In today's episode of "Ask A Relationship Coach" Jenny answers a listener question. The listener wonders how to approach it when her husband is talking to others instead of talking to her.
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My husband has gone through a faith transition. It’s been taking place for over 3 years but the family was told almost a year ago. My husband feels very alone. But so do I. He thinks I have the church as a community to help me but no one in our ward knew. And even since telling our family I still don’t talk much with them about it. They don’t know what I’m going through. My husband and I have always relied on each other for support and to talk things out. We have rarely argued let alone had major differences. So this transition has been extremely difficult. I thought I was supporting him. But he just told me that I have NEVER understood and that we have NEVER been able to talk about “this"...meaning religion, his views??
It was heartbreaking for me because I thought we were in a good place. So he had gone to several different Facebook pages to find comfort and acceptance. I tried to join one (with his disapproval) just so I could try to relate and find perspective from his side. Well last week he wrote a poem to the group using words like “exactly one year ago” “No one”, “never or ever” in regards to his family, friends and ward members asking him why he left and understanding him. I was so hurt for a couple reasons.
First; he didn’t talk to me about his feelings at all before posting. Second; he could’ve posted to another group that is for our mixed faith marriage but instead posted to a group who is only to people who have left our church. Which I find very one sided. I also feel like by post there he was putting down or not recognizing any of my efforts. Which leaves me feeling betrayed and on the outside of his life. Third; when I asked him about it trying to show him comfort and asking why he was feeling like this he blew me off then got upset which lead to an argument in front of our 17 year old and 22 years old children. Which then they became part of the “conversation”. Fourth; I worry he will now find other people to comfort him which to me is an emotional affair. This is my biggest fear! Any kind of affair.
So my very long comment leads to these questions:
1. Is it ok, normal, healthy to go to outside sources? Where do you draw the line on what to vent to people who don’t know your family or situation?
2. My husband doesn’t want to talk about religion because it usually ends up with hurt feelings. I thought we were doing better but after this last argument I’m feeling so lonely, defeated and hurt. Is it best not to talk about these things? I just feel like if we don’t work through them it will lead us to separate emotionally and ruin our marriage.
3. How do I get him to hear me? It seems I can tell him over and over that I understand his point of view but he constantly repeats the same reasons of why he left the church. I don’t think he hears me. I know how important it is to validate so I focus on trying to do that but he isn’t hearing me. So now I don’t feel validated. Which is something he used to do so well.
THANKS TO THE QUESTION ASKER!