Stooping to lift a loved one!

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He wrote: “Please, how do you handle a spouse that has a very low IQ and not ready to improve herself in any way?

I have bought countless books and registered her for a lot of self-help seminars but she gets defensive even when advised sincerely or constructively criticized.

“We have been married for 11 years but I am no longer where she met me. And the disparity in our reasoning is making things very difficult in our marriage. I am reaching out for help because it has rather become increasingly difficult to engage her even in simplest of discourses. And I want to know what I am doing wrong for her to hate self-development this much.

“When we got married, I thought it was ‘love’ to let her stay home while I battle it out there for our livelihood.

Today, I am a management consultant with multiple degrees. How else can I get her to see the importance of what I have been saying to her? I have made moves (countless times) to get her back to school for a degree but she is not interested. And it seems to be affecting our relationship adversely because we don’t seem to understand ourselves anymore… when it comes to critical issues. I am 44 years old; she is 38. Our marriage is blessed with three children.’’

FROM OBY…
Sometimes, when the DRIVE for self-development hasn’t come from within self…every other ‘external’ push (you called it ‘encouragement’) seems like a DISTURBANCE.

I understand where you are coming from but you should also understand that except she truly desires same…nothing will likely come out of your efforts. And your marriage will end up being more strained…if it’s not already.

Don’t make it look like a University education is the only way she can improve herself. Just reading you alone…I am already imagining how impossible you must have made ‘relating with you’ without realizing it.

Sometimes, it’s not the number of books that we have read or how much education that we have received, but how much of us has been transformed by those ‘learning’….then, it truly becomes EDUCATION.

People’s drives in life differ. So, start by engaging her at her level to find out what her passion is.

I don’t think you are going about this the right way. Almost like you want her to brush up to fit into your current status.

But, what about what she wants? Have you bothered finding that out?

When one has been idle (not engaged the brain on learning purposes) for too long…stepping out of that ‘comfort zone’ ceases to feel normal, except a great dose of determination and motivation (this is where you come in) are injected.

It happens to a lot of people and only naturally driven people get over such rut.

Again…

Some people are docile by nature. You should also factor in her personality. Has it not occurred to you that she agreed to stay home for 11 years due to her personality? With a driven woman, you had be the one shouting yourself hoarse about her total non-availability on domestic issues.

The ideal thing actually is for couples to keep growing together for complete harmony to perpetuate in the marriage but then….it is not something to lose sleep over, keep giving her a loving nudge every now and then.

There is nothing criticisms can achieve that encouragement cannot achieve multiple times over.

For example, instead of registering her for self-help seminars, try registering the two of you and offer to attend with her. That is a good way to bond. Sometimes you stoop to lift a loved one up. It is not likely that she will turn that down.

Reading you makes me feel you have been doing the ‘lifting’ from a rather high horse. Attending such productive events and seeing how much exploits her fellow women are making will naturally wake something up in her.

My point is that there are ways you can do this without seeming condescending. Her refusal to listen to you could be a subtle rebellion at her perception of your (negative) approach to her.

But if all fails…you learn to look the other way and relate to her only on the level that brings the most harmony in your marriage/home. You really can’t take a horse down the stream and still force it to drink water.

If she is a good mother and a good wife (save for her non-intellectual prowess), I think you should content yourself with the positives that she brings to the table. And save your breath on the rest.

The drive has to come from within her or you had be wasting your time, possibly irritating her and stressing your marriage too.

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