Lori and I ate lunch out today, and I’m very excited to say I didn’t finish my whole meal.
Why is that exciting? Because I had it drilled into me as a kid that you ate every last bit of food on your plate. (Yes, starving children were mentioned, and yes, I got in trouble for suggesting we mail the rest of my meal to said children.) I understand my mom grew up during The Great Depression, but why is it sane to teach children to keep eating when they’re no longer hungry?
Still, I learned the lesson well and I haven’t left food on my plate in decades. Why was today different? I’m very serious about losing a lot of weight this year, and eating more calories when I was comfortably full didn’t seem like a good plan. Even so, it was a struggle to put down my fork and push the plate away.
What does this have to do with marriage?
I was taught something wrong as a child, and I kept doing it for more than three decades. What we learn as children can be so automatic we do not even consider doing it any other way. If someone suggests we do it a different way we reject their idea as wrong or bad. If we try to do it another way we find it difficult.
What in your life has been so set in your mind that you do it without thinking? Are any of those things a bit less absolute and correct as you were taught? Are any of those hurting or limiting your marriage?
What about her?
Of course, your wife may have the same kind of thing going on. I think some sexual issues are directly or indirectly a result of this kind of wrong childhood learning.
Dealing with such issues is exceptionally difficult because you’re asking her to change something she sees as foundational. Just telling her she’s wrong is only going to reinforce her thinking. The way to see change is to find reasons for her to reconsider her thinking. I was pushed to rethink because I really want to lose weight. What could cause your wife to rethink things she sees as fundamental?