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Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 25 Jan 2015, 10:04
by Eternity4me
I married my husband because of his testimony. Really. I had a spiritual witness that I should marry him. It was very powerful and still impossible for me to deny. I didn't feel all that attracted to him, but it was an experience that I could not deny happened. Fast forward to now. I don't feel the testimony I used to, so his testimony is much less important to me. In fact it can be irritating. I guess the bottom line is that now, I have almost nothing in common with my husband. He is so different from me, it is getting very difficult to live with him. We don't fight, we are just polar opposites. We have been married almost 10 years and I have a teenager still at home. She would be devastated if I left him. How do you put your marriages back together when you have a FC? It was okay when I felt I needed to have a priesthood holder in my home and needed that for my daughter, but now I don't feel the same needs. Any insights would be appreciated. It gets harder by the day.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 25 Jan 2015, 10:19
by LookingHard
I do know that Natasha Helfer Parker Her home page is an LDS therapist that even recently did a group meeting on the subject ... kshop.html.

She does Skype sessions for counseling and this seems to be one of her specialties given she is an active LDS member, but also would fit in rather well on this blog.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 25 Jan 2015, 12:21
by MockingJay
Also, try Marriage Builders. Silent Dawning recommendeds it on this site, and DH and I have started using the program. It's not an LDS thing, but it is an excellent way to strengthen a marriage in very many different situations.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 25 Jan 2015, 15:38
by mom3
Every marriage is different, I know what a surprise, but FC can really run a number on them, I have been and remain there myself. I don't have any simple or tidy answers, I did want to recommend Faces East. It's a sight for still believing spouses. It used to be very active, its not so much now, but it might give him somewhere to go and read others experiences or even just vent his own pain.

That is the key fact - both of you are in pain. Both of you have lost or are losing deeply held dreams. Whether the facts support either sides opinion or not, your emotions are the ones driving things in your marriage. He will be and has a right to be disappointed, angry, hurt and lost. Just like you do. That permission is a huge help as you move forward, even if you choose divorce, you will be connected by children, you have history you can't erase, and you may yet have to share interactions in the future.

I suggest Jon Gottmans book on marriage - even if you want out - it will give you tips to be human to each other. And Faces East for him or encourage him to find a counselor he can talk to. You might even want to tell him you support his pain and necessity for help getting through with his dream devastation.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 25 Jan 2015, 18:36
by Holy Cow
Eternity4me wrote:I married my husband because of his testimony.
I think a lot of us here can empathize with this. I know my own marriage has gone through some extreme ups and downs over the past couple of years. And a piece of that was because of my FC. What has helped us has really been to start from scratch and build a completely new relationship. We don't have the same relationship we did a few years ago. Not better or worse, just We came to the point that we separated for several months, and had to decide if we were going to go our separate ways or try to make things work. We had the benefit of a very helpful woman who truly saved our marriage. She helped us see that we needed to start over from the very beginning.
Nobody wants to feel like their spouse only married them for one reason. Your husband's testimony impressed you in the beginning, but other men had testimonies too. There had to have been other things that drew you together. A marriage might start out based on simple things like friendship, physical attraction, mutual interests, etc. But those things can change over time, and a relationship has to develop and mature along with the people if it's going to survive. My wife and I had to get to know each other all over again, and find new reasons to stay together. For the past two years, we've kept a dating calendar. We plan out a whole year's worth of dates, so we don't have any excuse that we can't think of something to do. Having a weekly date has really helped us. But that's just one piece of the pie. You might not be able to make your relationship the same as it was before, but that doesn't mean that you can't develop your relationship into something new and just exciting and fun as it has ever been... just different.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 26 Jan 2015, 10:41
by SamBee
I've found when it comes to Romantic matters, promptings don't seem to help much!

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 26 Jan 2015, 14:26
by Orson
I know it is difficult, I will always 2nd counseling. All I can do is speak from my perspective and experience, it may not apply equally to your situation.

I have noticed when I focus on things that I don't like as much about my wife things get worse. When I don't allow any negative thoughts to hang around in my head, but I make efforts to bring in positive thoughts and remember the things that I do appreciate (even if they seem to be few) then the marriage feels much better.

Try to lean on your strengths. In my marriage one strength has always been small acts of physical closeness: holding hands, a hug, arm on a shoulder, etc. Maintaining these things during the peak of our emotional/mental/spiritual differences helped a great deal. But that is us. I think it comes down to finding a way to say "I love you, even if I don't understand you right now."

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 26 Jan 2015, 15:25
by Roy
As a complete aside - I love stories of the holy spirit in LDS matchmaking because it is such a doctrinal gray area that there are a wide variety of experiences.

Back to the point.

I can only speculate as to what living your marriage might feel like. I believe that some people are blessed with nearly effortless and blissful marriages. Others are caught up in living nightmares. Most of the rest of us are somewhere in between with goodwilled spouses that want success in marriage and family but make lots of mistakes. In these marriages there is a mix of service, compromise, offense, forgiveness, hurt, etc.

I find myself in this latter type of marriage. For me there are no "do overs." Even if I were to extricate myself from this marriage I would only escape with an increase in personal baggage that would follow me into the next relationship. Add that to the wreckage that I would be leaving behind me for my current wife and kids and my choice is ever clear. This life/marriage/family/situation is far from perfect but it is my one and only. I must work to grow and improve it.

DW and I are taking a course on "Love and Respect" (the book and course are not new and can be found anywhere.)

It essentially takes relationships according to some biblical principles. The jist of it is that women predominantly need love and men predominantly need respect.

It goes over the different ways that men/women see the world and have their needs fulfilled.

If I can work to understand what I can do to help DW feel loved and do more of those things morale should improve.

If DW can understand the ways in which I feel respected and do more of those things morale should improve.

For me and my situation, I need to stick with it - enjoying the peak vistas and enduring the valleys. Your results may vary.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 26 Jan 2015, 16:12
by mom3
In my marriage one strength has always been small acts of physical closeness:
In support of Orson's quote I would also offer the idea of reading The Five Love Languages. Again no matter what you choose this man will be apart of you for a while yet, if you can find what either of your love languages are you may be able to build a bridge where none exists.

For my part I am praying for you.

Re: Marriage is taking a hit

Posted: 26 Jan 2015, 18:40
by LookingHard
I was about to do a pitty post about how I read "the 5 love languages" and was ecstatic about the truths I felt I found in it and probably explained much of my significant marital discord. When I shared it with my wife said, "That is the stupidest thing I have heard. I don't believe people have a 'love language'!"

I guess that is similar to some of the issues with one spouse thinking something is just so true it jumps out of the pages of the book and slaps you in the face and then to have a spouse basically say that it is all rubbish.