Oct. 20, 2020

Season 1 Ep.20 // Nothing Endures but Change!

Season 1 Ep.20 // Nothing Endures but Change!

In this week's podcast, we discuss some strategies to use if one person in the marriage is unwilling to change.  We break apart some common attitudes of the unwilling, and discuss our own experience with this struggle. 

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Transcript
Bryan:

This is episode 19 of the amplified marriage podcast. Today. We're talking about change, nothing endures, but change Welcome to another episode of amplified marriage. I am Brian I'm Natalie. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing. As you heard us say before, grab a coffee, grab a tea, get comfy. We are so glad that we get to have a chat with you today. In case you missed last week's episode, we talked about COVID i hashtag. Yeah. In distress, we discussed five ways to handle stress and handle that stress together. So in case you missed that and go back and take a listen this week, we are talking all about actually it's another episode on, on change, and we're want to talk about what happens if one partner changes and one doesn't. If one partner and one spouse is doing all the changing in there, they're really digging deep. You've been there going to be accountable with someone in there, working through all of their issues and they want the marriage to work desperately with their spouse, but the spouse is just doing it. Everything possible to not change. What are you doing? We want to give you today. Some strategies, tips, some of, some insight into our own story, because I was very much that guy. They didn't want to change. And so we're going to start with just a few, a few things that can possibly damage that relationship,

Natalie:

right? If you don't trust your spouse's ability to change, would you recognize and believe it when it happens?

Bryan:

So I can ask this confidently now, after being married for such a long time, you heard our story just a few episodes ago, but. In that time were the two and a half years. And then finally I had that epiphany moment and I went into the bathroom one way, angry, bitter, frustrated, eyes glazed over and not really engaged to turn around a come out and everything was changed in the eyes. Did you immediately think, Oh, well, I'm going to believe everything he's saying to me from now

Natalie:

on upper case N upper case.

Bryan:

No. Wow, good thing. You're a, you do math

Natalie:

and,

Bryan:

and I think some of the reasons were just some of my lack of follow through my lack of keeping the promises. You could never see anything changing. What were some of the reasons you didn't trust me? I

Natalie:

think up until that point, there was really nothing that you gave me because marriage is give and take. Right? So what you were doling out was just a pack of lies. Honestly,

Bryan:

like not, not everything or like, you know, I was going to bring home McDonald's I brought home McDonald's I wasn't a pack of lies.

Natalie:

Okay. But, but that's, that's just glazing over. That's like a practice.

Bryan:

Oh, you're talking about like the, the

Natalie:

talking about the deep stuff,

Bryan:

the deep stuff. Well, we're talking

Natalie:

about our communication or a lack of communication or the issues that were really going on in our marriage. We're trying to even. figure out what those issues were. Right. That's what I'm referring to when it was just a pack of lies because it didn't matter. Now I know that you, in the previous episodes you have said, Oh, she'll probably disagree, but I was pretty much the schmuck. and I do disagree because even,

Bryan:

even though you're wrong, you disagree,

Natalie:

even though

Bryan:

she, how she has moved past that listeners.

Natalie:

Wouldn't. No one wants to be the one that has the issue, right? Because it's embarrassing. It can be humiliating. I certainly don't like to be wrong. so it takes a lot of humility to lay down the pride. Of being right or the need to be right in order for me to be able to work on me. And so even though it took longer, it took many more years before that became a reality for me, what my part was.

Bryan:

How many years into the marriage?

Natalie:

Well, if I believe, no, no, no, no. It was probably the 10 year Mark,

Bryan:

10, 10 or 12 year Mark, somewhere around

Natalie:

there.

Bryan:

But it was like two and a half years of like, everything was good and we were dating and then we get married and everything goes downhill. We are, you don't trust me. You don't believe anything. I'm saying you don't think I can change because I and Hinton here's some of the reasons why, and even this topic tonight actually comes from someone's. I'm heart is right now. It's just struggling in relationship and it's not, we have, we have talk to so many couples coach, so many couples through this particular thing, whereas I'm doing all this to invest into the relationship and nothing has changed. What do I do? This comes from a place of, we have been there. I was that guy. And so in that two and a half years, I didn't keep promises. I said all the right things. Oh, you're right. I do need to change. That's right. All right. Yeah, let's do that together. You know what? You're right. Let's do devotions. You're right. We should pray more. And, and I can tell you now we've been married for 19 years. And because we didn't establish some of those patterns at the beginning, we pray together now, like, and it's been, it's been a long time that we've done that, but we don't pray as much as we want to, or maybe sometimes as much as we should. Right. Because we didn't build the pattern or the discipline early on, because instead of me leading the household, I was doing what I wanted to do and was just be a selfish jerk

Natalie:

face. Right. And then, because I was out of control. I'm in my own emotions. Right. I really strove to, like, if you're not going to lead, then I'm going to lead. Right. And then created a whole, slew of issues and manipulations and things like that. In order for me to get you to realize the need to change your behavior. Yeah. So I wasn't really concerned about a heart change at that point. I was more concerned about. Your behavior is stinky and it needs to change and needs to change. So what

Bryan:

you're saying is you suck and I want you to not be sucky. Right. And

Natalie:

really

Bryan:

that's, that's what I heard. You said that I heard you suck. It's fine. I can get over it. I'm over it now. But I mean like, what are some of the reasons like the things that we even wrote down as we were preparing for this, some of the design didn't affect us, but the thing is, is that as you. You spend two and a half years like we did, or any length of time, maybe it's 10 years, maybe it's 15 years. And you're like, man, I really love this person, but I'm just struggling as you, you work these things out and as you, you look back, we look back, every, Unfulfilled promise unfulfilled statement, unfulfilled or emotional trust was broken. Spiritual trust was broken. It all just compounded on each other and nothing ever got right.

Natalie:

That's right. And it took a long time. So from the moment that you walked out of the bathroom, my heart as your wife, wanted to believe. Right, because I could see visibly on your face

Bryan:

that something shifted

Natalie:

something shifts. Right. Except I thought, well, he is, he is a great, illusionist.

Bryan:

Well, cause no one knew we had any marriage problems. So we were really good.

Natalie:

Right. And so I was like, what kind of game do you think you're pulling here? And you expect that I'm going to believe that you went in that way. And I watched you, I watched how you carried yourself and you come out seemingly the man that I married. And the man that I dated, what have you done with the other husband that just was here?

Bryan:

Whereas the other trades, I

Natalie:

mean, it was really, it really pulled the rug. Right. And I thought you were really trying to pull the wool over my eyes, but I'm smarter than that. I said to myself, so I really put you through the gamut. Yeah. And I purposefully. I don't know how to say this. I didn't poke the bear, but I.

Bryan:

You, you

Natalie:

tested,

Bryan:

tested the waters

Natalie:

to put you through the ringer

Bryan:

to see like, is he actually

Natalie:

changed?

Bryan:

It is, it is in some things I succeeded at and some things I failed at. And I remember the failures because you would lay a strip into me. We remember what you said a few months ago, you said you were going to change and this hasn't changed. And I would be like, you're right. But that's what you had heard for so long. Oh, you're right. And I'm going to do my best to change. And after walking out of the bathroom and really saying like, I really do want to change some things really did shift immediately. There were some really our relationship started to improve communication, changed how I approached you was less aggressive,

Natalie:

but even like the physical touch

Bryan:

that took a while

Natalie:

that took a while that took a long time where I'm like, I don't know. Where, because you had behaved a certain way. Yeah. The thought of your attender caress, let's say made a sound so awful to say it now, but it really made my skin crawl. Okay. I w I was like, you're not, I will not be vulnerable in this area. When you have stomped squashed, crushed it. You've put it through the ringer. There is no way that you think I'm going to spawned to you in kind when I think you're just putting on a show.

Bryan:

Yeah. Because you don't want the relationship to end. Right, or I don't want the relationship to end. So I'm just saying the right things and do it

Natalie:

right, right, right. Like how convenient. Yeah. We're

Bryan:

already at the end of, in the middle of this or near the end of December, just to be like, I'm done with this guy. This has been two and a half years of, of like abuse, emotional abuse. It's been, it's been terrible and you were ready to just be like, okay, I'm finished and I didn't want to go see counseling. I didn't want anything. And if you're listening to this today and, and some of the things that I'm saying are hitting you. And this is the relationship that you have. It could be some of the things I said, it could be lack of promises or I'm saying all or your husband or your wife is saying all the right things about change, but it could be all kinds of things. Maybe you're not making time there or the spouse isn't making time for you or the kids, or they're maybe they're emotionally or physically abusive. If they're physically abusive, please get help. Get out of there. If there's physically abusive, there's there's shelters. There's people that can help you. Maybe they're frequently unfaithful.

Natalie:

Or emotionally unfaithful that's equally as traumatized.

Bryan:

Yeah, absolutely. Maybe they have addictions, maybe it's drinking or gambling or drugs or whatever it is. Maybe it's addiction to bows and arrows or that the addiction we always assume is substance, but there could be addiction to video games. You remember food? Do you remember that statistic? We read with two years ago when Fortnite came out. That in the United Kingdom, there was a 5% increase, increase in divorces because of fortnight. It's crazy statistic, but that's, that's a half. Maybe your, you can't hold a job down. He says he can. And he just, or she, whoever it is and the relationship, they can't hold the job down. Maybe the one of them spending too much money. Yeah. And the thing is, is if your spouse won't change. Or they're unwilling to improve your marriage.

Natalie:

You're going to end well,

Bryan:

it won't end well, and you really could just spend the next 15 or 20 years just being miserable. Right. And we don't want that for you. That's not our desire. it, isn't easy to cope with this, so those things, but one thing we have learned, I think this is where we really want to get into the nitty gritty. Is it, you can't change your

Natalie:

spouse. Spouse oh, that's so hard because I wanted nothing more than to change you. But. Let's say that something I had said really was like that catalyst that changed your heart, then who would the glory go to the glory? Wouldn't go to God for doing a miraculous work in our marriage and in my heart and in your heart, it would go to me, which is never a good thing.

Bryan:

Is there anything that you said that even did remotely strike a chord was either brought up anger or it was just phys-ed in my ears. Cause I want to hear what you had to say anyway.

Natalie:

Yeah, that's true. And it was it theirs. It was laced with poison, right? So you can change your spouse. That is really difficult to come to terms with. It was difficult for me. It took 10 years for me to get that reality check. And, I w I remember sitting on the couch in our home up North, and I remember, I don't know if I had a thought or I was just thinking about. The previous 10 years or whatnot, but it was in that moment of contemplation of whatever we had all of our children at that point that I really felt the Lord speak to my heart. You do not esteem your husband. Now I'm putting inflection on that. It was not in a chastising way. It was a very soft. Almost like a whisper.

Bryan:

If it wasn't a chastising way, would you have been willing to listen to what God was saying? No.

Natalie:

And the Lord knows that. So I hear

Bryan:

whenever I do that, you don't listen to anything. Right.

Natalie:

And who would I hear you? Didn't esteem your husband sidebar. I was so,

Bryan:

so what you're saying is, is that you can't change your spouse. But where you're getting to, as the Lord was saying, you have to work on you because there's something in you that's having

Natalie:

that's all right. Now, for whatever reason,

Bryan:

can you break it down for us?

Natalie:

Yes. So esteem at your husband. I was so choked. I was literally angry. So I looked up the definition of the word esteem. And as I began to read the definition of esteem and then all of the. Synonyms that go with that word. So respect honor cherish. the more I began to read the, I didn't become more angry. I became tearful because it was that moment where for me, the reality hit the fan of my part. That I had to play in the breakdown of the communication.

Bryan:

So just hold that thought before you move on. Can I go back to two and a half years? We nothing really

Natalie:

worked. Nothing, worked,

Bryan:

nothing worked communication. Didn't work, sex didn't work. True. Traveling didn't work being in the same place didn't work. Nope. So in that time, I didn't give you any reason to.

Natalie:

No,

Bryan:

but it was not until year 10,

Natalie:

but I made a choice not

Bryan:

to esteem you, but you didn't realize that you made that choice until year 10 when it was like a soft, still voice saying, Hey, you don't esteem your husband. I haven't given you any reason to esteem, to cherish, to love in those two and a half years. But after when things started to change, More and more things are like, man, he really does love me. He cares for me. He's taken care of me. I'm stable with him. And, and relationships started to improve. Then there's times where I am a steaming you, right. Or a, you are, I am, I'm giving you reason to honor me and to esteem me and to, to give me the respect. So now that's happening, but you're choosing to not esteem me, even though I've given you a reason to. Is that, would that be,

Natalie:

Oh, I see what you mean. That may have been part of it, but I really feel as though it was a direct conversation in regards to the past,

Bryan:

like the two and a half years.

Natalie:

Yes. Because I did esteem you. I thought in that time, I think that's probably why I got so ticked off was because of my, how dare, like the Holy spirit. Say that to me that I don't esteem my. But if I'm taking a real hard, honest look at my heart, which this is the whole catalyst to change, am I willing to look at those ugly places within my own heart?

Bryan:

So what you're saying is I'm, this is, this is fantastic. Is what you're saying is, is that the wounds that we can experience in her life, if not dealt with, will travel with us and the baggage becomes unbearable and it can compound on top of each other. Like realistically, had you not dealt with this later in that relationship, there could have been another time where he was so tumultuous. Yeah. The relationship was again at a stressful time, because I remember you writing me that email. You remember that email, it's like four pages long of all of these, expectations that she had for me. And, and some of them, I would say 95% of them were unachievable. And the other 95% of it, like almost all of it was things I didn't even know that she had expectations with me, but because she had such a deep wound, like, am I saying this right? Yeah. It's such a deep wound. You weren't communicating those expectations with me, even though I was giving you reason to be esteemed or to honor me and esteem me. You were had that wall of wound and pain from the two and a half years.

Natalie:

And it's the lens with which I saw everything that you did good or not was through that lens. Wow. so it took a long time to come up with all of those pages of, and it was, and maybe this might be a help to some of you. I numbered them and it wasn't one of, one of my biggest pet peeves is someone who apologizes in generalizations.

Bryan:

I'm sorry, but

Natalie:

I'm not, not necessary. Well, that's another thing, but I'm sorry for whatever I may have said today, then I'm like, are you referring to the thing you said at eight or eight 20 or nine o'clock like, which, which specific incident are you referring to? I believe in specifics. I want you to know exactly what I am sorry for. And so sometimes you have to, you have to swallow the humility pill and you have to really get truthful with yourself. And for me, that starting point was really coming to a place where I could acknowledge, even though it was raw and ugly. And who, I mean, when you, you weren't expecting four pages of notes,

Bryan:

But I remember the conversation after the email, because you wanted to talk about it,

Natalie:

right.

Bryan:

Par for the course for you. But, I think the. The conversation that we had afterwards, it was kind of a really good friend of mine says this all the time. It's like, again, it's a fire hose to the face. Like just, it was like a fire hose. I'm like, Holy, I didn't realize that there were so many unspoken expectations. And again, if you haven't listened to one of their very first episodes,

Natalie:

Oh, that was just a touch on to unmet expectations. Our whole podcast could be just on unmet expectations.

Bryan:

Right. If you go back and listen to that one, but man, the 95 and it was from like legitimately, we had an epiphany at two and a half years, or I had an epiphany. You had an epiphany at 10 years in, and then those two moments, I'm like, there's a quote that my son sent me today. He said, nothing in except change, nothing endures, but change. Yep. No matter what change is always happening. And so we had two times and probably if you like smaller times.

Natalie:

Yeah. But those were like two major or

Bryan:

two life changing moments of submission to what God was doing in our hearts and God was doing in her life. And that was, that was regarding our marriage. There's been tons of those little moments where God's kind of shifted our career or our children, how we approach our kids or how we approach people. But in our marriage, we've had these couple big. Earth shaking things where it was like, whoops, we're repaired and healed and God, and we asked for forgiveness for, from each other. And we walked through those things. This is like, this is an interesting conversation to have, like I'm having some, this is really good. This is really good.

Natalie:

Right. And then it was only when I started to focus on the areas. In my own heart that were wounded and needed healing. And some of those areas I didn't do in real life that were issues that were issues. I really started. I was at that place when I, when my eyes were open to the fact that I don't respect you 10 years in it, I really felt I felt guilty. And that was my own self feeling. Guilty. It like you didn't project that onto me. At all. I just that wall that it just crumbled. Yeah. And in that place of absolute brokenness, could I then come to terms with what was really going on? only at that point, could I begin to love you without conditions?

Bryan:

Right. Wow. That's like an epiphany moment for us,

Natalie:

right? So, one might say, well, what. What were some of the ones on your list? It was like, I am sorry that I stole leadership from you because I felt like you weren't adequate as a leader. So that's just one of the things. I didn't want it to be, let's just skim the surface of like, well, I'm sorry that you know about the toilet seat or about the lawn mowing in our previous podcasts. Yeah. Those were on there, but I really wanted to get to the nitty gritty root of, of the things that I had expectations of. And I, and as I was writing and it just, it was like a flood gate. I kept praying and I was like, Lord, what else? Because I want to be an open or an open book. I want to be a clean slate and it starts with acknowledging my

Bryan:

right. And it's like, and it's the wounds that you may be carrying, even from previous relationships, from divorce of your parents, from , just deaths in the family from all of those wounds can actually carry consequences if not properly dealt with. And we didn't realize that

Natalie:

counseling was such a taboo topic. Right. I mean, nobody was talking about you certainly didn't tell anyone you were going to counseling and it's so ridiculous in hindsight now because we're advocates for counseling. Yeah. We've been to counseling. Yeah,

Bryan:

and mentored by married couples,

Natalie:

right? Like counsel doesn't have to be sitting in, you know, on the couch, in a psychiatrist's office. Although that is a huge part of it too. godly council can come from your pastor or come from, a trustful friend that you had. Right, right. Yep. but we were never meant to walk issues in life alone. Right. And as soon as there's marital issues, the tendency is to just isolate because it's empty.

Bryan:

Yeah. And you don't want people to know that they're having problems.

Natalie:

And so we're advocates for, if you are in a place where you're struggling and you've tried, let's say you've everything we've talked about thus far. You're like been there, done that. I've read the books and this and that. It might be time to have that conversation about professional counseling. Yeah.

Bryan:

And

Natalie:

there's nothing wrong with it.

Bryan:

Well, the reason that we, we say very specifically, you can't change your spouse and there's a few reasons for it and we've touched on some of them, but here just as a kind of a, you can't, there's that saying in the world? The world always says this or society says this, you can't teach an old dog new tricks,

Natalie:

right? Tiger. Can't change the stripes.

Bryan:

All baloney. It's a hundred percent a mindset that you have if you're willing to change. And the reason that you focus on yourself, these because you can, you can control you. You can control your anger, you can control what comes out of your mouth. You can control your. Your behaviors, how you respond, the patterns that you have, it's a choice that you make, but you can never control the other person. And so here's just a few reasons why you can't, you can't change your spouse. It's really just disrespectful. It's not a respectful position to take in that relationship, because what you're saying is that, when you're trying to change them, you're saying to them, you're not enough,

Natalie:

right. It breaks down their self esteem, you hurt their feelings. It's demeaning. And I remember, so we talk about me not respecting you and that whole thing, how it emasculated you because

Bryan:

I don't, I don't think in the moment I think I just wasn't emotionally aware enough in the moment that was emasculating.

Natalie:

Right. Taking a cognitive look back. It really did. Like, my words were laced with poison.

Bryan:

Yeah. You're really good at that.

Natalie:

The thing was like, if I can just, it wasn't, I wasn't necessarily, after a heart change or I certainly should have been after a heart change, I was more willing to tolerate a behavior change. In that moment. Cause I'm like, I just need something tangible. So,

Bryan:

So, because you couldn't see things happening, you were like, man, just give me a beat.

Natalie:

I'll just settle for a behavior change. Right. And that so many of us fall into that trap where, we just settled, but God wants so much more. I wanted more. I just didn't realize, Hey, like if you settle for behaviors, short change yourself.

Bryan:

Just like, what's that saying from Henry cloud that, you get what you tolerate and at the beginning you really tolerated a lot. And thank goodness we did wouldn't have had that grace or that mercy. We still probably wouldn't be here today,

Natalie:

it's

Bryan:

disrespectful. It belittles the, your spouse when you try and force them to change without looking at you

Natalie:

and even. Even though your, your behaviors and your thoughts and your actions and words were disrespectful towards me. I'm so remind back towards

Bryan:

yeah. Two wrongs don't make a rush straight.

Natalie:

It is always a two way street, whether or not, I mean, you know, there are times where you're like, well, what was 95% my fault and then 5% hers. And I say it was. A hundred percent my fault and a hundred percent your fault, because whether we want to admit it or not both parties, it takes two to tango.

Bryan:

Well, I was really only willing to take 95% of that. I don't remember sent, but, you know, thanks for changing the whole story. Right.

Natalie:

But it's disrespectful for me to project all of my feelings about you onto you in order to just get a behavior modification. I wanted more. and then, and then to do it in that attitude without taking a hard, good look, you know, that saying where it's like, Oh, if you point at someone you've got three pink fingers pointing back at you, it's that whole, you know, take the plank out of your own eye before I attempt to take the speck out of yours. And you really have to model that when you're dealing with change.

Bryan:

In a relationship

Natalie:

in a relationship, right? Like you can't, it's not just the other person.

Bryan:

That's really good. It creates an emotional distance. My pastor always says distance creates distortion. Personal growth is really fantastic. It has to be. And it, it focuses on your bad habits, your issues, your false thoughts you have about yourself and things that you can work on. Changing your behaviors and patterns for your spouse. Isn't always a bad thing. But the problem with that is, is if I'm changing for Natalie, I'm changing for her and not changing for me.

Natalie:

That's right.

Bryan:

And you want,

Natalie:

you're short changing yourself.

Bryan:

It w I want that distance that we had to be closer because I'm working on me. Not because I'm doing it for her, even though she may have tolerated a behavior change at the moment, she really wanted a heart transformation

Natalie:

within myself and

Bryan:

yeah. Right deep down.

Natalie:

Okay. For you too. But it wasn't working with the methods I was trying. Yeah. And so I was at the end of my rope. And finally at that moment was the moment where I was in a position where I could listen. Right.

Bryan:

And again, it comes down to the, if you constantly trying to change me and forcing me to behavioral change, it's because you're telling me I'm not good enough. And that that's what, that's what you're projecting onto me. You're not good enough. The next one is you wouldn't accept it.

Natalie:

Heaven's now.

Bryan:

So let's try this. Let's do a role reversal. How would you feel if your partner was constantly telling you that you need to

Natalie:

change? I probably punch you in the

Bryan:

face grade, in the grade and the nose.

Natalie:

And I mean, part of our podcast is being real and raw and vulnerable. I would not put up. With anyone now I did put up with a lot, but, but I've never, if you, but I don't ever recall you being like, you're always nagging me, even though I probably was, you know, you just didn't respond. Right.

Bryan:

Yep. Right.

Natalie:

And so, so, you responded with everything I wanted to hear. There just was never anything beyond that. That's right,

Bryan:

right. That's that's very, very true.

Natalie:

Anyone else coming in and telling me, like, let me tell you what's wrong with you and this is wrong and that's wrong and you need to do this and you should have done that. And I

Bryan:

probably haven't

Natalie:

no, but I'm just saying like a role reversal, like, because we just don't do that with each other, but. If someone else did that, I, well, I'd have a good cry first and then I'd probably want to retaliate

Bryan:

truthfully. And, and here's the truth. You can do everything you want to try and change your spells. You are never going to be satisfied. Nope, never. You will do everything. You're going to leave them feeling that they're not worthy. They're unlovely that then you're going to be emotionally drained and emotionally. Exhausted. If you keep trying to change them. And you're never, even if they do change, you're never going to be satisfied with the amount that they change because you set the bar for them instead of letting them set the bar for them.

Natalie:

So let me ask you this. Is it a partnership or is it a project?

Bryan:

Yeah. Did you marry me? Cause you won. I was a

Natalie:

project, right? I can fix you or vice versa.

Bryan:

Okay. If that's the case and you married for a project.

Natalie:

Well, that's not a, that's not a reason to get married, but if you find yourself in that position again, like counselors are there for a reason.

Bryan:

Absolutely. And there's, you can, it's like, like a prearranged marriage, attitude, I guess. Like you're marrying someone. You don't really know you're writing them for a reason. Cause someone told you, you had to, you think this is a project that's get

Natalie:

married or you had sex before marriage. And then now you feel like you have to

Bryan:

yeah, yeah. Or they got pregnant or anything like that. Now you feel like you're obligated to be with that person. Or they're a project that's not necessarily the way you want to go. But if you did find yourself in that position, you can love them. Like you can, Oh

Natalie:

God.

Bryan:

Your whole situation could change.

Natalie:

Your whole situation can change in a moment. It really can. it just might require a little more work.

Bryan:

Yeah. And in all of this, let's be honest. we have had to have some really difficult conversations. And so today we just want to leave you with a few tips or tricks or strategies for, difficult conversations. So the first one is agreed to set a timeframe to reevaluate how things are going. So you've already had a crucial conversation, right? You've already talked about it. You said, Hey, we got to work on a few things, set a time up to just reevaluate how those things are going.

Natalie:

That's right. One of the things that my counselor had told me was don't engage in a word salad.

Bryan:

What does that even mean?

Natalie:

I think it was one of the most incredible pieces of advice that she gave me whenever there's conflict of any sort. There's a lot of feelings that come into play when I'm discussing conflict, you have to be able to separate the emotions so that I don't end up blaming or being like, well, you made me feel like this and you, blah, blah, blah. Right? So you, you step outside of the emotional, Situation and stick with the facts. Right? So that conversation could look like, let's say you're yelling at me, because of whatever,

Bryan:

as early as yesterday.

Natalie:

Well, one now I have boundaries, right? And so it's unacceptable for anyone to yell at me. And so it sounds really juvenile, but if I approach and be like, you make me, so I'm yelling back at you now because you made me feel like this and that and the other, well, that doesn't justify my reason. It's not okay to yell at anybody. Yeah. Right. So coming at it from a place of, I hear what you're saying. I can hear that your upset.

Bryan:

Yeah.

Natalie:

But if we're not able to sit and have a conversation without yelling, then we're going to have to take a moment, breathe, go grab a coffee or whatever, and come back and reevaluate then. Right. And so it might seem really. Stupid.

Bryan:

So like, was it agreed to set a timeframe to reevaluate how, how it's going be warm and not confrontational? And when you apologize, don't say, I'm sorry, but you just say, I'm sorry.

Natalie:

End of story. I'm sorry for

Bryan:

this

Natalie:

X, Y, and Z,

Bryan:

you take responsibility for your actions, not what the person said to you that forced you to behave in a poor manner. You are in control of your anger, your in control of your feelings.

Natalie:

Answer turns away wrath. And so, or a soft answer turns it turns away wrath and it's so true. Yeah. I find with you and I communicating if I am in a calm place within myself, regardless if I think that I'm right or not, I find the conversation goes a lot further than it would if I just hopped on the jump down your throat bandwagon.

Bryan:

Be willing to discuss the issues, be teachable, be willing and able to discuss those issues. Don't, don't be embarrassed to say that you may need to go to a marriage

Natalie:

counselor.

Bryan:

Don't discuss when you're tired, be fresh and alert when you're, when you're going to have this heart to heart. That's super important. I know I have a friend of mine. Him and his wife won't have any tough discussions after eight o'clock. Cause he's like by then I'm tired and really good. Yeah. Inhibitions are down. Cause I'm tired. I'm anger angry quickly. I don't have the emotional capacity to deal with it. So yeah. Don't discuss when you're tired, refreshed another clarify how the problem is impacting your relationship. How is it impacting your marriage

Natalie:

in clear words,

Bryan:

in clear words, don't lecture and project your issues on the other person. You take responsibility. So don't lecture and project

Natalie:

that's right. Don't Gaslight don't twist the conversation so that. It makes you look good. It makes you look like the victim. It makes you, then not have to take responsibility for your actions. Cause you have put it on someone else. Yeah. Don't be a narcissist. Take accountability. Be responsible for your part.

Bryan:

Identify the problem. Whatever it is, identify it and work on it. Pick a location for the conversation that is free of distractions. Here's the number one tip. Put your phone away, put it on vibrate. Put it off to the side. Natalie will just say to me, Hey, I need your attention. Put your phone on mute. Okay. Done. Stay on the topic. This is really

Natalie:

easy. Just that word, salad,

Bryan:

word salad. This is it really easy for you ladies in particular, maybe some guys there's probably some guys out there. To pick on all of the things that you've done in the past that have offended. You made you mad, the reason you had an argument. I don't remember a lot of those things now, Natalie does, but she's learned that, Hey, we're not talking about what happened a month ago. We're talking about the issue right now. Stay on the topic, pick the topic cause you identify what it was, stay on it. Next one is talk about what you want in your relationship. Not about what you don't

Natalie:

want. That's right.

Bryan:

It's it's like, what are you for as opposed to, what are you against? What are you for in this relationship? Are you for each other, right? Are you for misery

Natalie:

to work? Like when we signed up, when we signed the marriage certificate, what, what did that mean? Like, it meant something. Yeah. Right. So, what do we want, we want to be. Good role models. We want to thrive in marriage, not just survive it. Right. We want to, we want our kids to look at our marriage and that be the catalyst for them wanting to get married. Right. Right. I mean, our kids see marriage is not easy. We disagree, but they see us work through that disagreement. sometimes we get it right sometimes. That's right.

Bryan:

And, I'll let you read this next one.

Natalie:

I just thought that this was a great dialogue, in dealing with issues. So you could say we disagree a lot. And it's causing a disconnection between us

Bryan:

and, and tone

Natalie:

and how you

Bryan:

approach this is not like we just agree on everything and it's causing a disconnection, like cleanse through clenched teeth angrily.

Natalie:

I have to, I always say Jesus, my face because every myriad of emotion goes across my face. My eyes are super expressive. And so I have to, in order to have neutral face it, I really need. To tap into the power of the Holy spirit, because in my own flesh, it's not going to happen. Right. All right. So we disagree a lot and it's causing a disconnection between us. That's why I would like for us. So in this case, they're going to seek out some couples therapy. I love you, and I care about us, but I need help in learning how to communicate with you better. I would love to try counseling with you.

Bryan:

That's a really low key. Nonhostile not aggressive way of saying, look, I love you. I want to be with you. I want this to work. How can we,

Natalie:

you're not saying this is what I can't stand about you and now want to go to counseling. Right? That's not going to have the desired effect because you know, there's a fear that, that comes with going to counseling, where it's going to be like you with the issue and the counselor. Banding together and forming an Alliance to pick on the spouse rate. And I hope to God that your counselor isn't doing that. Right. right. Because they should be able to be objective and call you both out on the things that you need.

Bryan:

Yeah. This has been a really great conversation. Did, is there anything else you want to add?

Natalie:

Not that I can think of at the moment.

Bryan:

Fantastic.

Natalie:

Another story I probably could go on and on and on, but you're asking me on the spot.

Bryan:

How, how jerk face I was when we were early married

Natalie:

both of us.

Bryan:

Well, this has been a really great conversation that we've had been eyeopening. If we're gonna leave these strategies in our show notes, so you can get them in the transcript. If

Natalie:

you

Bryan:

to have something

Natalie:

you want to say, and I will not say. who ask the question, but this was a question that was, brought to our attention of what do you do when one spouse wants to change, but the other one doesn't. So thank you for that question. because it really gave us, I mean, this podcast came out of that question. So if you have any other questions, please send them our way.

Bryan:

And if you like our podcast and we know that you do share it and means a lot to us when you share it and let people know about amplified marriage, you can follow us on Instagram and Facebook. If you do want to just comment or something you do I disagree with, or you really agree with, I have a question or a topic that you would love to hear our thoughts on. You can email us@amplifiedmarriageatgmail.com. As you've heard us say before, if we believe that your marriage can be reset. Refreshed charged and restored. Thank you so much for listening.

Natalie:

Talk to you soon.