It’s Time To Get Curious

Hello Friends, March is one of my favorite months for this reason- It is the only month on our yearly calendar that gives us a call to action. March. Oftentimes, it can be scary to take action and assume responsibility for your one precious life. You are not alone my friend. I am so grateful to be in community with you all. We are a sisterhood. We can learn to let go of what we cannot change, AND we can change the things we can. It’s time to get more curious about those. Together, we can trust God. I invite you to take a walk in one another's shoes and March ON!

This Weeks Question:

I am trying to stay well, and learn to love my husband and let go of expectations. However, the choices he is making on how he spends his time and chooses the friends to hang out with are really bothering me. They are unhealthy men. There is a lot of alcohol involved when they spend time together, and it concerns me. Both for their safety and their well-being. I would like to have a conversation with him about this however, Where do I start? Please help me.

Coach LeAnne's Response:

As a Christian woman, navigating a destructive relationship can be one of the most challenging experiences you will ever face. Trying to stay well and love your husband while letting go of expectations can feel like an uphill battle, especially when the choices he makes concern you and are unhealthy. If you are struggling to have a conversation with your husband about his behavior, you are not alone. Here are some tips to help you navigate this difficult situation.

Pray for wisdom and guidance. One of the most powerful tools at your disposal 24/7 is prayer. Ask God to give you wisdom and guidance on how to approach the situation. Pray for your husband's safety and well-being, as well as for your own peace of mind. It is important to remember that God is always with you, and He will never leave you or forsake you. Lean on Him during this difficult time and trust that He will guide you in the right direction.

Approach the conversation with love and respect. When you feel ready to talk to your husband about his behavior, it is important to approach the conversation consciously and well-prepared. Remember that he is your partner, and you want to work together to build a healthier and more connected relationship. Avoid using accusatory language or attacking his character. Instead, focus on the behavior that concerns you and how it is impacting your relationship, his well-being, his behavior, and his character.

“Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” – Ephesians 4:25-27

Use “I’ statements. Using “I” statements can be a powerful way to communicate your feelings without sounding accusatory. For example, instead of saying, “You are always hanging out with your friends and drinking too much,” try saying, “I feel worried when you spend a lot of time with your friends and there is a lot of drinking involved. I want to make sure you are safe and healthy.”

Express your concerns and ask for his perspective. Please don’t hide your heart or silence your voice. It is important to express your concerns to your husband, but it is equally important to listen to his perspective. Get curious. Ask him how he feels about his behavior and his friendships. Try to understand why he enjoys spending time with these friends and what he gets out of it. This can help you find common ground and work together to find a solution. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Set boundaries. If your husband's behavior is impacting your relationship, it may be necessary to set some boundaries. For example, you may need to limit the amount of time you spend with him and these friends. The boundary could sound like this- “I appreciate that you enjoy your friends, I want to honor you and your choices.  I have made a decision that it is not good for me to engage in activities or behaviors that conflict with my values and priorities. I will not join you socially if you and your buddies choose to participate in activities that could lead to overdrinking.”  This boundary is for your emotional well-being, not on or for his social activities. It is important to communicate these boundaries clearly and to stick to them. His response to your requests will give you wonderful feedback as to whether or not he is holding your heart with dignity.

Seek Support. If you are unable to resolve the situation on your own, it may be necessary to seek professional help. A counselor or coach can help you navigate the situation and work together to build a healthier relationship. They can also provide you with tools and strategies for coping with the stress and anxiety that can come with navigating a destructive relationship.

Navigating a destructive relationship is never easy, but as a Christian woman, you have the strength and support of your faith to help you through it. Remember to pray for wisdom and guidance, approach the conversation with love and respect, use “I” statements, express your concerns and ask for his perspective, set boundaries, and seek professional help if necessary. With time and effort, you can build a healthier and happier relationship with yourself, and your God.  Stepping into curiosity and letting go of judgment will help you build a bridge in your relationship.

What will you commit to do this month my friends that honors your desire to MARCH ON into Wholeness in your relationships?

13 Comments

  1. Moon Beam on March 15, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    I imagine you have already mentioned this to him many times in one way or another. You body language speaks too. I wonder if you question is really how do I get him to stop hanging out with a bad crowd and stop drinking? I would ask myself why do I think he is drinking and making poor choices. He obviously enjoys himself. He would stop the behavior if he didn’t like it. I think the reality is that he chooses that over caring for you and your family, right? A good man doesn’t drink to drunkenness. What are you going to do about your situation? Tell him once and only once exactly how you feel. Watch his response. He should apologize, ask how he can change his behavior and stop his selfish ways. If he doesn’t do that, you have your answer. He really doesn’t care how it affects you and dismissing you is a form of abuse. Therefore, it evidence suggests you are in an abusive relationship no amount of 24/7 praying is going to fix that. It will just give you false hope and keep you in the abuse. Set a boundary and uphold the boundary even if it means separation. You can pray just as well outside of the relationship as in it. The difference is you are safe outside of the relationship and unsafe within it.

    • Rose Mead on March 16, 2023 at 10:18 am

      I’m surprised you didn’t address her belief that she’s not to have expectations. This is not biblical. We are to expect good behavior from one another. Otherwise, why would the Bible tell us to be accountable to each other?

      • LeAnne Parsons on March 17, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Good morning Rose,
        Thanks for being here! If expectations keep us moving toward Christ, they are not about self, but what brings glory to God. The two greatest commandments God gives us have to do with loving connection. First with Him, next with others.

    • LeAnne Parsons on March 17, 2023 at 9:25 am

      Moonbeam,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. Safety is always first. Physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, and more.

  2. Caroline Abbott on March 16, 2023 at 8:44 am

    Wow I love your advice LeAnne. Get curious, share your true feelings, be respectful when you talk to him, set boundaries for your own health and seek good counsel. These are all things I tell my clients when they are in a difficult relationship. And Moon Beam, I also appreciate your advice. Sometimes when people prove over time they do not care about us, we need distance from them. The question is, how much time is needed? Each of us must make that choice. It is good to spend time in prayer and feel God’s presence as we make hard life choices.
    https://carolineabbott.com/2019/02/thinking-through-if-when-you-should-leave/

    • LeAnne Parsons on March 17, 2023 at 9:23 am

      Caroline,
      Thanks for sharing your heart and thoughts here. How much time is always a big question. Stay close to God. I believe each person will get the answer to that question. Continuing to build a life with Christ at the center will give us all strength and courage to make the next best choice as we navigate the hills and valleys in every relationship that matters most to us.

  3. Laura Smentek on March 16, 2023 at 7:35 pm

    If drinking is an issue then Al-Anon family groups is an excellent support group that gives you tools to navigate the situation. It’s a safe place to go and confidential. It’s a support group for friends and family members of alcoholics. It helped me tremendously and I didn’t feel alone in it all. It helped me learn to ‘respond and not react’ .., to ‘let go and let God.’ How to ‘ detach with love.’

    • LeAnne Parsons on March 17, 2023 at 9:01 am

      Laura, thank you for sharing. AA is a wonderful resource. As a daughter of an alcoholic growing up, I second that recommendation. Celebrate Recovery is another wonderful group that is available in most areas. We are not alone. There is so much power in Christ as we walk together.

  4. Hoping on March 17, 2023 at 7:48 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I would love to see more blog entries on staying well. e.g. how can one approach shared decision-making (esp. with kids, finances) when there is not a heart of mutuality?

    • LeAnne Parsons on March 17, 2023 at 8:58 am

      Hoping,
      Thank you for your reply and encouragement. Stay tuned. I hear you and will be answering more questions here, including the one you just asked. Until next time, live loved. Because you are.
      Coach LeAnne

  5. Janine McCready on March 17, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    What would a good response be to the accusation that “I statements” are selfish? I’ve tried to explain my thoughts, feelings, perspectives using “I statements,” and my husband thinks they are vey selfish, – I, I me, me …. The result is I feel totally shut down. No communication occurring, no attempt at understanding on his part, and I wrack my brain trying to find other ways to explain so he can understand.

    • R on March 17, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      Sounds like maybe he’s not interested in understanding?

  6. Hope on March 20, 2023 at 11:08 am

    My guess is he’s just trying to shut down the conversation. But assuming he isn’t, how about something like this. “I tell you what I think and feel because it would be very unfair to expect you to read my mind. It’s my responsibility to let you know my thoughts, feelings, needs–and not to expect you to just guess or assume. That wouldn’t make sense and it would be very unloving to put that on you. I wouldn’t want you to expect me to read your mind either.”

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