WT 107: Handling Conflict With Our Husbands
Question 1: How do you deal with seasons of pregnancy and breastfeeding when your hormones make you want nothing to do with sex? I’m not trying to make excuses, I WISH I wanted it, but I just can’t get there. I try to make my husband feel loved in other ways, and he’s very understanding, but I know it puts a strain on our relationship.
Karen’s Answer: Honestly, this can be just part of life, and it is the “for better or worse” that you both agreed to on your wedding day. I love that you are aware and that he is understanding. I love that you try and make him feel loved in other ways, and all of that is really good. Realize this is just a season. Now, after you finish breastfeeding, if you are still not feeling it, I would get your hormones checked and talk to your doctor.
Question 2: How do you have conversations with your spouse about what to do/what you don’t like about what they are doing when it comes to discipline? I’m the stronger personality so I don’t want to come across as condescending, but I want to address it. Some things, I’m not okay with. But it’s hard to say what those are until you see them. And then it becomes undermining. It seems like a lot of this is because I’m home with the kids and feeling like I’m teaching my husband and always telling him what he didn’t do well.
Karen’s Answer: Since you are home with the kids all the time, you just “know” more than he does. I think it is ALL in your words and how you talk to your husband. You can say statements like, “I’ve tried this before or that and it seems to work well with _______.” Or take the approach, we both have different styles, let’s talk through the “why” behind what we are doing and thinking. That takes defensiveness out of the equation. Last thing, praise him. Tell him he is a great dad and you are loving parenting together, you just want to get on the same page. Keep in mind, you will be different and that is okay. Your children actually do well with different styles. BUT you need to be on the same page. Greg and I are actually working on a curriculum to do together. Maybe that will help. We hope to launch by Soar. Watch your words. Parenting is a learning process for both husband and wife. Remember you are a team.
Question 3: I am a mom of three children, one with severe special needs living far from all our family. I am very resentful toward my husband for not getting a job closer to our family. I am struggling with feeling like my husband “owes” me for giving up so much back home and living here alone (without family help). How do I align my feelings of wanting/deserving more while teaching my children core values? I feel like such a hypocrite…
Karen’s Answer: I get it! Honestly, you have every “right” to feel the way you do. I would too.But, this whole Christian walk is truly about giving up your rights. (I know! It’s not the answer you were looking for, and I am SO sorry!) But, as long as you stay where you are, you wont move forward, and I want you to move forward and living a joyful life, even though life is really hard. Make sense? A couple of things: I would first pray to God and just be honest, which I’m sure you already have. I would even write it all out, a letter to God, and your husband. I’d write out everything you are feeling, even if it sounds horrible! Write it out! Then I would share my heart with God and just say, “I hate this! I’m trying to be a good wife, loving mother, but I’m so alone, feel like I’m drowning and I can’t do it all. God will you help me? Will you meet me where I am, broken, angry, bitter, and will you make me whole? Restore my soul, give me love where I am angry, give me understanding and patience, and restore my relationship with my husband. I confess that I am looking to my husband and I have expectations he is not fulfilling. Forgive me. God, I forgive my husband, and release him from anything that he owes me. He doesn’t owe me anything. I give up my “right” to have an easier life. God meet me where I am, and I am going to start everyday dependent on you, because I cannot do this life on my own. Then I would burn the letter. I would say out loud, “I release my husband from anything that he owes me.” God is going to meet my needs. Once you start living this out, you will not feel like a hypocrite, it wont be easy, but with God’s help you can do it. Honestly, it’s going to make you a better mom, and when your children come to you one day and say, “Life isn’t fair, this is too hard, you will have a perfect empathetic heart for them and will be able to walk them through it, because you’ve been through it.
Question 4: I got my Master’s degree during the years just before I married my current husband but haven’t worked outside of the home since our two kids were born. They are 3 and 6 now and my husband makes me feel guilty about the financial situation my student loans have put us in since I’m not even using it. (He is in ministry and doesn’t make tons of money either) I go back and forth between feeling guilty about my loans and thinking I should go get a job just to pay them and then feeling angry that my husband has made me feel guilty. How do I handle this conversation with my husband?
Karen’s Answer: I would talk to your husband and tell him, that you BOTH decided you would stay at home, and him making you feel guilty, is not helping anything. Maybe brainstorm with your husband ways you can pay off the loans without you going back to work. Tell your husband you are willing to go back to work, but you would like to get the 3 year old into school before you do. There are lots of ways to make money, you don’t have to get a normal 9-5 job. I’m not sure what you got your masters degree in, but think about if you could do contract work from home in that field. Tell your husband that you don’t make him feel guilty for not making enough money in ministry, and you deserve the same respect. Have a conversation with your husband and try to think outside the box, on paying off debt.
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