FAML300, Uncategorized

W05 Behaviors that Negatively Affect Marriage

Affect … effect … I will probably never ever learn how to tell these two words apart.  I have tried over and over again across my almost 40 years to learn the difference and it never makes sense to me.  So, if any of my readers out there have a good idea on how to actually help me learn this… please leave me a comment at the end of the blog!

So, what behaviors negatively affect marriage?  That’s what this week’s material is all about.  I have read five chapters in books, watched a clip from The Great Commandment given by Elder Wirthlin while he had a flare up of Parkinson’s disease, and watched several clips from the movie Fireproof staring Kirk Cameron (for those of you as old as me, that was a little treat) all of which made my allergies flare up.  Okay, really, my eyes were filled with tears at many of these intersections as I studied the material for this week.  Is it because it’s almost my birthday and I’m feeling sentimental?  Is it because yesterday was the Sabbath and I am feeling closer to the Spirit as I write on Monday instead of Tuesday or Wednesday?  Or is it because the lessons and messages that I read and viewed this week touched my heart and ring true on some level for me as an individual, a wife, a mother, and a disciple of Jesus Christ?

For those of you that know me, I’m a list maker.  I love to make lists.  There are eleven lists sitting in from of me as I type.  Each of them on a sticky note.  There are nine more as sticky notes on my desktop and at least three more in the planner that I use each day.  I love lists; so for the love of lists, here is my list for you on behaviors that negatively affect marriage:

  • Criticism
  • Contempt
  • Defensiveness
  • Stonewalling
  • Emotional flooding
  • Rejection
  • Bad memories put to current day events
  • Loneliness
  • Selfishness
  • Lack of charity, compassion, and empathy

While the list is short, relatively, it’s not like the grocery list… these are the particular items that were brought to my attention during my studies this week.  The list is made up from topics covered in Dr. John Gottman’s book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work and from Dr. H. Wallace Goddard’s book Drawing Heaven into your Marriage.  If you’re committed, who doesn’t want to make their marriage work?  If you’re committed, who doesn’t want a slice of heaven in their marriage?  I say, even if you’re not so sure that you want to make your marriage work, or maybe you don’t believe in heaven…. Well, I say you’re pretty silly; what have you got to lose, other than your eternal happiness? If you’re willing to bet the future of your eternity – throw in the towel, if not please keep reading:

Clearly, I am not an expert on marriage, I have been divorced for goodness sake.  I can only say that I want to be an expert on family and home.  I want to be an expert in my own marriage.  I want to be an expert wife and mom; so I study and I read and I let it all soak in.  Hopefully there is a morsel for you to relate to.

Criticism

This doesn’t mean “your hair is a bit frizzy today” or “I’m not sure that shirt looks good on you.”  This means “why don’t you ever brush your hair, you always go about looking like you just got out of bed” or “that shirt looks terrible on you, how did you make it 36 years in life and never learn how to dress yourself, you can’t go in public like that!”  Can you see the difference there?  The always and never statements, the harshness of the second two statements.  It is one thing to file a complaint, it is another to criticize your partner with harshness and certainly with always and never statements.  Yes, I do have frizzy hair – the humidity makes it even worse, but I do brush it every day and I don’t ALWAYS go about looking like I just got out of bed.  That shirt may not look great on my husband, but telling him it looks terrible just isn’t kind and in his 36 years, 30 before he ever even met me, he managed never to go out into public naked – he’s fared well enough.  Does this make sense?

While I don’t recommend filing complaints every day about every little thing, that can pile up and become overwhelming, but when you truly feel like you need to file a complaint with your spouse, do it with kindness.  Leave those always and never statements at the door, lock them outside – none of us ALWAYS or NEVER behave in a specific fashion.

Contempt

Eye rolling, scoffing, sarcasm, and skepticism are all contemptuous.  What this really boils down to is respect.  When one behaves in manners like this toward their loved ones, you are displaying disrespect for them.  If we aren’t kind and respectful of our spouses, what is it that our relationship is built out of?  Do we love them? Think on that…

Defensiveness

When he tells me about that frizzy hair, even if he does so kindly, do I grumble back at him and say “I can’t help my hair, why are you so mean?”  Does he shout back at me when I complain about his shirt “I’ve been able to dress myself for 36 years without you, I am not a complete idiot.”  These are examples of being defensive.  Think about the defensive line on a football team, their job is to shut the opposing team down, to not let them score. Are you on the same team as your spouse, or are you just trying to make sure they don’t score any points?

Stonewalling

This is pretty much shut-down from my perspective.  I’m talking to my husband about his shirt and he’s not making any eye contact or even giving any cues to me that he’s listening.  He has shut down and shut me out.  Do you ever just keep talking when your spouse is non-responsive?  Take a step back and see what he or she looks like, what is their body language telling you?  Have you over stepped your bounds?  Have you helped them to give up hope in communicating with you?  If you find this happening, you have got to get some help!  You need to take a step back, apologize to your spouse and find a way to open that line of communication again – this is an urgent need.

Emotional Flooding

Why did he shut down when I talked to him about his shirt? Because he is flooding emotionally.  I have criticized too much, he is so used to be run over by me, that in order to preserve his dignity and to not blow up at me, he simply shuts down to avoid the confrontation.  When he finally does start to talk to me about his shirt, I then talked over the top of him complaining more that he wasn’t talking to me when I was talking to him, he shuts down again.  Flooding… and too much of this circular pattern simply leads to divorce.  It has to stop.  The pattern must be broken.

Rejection

I’ve noticed that I have totally messed up here.  My husband does know how to dress himself!  I come to his side as he’s lying in bed reading a book.  I sit on the edge of the bed and lightly touch his arm.  He looks at me but says nothing.  I then say to him “I am so sorry that I was critical of your shirt and how you dress yourself, that wasn’t kind of me.  Will you forgive me?”  He looks up again and continues to read his book.  Rejection.  Don’t do this people!! When your spouse offers you a genuine, heartfelt apology, make the time to listen.  I’m not saying you have to forgive immediately, but listen and respond appropriately.  Put yourself in the being rejected shoes, no one likes being there, don’t put the one person that you should be able to count on every day for the rest of forever in those shoes intentionally.

Bad memories put to current day events

We have all had bad days, and most of us bad fights.  Those bad days and bad fights need to stay right where they were left.  Sure, there may be some unresolved issues from those days or those fights, but bring them to the table for resolution without the horrible day along with it.  I mean, it’s okay to talk about and discuss overspending on clothes for the month, but we don’t need to bring up “that one day when you spent $300 dollars at the mall and took no thought to the remainder of the budget and we stood in the kitchen yelling at each other.”  What good does this do?  Instead try “Is there a way that I can help you keep within the allotted budget for clothing?”  Leave those horrible fights where they were, there is no point digging up old fights and bad memories to serve the current moment and help cultivate a great relationship.

Loneliness

From all of those topics mentioned above, when these tactics are employed in a relationship, loneliness is the result.  Do you go to bed each night wondering who is that lying next to me? Do you wonder where that (wo)man you married is at, when they are sitting opposite you at the dinner table?  Being lonely within a marriage is a direct result from lack of good communication.  The spirit of any person gets to a breaking point when constantly barraged with overwhelming feelings of incompetence.  When I am told over and over again that I am a horrible housekeeper, I begin to really feel this way.  If my husband then begins to tell me that I am a deplorable cook (this might be true) I may begin to believe it.  When we are constantly under attack from our loved ones, how can we preserve ourselves, by being defensive, stonewalling, and shutting down.  Henceforth, we become lonely.  I certainly don’t want to be in bed each night lying next to my husband in a state such as this, do you?

Selfishness

I’m going to dig a little on this one and throw myself under the proverbial bus.  I am generous.  I give to my husband, I give to my children, I give to those that I visit teach, I give to those in our ward, I give to the community, I pay a full tithe, I sincerely put forth effort to give of myself to others.  So, I am not entirely selfish, but… I certainly have areas of my life where I am.  I am selfish with the budgeted money for clothing.  Do I really need to spend it all each month?  Certainly not, but I almost always do.  I believe that we can each improve in this area to focus on becoming more Christ like.  Never a moment in his mortal life did he take time to please himself before helping another or doing the Father’s will.  Jesus Christ should be our example, not only in being selfless, but in each and every aspect of our relationships that I have written about.  With words on the Savior, this leads me to the last point for this really long blog post:

Lack of charity, compassion, and empathy

“What lack I yet?”  Do you lack charity, compassion, or empathy for your spouse?  Do you think “well, that’s what you get!”?  When your spouse is in bed sick, do you make a tray of food and go sit by their side or do you ignore that they aren’t well?  Do you have a pang of sadness when you know your loved one is having a rough day at work, or do you brush their bad day off to deal with your own?

Charity is the pure love of Christ (you saw that coming, right?).  When we have charity for 3 Nephi 16others, compassion and empathy are right alongside.  Is this aspect of your life missing?  You have got to put up a lost and found poster immediately!  There is no time to waste, stop reading and go.

Just this morning, my husband was in bed with a migraine.  While this is frustrating because it’s going to be a missed day of work and no income, I went to my husband’s side and asked what kind of medication he needs?  I got the medication, I got a glass of water.  I made sure the kids were staying quiet, I got a cool rag for his forehead because I know he likes it when he has a migraine.  Charity, compassion, empathy.  Each of these is a must in every marriage across the planet.  If you are lacking in this department, I’d like for you to get some help.  I implore you to get help.  Your marriage is worth it, your spouse is worth it, and more importantly, you are worth it.  Each of us is a child of God, and He wants you to return to live with him.  He wants you to have these qualities in your life that you once had.  You deserve to have them, and if you have lost your way, you have lost these precious gems from your pocket, you have got to go and find them.  Open your scriptures, open your heart, repent, ask for forgiveness from those you have harmed and work to better yourself each day.  Charity is indeed the pure love of Christ, and without charity, we can in nowise inherit the kingdom which He has planned for us.

And while after writing this super long blog, I still don’t know the difference between effect and affect, I have a sense of peace that has washed over my being.  I feel those tears welling up in my eyes.  Tears of gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who sent His only Begotten Son to atone for my sins.  I am able to be forgiven for those snarky comments and overspending.  I am able to be loved by Him and am able to move forward trying each day to be better while I work on perfecting the love, charity, compassion, and empathy that I hold and distribute to those that are in need … my family.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Uncategorized, Winter 2017

New Year, new goals, new me…

Oh my, once again I have gone without writing in my blog.  But here I am, that counts, right?   I am going to say that it counts.

I worked hard on my blog last school year and then let it go over the summer break.  When I left the Pathway program and matriculated over to BYU-Idaho to take 15 credits in Fall semester, I really just simply let this blog fall off of my plate and onto the floor.  Winter term starts tomorrow, and my online courses opened on 12/31 for access, and I am here to say that I am taking 14 credits this semester and one of them needs me to blog…. say what? Blog?  I can blog, if I remember to blog.  I actually love blogging!  So we’re going to take a little turn, but it isn’t a big one.

I think I posted before, somewhere, that I am majoring in Marriage and Family Studies.  I am currently a junior and am beginning to take my advanced courses for my major.  This semester promises to be full and challenging, with this little quiet blog of mine to be one of those challenges.  With the turn, I will move from being focused on different aspects of scripture study to marriage.  Why do I say that this isn’t a big turn?  Well, because family is central to God’s plan, and without marriage – between a man and a woman – the family will cease to exist.  So this semester, beginning right now, we shall focus on posts that relate to marriage.

I pray that each of you are well, and that this post reaches all 8 of you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Samantha

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FDREL 122, Uncategorized

FDREL 122 L11 Putting It All Together

What have I learned this week?  Two things:

  1. I need to study my scripture EVERY day.
  2. Heed to counsel of the prophets.

As this week began, I was totally on top of reading my scriptures every day.  This was actually my goal for my attributes of Christ project that I am working on.  I failed.  I started Thursday by taking my kids to school and then heading to town to complete my weekly errands.  When I got back home, I got everything put away and then settled down in front of the television, simply not feeling like studying.  Friday came around and I didn’t get to my scriptures either.  As I forced myself into the office this morning to get my school work done for the week, I realized that Satan is working overtime here at my house to keep me from growing and learning in Christ.  I saw last week as I was diligent with my studies that I was doing well and felt focused and accomplished.  This week, I feel defeated even though I am getting my work done on time, it is not my habit to put everything off until Saturday and then have six or seven assignments to complete.  I feel stressed and overwhelmed.  With these feelings, really I am getting a whispering from the Spirit that I am doing well and need to pay a little more attention to when the adversary is working on me.  I am succeeding in growing in Christ, therefore, Satan is working harder at pulling me away.  Therefore, even though I feel defeated, I am winning. I get to call this a win in my book because I can now see what has happened to me and I can watch for more of this in the future as Satan tries to pull me down.

From the Book of Ether this week, I learned that the right way will always be to heed to counsel of our prophets.  According to “True to the Faith” prophets are “men called to speak for the Lord” and that “they make known God’s will.”  In Doctrine and Covenants 21:5 we read regarding prophets “For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” This is the Lord telling us to listen to the counsel of the prophets, for what they speak is from Him.  How many times have I heard the living prophet speak and then take notes, but not apply his direction into my life?  I don’t know.  I really have only watched/attended General Conference for a couple of years, but that should be enough.

What jumps to my mind is the recent talk by President Thomas S Monson to rescue our brother and sisters.  How many sheep are there that could be counted in the fold if they but turn their lives over to Christ?  How many of us have family members living in the same house or even across the world that are struggling, yet are stubborn as Coriantumr was?  My answer and learned lesson for the week is this: hope and faith.  Hope leads to faith and by having hope for these sheep, we can show them our faith.  With our faith, we can pray for them and offer to pray with them that they may return to or come into the fold of the Jesus Christ.  I have a new calling that hasn’t been announced yet at church, so I won’t go into too  much detail here, but this is just fitting for me this week.  I will have a hand in the rescuing the lost and helping them with comfort and care.  I needed to know this week how very important the one is to our Heavenly Father, and it doesn’t matter if that one is me, one of my family members, or the person begging on the corner.  The one that is lost may apply to anyone and I need to have my heart in tune with Him in order to help as I have been called.

I am so grateful for the lessons this week and the understanding of how important it is to heed the counsel of our prophets, both of old and modern.  I am grateful for my understanding of The Plan of Salvation and for my part in His work.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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3 Nephi, Uncategorized

3 Nephi 30

Two posts in one day, say it isn’t so… It is so.  Because I said so, and I’m the mom, that’s why.  (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself there.)  This last chapter of 3 Nephi is for everyone, please read…. as I will directly quote it and that is all I will have to say.  Follow His Counsel Brothers and Sisters of the world.  Walk that pathway that will lead you to His kingdom for the eternities.

3 Nephi 30

“Hearken, O ye Gentiles, and hear the words of Jesus Christ, the Son of the loving God, which he hath commanded me that I should speak concerning you, for behold he commandeth me that I should write, saying: Turn , all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings, of your lyings and deceivings, and of your whoredoms, and of your secret abominations, and your idolatries, and of your murders, and your priestcrafts, and your envyings, and your strifes, and from all your wickedness and abominations, and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins, and be filled with the Holy Ghost, that ye may be numbered with my people who are of the house of Israel.”

I do pray that each of you is able to hearken to this counsel from our Savior.  Turn to Him and be at peace knowing that you will be with Him forever. In his sacred name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Uncategorized

3 Nephi 2

Ok, some more flag phrases.  19 verses, let’s go and see what we can learn in this chapter.  

Verse 1: “And it came to pass” that the 95th year of the reign of judges passed away.  People had forgotten about the signs, even the ones that they had seen for themselves and because of this, they had become hard in their hearts and not even believe that the signs and miracles happened.   Can you see yourself seeing an angel from heaven and then at some point in your life completely disbelieve what you had seen with your eyes?  

Satan had possession of the hearts of these men and in verse 3 we see “that it came to pass” that the people became very wicked and causing more wickedness in the land.  

We learn on verse 7 that Jesus Christ is now 9 years old and others remained in wickedness and the Gadianton robbers were filling the land.  And because there were so many people living in wickedness, yet he righteous Lamanites and Nephites came together for the protection of their families and to maintain their rights of worship, freedom and liberties.  

When Jesus Christ was 13 years old (remember when he was 12 that he was in the temple) that the Nephites were threatened with complete destruction because of a horrible war that had occurred.  In the next year, the Nephites were able to overcome the robbers to some degree and drove the robbers back into the mountains and this ended the 15th year of the life of Jesus Christ.  

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

And on a side note, I apologize for no pictures and short posts as I am traveling and just trying to get through the these chapters!  

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Uncategorized

3 Nephi 1

This week we are supposed to be focusing on looking for flag phrases in the scriptures as we study.  There are almost a billion different flag phrases to find, but as we look for them, and stop to see why they are in the scriptures, we can better understand what it is that Heavenly Father wants us to know.  

 

Ok…. So I’m traveling this week and am on a new set-up… I am trying to become more portable, and at this point, I think that it’s cool, but I just somehow managed to lose an entire 600+ word post that says that it was auto-saved.  

And since that happened and I have several more posts to get through, I’m going to say this. 

Jesus Christ was born.  The Lamanites and the Nephites believed on Him.  God talked to Nephi.  Many people were baptized and others dissented a few years down the road and went out into the secret places with the Gadianton robbers.  Those that left made the hearts of the righteous and faithful mourn.  

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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Helaman, Uncategorized

Helaman 1

This week we are starting the Book of Helaman and will be working with the setting study skill.  With the setting study skill, not only should we be asking where, but also when and also to remember that where doesn’t have to be geographical.  Where can be personal, for instance; where is someone in their life.  Keep these in mind as we set out to learn this week.

We are still reading about war times, and in the beginning of the 40th year of the reign of judges, the Nephites were having some internal conflict.  Pahoran, the chief judge that was good friends with Moroni passed away and he had many sons.  The conflict that was going about was as to which one of three of his sons would take the judgement seat in his place.  His son Pahoran, Paanchi or his son Pacumeni?  It came about that there was a vote among the people and Pahoran was chosen to take the judgement seat.  Pahoran’s brother Pacumeni lost the vote and joined in with the majority vote and supported Pahoran.  Paanchi, however, was pretty upset over the issue and used flattering words to rise up in rebellion.  It ended up that he was tried for treason and sentenced to death.

Paanchi’s supporters, hired a man named Kishkumen to assassinate Pahoran.  When Pahoran was killed, his servants chased after Kishkumen, but they couldn’t catch him and he was off scott free.  Pacumeni then took the judgement seat in his brothers absence.

The following year, the Lamanites gathered together a large army heavily armed and shielded and came to battle against the Nephites.  The leader of this Lamanite army was named Coraintumr and he was a descendant of Zarahemla and a dissenter of the Nephites.  Because of all the ruckus in Zarahemla with assassination and such, there was little attention paid to the security of the city and the Lamanites marched right in and took the city killing anyone that stood to defend it.  Pacumeni tried to flee, but was killed by Coraintumr.

Coriantumr was lifted in his pride of taking over Zarahemla so easily and swiftly that he immediately left the city to head towards Bountiful to try and overtake this city as well.  His tactic was to overtake the populous areas where the armies were weak.  Moronihah, leader of the Nephite army, however, saw what he was doing and sent in Lehi and his army from one direction and he came with his army from another and they had the Lamanite army surrounded and they had a great battle in which Coriantumr died.  Moronihah overtook the Lamanite army and then marched back and retook the city of Zarahemla.

And this ends the first chapter in the Book of Helaman.  As far as setting….place yourself in the midst of this civil unrest and tumult.  Can you see yourself witnessing the assassination of your leader and the guilty party escaping with no consequence?  Can you imagine yourself as a parent of small children in a large city that is in a state of unrest?  Can you see yourself in Moronihah’s shoes and be in a situation where you are left to be the only leader to defend your nation, as your nation is leaderless?

Think on it.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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