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Discussion Starter #1
I would welcome any answers that could be backed up with science and communication concepts. My wife and I are big fans of Gottman's books and we are pretty analytical with things.
To the point, my wife has consistently shared things with me that are disturbing to me. A movie she likes, a song she likes, her opinions on large topics (divorce, abortion, sex...).
I understand she is her own person. Her likes and dislikes are not mine and they don't have to be.
I feel uncomfortable when she tells me things she likes because they surprise me. A movie that is dark and disturbing is something she enjoys and I, for some reason, am having a hard time getting over it. The fact that she enjoys something so disturbing to me is very upsetting and I don't know why.
I can accept that she likes some music I don't like, she can like books I don't like. She can even like certain movies I'm not comfortable with. The likes of hers that bother me are the ones that I feel are immoral or unethical. I feel like those are things we should agree on and it hurts me to think that we don't connect on that level.
I asked her not to share things like that anymore as a defense...she felt that it interfered with our intimacy that I didn't want to hear about something she wanted to tell me.
I feel like it wasn't an integral part of who she is, I don't want to be upset, and I want my feelings respected too.
She should be able to tell me anything, right? How can I cope with these feelings that upset me when I hear about something she enjoys that is so disturbing and I feel is morally wrong?
 

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Ok, let me dissect this. You must be a very moral -religious person? and you feel the stuff she is indulging in & enjoys is- sinful, against God somehow? THese are my initial thoughts reading your post.

I am not aware of GOttman's books. Usually analytical people like to discuss things, challenge each others thinking. But she has thrown a kink into that with her seeminly immoral & unethical views.

I can fully understand where your wife is coming from. In fact, if my husband reacted like you are doing, I would not like it at all. I would also feel it would interfere with "intimacy", to be shut down, told you are not comfortable with things she likes- especially if you tell her how immoral she is , it would make her feel judged.

I am awfully curious what these beliefs are that is so disturbing to you? And sex, for a man & a wife in the privacy of their own bedroom, what does she want, a threesome?

Tell me this- how long have you been married ? And didn't you discuss your views on divorce, abortion and sex before you married? Surely not all of this is a surprise to you.

What move is it that is so dark & disturbing? Is it a mindless blood & gore horror flick or is it something that is distrubing but has meaning behind it -like "American History X" ? MY christian son does not want to watch R rated movies, but I encouraged him to watch that to gain a perspective, I felt the message behind the movie was worth some swearing & an Rated R label. He was glad he watched it.

I think all LOVE is conditional. We are taught to love unconditionally, but it that even possible. I am not a proponent of such thinking - What's Wrong with Unconditional Love (Part 1)
 

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You don't have to be religious to have a strong moral code. I think using religion there is a way to say that morality is something bad. If more people were moral there would be fewer people here. Immorality begins in the mind.
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You don't have to be religious to have a strong moral code. I think using religion there is a way to say that morality is something bad. If more people were moral there would be fewer people here. Immorality begins in the mind.
Couldn't agree with you more, I find many outside of the faith moral and upright, and seemingly more understanding and tolerant of others views. I consider myself decently moral /respectable in most ways of living & conducting myself with family & friends & as a member of society.

But will I ever measure up to the Christian heights of morality -not a chance! I find some take it to a fundamentalist extreme. My church feels watching a soap opera is sin, allowing your children to go Halloweening is sin, listening to secular music is sin, being a democrat is even considered sinful and an abandonment of the faith.
 

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Yeah. I was brought up in the same kind of church. Otoh, if we did heed their word and we were actually able to pull it off, wed be better off. Wish it were easier.
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Your wife really needs to feel comfortable telling you anything and you should feel the same about her. I don't get or agree with everything my wife likes or believes. That's fine and it makes for interesting discussions. Morality is an individual standard and I guarantee much of what you read, eat, or listen to would be offensive to someone else. We are each responsible for our own choices, not those of our spouse. We're all in various stages of development and tastes and beliefs change as we grow and learn. Life would be quite dull if we all thought and believed alike.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am not a practicing member of any religion.
The specifics of the situation are fairly unimportant as I'd like to hear the concepts behind what is going on vs fixing this one incident.
I believe there is an innate direction of good and evil in people, no matter who you are or how you are raised. People have a desire to help other people. People want justice and fairness. People want to be nice when they can.
I want my wife to tell me anything she wants. Anyone can be their own person. However, if I enjoy eating meat and keeping pets and someone else is morally against killing animals or imprisonment of animals as pets, we won't get along well. I don't feel I'm wrong given my understanding of things. Nor do I think they are wrong for their understanding of life and goodness. I wouldn't choose to marry this person though.
The given of the situation is that we are married. Unless the fact that "you didn't discuss this before you were married" is a fact important enough to answer "ok, then you should divorce" then I am inclined to believe that the best option is to find a way through this, not around it.
We are married and I'd like to stay that way. I want to improve my marriage and if I understand why I feel this way, it's much easier.
I know why she feels hurt. Intimacy is someone knowing you like you know yourself. That's what people want. In dating, you need praise. You need someone to think you are great. In marriage, you need intimacy. You need your spouse to see you the way you see yourself. I want to understand her, I want to be understood by my wife. And, I think I'm kind of starting to understand why. I think it's my defensiveness. It's causing her to fight and be offensive instinctively.
Anyone with comments, I'd welcome them. I'm still reading about this.
 
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