I have heard from my clients that if feels like they are walking on eggshells when it comes to talking about religion in their marriage. I know I have experienced this myself.
If seems like certain topics are not on the table, unless you want a confrontation or to alienate your spouse. It feels like a tenuous truce that may snap at any time if the wrong thing is said or in the wrong way. It is just safer to not say anything at all.
At the same time not talking about it is almost just as painful as talking about it. – What are they thinking? I really need to hash this out. Do they hate me? Did I mess this up?
What to do if you are smack in the middle of the walking on eggshell phase of your mixed faith marriage?
-Accept this is what your marriage is like today. Often we think our marriage should be a perpetual honeymoon. We should be always be passionately in love. Why? This often causes us so much frustration when we have normal days or normal periods of life when things are just normal. Or even worse when things are challenging we KNOW something is wrong with our marriage. What if it was just the hard part of a still good marriage? (Even really good marriages have hard parts, really hard parts).
– Listen. Often we really want to talk in this phase, We want them to get us and hear us and validate us. What if you got some courage gathered together and asked them what was going on and then just listened and really sought to understand without judgment and without fear. This can be challenging as it feels like what they are saying directly impacts you and your happiness. Just take a breath and listen to them. You can worry about the worries later.
– Decide to offer love no matter what. The eggshell period is full of perceived rejections and a general lack of reaching out. We withdraw and amor up and do not reach out to connect. It probably feels very risky to reach out. What if you were to do it anyway? What if you were to reach from courage and reach at again and again, even in the face of rejection? Notice if you are pulling back and hunkering down and reach out instead.
Are you in the eggshell period? Don’t know what to do? Maybe it feels like you might be here forever? We must talk – I can help. There is no need to be in your own marriage purgatory, there is a way through. I have been there and I know there is a way out.