My married daughter texted me and said mom we just got in a big fight. She explained the situation. My mommy alert went off. Be careful. You are the mother-in-law and we can’t cross that line into their marriage. Advise generally, point her to God, towards her husband, and how she can come up with the answers to the problem. A difficult situation for mom’s. We want to fix and make better, but this isn’t my responsibility to fix.
I encouraged her to piece things out into:
what needed to be taken care of now
what needed to be worked on over time
what was not in our realm to change
The immediate concern was to establish communication again. If they can’t talk at all their marriage was in danger so establishing communication was key. Once they were talking they could start to work through the issue. How mom?
We talked for a while. What does God’s Word say about this situation? She hadn’t thought about that. I am to respect my husband. Yes. Mom he’s wrong. Okay well what is he wrong about? She talked through the issue. She looked at it from his point of view and came to an understanding that she too would react the way he did. So what is the problem then?
The problem is I don’t like it when he tells me what to do. I don’t like anything that says I can’t do what I want. As her mother I already knew this about her. Try raising a passive aggressive girl who will never speak her opinion. Now this poor guy is getting it. You are married. You don’t get to do what you want to do. You must come to a compromise on things like this. Wow mom you are right. I had been waiting over 25 years to hear that. haha.
I still don’t like the way he overreacts, causes drama, and makes serious ultimatums when we fight. It’s so unattractive. It’s funny at this moment she should be understanding every fight her mom and dad had. Well this is something that needs to be worked on over time. Now is not the time to try to fix something like this. If you try he will feel like you are attacking him.
We can’t fix people. It’s not our job. His habit of overreacting and causing drama in his life will take time to fix and we weren’t given the power to fix it. We can demonstrate how to react and we can impact peoples lives, but we cannot fix them. You need to work on you and pray for Him. If you get an opportunity after this fight is resolved to talk about these things then go ahead, but remember God changes people we don’t.
The next day she texted me saying she is struggling. Mom, I don’t even know what I see in him. He was so unattractive. I was thinking why did I marry him. These are natural things to think. This is why marriage is hard and why commitment is key. I have thought similar things about my husband, but we can’t act on feelings. This will pass and if you are committed to him this will help you grow and love him even more.
What’s not in our realm to control.
My daughter and her husband worked this fight out. She called me and said that she now feels ready to go back to church. I didn’t ask how they resolved it, or what the outcome was. I don’t have a need to know. It’s not good for my mom soul to know so I didn’t ask.
What’s important is that they are working it out. My daughter is seeing the importance of God and how His absence in their life is hurting them. They both have a long way to go before they make Him a priority in their lives, but a seed has been planted.
We can’t fix people. When we have arguments we must prioritize. What needs fixed now, what needs fixed over time, and what is not in my realm to control. We must also remember that feelings are not an indicator of action. Commitment is. We have all felt like walking away before, or most of us have. See how awesome God is to work in situations like these.
Learning and growing through my Joseph journey. I hope you are learning and growing through yours.