Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Communication Breakdown?

Posted by Hannah at 9:44 AM

I just don't understand HOW people can push the 'communication' card, and then ask you to do the opposite...and then wonder why it doesn't work for people. All to often I see counterdictions, and enables communication breakdown. Here is an example!




At the present time, my husband and I are struggling with our marriage. I am trying to be more solicitous in that I am asking his permission or what his thoughts are versus saying, "I'm going to do this...".

The other day, a friend wanted to me to go out with her but we had three children at the house so I asked him, "Would you mind if I went...?" He reacted negatively and said, "Well, I suppose but I wanted lay down and I can't do that with unless you are watching the kids." Now, this was said in a negative manner and with an air of guilt, which has been one of my issues with him---his controlling/doing things through guilt or fear.

I choose to let him lay down and went with my friend later. However, I'm left with the same feelings of anger and resentment I've always had because I feel like the only thing I submitted to was his dramatic display of guilt.

How should I have better handled this?
What I am suppose to submit to?



First off the 'permission' thing bothers me greatly. Spouses aren't children that need to ask permission. I don't have a problem having a discussion, or even say 'Do you mind if I...'. To me that is common courtesy, and something people need to show in a relationship in order to be a healthy one. I don't even have an issue with people wishing to discuss things with their spouses before making plans. We are all human and if we place this 'permission' part out there you are opening yourself up to an abuse of power. That's just human nature.

I realize that children have to ask permission, but the reasons are plain for that. We know that abuse of power towards children happen as well, but asking permission as a child has completely different reasoning behind it. Its part of their learning process if you will as they grow up, and become adults in our world. Its a safety measure...a learning tool.

Beyond the scope of this poster feeling it is RIGHT to ask permission from her spouse we see she speaks of his attitude towards her in response. There is nothing wrong with asking your spouse to go out later, but the way it is asked is what's in question here.

The responses she got is where I wonder how these women feel 'communication' is being used in their relationships. Is submission being used as a tool for communication or communication breakdown within the relationship?



I think you did the right thing in letting him lay down and going with your friend later.

I fully understand your feelings of anger and resentment; I've recently been in similar situations with my husband. But, remember that God is the One we're ultimately submitting to. Let your anger and resentment drive you closer to Him in prayer and as you pray it through I wouldn't be surprised if He gave you His peace.

But if you're anything like me, it might be a bit of a prayer struggle before you reach that point. But know that God is growing you through it, too.

I find when I'm in a disagreement with my husband that it's better for me to go over his head, so to speak, and take the problem directly to the Lord.

As Oswald Chambers wrote, "obey God, and leave all the consequences with Him."



In a healthy relationship with a spouse that truly loves you I struggle with these types of responses.

They acknowledge that the bad behavior and bad attitude is raising anger and resentment, but you aren't asked to communicate at all. Your communication is in prayer only. All to often I see these speeches to women about how they need to communicate their wants, needs, feelings to men because they don't have crystal balls to figure those things out for themselves. That makes sense! Yet communication breakdown is what is being encouraged here. We can't have both ways!

There are times in which you take it to the Lord, and I'm NOT saying you don't do that. We can't tell them that communication, boundaries, etc are needed, and then basically tell them to NOT do those things afterwards.

Another response?



Amen-
I don't see the problem here. Your husband only wanted to take a nap before you went out. You did get to go.

I see being a wife as a calling. It is something that God has given us to do to be a helpmate to the man. Sadly, we have lost touch with that with all this equal rights stuff. I don't mean to be a doormat,I mean to be a helper. You help your husband by letting him take a nap, then you are blessed by having some quiet time away with a friend.

Ephesians 5:22-"Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord."
It takes some practice,but I started doing things for my husband as though I were doing them for the Lord. If Jesus Christ Himself asked you to not leave to go out with your friend,but wait until He took a nap,you would be honored that He asked you! Try to look at being a helpmate to your husband in that way.

Remember we will all give an account for our lives one day. What we've done will either come forth as gold or be burned. We won't be able to say, "it was the husband you gave me.." We found in Genesis that doesn't work.

When I get angry with my husband,I go to a quiet place and tell the Lord how I feel. This is confession and it's the safest place to bring something.I would recommend sharing only with the Lord and not your friends. Don't put your husband in a bad light,in the end it makes you look bad.



Great example of communication breakdown. Its being a 'helpmate' to NOT discuss his nasty attitude and behavior towards you. I mean you got to go out right?

Lets think of our children for a moment. Would people allow their children to get away with this? Is that what the 'parents' would tell another parent if their child acted like this? Granted it would be a teenager or older here! NO WAY would we encourage our children to act so disrespectful, and yet its being a 'helpmate' to allow your husband to do it.


WHY does that make sense to people? How is it helping anyone to NOT communicate how the attitude is hurting you? If you don't let your husband KNOW that this is hurting you - aren't we encouraging that 'crystal ball' comments that come later?

This is crazy! That completely insane advice!



Studying to be quiet takes a lot of studying...and practice! I am learning when I want to say something to my husband, I play it out in my mind what the outcome will most likely be. I have learned to say it's not worth it and keep quiet. It doesn't happen overnight and you will fail. I am so thankful that the Lord does not give up on me



You have to be kidding me!

Granted there are times in which silent is best. I know with certain family members I'm better off approaching them AFTER they have calmed down, and can be receptive. They aren't telling this women to do this! They are telling her to hush, and tattle on him to the Lord. Communication breakdown.


I have to wonder if people see the counterdictions in the advice they give. If you did hush, and want to know what to do? You did well - submission and being a proper helpmate - take it to the Lord to tattle on him. If she showed she was upset by this attitude in a different manner? They would ask if she spoke to her husband, because afterall they don't have crystal balls! Communication is important in relationships. The advice you are handed at times? This encourages communication breakdown.


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6 comments:

Jocelyn Andersen on 10:08 AM said...

The bottom line is that a person who manipulates and controls others through guilt does not care if they are oppressing others. The feelings of others matter little or nothing to them. All that matters is that they get their way. This kind of self-centeredness is appalling in anyone but especially so in professing Christians. It is sin, pure and simple.

As for the issue of a wife asking "permission" from her husband, this places her in a position of being a child in the family hierarchy--an elder child do doubt but a child nevertheless. And as Hannah pointed out, there is a reason for children asking permission. It is part of their training in preparation for the day when they no longer have to ask permission--for the day when they become "adults."

Jocelyn Andersen
www.WomanSubmit.com

Jocelyn Andersen on 10:09 AM said...

The bottom line is that a person who manipulates and controls others through guilt does not care if they are oppressing others. The feelings of others matter little or nothing to them. All that matters is that they get their way. This kind of self-centeredness is appalling in anyone but especially so in professing Christians. It is sin, pure and simple.

As for the issue of a wife asking "permission" from her husband, this places her in a position of being a child in the family hierarchy—an elder child do doubt but a child nevertheless. And as Hannah pointed out, there is a reason for children asking permission. It is part of their training in preparation for the day when they no longer have to ask permission—for the day when they become "adults."

Jocelyn Andersen
www.WomanSubmit.com

Barbara on 12:30 AM said...

Hannah I really like the way you've pointed out the contradictions in advice given to women.

"Communicate with your husband; he can't read your mind" versus "Don't tell your husband how his attitudes affect you; if you air reasonable complaints about his attitudes you are not being submissive."

This is crazy-making stuff. No wonder victims often think they are going crazy!

If there's a problem in a Christian marriage, the commonest response is to tell the woman she is not being submissive enough. But what would happen if Christian leaders routinely told men "If you think your wife is not being submissive, you need to listen to her complaints, and ask then yourself whether you are loving, honoring and protecting her enough."

Hannah on 7:53 AM said...

I think people assume that if you air things you must be a nag. I just love the stereotypes they place on people. I mean here we have the unquestionable, unapproachable head and authority, and the over emotional and nagging helper.

You pigeon hole people in those places, and you will always have issues.

Everyone should look to themselves first, but they assume most ladies don't look deep enough. Can't find anything? Its in there! Keep going!

You hear quoted over and over again that being in submission isn't a natural thing for women. Its something they choose, grant, grow into, etc. God wouldn't hand over this to one without handing something to the other. Its strange how you see over and over again that headship and authority is ingrained in men. So one gender gets challeged by God and the other doesn't? I mean COME ON!

BloggerT7165 on 11:37 PM said...

Just know that not all men have "headship and authority" ingrained in them. My wife was in an abusive relationship with her ex-husband and when we got together I made it very clear to her that not only is a healthy relationship based on mutual respect but that it is not acceptable for anyone to treat another person in an abusive manner. My wife and I ask each other about plans but not for permission but out of courtesy and respect. After all these years I am extremely proud of the assertive, independent, yet caring and close woman my wife has become and at this point I think if I ever tried to pull the whole submission thing on her she would laugh and then have me checked to make sure I hadn't gone off the deep end.

Hannah on 9:07 AM said...

I do realize that BloggerT7165! I agree with you.

To be honest I was more speaking about the lousy advice this women got from (ahem) older christian women. They speak out of both sides of their mouth. You can't tell women to communicate because your husband doesn't have crystal ball, and then tell you to hush out submission..and expect that to make sense. lol!

I think they use those terms to NOT deal with the abuse. No one can be healed, and nothing can get better if you ignore things. Their advice makes sure it isn't dealt with.

I had a uncle that was a Pastor, missionary that was the sweetest person you could ever meet. I remember him commenting about this type of stuff that happened within his denomination. They encourage what I was speaking about here, and he said if he knew that ahead of time (years before..lol cystal ball deal) he never would have worked with them. He would have been upset if his wife would have taken this advice to heart.

I have to tell you - I have seen just as lousy advice given to men in trouble. I have one gentlman that writes to me. He writes me about every 6 months now just to update me on his life after he got his children and himself OUT of the situation. She (wife) was a terror! They beat him up with lousy advice as well.

I don't think anyone's safe with this type of thing happening. Lousy advice when it comes to abuse? Everyone is equal there. They church shows their fear of dealing with it when they provide this type of advice.

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