Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Overcome Frustration with Your Husband, Part 2

If you read my last post, you might be saying, "Well, yeah, but you don't know my husband."

You're right. And I don't blame you for saying that. Can I know all what's going on in your marriage, and all the frustration you are experiencing? No.

But I can say with the perfect assurance that comes from many years of trial and error: The change you want to see in others starts and ends with you.

I'm not saying your husband doesn't need to change. He absolutely does. We all do.

But you will actually slow that change if you try to use negative emotions to bring it about. Those emotions can only come from pride and impatience which is just another way Satan tempts us to give up on our marriage.

Heavenly Father is always telling us, "Keep trying. Hang in there! Don't give up. I believe in you. I know you can do it." On the contrary, Satan is always trying to get us to throw in the towel. He is always tempting to check out of our marriages, our faith, our devotion to high principle.

My main point here is that you will be far less frustrated with your man—and yourself—if you use power, not force, to change your situation.

What is the difference between power and force?

Power is your positive influence on others for good, which motivates them by virtue of your innate beauty and goodness. It is one of your greatest gifts. By it you create a desire in others to change and to be and do better because of how you honor their agency, and offer them your respect, your complete acceptance and your unvarnished, unconditional love.

Force, on the other hand, compels others to change through negativity and fear, which may bring about temporary change, but not without resentment and a desire to run or strike back.

Force gets temporary results, but it never lasts. True power comes from God. It is eternal. It lasts forever.

Your power source comes from being true to God and to yourself, from being your truest, best self; force comes roaring in when you choose to betray yourself with fear and rage. Whenever those two feelings are present, so is the devil.

Your power is founded on self-control and comes "by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile..." (D&C 121:41,42).

Your force, which is the same as giving away your power, which is just Satan's counterfeit for power, is manifest by his sneaky polar opposites, "by contention, by impatience, by harshness and pride, and by the absence of love; by unkindness, and deception, which shall greatly shrink the soul with hypocrisy, and with guile..."

When you are true to the Lord and to your highest self, you will come into your true power, and your frustrations will diminish until they utterly disappear.

This is how Jesus Christ overcame the world (see John 16:33). This is how you can overcome the world. This is how you can overcome your frustration with your husband. This is where you can find complete peace.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have difficulty with this, as a survivor of emotional abuse in my marriage.

This was exactly the counsel I lived by, and it wasn't until I started asking what was in it for me, what he was doing for me, that I was able to break the cycle.

Mike Fitzgerald said...

Yes, this approach will not work in every situation, as I have said often before. If emotional, physical or sexual abuse exists in your relationship, this must of necessity change the strategy! Such relationships need support and intervention from outside parties, if such a relationship can survive at all. I am sorry for what you have been through and hope you are in a much better situation now.

Anonymous said...

Actually, anonymous, I think in some ways it is the other way. It is important to concentrate on yourself....but not in order to change the other person.
it is co-dependent behavior that concentrates on trying to make the other person happy. If I do this or if I do that then they won't be upset.
It seems to be a hard line to walk. Love and care about the other person and serve them, but don't feel responsible for their decisions, their emotions, their problems, their happiness, etc.
Women are more likely to become co-dependent and therefore get into the trap of an abusive relationship.
I am not a survivor of emotional abuse, so I realize I don't completely understand.
I do think that you have to concentrate on your own actions, your own feelings, and not be doing things to try to make the other person be a certain way or do certain things. Abused people feel like it is their fault, if they were better than the other person wouldn't act like that.
So I don't like the idea that we are in control of the other person through our actions or longsuffering or anything like that.
I have found that in my marriage I am happier if I concentrate on changing myself....not to please him, but to please God and improve myself.
This is too big of a subject to cover in one comment.