WT 146: Discontentment in Marriage
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We all walk down the aisle with hearts full of hope, but a few years and a kid or two down the road, we often discover marriage is more work than we thought it would be. Right after discipline, questions about spouses and marriage are the most common questions we get for Wire Talk and today we have some great ones.
Question 1: Help! How can I be better at not feeling resentful and jealous when my husband gets to leave in the morning to go to work.. even though we do have a great relationship!!
Karen’s Answer: I relate 100%! You aren’t going to like my answer and I’m sorry. I do love you and get EXACTLY what you are saying, because I’ve been there so many times. But, here is the deal…. being joyful is a choice. So, when your husband leaves for work, you can be joyful that he has a job, a good job, that gives you the luxury to stay home with your children, OR you can be resentful and jealous that he is having so much fun and you are doing the SAME OLE boring thing! But, here is the deal, in Proverbs 31:28 it says, “Her children arise and call her BLESSED; her husband also , and he praises her.” I believe that verse is true, and it’s true because you are doing a great work in raising your children, and your husband knows the sacrifice you are making. Just a month ago, Greg said to me, staying home with the kids is HARD! Thank you for all those years you did it while I was traveling. I never realized how hard it was. Choose joy!
Question 2: Things have been really difficult between my husband and I since this past summer. We are in counseling, but I don’t know what the future holds. Some days I feel like we can work it out and on other days I don’t even know how I ever married this man. We have agreed that we will have a “truce” in front of our two boys (7 and 5) – but it is soul crushing to “fake it”. Any suggestions for how to best to protect our boys from our mess while we’re in the middle of it?
Karen’s Answer: I am so sorry to hear that your marriage is going through some hard times. First off, I’m proud of you for trying to work it out! So many people either give up, or never address a problem until it’s too late. Secondly, I want to encourage you to keep at it, and lay your burden before God, asking Him, what is your part of the pie that you can work on and be open to what He shows you. We all have something we can always be working on in relationships. I think your Truce in front of the kids is exactly what you should be doing. At ages 7 and 5 they would have a hard time understanding and I think you are protecting them for any undue pain. I’d keep doing what you are doing. I’ve been married for 32 years, and I can tell you, marriage is tough. It is however, worth the fight, but sometimes you have to fight to stay together and fight to love each other. Keep at it. I have seen God do some amazing work on marriages, ones that I thought there was no hope, and then God restored the entire marriage. You do what you can do and let God do the rest.
Question 3: What are some ways I can draw/incorporate my husband into the philosophies you taught us in Mom Core? I feel enlightened now … but don’t want to “preach” at my husband.
Karen’s Answer: Get our newest curriculum Parenting Together from Preschool to Prom, that Greg and I did together. We filmed this curriculum for this very reason! I think your husband will enjoy listening to another man. Go on a date night, and tell your husband that you want to really work as a team in parenting, and that you think this new curriculum will help get you both on the same page.
Question 4: I’d love to start taking my girls (1 & 3.5) to church as there are several fantastic churches where we live and I think I’d find some great women to connect with —here’s the issue—my husband is not so into church. He grew up Catholic (me presbyterian) but his parents only seemed to go to church so he could attend private Catholic school… he kind of looks down on churchgoers ( I even kept the side of myself a bit hidden from him because he makes me feel like I should be embarrassed) … any advice on this tricky topic— how to have your kids get to know God and go to church when your husband may not necessarily be supportive? He has gone to church with me a few times and he seems to like it sometimes so there is hope on that front! I just don’t want to push it too much! I really appreciate any words you have on this subject.
Karen’s Answer: If he has gone to church with you and seemed to enjoy it, I’d keep going. You can tell him, that you think church would be good for the kids, so they will learn good morals and values. How can he be opposed to that. I would start praying like crazy for your husband and the entire church experience. If you will allow Christ to shine through you in love toward your husband, he won’t be able to refuse. Think about Jesus and how he exhibited love to everyone he encountered. Start reading the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and pray daily for your husband to be receptive. If your husband is not willing to go, but is open to you taking the girls and yourself, I would just go. You never know what God is going to do. God could use your little girls to say something to their dad, and that will excite him about learning more. You never know!
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