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Understanding Your Spouse's Emotions (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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May 25, 2021 6:00 am

Understanding Your Spouse's Emotions (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 25, 2021 6:00 am

Drs. David and Jan Stoop discuss the concept of emotional intelligence‚ and the ability to understand your emotions, as well as your spouse's. The Stoops explain how bettering that understanding can help you improve and strengthen your marriage. (Part 2 of 2)

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Ken spends a lot of time away from home working on the pipeline in Alaska, but our podcast has become his wife, one on the family help my marriage by leaps and bounds so much meat and potatoes. Think about people's ground, ground I Jim Daly together we can bring real hope to marriages like kids gift families.

She may come to then say go crazy and I say no I'm still mad to see what I am and she would pray by time she was and praying my heart of soffit that I that's the late Dr. David stupid and working be hearing more from him again today on Focus on the Family along with his wife, Dr. chance hostess focus president and author Jim Daly I'm John Fuller, John something I find fascinating is the Bible is full of emotion and emotional people just read a couple of pages from the book of Psalms, you'll see displays of frustration, grief, anger, and joy that God gave us feelings for reason. But although it's not good to suppress our emotions. We also can't let our feelings harden our hearts or control us. Last time we shared a great conversation about how God wired us emotionally and how we need to understand what our guests called the DEP basic emotional posture and from there we can trace our feelings back to their original source and use that to figure out why we say things we regret to our spouse. Because let's be honest, we've all done that at one time or another except for you right.I have gone at least an hour without saying something. I regretted to my one hours pretty good and that's why I'm really glad that we're having this conversation again with David and Jan stooped to help me improve my question without score I should do so well in the last program so I've got lots to learn. Now we all have a lot to learn. John so let's dive back in and share the second half of our conversation with the students and if you missed part one or you'd like to take that free emotional intelligence assessment. The smart live assessment stop by the episode notes. You'll find a link there and as I mentioned last time Jan stooped as a counselor and leader of marriage, retreats, and she did that for many many years with her husband, the late Dr. David stooped together, they wrote the book the emotionally healthy marriage growing closer by understanding each other.

It was previously titled, smart, loving you might hear that in the program today. We've course do have that book at our website. Here's the second part of the conversation first appeared in a number of years ago on Focus on the Family last time we talked about the smart acronym you mentioned these emotions DEP that we briefly talked about. Let's recap for folks very quickly.

The smart acronym and your DEP what are smart and the S stands for self aware of my own emotions and I gotta be aware of what I'm feeling, at least after the fact is a beginning point and then in the midst of it so that I can grab hold of it into management in the am, as you say okay lately so you're all say you're saying that my husband doesn't understand is no self-awareness. Although I know there is this the rest. The laggard is quick to point your finger at him.

Three others pointing back is the essence of smart and him him is to manage my emotions.

I don't want to be controlled by them. I want to be able to control my emotions. Okay, healthy way. A is accountability I'm being accountable to myself on being accountable to my spouse and being accountable to other couples and I think that's extremely important that we have other couples in our lives that know us and pray for us and share with us and care for us it's a good thing to do. Okay so we got small spot.

R&R is reading the other person reading your spouse now in the ocean I'm resonating with this and I think this might be my weak link there any harder than I was at a low, low point in your chart. I'll have to back to my test note what we have Jean on the line that's reading your spouse motion their emotions okay to be there with me.

I mean, this is not something word there is to build empathy. I can understand feeling is a good thing. Neither the ire of the T are easy to do, but they become easier as you develop the skills of the S and the M okay so it kind of flows together like a river means little more momentum. So what's the TT is together in the land of emotions with more comfortable with each other emotionally to be in that world when you when you look at people and I know you do this. Therapeutically you have them write down if I'm remembering this correctly. What is it that is the perfect marriage, what, when you look five years out.

And if all the negative stuff could be taken out.

What is it look like five years from now, three years from now 155 years from now and then and then later boil down to three years and then one year and becomes a goalsetting process, but the initial assignment is just dream five years. Meet me on the beach.

I haven't seen you for a while. You tell me of a perfect marriage and I don't believe it. So tell me why it's perfect for you and what do people say that's what I say all the things that they wanted when they got married. You tell me what I want to be known by my partner I want have a comfortable life and time together. We always talk we traveled together we do things together and all the things in every couple wants to have in their marriage. That's like I want to get in the focus on those again and then I say undocumented do that in five years what would you have to be doing by three years.

What we have to do them by next year to get ready to ready for that Ryan will come back to that is I want to fill those boxes and that I wanted people to have a taste of what your goal is no. It's interesting is the couples do it separately write their answer separately and then they share them and the one thing always say the same thing is just a different order right. Interesting.

Interesting. So let's get to the manage the M of smart managing your emotions. Why is this war going on in our brains between the emotional part of us in the rational part of the schedule. If you think about it, who doesn't want that better marriage.

Yeah. Not perfect marriage but all the attributes you just talked about. It would be rational for us to aim for that so we wouldn't use anger toward our house or shame whenever our rational brain is often is subject to the emotional brain yet scary is and that's scary because we haven't and managing my emotions means I gotta develop my rational side of my brain when we been wounded as kids when we been with adopted a basic emotional posture of anger or fear or shame or sadness that's giving precedence to the emotional brain you give power to give power to NED power. The rational brain so you gotta activate the rational brain so there's there's a language for each of those four negative emotions in the language of anger is I should.

You should or you shouldn't or you should try.

Shouldn't the demand that I make on the situation so I semi-cut you off the freeway and we we get angry because they shouldn't of done that while they already did it so it's irrational so II want I should just go right in my week session here to write you money know that's exactly right now. What else can be done so the guy yeah and that is sometimes semi-cut you off and you don't even notice it because your mind is somewhere else in your thinking of something else automatically consecrate everyone.

Yeah the language of fear is what if and what if this happened, what if that happens, and always say if you know what if the negative you have to.

What if the positive because only God controls the future, you can't control the future by what anything it so you're talking about the possibility of the deal falling through well, you gotta say with but what if deals stays together and succeeds yeah yeah what if both sides yet. And then they in the language of shame and sadness is the same is if only if only this had in the living and the regrets constantly. The Lancet just keeps going. So if you can identify the language of the emotion begin to manage the language like a woman who was so angry that chart the my door frame as she walked in the office and I I gave her an assignment to make a list of all the things she was angry about. I said get in a nap by 11 sheet sheet make three columns in the first column lists all the things you're angry about what she came up with 27 pages 26 Saturdays hating she's angry.

I feel sorry no wonder I score to sign walking the door and I said now in the middle when you gotta get all it. What are the demands you're making and that's the language she uses, so she says well when I come. When you come home from work and had a pretty high level job and you see the table set. The candles are lit, the kids are in bed. You should know I want some time with you said you get up from the dinner and say thanks and go to the office and continue working.

So that's the should ask the should. Then I said, third column, you gotta restated as the desires and wishes.

I want I want to spend some time with me and he's over here making notes.

Said will probably never thought of it and I want to pull you into that because again the language between male and female can be as different as Chinese is from English. That's right you. How does he teach young women and women of play just to better communicate with your husband that don't speak their language. Yeah, but that thing of changing the language to that once her desires into mind blower about how that is heard by your mate in a big part of what the women really really struggle with his criticism so we we had that thing that we can turn anything into a critical skill message shame part, women do more than men. It's been proven that John and me okay that I can have that is because they want things to change, and correct their data using that time Dick ordered to hopefully about change right so that's the language of shame with that fair right Riley, R anger to what is at language of shame soundly in the mirror just role-play a little bit for us.

What is that sound like between Shannon O initiative are net short position on the other shirt now anything I say that they can be critical. Can negative same is so you say to me sometimes come downstairs even wear that shirt and I and I think well I went to put it on if I was going to print this email and remind you you told me to tell you when things that that's what you criticism is always an indirect way to ask for something, and if she had said to me you should wear that shirt with those pants.

They don't go together. I say okay because I was a clear statement so there's a shaming in and there's a trigger point for anger for the this statement and even aware that it was I thinking you think I'm stupid. I don't know how to push her dwelling.

What's sad is these little paper cuts is what derails a marriage so it's not necessarily the thing, whatever that might be, but it's this kind of stuff constantly and many of them there are critical remarks they rightly think Mandingo so that way you ladies to become ill and will you be critical and sharpen menus and they live in.

The seminar will say he's the one that the criticism that because I can't live up to his demand that it's difficult that women are fighting there fighting it every way, to try to figure out how Kenley hacking me get the kind of relationship we really want without ever having to demand so I take away the demands we covered the DS and the M and L.

Gotta get to the a of smart is accountability.

Yeah so what is accountability look like tonight say a word there that we over the years we were part of that group of couples mostly lived in the bay area far from where we are and up but we get together twice a year, but they were our prayer group and they what are you sponsors when we and where youth pastor first and a large church up in that at this San Francisco area that anyway they became our accountability group so art we had a lot of prayer accountability with each other and there were 10 of us so we named ourselves that tenant that somebody. At that that to be accountable to other couples is a magnificent way to work out this to we get together for a long weekend someplace uniquely wait-and-see here in time we were in the beach in different places but always on the weekend. There was a time of sharing and the guys dreaded to know that we didn't and so be our turn to share with the other four couples and we would talk about what was going on in our lives what was going on in our kids. They pray our son into sobriety and prayed us through that time and it was just a time of accountability with each other and then next day what somebody else what Sharon would pray for them. We do that through book club, Jean and I we have five couples in the book. Yeah.

Really. The books have become less significant than being together yeah absolutely likely that they better, but his life every couples gotta have that kind of context as Christian couples we need that kind support and that's accountable. But being accountable to each other and being an open book to each other is a lot of men in our area that their wives don't know the slightest idea how they stand financially. The man wants it that way that's counterproductive that's being unaccountable for the lack of trust so I can trust at least a lack of trust but into failure is accountability and accountability maybe has some negative feelings to and from how you grew up with. The only way you can have a solid marriage that lasts into old age is to be accountable to each other in love, and of course you're talking to a couple who has been married 60 years so you know what you're talking about. And there's something great about growing old together.

Yeah, yeah, I totally agree with that and I do want though in this accountability area for ladies.

I think wives struggle here because accountability can be wrapped in fear. You know that my dear I don't know what my husband's thinking. I don't know what my husband's really doing you can put that into the context of the works late at night and you can spin yourself into a whole lot of emotions that may or may not be accurate. You know that intuition begins to develop. How does a woman whose feeling that way I'm not connected with my my husband.

This accountability area, but not to come across with the assumptions that you're doing something wrong or that you done something wrong and you come at that accountability in a way that's not constructive. Yeah I will, I would think. I don't know if someone worried about that has a girlfriend or whatever bit that to begin to trust whether the trust really feels like real but I am going to trust you. I am going to ask you things and I expect you to answer, but in the midst of it. The thing that keeps coming to my mind is the praying together. If there's even a smidgen of hope that that Heilman is willing to even listen to you, pray, and then you hold hands or something like that.

That praying together for Dave and I since we began what 50 Hz sicko 450 but anyway we never missed a day. Even when he's traveling for use with the mission needs to travel and to some really strange countries, not strange place on different countries and he would get a phone somehow and we always touch base and said this starts to build the trust that talking about here. That's good that you know they may not be able to get there has been an on that level we we did a book years ago and when couples pray together and it's out of print. Unfortunately, we did a survey of the couples who agreed to do it because we get a commitment from them to do for six weeks and IA says if you do something for four weeks. It becomes a habit. We figure with spiritual warfare will make it six weeks and the one lady wrote back and she said my husband will pray with me. He's not a believer but he's he said I'll let you hold me and you pray yeah and so she was, they would hug each other and she would pray for them as a couple and that I always have thought that that was the beginning of something I was going to use in a powerful way know I like that I think accountability there's something in praying together. That is a gentle accountability that keeps you on course with each other and we had a fight in the evening and we we pray at night when you go to bed. She might come to bed and say go pray and I say nope.

I'm still mad. She said well I am and she never you never play your your partner into shame. You she would pray. By the time she was done praying.

My heart is so often that I prayed so there was there was that gentle accountability that regardless of what was going on if we couldn't pray together. We still tried and we still did usually well you should warn those pajamas because those along all that mess this elementary mismatch pajamas. How could you do that I'm not praying with you. Obviously there's some very serious things to couples are struggling with that and that's the goal here to help you do better in your marriage and your communication. That's what it comes down to. Okay, we've got the S and the M and the a and now are going to art.

In this we need a little bit of time here because I think this could be one of the world's greatest deficits and that's reading your spouses or the other person's emotions like that before.

It requires my being aware of my own emotions and being able to manage my emotions because now I'm not threatened by your emotions, and so I can speculate in and a lot of it begins by speculating and there's some action plans and there like looking for emotions in media and talking together about general emotions and getting to understand how you can read what the other person is feeling by things that you've talked about that were neutral. What what is an example where you struggled with reading one another accurately or with deference or you have an example in your 60 years of marriage. Sure, there are many lengthy a lot over the kids and not now you're speaking my language. All we have different opinions of how much we should interfere. Should we not that is very difficult. It is, it's hard to come up with, you know, I know better. I was there I saw that you understand that all this has to do with how we are on it and so we try to get together on at least one point of what we do a thing about when we were dealing with our son's addiction. One of us with these kind and manipulable it would be firm and trying to draw the line and he could every kid in that situation completely against each other exactly rocks away with whatever he wants and what we had to learn was how to read each other's natural tendency but to have talked through enough that we knew that we had to stay on the same page.

We had to be kind and firm at the same time right couldn't divide that number. Let me ask you this in the context of marriage. There were, you have the husband who doesn't display a lot of emotion and you have the wife trying to discern trying to read her. Her mates queuing what you and your loss than that of his. He's not given you a lot of signals within one of the things I tell you lies is oftentimes I define the man is being afraid please hiding he's hiding he's fearful and instead of him rejecting you. He's he's really afraid of what he's experiencing and he's hiding from you.

So if you can operate on that principle that his being motivated by fear, not by rejection. It can change the whole dynamic between you and that's somehow you have to help somebody rightly some empathy so pleasantly people there. Let's say some of the audience just said, yeah, that's the relationship I meant whether the husband or the wife then they unwind that had start tonight. How do they say you sit down after dinner and have and say let's let the dishes go for 10 to 15 minutes and talk a minute I heard this thing on the radio today that kinda suggested a lot of times you don't talk to me because you're hiding your afraid and it goes back to what you learned from it as a kid from your mom and in the way she should disciplined you talk to me about what that was like when you're a kid if I can get him to talk about what he experiences a kid. Jan knows almost everything that happened to me as a kid and I know almost everything that happened to her as a kid with over the years talked about it because it affected our here and now it wasn't locked into the past. It was still operating in the present that they can be hard to have that appetite is the wife to Sam, and I really listen and understand this candidate heart. I would think it could be difficult, especially if you're upset yeah okay yeah blame it on your childhood heard that before.

I'm just role-playing with you because I want to really help people. It's not just blame it on my childhood. It's trying to understand the pattern of behavior that I get caught in without even thinking. And you need to help. I need your help to pull me out of that and then we gotta talk about some ways that I can experience you helping me pull me out of it and keep me talking. We've got to at least touch on TV so we don't end with Smarr was smart but we don't have a lot of times of just one minute together in the land of emotions. The teeth together together and how comfortable are we together in dealing with our emotions. The goal is to become comfortable with a whole range of emotions right that that's that'll be the result of doing.

SMA are so Smarr Smarr well I will do that I will be smart to get the tea so it all builds on itself take place on like that. Not only that, but scripturally that's a great place in this discussion scripturally.

That's what you want.

I think the scriptural version of this is called becoming one flesh right and togetherness. That's what that say coming one emotionally one emotionally so you really are complementing each other and I think putting a smile on the face of God when his design is being made in his image, male and females actually functioning because you are one yeah and that is a beautiful picture of where I would want to be if you're asking the five-year goal fully, maybe that could be done in six months.

I don't know create that plan.

The book even has an outline on how to create that plan where you want to be together. Your spouse has to participate.

Don't create the plan without stop this at such a big disaster and love is the end result in love is never in the list of emotions because love is a different emotion designed to come and stay and grow, where his anger, fear, sadness and shame designed to come and alert you to something and then go away.

It's a symptom is a symptom and love is more than a symptom. The love is a way of life and that's our goal is to increase love while that is a great place and I'm sorry we have to Dr. David stupid Dr. Jan stoops go online book. That's the point.

There so many good resources. The assessment and their I scored 98. It can we move on hundred 20 so I feel like I failed by Murray Sam and myself and I always want to get an a it's just great tools to provide a pathway for you and I want to thank both of you for being here making the trip to Colorado sorry had to leave. Sunny California is not bad like what we trust that you picked up some really good nuggets of truth to apply to your own relationship. Today, and as Jim said if you're finding yourself to be a little frustrated with all this. Maybe it's because it's difficult to tread into this territory and if it helps give us a call and schedule a time for free phone consultation with one of our caring Christian counselors. They can help you get started in understanding all these emotions and really to grow in intimacy in your relationship and will encourage you to get a copy of David and Jan's terrific book the emotionally healthy marriage growing closer by understanding each other and if you can make a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family today will say thanks for joining our support team by sending a copy of this book to your donation goes a long way toward helping couples and families around the world.

So please don't eat.

As you can today. Our number is 880 family 800-232-6459 or stop by the episode notes where we have all the links on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back.

As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. When a woman discovers her husband struggled with pornography. She needs a practical plan. The latest book from Focus on the Family aftershock but professional counselor Joanne Conti will help you through the seven steps of self-care and to learn how to deal with the emotions involved in the discovery of your husband's addiction doing Conti's timeless wisdom. If you hope, even while you're in your whole season of aftershock. Learn more about

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