Feb 4, 2020
Brian Mayer talks about how an increase in disagreements and
arguing can often be a result of some voices from your
childhood. Feeling like you don’t measure up to your spouse
or that your spouse does not care often will be magnified because
someone in your past either said these things or made you feel this
way. We will talk about this and what to do about it.
We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and
additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com
- Have you noticed an increase in arguments with your spouse over
seemingly small and insignificant issues? You both cover the
same ground over and over again without getting anywhere.
- If this is you then you are not alone. This happens to
most if not all couples. It can especially happen in a
remarriage, because you have much more life experience and issues
you have been through.
- It happens to my wife and me in our relationship. In fact
the main reason, we choose to do this episode is because we had a
whopper of an argument over something so seemingly small. But
when we investigated further when we were in a more calm space we
discovered something very interesting.
- My wife and I discovered, as she would say things to me in the
argument like “I guess I am to blame, I am no good, I don’t measure
up, I need to change, It’s all my fault” that these words were not
fully coming from me.
- Then I in turn said things like, “I guess you don’t care, You
don’t see my hurt, I’m not the priority” and the list goes
on. The more I dug and processed through where this was
coming from I also discovered my wife was not saying these things
- We can often say things like this is how you made me
feel. And certainly this is not to dismiss when we are being
attacked or talked down to of course. Words and interactions
with our spouse can certainly hurt.
- However, when we are saying things like “you made me feel” this
can come from a place in your past.
- It might come from a past spouse that actually said things to
you like you are no good or you are worthless. The more
things like this are said the more it can cause us to really start
to believe these things about ourselves.
- Returning back to my wife and I and the argument we had over
this past weekend, we really did discover that each of us have some
voices from the past that played a role in what
- The issue started innocently enough. We were at a
restaurant and finishing up our meal. I said I need to use
the restroom. She said, “can’t you just wait until we get
home.” She detected a stern tone and I also detected an edge
to her response. And from there we were off to the
races. We argued a bit about the issue then the argument
- I started to ask her to speak differently. She took that
as I was trying to tell her how to speak. I explained that I
was not trying to tell her how to speak but more explaining how it
helps me. She continued to state that it felt like she was
being how to speak and from there it was “I guess I am the problem
in this relationship” and I responded with “I guess you just don’t
care about me.”
- The next day when we were a bit more calm we started to process
through what happened. I would love to tell you that it went
smoothly. It did not. We began to swirl about 3 or 4
times over the same ground. I don’t know about my wife but I
could feel the anger inside my body starting to well up
again. Because it was a slightly more calm space, I was able
to more quickly came myself but it was as if waves kept coming and
going along the shore.
- We were not really getting anywhere until I said something
like, “When you say things like, you don’t think I measure up to
you,” I said those words are not coming from me. I asked her
where those words in her head came from.
- She then proceeded to tell me that growing up she would often
be told she couldn’t do certain things. She specifically told
me when it came to choosing a career, she had several areas in
mind. But she was often told there were reasons why she
should not pursue certain careers.
- She began to then think very small. Those thoughts about
doing something safe with her career began to seep into who she
was. So in turn she started to think somewhat small of
herself. And thus the sprouting of where this view of herself
- For me, I grew up in a split house. My parents divorced
around the time I was about 2 years old. The relationship
from then on between my parents was very contentious. They
spent a lot of time arguing about finances and time. Then
things boiled over at the time I was around 13. I won’t go
into the story here in great detail because it was take some time,
but needless to say that was the last time I would see my father
for maybe 7-8 years.
- Before this happened and after, I began to feel that I was a
bit invisible. My parents to me felt more concerned to
concentrate on their feelings toward each other than on me.
So in the most formative time of my life I did not have a father
and I distinctly remembering on occasion if my mother would like to
play a board game or some cards and I was mostly told that she was
- I then began to feel that “no one cares about me” or that “I am
not the priority” or “does anyone see me or hear me.” And
thus the sprouting of some ill feelings about myself.
- So as you can see, when one person who doesn’t feel like they
measure meets someone that feels like the other does not care it
can often fuel silly little surface arguments.
- So what should you do about this? I don’t have a list of
things for you to consider or do like I usually do, but it is very
simple. When things are calm, I want you to process through a
past argument and try to determine what the voices in your head or
saying to you about yourself and then work to understand where
those came from.
- If you can do this, then in your next argument you start to
realize that it is not necessarily things your spouse is saying to
you but more about what others have said to you.
- This will take some time and some stops and starts to get where
you need to be, but it should help.
Thanks For Listening!
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grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it
is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are
binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in
about a minute! Take care.