Rhonda called frustrated that she and her husband do not want to be around each other at all. “When we don’t talk to each other, it feels tolerable. But any time we talk, we get into an argument that usually ends in yelling. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
Like many couples who have called us for a full day Marriage Intensive, Terry and Rhonda had fell into a negative pattern of interacting. They were stuck in a cycle of relationship death.
When we met, Terry said, “I am a quarterback. I call the plays. I call the audibles. I lead my team to victory. “ At the heart of his contribution to the problems in the marriage was a life dream and world view that was killing his marriage.
A world view is a philosophy of conceptualizing the world. It is the movie playing in your head about your world. It is based upon every interaction with every person in your life and forms, usually in the first five or six years, within your interactions with parents, siblings, family and friends.
The movie playing in your head is slightly modified by new experiences. But most new experiences are filtered to only take into your mind the aspects of your experience that fit your world view. It is as if you have on sun glasses that taint your ability to fully see the colors around you. So you look at the world and see it more green than it is in reality.
Terry had a world view that people in his world should follow him. He is the leader and the best decision maker. In order for his team to be successful, they need to follow him.
Dreams are decisions around identity that we made early in life, usually during the teen years. You experienced a difficult break up or watched your family fall apart and you made a decision that that would never happen to you. So now your dream is that you do not trust.
Perhaps you experienced controlling parenting and you made a decision to never allow anyone to ever control you again. So now you automatically push back against any perception that anyone is attempting to tell you what to do.
Or perhaps you are like Terry, and made a decision that in any group of people, you know what to do better than anyone else. Terry was a highly successful record setting high school athlete. He also played in college a few years, although he struggled with his grades and never crossed the finish line with a degree. His identity, formed primarily during his teen years, was that he was the quarterback. All of who he is and all of what he does is tied into that dream.
When Dreams and World View Hurt Your Marriage
Frequently, dreams and world view can become a problem in marriage. Your spouse’s dreams and world view do not match yours. You are living out of them and so is your spouse. So conflict arises in almost every marriage at some point as they collide.
An example is conflict around cleanliness. She has a world view that the home should be a place she can be proud of. She grew up in lower middle class home where space was limited. Family members rarely picked up after themselves so her house was always messy. She was too embarrassed to ever have anyone over to see her home. She made an agreement that the home would always be neat and clean.
His was different. He grew up in an environment where he felt like the furniture and other possessions were more important than him and his siblings. He made a decision that he would never put things above his children.
So when she tells the children to pick up their shoes and other items out of the living room, he pushes back telling her that it is ok for the living room to be lived in. And the conflict continues.
What To Do About World View and Dreams In Your Marriage
- Discover Your Spouse’s World View and Dreams – When there is conflict between you and your spouse, give them room to speak not only what they want but also why that it so important to them. Your curious and open approach will help them tell the movie playing in their head about the issue and why it is so important. It is rarely what you think.
- Have the Courageous Conversation – Invite your spouse to a Courageous Conversation about your relationship. Use the courageous conversation rules. Use a time out if things get emotional and come back to the conversation when you have both soothed yourselves.
- Pray – Pray together about the issue. Invite God into the conversation with you.
- Accept and Tolerate – You may have an issue that you will not resolve totally. Accept and tolerate their dream and world view and request the same of yours. If it is not a “My way or the highway deal”, it is one you can come to accept and live with.
- Get Help – If you cannot come to resolution and cannot accept your spouse’s world view or dream, it is time to call in a professional. Schedule an appointment with your minister, a Christian marriage counselor or give us a call at 281-949-8115 and let us know you are looking for some help.
What do you have to say?
We love to hear from readers. Have you discovered your spouse’s dreams and world view? How have you handled differences between your world view and your spouse’s world view? Do you have any other suggestions you would add to our list? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.