Jackie and Lora - what beautiful comments you made. Thank you for helping this woman, and any women reading this article, see how to involve the Lord in our marriages, as well as love and patience. Marriage is hard, and both husband and wife have many faults, weaknesses, and often addictions. The Lord will help us lift and love each other, and be our companion's greatest ally and friend.
I think every couple struggles with these issues to some degree. In order to keep this from being a problem in my marriage (and it is a little bit still), I think to myself, "am I trying to build a case for my husband or against my husband". I can keep track of things like he never puts his clothes away or rinses his dishes or I can keep track of the good things, like making time to hug all of our children when he comes home from work or fixing things for me. Living with people (anybody) is irritating and exasperating at times, the trick is to not let that take too much of our focus. Instead focus on making good memories together and focus on all the good our spouses do. And then do the same for ourselves. I buy myself appreciation gifts all the time. ;)
This is the same scenario I dealt with as a mother and wife, but no amount of "I" statements altered my husband's disrespectful behavior because I found out later it was his porn addiction that caused the problem in our marriage. When a husband ignores, disregards, and acts selfishly toward his wife despite numerous conversations to make him aware of how hurtful it is odds are it's porn related. 80% of men use porn and disconnecting from wives and family is a big sign. When someone loves you they treat you lovingly. When a spouse ignores you and treats you like a servant he is emotionally abusing you. You should never tolerate this.
Once when this problem "demanded" attention at our home I left the items in the living room and invited company over. Never happened again!
Compliments on what he does right will soften his heart. Pray for greater understanding. Be patient, and give him the gift of forgiveness by not reacting to his behavior. Also give him more individual attention and let the bills or the household tasks wait a day. Take nature walks with the family. Work on a family project together, or give service to a neighbor.
This is the same scenario I dealt with as a mother and wife, but no amount of "I" statements altered my husband's disrespectful behavior because I found out later it was his porn addiction that caused the problem in our marriage. When a husband ignores, disregards, and acts selfishly toward his wife despite numerous conversations to make him aware of how hurtful it is odds are it's porn related. 80% of men use porn and disconnecting from wives and family is a big sign. When someone loves you they treat you lovingly. The man in the article is exhibiting emotional abuse toward his wife and that's never ok.
It is easier to change yourself than try to change your spouse and appreciation is more powerful than complaints. It sounds like he is working really hard for the family and may need to feel loved and respected and not treated as one of the children. Start finding things to express appreciation for every day and get lavish and creative. Thank him for working so hard to provide for the family, for being such a good father, for the nice house he provides for you and how happy it makes you. Thank him that he works so you can stay home with the children. Thank him for being so dependable, such a good spiritual leader and honoring his priesthood, for coming straight home to you, for not going out with the "guys" after work or on week-ends, for being trustworthy, for always being there for you. Then start picking up after him without complaint and with a good heart. Tell him daily how much he means to you and your happiness. If picking up after him is the worst problem you have with him you are lucky. My guess is when he feel appreciated and respected he may even start picking up after himself. But love him even if he doesn't. Don't make your love conditional.
I don't have a degree. I've only been married for 39 years to the same man. I don't think that having yet another discussion with her husband is going to help this woman. It can easily descend into a destructive cycle. There is simply no way she can be dispassionate about this. She's exhausted from caring for the kids, and her husband is just adding to the workload. Talking about it has done no good and only made it worse.
I propose that this woman start with prayer. If she's going to talk with her husband about the situation, I recommend that she do it while praying. Prayer automatically creates humility and soft voices. The Lord can change things.
The Lord might help this man to realize that his wife isn't living the easy life at home that he might think that she has. The Lord could help this woman to realize that her husband is working two jobs where he has to answer to a boss and to professors. Both of them are tired and exhausted.
She might be able to remember why she married this man in the first place. She may have admired his lofty ambitions and goals. There was a time when she thought she couldn't live without him. She might also consider that some lonely woman might think he's quite a catch, even with his messiness.
She might take the attitude the Savior recommended, "If any man compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain," and start picking up after him. At first it might be with resentment, but after a while she might do it as an act of love, and support for a man who is under pressure from work and school.
She's in a position to adjust some of her other activities, since she is her own boss, so that she has some energy at the end of the day. She may need a nap every afternoon to have the strength to be patient with her exhausted, sloppy man.
Someone said that irritations are like sand paper, and they can polish us into becoming better people. Will her husband notice or even thank her for catering to him this way? Maybe. Maybe not. She might want to do it as an act of service for the Lord.
If she can do it with love and not resentment, she can change the dynamic in her marriage. Marriage isn't 50-50. That's divorce. Marriage is 100-100, and in this case, she is going to have to give more than her fair share. No, it isn't fair. But it is a loving thing to do.
I believe there would be value in identifying what both the husband and the wife want to work toward (i.e., a loving relationship, having respect shown toward one another in the marriage.) So setting criteria that they both are striving for would help them identify a common goal. Once this is established, I think the focus will be much simpler for both of them to recognize within themselves what he/she needs to do to change in his/her own attitudes and behaviors in achieving the common goal. Focusing on the positive seems to me as what might work best. Just my thoughts.....
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