I just listened to the Marriage workshop class and found it very helpful but am struggling with how applying the concepts in my situation. I want to transform my relationship with my husband but his manual for our 18 year daughter who is a freshmen in college and the accompanying conflict between the 3 of us that comes when she does meet any of it, gets in the way of my brain allowing me to love him unconditionally. Quite honestly, I had the same manual for our daughter but have learned through the Life Coach School that my suffering in my relationship with her was due to my thoughts about her not living up to my manual (she should go to bed at a respectable time and not get up every day after 1:00 pm, she should eat healthier and exercise if she complains about her body image, she should spend less – she spent all of her savings for spending money, $5000 and now we have to give her some spending money, she should study more hours a day because we are paying for out of state tuition and her grades are lower than they need meet her scholarship requirements, she should do something other than being on her phone social media all the time, it is harmful to her brain and a waste of time, etc. I realize that these thoughts are causing me to suffer because I don’t have any control over her – she is 18. I got rid of my manual for her and am thinking about a boundary we can make for her from a place of love. Something relating to her needing to meet the gpa – 3.0 for us to be able to keep paying her out of state tuition.
1) I realize it is SO important to be able to follow through on your boundary so I struggle a little with the boundary of needing to meet the gpa needed for scholarship portion to be applied because she has pretty strong anxiety and OCD and we are worried that the stress of meeting that gpa might put her overboard. Yet, she tells us that we have no right to dictate how much and when she studies and this helps me feel I can safely give up my manual for her. Is there any other boundaries we could give her that would allow us to feel comfortable giving away the manual?
2)I do have to say there is a thought in my brain that says “even though she is 18, she should do what we say because we are still paying for everything for her”. How would you address that thought? I think this is what my husband is thinking,
3) I realize I can’t control my husband’s thoughts and his manual. However, his manual gets in the way of his relationship with my daughter and also his relationship with me because we are fighting about it. My thought is if I try to explain the concept of the manual and the model to him, he will be unreceptive and push me away saying that I am always standing up for our daughter. He has been unreceptive to similar things in the past. Knowing that I don’t have any control over his brain, how can I explain the concepts to him?? Would love help on this or any ideas from you. I realize that my current unintentional model is not serving me:
C- Husband and I have frequent disagreements over parenting style and rules.
T – He will not be receptive to new ideas – like giving up the manual he doesn’t realize he has.
F- defeated before I start
A- will not bring it up to him because it is so important to me and our success in achieving a better relationship with our daughter and each other.
R – continued strained relationships between husband and daughter and I will not have the loving relationship I want with my husband because we would still be fighting about daughter.
Thanks so much for your thoughts!