Emotions: friend or enemy?

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It has been 10 years since I won my husband’s heart back to me, and I wonder if my brain will ever recover from my previous habit of feeling totally disconnected from him when he does wrong again.  I mean, the other day, he bought a broom and my emotions reverted back to fear, anger, and disconnect like used to be my constant companion 10  years ago before the content of my life that I started this blog writing about.

Emotions….are they friend or enemy?  Well, depends.  They can help us feel compassion for hurting people, or excitement, or happiness at God’s wondrous creation, or valid worry that helps us or our loved ones be safer.  But there are times when I feel that my emotions are my enemy, making my life more difficult for no good reason.

The reason I got all in a funk about the broom is that I had recently banned brooms from inside the house because the kids just refused to put it away neatly in the closet, refused to always dustpan and throw out the junk swept up, and refused to clean off the bunch of hair off the bristles.  I can only deal with so much training of the children.  They and I both get overwhelmed if there is too much of that going on at once, so I banned the broom and since it was very old and gross anyway with a partially flattened handle, I broke it and threw it out to emphasize my authority over housecleaning done my way as the manager of the home, entrusted by my husband to manage things here while he is away at work.  My authority in the kids’ eyes has been lacking for several reasons, of course one has been in years past my husband would actually tell the kids not to obey me sometimes, and let them be lazy instead of doing the chores & school he wanted them to do.  He has been a permissive parent, maybe out of guilt of working too many hours…machine shops are minimum 50 hours, and it’s a long commute too.

I used to beg him to change careers, but no more.  I decided to support his interests and he likes this job very much, and he excels at it.  So very recently I asked for the authority I need while he is away to get the kids to help around the house enough.  We have a very active hobby farm and garden with greenhouse, and they have a zillion animals, just bought a young show diary cow Saturday to make this a “real” farm now.  So the kids just have to help cook & clean & mow & landscape etc to earn their animals’ expenses.  I take care of my husband’s horse too, even though I am scared of horses, and have good reason to be scared of this young one.

Anyway, my husband now wants to support my mothering, but didn’t used to.  And when he bought the broom to have cleaner floors in the house, knowing that I had already banned brooms, I thought he was canceling my authority over the homemaking with the kids and I mistakenly let my emotions run away with me.  His usual former reactions to my requests & complaints trained me to fear telling him anything, but then again I had to anyway because he would be so angry with the kids’ laziness THAT HE ENCOURAGED.  Made me crazy.  Now I tell him that I just want to help him with his goals for his children and that something he did just made it harder to reach that goal.  I tell him that he needs them to respect my rules for housekeeping, and that buying that broom was just like telling them to ignore my rules & ideas for housekeeping, ruining my authority in their eyes.

I wish I had stayed calm when I found that broom and the kids told me they warned him at the store to not buy it and he bought it anyway.   I forgot to “pray without ceasing” and I panicked.  My emotions were not helping me in this situation.  They were my enemy, not my friend.  Compassion for my husband wasn’t part of this emotional set.  It should have been.  A day went by before I thought hard about truth, about truly why he bought the broom…..he wanted reasonably clean floors and I had neglected that duty.  I knew he had this preference before, but neglected to just do the work myself if the kids wouldn’t.  So when I brought up the broom/authority-with-the-kids problem, and included his desire for daily clean floors, he admitted he preferred the vacuum floor cleaning instead of the broom, but the broom is faster, so thought we’d do that daily.  What he didn’t understand and that I explained, was that I delay vacuuming until the kids pick up their messes, but they ususally don’t so the vacuuming doesn’t get done.  I emphasized that they need to think of me as the boss when he’s not home, so they will pick up their messes, and that he can help them think of me as HIS helper rather than just mom.  When he tells them to clean up, they usually do, and they NEED to think of me as Dad’s voice when he’s not home.  This is a work in progress.  All these years, he didn’t realize how he was hindering his own goals for his family and finances which irritated him so much.  He blamed me.  I blamed him.  And we almost got divorced over it.  Now I tell him I want to be a good news wife, and I need authority to help him with his goals, so he is now trying to learn new habits to help me help him.  My job is to stay calm and do what I can, and gently make requests or tell bad news instead of letting my emotions run amok and ruin our progress of teamwork we are learning.

We both come from broken homes, so never learned good couple teamwork.  We learned how to be highly emotional and distant instead.  I am shocked by how easily my emotions go off the deep end, rather than just being like our early relationship days when closeness and hope was still there during a bad day.  I am scared by how my emotions feel after even a small incident of misunderstanding, like we are totally disconnected like the near divorce situation 10 years ago.  My brain must be damaged, emotions trained to the extremes.  I don’t trust them much anymore.  I will sit there feeling no positive feelings for my husband, knowing in my mind that we will be adoring each other in a few hours or a day or two.   I guess when we were at odds for 4-6 weeks at a time before, those emotions cut grooves in my brain that are hard to repair.  I should put up reminder posts around the house that emotions can blind and not to trust them exclusively, and sometimes not at all….that I can be happy in times of testing of my love, remind myself to think mostly of what is good, which will get my emotions back on track once more.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

2 Corinthians 10:5  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth:…

1 Thessalonians 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

So going forward, I will try to be patient with my husband learning new habits of teamwork with me.  He is trying to help me help him with his goals, but old habits do die hard, and I need to stop assuming he has given up on teamwork with me, and assume he’s just having a habit relapse he didn’t mean to do.  Less words is better, and a hugging smile, when reminding him he went against his words about teamwork with me.  Emotions have killed pilots, when emotions have conflicted with the instruments and emotions were trusted instead, one pilot felt he was right side up even though the instruments said he was flying upside down.  He pulled up and into the ground and met his Maker and ruined a perfectly good plane.  The Bible is our instrument panel for love & teamwork.  I pray that I pray and read the Bible ASAP when my emotions get fired up again.  I want to be first and foremost an ambassador for Christ, not just a good wife, mother, and homemaker, and farmer.   I want my reactions to difficulties to make people curious about how I handle things way better than before, better than most people. Sometimes I do, and it is worth the work to increase the rate of amazing positive reactions to really bad situations.  We have to retrain our brains, looking forward to the day when we will be set free from temptations.

Romans 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 5:1-6  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 6:16-23  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Obeying emotions usually leads to drama.  Obeying Jesus leads to peace & joy.   It will help me to post the verse about being thankful for troubles.  There are various good reasons to be thankful for troubles or being mistreated or inconvenienced.  I so need daily reminder of those reasons.  They are truly motivating toward controlling emotions to be reasonable instead of relationship & peace destroying.   It truly is an honor to get to love like God, as much as we can in this limited body of flesh.  I am glad my husband wasn’t home when I found the broom, but I wish I hadn’t sent him the email to work about it.  I really need to just send only necessary emails to him at work and nothing corrective that could wait until I was happy and peaceful about it and in person, in good timing for him, when I was in a hugging mood, full of the Spirit instead of full of my selfish idolatrous emotions.  It is not my husband’s job to make me happy.  That is idolatry, thinking I’m a wreck emotionally because of him and he could fix it by doing what I prefer or know is better.

I’ve told him before that I now consider everything good he does as a gift, not what I need, and everything bad is less punishment than I deserve which is Hell.  And then I act like I forgot all about that and get all worried and angry and critical of him in an emotional way.  Dang.  Start over.  I’ll be sure to apologize to him for being emotional about the broom.  He knows I battle emotionalism.  He knows I’m trying to be patient with his issues as well.  The more I am patient with his issues, the more patient he is with mine, but I have to be careful to not expect his patience with me, but be thankful if he is, and thankful if he isn’t.

Philippians 4:4-9  Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

I post on this blog more to teach myself how to think better and better, but if this helps anyone, I’d be interested to know at WinsomeWife@aol.com

 

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