This past week my husband and I both read the Elder Holland talk that was given to BYU faculty. He is the ABM and I am PM. It was super interesting.
There was much we agreed on. There was much we did not agree on. I purposely leave out the substance of the talk but want to talk about the discussions we have in our mixed faith marriages around church, leadership, authority, doctrine and BYU, among other things.
My husband and I are both graduates of BYU – Provo. We are both a parent to an child who identifies as LGBTQIA+. We are both in a mixed faith marriage. There is much to discuss.
I hear from many clients that one of the most painful losses they face in a mixed faith marriage is the loss of a spiritual connection. The loss of being able to really talk about church and religion.
I am not going to claim that we did a PERFECT job of discussing this talk. (I am afraid, there are times I got a little snarky). But there are a few things we did really well and I want to share one here.
We both were willing to concede the other person had a valid point. I regularly teach in my coaching practice (and get to practice in my marriage) the idea that there is usually some level of truth in what the other one is saying (even if it just a kernel). By acknowledging what they are saying is valid and has truth can avoid so much defensiveness and frustration. This does to mean you agree or that they are 100% right. However this kind of acknowledgement can open the door for softening and further communication. It can prompt us to say things like – “Tell me more,” or “Why is this so important to you,” or “I can see this is really a tender subject for you, I will tread lightly.”
Yes, my husband and I do not agree on Elder Holland’s talk and on a few other things. AND we were able to hear each other’s points and allow them to have those viewpoints AND love each other.
So many people come to me asking for help so they can talk to their spouse about hard things (like this talk). If you need this too, let’s talk. Coaching may be just what you need to take your relationship to the next level.