How you can force your spouse to be better

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One of our listeners asked recently: “if I have a concern I need to share with her – but she refuses to hear it, or receive it – what do I do? How do I “make” her realize what I want her to improve upon in our marriage. These things aren’t once in a blue moon types of occurrences. They’ve been going on, and on, and on…”

Well my listening friend, you’ve hit the jackpot with this question! And you’re not going to like the answer, in fact, most of you listening aren’t going to like the answer…so keep listening and feel free to let us know how you feel about the answer…that you’re not going to like.

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SHOW NOTES

The Question:  Love the Podcast. As you reference, I am one of your 10’s of fans. You do really do a great job, keep it up! I enjoy listening while I’m taking the Bus to work.

Here’s my question. I’ve been married to my wife for 10 years. It’s been a hard 10 years. I truly love my wife. She has oodles of positive qualities about her, most importantly though is that she loves the Lord, and is serving the Church, two huge pluses in my books.

THEN HELP ME UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE FOCUSED ON THE NEGATIVE INSTEAD OF ALL THESE AWESOME QUALITIES?

This is a classic above the line / below the line issue

My wife is an extremely strong woman, and we’re both type “a” personalities. I’m frequently very much a direct, to the point type of guy. Often, I will tell my wife how it is, and not sugar coat it. I’ve always thought that since she’s so strong, I don’t need to sugar coat anything. Boy, am I wrong. The Holy Spirit revealed to me that she still has feelings, and I’m doing her a disservice by being so blunt.

YOU’RE ALREADY STARTING TO REALIZE THE PROBLEM…IT IS YOU.

The Holy Spirit is correct, we can’t complain about something in our spouse that we are also guilty of.

  • This is why we teach L.O.V.E. Talk and Validation.

Matthew 7:1-3

“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. 2 For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. 3 “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye[c] when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?”

A problem I’ve had for years is this….. How do I tell her something, when she rarely wants to receive it? If there’s a problem that I feel she is causing, I’ve tried a myriad of approaches, and the attitude/behavior doesn’t correct. I’ve tried to be direct, meek, begging, timely, humorous, condescending and probably every other approach in the book.

Here’s what I like about some of your efforts:

  • Meek or humble
  • Timely
  • Humorous can be tricky
  • Direct

The not so good:

  • Begging
  • Condescending

So, if I have a concern I need to share with her – but she refuses to hear it, or receive it – what do I do? How do I “make” her realize what I want her to improve upon in our marriage. These things aren’t once in a blue moon types of occurrences. They’ve been going on, and on, and on…

YOU DO WHAT YOU WISH SHE WAS DOING!

  • This is often what people don’t want to hear, but it is true
  • You do the right thing regardless if she isn’t
  • Keep trying and I didn’t notice if you have been praying fervently for this issue.

YOU CAN’T “MAKE” HER DO ANYTHING.  LET GO OF ANY SENSE OR NEED OF CONTROL.  WHEN WE TRY AND CHANGE OUR SPOUSE WE ONLY MAKE THINGS WORSE.

 

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