It is not uncommon you and me to blame our partners for our emotions and and not take responsibility for them. This is pretty typical in a Mormon mixed faith marriage (MFM). Let me give you examples of both and walk you through how this plays out in your MFM.
Blame: when we assign how we feel to what others say or do.
Sometimes we blame our spouse – They refuse to get help, so I can’t help this improve (and must therefor feel bad about my marriage).
Sometimes we blame the church – The church is hurting families with their teaching around MFMs (and must therefore feel bad about my family).
Sometimes we blame ourselves – I can’t believe I let this happen (and must therefore feel bad about what I did to cause this to happened).
Blame is painful. It means someone is WRONG. If someone/something else is wrong you become the victim. If someone causes you pain it means we are powerless over your emotional experience. If you are wrong it may cause you to hide and withdraw. Either way blame usually causes you to stop showing up in your marriage in helpful or powerful ways.
You are often reactive in blame, you throw tantrums or you feel stuck.
Responsibility : when you take ownership for your thoughts, feelings and actions.
Taking responsibility means you get to decide how you feel. You can choose to be angry or sad or whatever, you see it as our choice. You understand emotions happens because of what you are telling yourself about a circumstance not because of the circumstance. You recognize that others cannot get in our body and cause emotions those are caused by what you think about others, church or yourself.
This matters because having ownership gives you authority and control. It gives you the power to change things if you want.
Change (or at least deliberate, conscious change) can only happy from a place of responsibility NEVER from a place of blame.
Where are you blaming in your MFM?
Where are you taking responsibly for your thoughts, feelings and actions?
When I was able to get really honest with myself and see that I was responsible for how I was showing up in my MFM, then I was able to start to decide to do things differently.
Here is an example-
Many blame the church for putting families in tough positions and teaching that a faith transition is a problem and something disruptive to the family and marriage.
By blaming the church you focus on things you cannot change . (Neither you or I can change the church and what is said in sacrament meeting or general conference.) All your energy and strength is consumed trying to change somethings you cannot change.
When you take responsibility for how you are showing up in your marriage then you have power to change and improve things. Responsibility prompts questions like – How I am disrupting my marriage (an I hiding or withdrawing)? How am I believing that a faith transition is disruptive and negative (am I feeling like a victim and acting like one?). This kind of ownership creates empowerment and helps to find solutions that cannot be seen from a place of blame.
Sometimes we cannot see what we are doing. We are too deep in our own stuff. It can make a huge difference to get some outside perspective and help us see when we are blaming and not taking responsibility. If you are ready to take a look and get really honest.
Coaching is powerful and transformative if you are ready to step into responsibility. I am here to help.