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Marital Repair Case Study #1

(The words of the wife are in italics.)
I was able to have another chat with my husband last night where I calmly explained my distance of late is due to  working through pain and past hurts.
 
I explained that, just like when you get a serious burn, in the moment it hurts but not nearly as seriously as it hurts afterward.
 
Hours or days later, you have intense throbbing that exceeds the initial pain tenfold or more. I said, I’m working through this pain, so you see me as distant. I need this space to work through it.
 
To the Ladies:
I am impressed with her calm, clarity both in the moment of discussion and in her preparation.  She has followed one of the most paramount rules of communication, “If you don’t have the Spirit, don’t talk.”
 
When you have the Spirit with you, your mind is sharp and creative with its explanations.
 
When you have the Spirit, it feels like you are sharing, not force feeding.  She used her frontal lobe and the Spirit to calm herself and to find a creative way to share her experience.
 
Anytime an accurate parable can be used in communication, it will improve communication – Christ demonstrated
this principle.
 
Gentlemen: It is your responsibility to keep yourself tightly and deeply connected with the Spirit if you are going to be the Patriarch of your home.
 
This man should have been sufficiently aware of his wife’s angst that he would have kindly asked, “You appear to be more distant lately.
May I ask what you are going through?”
 
This would be a demonstration of Presiding, or leading by being the one who starts difficult conversations. 
 
He would demonstrate Protecting by being more concerned about her Safety and Security than his own comfort. 
 
He would demonstrate Providing by bringing her increased energy and confidence during the conversation.
 
Back to the Ladies:
In the future, I would encourage her to do a “Weather Check” before sharing such vulnerable information.  Difficult communication requires both the speaker and the listener to have the Spirit with them.
 
A Weather Check in this situation is not too difficult.  She could simply ask, “Are you interested in why I have been a little distant lately?”
 
It is important that she not believe the words that come out of his mouth in response, but the Spirit of his words. 
 
A person can reply, “YES”, but still not be in a Spirit of Listening to Learn.  If they are listening with the intent to correct or contradict, then it is not a good time to share.
 
Simply respond with, “Actually, now is not a good time for me. But please let me know let me know when you might have another time to learn about what I am going through.”
 
This tool is not just from wife to husband, but I would encourage husband’s to use the same tool when looking to start a conversation with the wife.
 
Gentlemen: As with any soldier in the army of God, you will need to be prepared and resourced for any unexpected difficult situation.  If a sniper puts a bullet in your forehead in war, you can’t say, “Hey, I wasn’t ready.”
 
You must do the work it takes to keep the Spirit of Listening to Learn with you at all times.  When a woman is in pain (See “Hit by a Truck“), it is not the time to explain to her what you have been doing right or wrong, or what she has been doing right or wrong.
 
Listening to Learn (See Stephen Covey’s, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) is gathering of information with the hope that you will learn something you have never understood before.
 
If she is talking, it is probably because you have not comprehended what she is trying to share.  Get the Spirit of Tongues, and ask the Spirit to translate what she is saying into a language that you can understand.  When she does a Weather Check, be ready.
 
Both: “But what if he/she NEVER has the Spirit of Listening to Learn?”
 
This is usually an over exaggeration, but when this is the case, one or both have not yet finished “Season 4”.
 
I'm Not Okay, You're Not Okay, but That's Okay book coverAs you read in that section of the book, “I’m Not Okay, You’re Not Okay, But That’s Okay”, if you finish your Season 4 before your spouse does, continue on the path and stay on the path where you rely primarily on the power of God and the Atonement for you strength, rejuvenation, and personal character development.
 
Be a good person, because you are a good person, not because someone understands you.
 
Finally, for her, she demonstrates wisdom in not using her husband in her healing process (for now).  “Do not rely upon the arm of flesh.”
 
Spouses are not Saviors.
 
When we find ourselves in a situation that requires us to regain our stability and/or be healed from difficult pain, our spouse was never intended to play the primary role in this process.  “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
 
When we need increased emotional stability – go to prayer, writing and reading. When we need healing, go to the Atonement and the power of Christ.
 
Gentlemen:
If you are not ready to participate in the process of helping your wife to heal from her pain, please withdraw leaving her in the hands of God and other servants of God and go up unto the Mountain to do the work you need to do to become strong, rejuvenated and healed yourself.
 
If you feel you might do or say something that will cause her more pain, don’t.  If you feel like she is hurting you, withdraw to a safe distance.  Just calmly say, “I am not ready to have this conversation.”  Then go finish your Season 4.
 
If you are ready to participate in your wife’s healing process, use all of your resources to Build an Incubator for her. 
 
Since you are not God, and you cannot heal her. 
 
Since you are not the surgeon, and you cannot stitch her back together, then be a Provider and a Protector.  Make sure her environment is edifying and rejuvenating.
 
I'm Not Okay, You're Not Okay, but That's Okay book coverDetails on all the principles referred to  in this article can be found in my eBook, “I’m Not Okay, You’re Not Okay, but That’s Okay!” 
 
You can get your copy by clicking HERE.

You can also learn more of the principles and how to apply them to your marriage in the Marriage Repair Workshops.

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