive to change them.

So is she drinking stuff with Green Tea in it due to health reasons, or because it seems to help her? I imagine that ultimately it is her choice whether to drink green tea things because the cost/benefit analysis runs them into the positive. If it helps her to see if they are available in "pill form" that might resolve some of the dissonance.

Is beating herself up emotionally over where she perceives herself taking her to a place she wants to be? Does she trust that God sees her (strengths and limitations) and tailors His expectations to her circumstances?
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 11:50
Perhaps because I am close to this situation it is harder for me to see what I should be saying and we could discuss.

I think I have hesitated to comment on others posts when they have expressed differences with spouses as there are not only personal issues, but there are SO many facets to relationships that is hard to get the whole story.

What have you done in similar situations?
This talk is my keystone:

"It Works Wonderfully" President Utchdorf - handbook for recharging a sagging life by advising to "Simplify" and "Start Where You Are" when you know what you want [yes, he was talking about a spiritual life - but the physical/mental/emotional life feeds into the spiritual life just as much as the spiritual life feeds into the physical/mental/emotional life].

SIDE NOTE: If these generalized feelings of hers continue it might be good to talk to experts in the physical, mental, and emotional fields. Or at least do some research and apply a few generalized tips.

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dande48
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by dande48 » 09 Apr 2018, 13:56

I once heard, "One's perspective is their reality". If your wife is very TBM, it's important to approach her with a TBM mindset.

If she has goals, like avoiding green tea or attending the temple more often, do everything you can to support her. Stay away from green tea yourself, or offer to drive her to the temple. There are lots of areas where you can show love and support without compromising your own beliefs.

If she feels guilty, be sure to flatter her. Tell her often how much you appreciate her. Bring her flowers. Say "Thank You" at every opportunity. Point out her good qualities, especially in the areas she's working on (patience). Let her know how much you admire her. If she believes you believe she's a wonderful person, she'll believe it too.
"The whole world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel." - Horace Walpole

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 09 Apr 2018, 14:44

Roy wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 12:39
By the time DW and I were married, I think she could count the number of R rated movies she had seen on one hand. Over the last 15 years we have both changed a lot and become more non-traditional in our ideas and behavior.
I should have added that we both were in different places early in our lives, I was not a member and she was inactive, into drugs, and then did a complete 180. She often refers to that turn around, and feels like she's heading back to those days. I know it's irrational, and I know she carries things more than I do. Thank you Roy. I need reminders to express myself to her more often.
AmyJ wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 13:25
So is she drinking stuff with Green Tea in it due to health reasons, or because it seems to help her?
I appreciate your insight, we have talked about guilt and motivation vs guilt and punishment.

The green tea is the fact that she would even consider drinking it in the first place. There's a lot of guilt in not living up to standards, and I've been trying to help her through it. Thank you Amy.
dande48 wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 13:56
I once heard, "One's perspective is their reality". If your wife is very TBM, it's important to approach her with a TBM mindset.
That's a great quote, and universally fitting. I will work at communicating more and building her up, it's difficult to see her struggle when I've found a way to cope and the same way won't work for her. Thanks dande.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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mom3
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by mom3 » 09 Apr 2018, 15:46

I am with Dande, especially in light of her past, that 180 was a new life for her. She deserves as much support in her life, as you want in your life. Have your green tea, beer, etc on off time. Not with her. Take her to the temple. If you can't fully stomach it, drive her there, take a good book and wait for her.

If she'd rather go with someone, encourage her to go with the ward or RS. While she is gone, spruce up the house, buy some flowers (or whatever makes her happy).

And maybe keep your opinions in check. Not silent, just checked.

My husband is so out, you wouldn't know him from his TBM days. I still attend. Solo. Have for many years. It took awhile. My husband wanted to share his new gospel with everyone. He lost friends in the process. As he has mellowed, he realizes that the church is a huge value to some people - and that they need it.

We have 2 sets of close friends whose lives really are better by having the support of a conservative church. It helps them calm their own demon's and history. It gives them purpose, whether that is on parenting, or serving, or just a supportive/unchanging hug. If that's her, let her be it. The Golden Rule is not a religious statement.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 09 Apr 2018, 21:51

mom3 wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 15:46

And maybe keep your opinions in check. Not silent, just checked.
Yes, I think we ended up in this situation because of my comments about sodas, redbulls, and monsters. Lesson learned lol. I can admit when I've made a mistake.
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nibbler
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by nibbler » 10 Apr 2018, 05:59

I don't know the answer. I don't even think that there is much of an answer, otherwise it would be an easy issue to deal with.

I think the need to be understood is a very human need, and I intentionally use the word need. I also think that sometimes that need bleeds into a desire to have the person we're communicating with adopt our point of view, almost as if we don't feel like others are understanding us until they reach the point where they agree with us.
We must all live in the real world... and sometimes that world can be pretty grim. But it is the dream... the hope... that makes the reality worth living.
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DancingCarrot
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by DancingCarrot » 10 Apr 2018, 06:41

LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 14:44
it's difficult to see her struggle when I've found a way to cope and the same way won't work for her.
This sounds like the crux of the issue for you, in my mind. We wish that we could solve other's problems and take away their hurt, and when we can't, we become hurt. But it sounds like she always has and always will be a different person than you, and regardless of how you cope with things and make sense of your decisions, she will have her own ways as well. The good news is that by asking this forum for help, you're already troubleshooting ways to support her and your marriage through your differences. Specifically, if I were you I'd ask her how she wants support for these specific desires. Also come up with ideas that you can implement, even before asking her. Approaching it like the married team you are and have been, with the purpose of togetherness (albeit not sameness), goes a long way in managing your differences.
It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live. -Dumbledore

Roll away your stone, I'll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find. -Mumford & Sons

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Hard to find the right words

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 10 Apr 2018, 09:28

nibbler wrote:
10 Apr 2018, 05:59
I think the need to be understood is a very human need, and I intentionally use the word need. I also think that sometimes that need bleeds into a desire to have the person we're communicating with adopt our point of view, almost as if we don't feel like others are understanding us until they reach the point where they agree with us.

Too true, I feel like I've been fairly open to agreeing to disagree on my points in life and especially marriage, but communication has always been an issue for me. Especially speaking, I can formulate thought and get feelings out much easier on paper. Thanks nibbler
DancingCarrot wrote:
10 Apr 2018, 06:41
LDS_Scoutmaster wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 14:44
it's difficult to see her struggle when I've found a way to cope and the same way won't work for her.
This sounds like the crux of the issue for you, in my mind.
I think so too. Thank you dc. I think I would know how to get through these things after all this time, but it seems that every issue is different when were going through them, at least at the time.

Thanks everyone for your input. It's nice to have a sounding board.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

We are all imperfect beings, dealing with other imperfect beings, and we're doing it imperfectly.

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