Today we are going to briefly visit about what to do when you have lost all respect for your spouse.
Understandably, it’s a heavy topic.
In the last two weeks, I’ve spoken with several couples who are saying and doing things that have the potential of literally PUSHING their spouse to the lawyer’s office. I understand, they just want to fix things, but they have lost respect for their spouse, and now it’s mutual, and the way they’re going about “helping” is making things worse.
Maybe this is you. You mean well, and you’ve been trying hard, doing your best.
Let’s not forget all the insults you have overlooked, graciousness extended to difficult people, and shame-battles you’ve engaged in within yourself when things went less than perfectly.
How many times did you need help in the last week and not be seen?
The cloud of discouragement and resentment is thick and nearly palpable.
If I were actually with you, I would give you the biggest of hugs. Maybe you are feeling so spent you are googling divorce lawyers, trying to figure out how to pay for that. I hate HATE that you are suffering this!!
Know that what you are trying and doing that is NOT working needs to STOP.
It hasn’t worked – in fact, it’s probably making things worse.
Stop using complaint to connect. Never again utter, “We need to talk,” and stop TELLING your kids, college students, and spouse what to do, and instead, try, “Hey honey, I know you have a plan for emptying the dishwasher and I appreciate that. Will you be able to be done with it by 4pm so I can use the kitchen to make dinner for the family?”
And I want to encourage you. You may have an absence of respect in your home right now, but it is fixable. This journey you have been on? The one where you have read all the books, been to the therapists, cried out to God, and yet you are still hurting? It is a journey I have personally travelled, and I know the path is paved with tears.
I also know you don’t have to blow up your marriage to find relief from the pain you are experiencing! There IS a better way, a road less travelled, one I’ve personally walked with many broken-hearted wives AND husbands. When people follow the process we lay out, we have nearly a 100% marriage improving outcome.
Remember, you may divorce and go through the uber ugly that whole process is, and spend $7K – $24K creating two households and now everything is more expensive… and you’ve driven your kids through hell… AND here’s the part no one thinks about right NOW – you will STILL have to see each other if you have kids. Or are you also divorcing your church family and friends? So you will STILL need to learn this stuff, it will just be a whole lot more messy later because of the injuries and trauma divorce creates.
And yes, you’re likely in the middle of that right now, too. But it can all be different.
Don’t blow things up by filing.
Don’t buy the lie of the enemy that divorce will fix this.
And don’t buy the other lie that if you stay you’ll be a doormat.
Bet you don’t have boundaries, bet your spouse may not either. Bet you are scared of making them angry, probably both of you are walking on eggshells.
There IS another way.
I have done this in my own marriage, watched God heal me and us, and am living a wild adventure of a life with my best friend, that guy I married.
You can have that, too.
We use Biblical Truths, and research-backed methods (that are also Biblically-based) – funny how science decrees something in the Bible as true! We already knew, but are glad science has joined the discussion.
His ways are not our ways and they are higher than our ways – and they WORK at changing you, and your family.
It will take time, and I am 100% sure you will encounter the Lord in a way that brings healing, joy, and peace, for you AND your relationships.
You have lost respect for your spouse because you aren’t feeling cared for.
You might be feeling invisible, unloved, taken advantage of. Not knowing how to rekindle the connection. Maybe there is so much conflict and offense on both sides you are just exhausted. Who wouldn’t feel like this? Of COURSE you are just wiped out!
I believe you can… and I’ve seen many others… impact things in even deeper messes.
It makes sense that you might be feeling this discouraged right now-style. After all, you just spent weeks getting ready for Christmas, hosted a big party (or a few!), and tried hard to make peace, create wonder for children (no small task, no matter the age), and have been falling into bed exhausted for weeks.
Even if you don’t feel like you have it in you right now… we can help you recover, with the Lord, heal, and start creating JOY again.
All those books you read and seminars you attended will be applicable. Know the time hasn’t been wasted!! MOST people don’t know the small KEYS to making all that info applicable. Once you learn to do these small things FIRST, you will be on your way to becoming unoffendable, which then makes it EASY to apply the communication skills you are already familiar with.
You CAN stop the triggering and be able to show up with strength and dignity. You CAN regain respect for yourself, and bring that into your marriage. It IS possible to have fun again together. Might take a minute, but that exists for you.
And you can also do this without your spouse participating. Although, deeper connection and intimacy form more quickly if they join you.
You have options. Let’s get on a phone call this week or next and talk about them. Just for a few weeks, decide to WAIT to add your family name to the January list of months with most divorces filed.
If you get this in email, just reply. If you are reading it on my blog, you can reach out via email at coachnina (at) greaterimpact.org and we will set up a time.
I think of you and pray for you this last week of the year, praying you will give your marriage, life, us, and God, a chance (or maybe it’s one LAST chance!) – we want to help and know what to do to help your marriage be transformed.
And you won’t have to do it alone.
Love to you,
PS… you aren’t late, you are right on time! Here’s a post to help you catch up! https://ninaroesner.com/2023/12/18/respect-means-acting-with-integrity/