December 6, 2011

I Can’t Take It!

There have been a few themes that seem to be coming up in our work lately with couples. Couples are discouraged. They are having a hard time getting over or understanding why their spouse just doesn’t get it. You’ve told them over and over what you need, how you need it, but then they still don’t get it. Don’t be discouraged. Discouragement is just one foot away from depression if dwelled on too long. No your spouse isn’t perfect but neither are you. I know it’s hard to deal with some of the disappointments you’ve faced and they may have even turned into resentment by now. There is always a way back if you’re willing to do the work.

It is easy to get discouraged; you asked your husband to do something for you and for whatever his reason was he just didn’t do it or if he did, it didn’t seem like he heard all of what you said. You told your wife that you were looking forward to spending some “alone time” with her later and for the third night in a row she has been tired. You feel rejected and now you are getting discouraged. I told you it’s easy to get discouraged.

Discouragement comes out of feeling of rejection no matter how great or small. After a while the rejections begin to mount up and they appear to be more than the times that your husband or wife actually acknowledges and gives you what you’ve asked for. The mounting rejections are now beginning to increase and cause your discouragement to mount as well.

How do you get out of it? What do you do? What do you ask your spouse to do? Do you feel overwhelmed with the discouragement and don’t know where to start? Start with you. What is it that you are most discouraged about in your relationship? What is it that if your spouse changed it tomorrow could make you finally feel heard and understood? What is it that you want your spouse to know that if it was done would make you the happiest? The answer to these questions is where you start. These answers will generally be the same or have a common theme.

1. Think about the answer given and then choose a time that is best for both you and your spouse and talk about your discouragement.  

2. Let them know what you have been feeling. Ex. Discouraged, rejected, taken for granted  

3. Reassure them that there is no reason for them to get defensive. (People often feel attacked when being asked to change something that they either thought they were doing right or knew they weren’t quite up to par but were too proud to admit it)

4. Only give them one discouragement at a time. 

5. Share with them a few (no more than 3) things that if done for you would make you feel much better, understood, and appreciated.

6. If your partner has a hard time understanding your feelings, compare your feelings and what you have been going through with an instance when they felt discouraged, rejected, taken for granted so that they can empathize with what you are going through now.

Getting people to change is hard. Permanent change is even harder. Just know that these changes will not take place overnight and you will have to give them time to permeate. Remember, it’s easy to get discouraged, but hopefully these tools that we’ve shared can help change that and encourage you. If you have some tips on getting over discouragement, let us know what you think.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Be Encouraged!


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