Our spouses play many important roles in our lives. They can be our best friend or biggest advocate, our most painful button pusher, or all three.
A faith transition can cause a lot of very strong feelings to come up about our spouse. We may find ourselves super angry, frustrated, upset, annoyed, and ultimately judgmental about what they are saying or doing (or not saying or not doing).
Let me teach you about the Mirror Effect.
When you are most judgmental, most frustrated, most annoyed about about your spouse it is almost always showing you what in yourself you are most critical of or most ashamed of about. They mirror for you what you don’t like about yourself. This is why you can get so emotionally charged over an incident, look or phrase.
The opposite is true too. When you LOVE their generosity, kindness or compassion, that is probably something you love about yourself. When you love how they take care of their health – you probably like how you are taking care of your health. When you love how they are parenting you probably like how you are parenting.
It feels so personal because it is personal. It is really about you and your most painful thoughts you have about yourself.
Let me give an example:
When I am super annoyed with how my husband is interacting with the kids. I am probably ashamed of an interaction I have had with them.
If I am scared of him brainwashing them about religion. I am probably not proud of some conversations I have had with them about religion.
When I am angry that he won’t try to understand me, I am also angry that I won’t try to understand myself or him.
When I feel judged by him about my choices, I am probably judging my choices.
Your spouse is your best teacher (kids are pretty good too). They can show you where you are imperfect humans.
You can hate them for this. You can be upset. You can disconnect from them but you still have to live with yourself and someone else will show you these things (kids for example). You cannot escape yourself.
Next time you are super charged about something. Take a deeper look. What is really gong on here. Where are they right? What are they mirroring about me?
You can use your own inadequacies to tear apart your mixed faith marriage or you can use them to have more compassion for yourself and your spouse and learn from each other. Your choice.
Need help with this? One on one coaching can transform how you show up in your marriage. Reach out to me and let’s set up a free call to talk.