It can be really painful when your husband is looking at his phone and not paying attention to you. But the way that you respond, you have 100% control over that. When you learn that you can act charitably even when your husband is playing games on his phone, you are going to feel so powerful as a Catholic mom. This is what the sainthood journey looks like.
C: Husband looking at his phone
T: He doesn’t care about me.
A: Snippy with husband, snippy with kids, clean the house angrily, think of all the other ways he doesn’t care for you, act childishly, eating cookies/drinking wine/scrolling on your phone
R: You don’t care about him.
You don’t care about yourself.
C: husband looking at his phone
T: I wonder what’s going on with him.
A: Give him space, ask him later how he’s doing, check in with what your needs really are, serve your own needs, serve the kids.
R: You wonder what’s going on with him. You wonder what’s going on with yourself.
RESOURCES MENTIONED ON THE SHOW
TRANSCRIPT OF THE SHOW
Welcome to the Made for Greatness podcast. I’m your host, Sterling Jaquith, and today we’re talking about husbands looking at their phones. You could insert, by the way, playing video games, hunting, hanging out in his garage, right? Anything where your husband is doing something, it’s capturing his attention and you’re feeling kind of bitter, unloved, unseen, unheard because his attention is so focused on this other thing. But today we’re just gonna use the example of looking at his phone and you can just swap that out for anything else. So I’m gonna run a model with you guys today, and we don’t always do that and we’ve done that before on the podcast, but I’m gonna run a model. The model is the basic tool that we teach in our membership, and we have women run these models to understand what they’re really thinking and feeling. And I’m gonna show you how not knowing this is keeping you mad at your husband, treating him poorly, treating yourself poorly, being snappy with the kids.
And how when you understand this tool and you use it, it will create the experience that you want. So the circumstance, which is the neutral thing, a fact that is provable in a court of law is the husband is looking at his phone. We could all prove that. You could even prove I said something and the husband does not verbally respond, okay? You can’t even say he doesn’t respond because maybe his body language is responding to you. Maybe not saying words is his form of responding to you, but we can just say husband looking at his phone, you say words. He does not verbally respond. I would probably just put my husband looking at his phone. Okay? That’s your circumstance. This is a neutral circumstance. You know how I know? Because sometimes he looks at his phone, it’s not a problem. So we know that it’s only a problem when you have a negative thought about it.
Okay? So the negative thought that most of us have is some version of he doesn’t care about me. You might, it might sweep in first with he’s not listening, but then very quickly that’s just gonna turn into he doesn’t care about me. And then the feeling is gonna be some version of rejection or not, or feeling unloved. Okay? So we all might label that a little bit differently, but that’s the major bucket. He doesn’t care about me. I feel unloved, unwanted, rejected, lonely, something like that. But we pick one word in the feeling line. So the circumstance, husband looking at his phone, the thought he doesn’t care about me, the feeling unloved. All of our actions or inactions come from our feelings. Our feelings drive our actions and our inactions. So I want you to think when I feel unloved, okay? These are the actions that we normally see.
You’re snippy with the husband. So you might just straight up start nagging him about that. Like, why are you on your phone? You always do this, you never pay attention to me. And you’ve got that like sharpness in your voice in addition to that. Or instead of that, you’ll be snippy with the kids. Why aren’t you guys doing something that you should be doing? You’ll just kind of take that same idea that the kids aren’t on your team. Like you would never consciously think the kids don’t love me, right? But there’s something like, Ugh, the husband doesn’t even care about me. And another thing, the kids don’t even care about me and I have to do everything right? So that’s why even though the kids have nothing to do with your husband looking on the phone, once you’re in that emotional state, your brain will just find things to be snippy with the kids about too.
You’re probably gonna be cleaning the house angrily. You know what that feels like when you’ve made dinner and you’re just like scrubbing the pots and you’re putting things in the dishwasher and scaly face, and then your brain is gonna think of all the other ways that he doesn’t care about you, right? He stays late at work. Even when I ask him not to, he goes and plays basketball on the weekends even. And then I have to spend more time taking care of the kids and he hasn’t taken me out for a date in like 18 years. , right? Your brain is once it has this feeling, it, it’s like it likes the feeling, it likes the negative feeling. And so it will indulge in that feeling and it will just look for all the evidence that it can, that your husband doesn’t care about you. And all of you have done this and it feels terrible in your body. You’re just standing there and you’re feeling bitter and angry and mad. But really unloved is under all of those emotions, okay? Even annoyance by the way. Usually unloved is under annoyance or alone.
So you’re acting childishly. And then especially if you’ve had a lot of pain in your marriage, a lot of history of this feeling, your brain will then want to check and numb you out. It will say, Sterling, we do not want to feel like we’re in a bad marriage with someone who doesn’t love us. We don’t want to feel unloved. It’s terrible. Let’s get you to stop feeling that feeling. Do you know what gets you to stop feeling that feeling? Eating cookies, drinking wine, scrolling on your phone, leaving the family, going into your office and working. For some of you, you buffer with exercise, you’re like, oh, I gotta go exercise. Exercise can be a healthy thing, but if you’re doing it to escape your feelings, then it is not.
So what do you do when you don’t wanna feel your feelings? You all probably have like three major go-to’s, and you’re gonna do that when you have this feeling of feeling unloved. Now you’re thinking always creates your results, your thoughts create your results. I remember the first time I heard that and I was like, that’s dumb. I don’t even get that. I’m not even sure I believe that, but now I absolutely believe it. I see it all the time. Your thoughts always create the result in your life. Okay, so you had the thought, he doesn’t care about me. And then you felt unloved. And from that feeling, you felt snippy with your husband, snippy with the kids, you’re cleaning the house angrily. You’re thinking of all the other ways he doesn’t care for you. By the way, if you have a dramatic brain like mine, it will also be like, and actually no one cares about me.
And it would go and think about, you know, my family situation and my friends and it would just, it would just make me feel like nobody loves me. We’re acting childishly, we’re eating cookies, drinking wine, scrolling on our phone, whatever those buffering activities are. Okay? And so your result of all of that is that you don’t care about him. Does that list of behaviors sound like a wife who cares about her husband? No. Now this isn’t an absolute, but we’re just showing how you are showing up in your life when you believe this thought. When you believe he doesn’t care about me, you show up like a wife who does not care about him. The other result, cuz sometimes we can get a couple, is that you don’t care about yourself. You’re allowing your child, brain, your toddler brain who wants to run around and have a tantrum, run the show. And so you’re allowing yourself to act without charity to your husband and kids to clean out of anger, which is not loving. There’s no humility in that. There’s no service and you’re not taking care of your body or guarding your eyes.
So when you think the thought, he doesn’t care about me, it results in you not caring about yourself. Isn’t that crazy? And if you’ve never heard this before, which you know is most people on the planet, it should fill you with so much hope. If you’ve never heard how to manage your mind, if you’ve never heard that your thoughts create your results, then your brain is just spinning with no management. It’s just like, again, like a toddler with a knife and it’s hurting you all the time. You feel helpless. You think the things around you are causing your unhappiness.
And if that were actually true, that’d be pretty sad, wouldn’t it? If I said, listen you gotta be married to this guy, you gotta have these kids, you gotta live in this house, you gotta do this work in or outside of the home. You have this set of cards as an extended family and their behavior determines your happiness and you don’t get to control them. That’s terrifying. That’s why I think a lot of us suffer from anxiety and depression because we feel like we’re at the mercy of all of these things that are happening around us. We don’t have any control and we kind of just see that it’s gonna stretch out forever. That’s crushing.
But instead, I want you to know that all of those things around you are neutral circumstances. They’re just facts. And it does not cause you pain until you have a thought about them. We’ll do another episode in the future about physical pain because that’s a little bit different. If you have fibromyalgia and joint pain, we can put that as a circumstance, and it is true and we could measure it, but then we create additional suffering based on what we think about that pain. But right now we’re just talking about people around us and what they’re doing does not cause you pain until you have a thought about it. And again, how do we know? Because not everyone looking at your husband, looking at his phone experiences pain. Not every time you look at your husband on his phone, do you think he doesn’t care about me. But this thought is causing you so much pain and, and I think we all kind of know when we get in this mood and the kind of evening that we have, this could sink you for three hours, this one thought, and then we’re off to the races and we are in a bad mood, which takes extra energy. By the way, ruminating on all the ways he doesn’t care about you. And being snippy with people takes more energy than being peaceful from this thought.
So I wanted to teach you what an intentional model would look like. An intentional model is where the circumstance is the same, but we decide on purpose what to think. We don’t let the toddler with the knife run the show. We realize that we are the watcher of our thoughts. So we can watch some that come in and go, that’s not great. I’m gonna choose to think about something else on purpose. You have that level of control. That’s why the Bible says, take every thought captive for Christ because God knew it was a choice that each thought of you. You got to choose whether to take it captive or to put it in the garbage.
So let’s do the model again, but the way that we want to feel instead, husband still looking at his phone, you say something to him, he does not verbally respond, still happens. Okay, you could think, I wonder what’s going on with him. Maybe your husband is in pain. Maybe this is his form of buffering and not feeling a negative feeling. Maybe he had a bad day at work. Maybe he feels lonely. Maybe he feels overwhelmed with your life and having a lot of kids. Maybe he thinks you’re unhappy and he doesn’t know how to help you be happy. He feels like a failure and he doesn’t wanna feel that feeling. So he’s playing games on his phone.
You could think, I wonder what’s going on with him. And what’s interesting is you don’t even have to ask him at that moment because we already know he’s not responding. So he might be annoyed if you were to interrupt him again and say, Hey, what’s going on with you? Let’s talk about your feelings. Generally speaking, husbands are not big fans of that. But you could just in your mind go, I wonder what’s going on with him. That is a form of charity. Charity is considering someone else’s circumstances and allowing that to kind of inform how you treat them.
Because we all have poverty, right? Mother Teresa always says, you know, would say that in the United States we had such a poverty of community, we are all so lonely. We live in a weird way. Now you guys, it’s just weird. It shouldn’t be the way that it is. And so when you approach it from charity or curiosity, and to me the feeling of charity leads to me being curious. If I see this person in front of me, I wonder what’s going on with them? Are they in pain? What crosses are they carrying? What is their life story?
So when we have that feeling, now let’s see how we show up. You might give him space, you might ask him later how he’s doing with genuine interest, right? Because we, we, we carry so much pain and we want our husbands to, to see and know and understand our pain so badly that we sometimes forget they have that too. And then here’s what’s super interesting when you have this feeling of charity or curiosity with him, but we’re giving him space and we just let him be on the phone, the next thing that you can do is check in with you because you’ve made this bid, right? We would call it a bid for attention. You want to connect with him and then you see him. But if you have the great maturity, and I, again, it takes a great deal of maturity to watch your husband play games on his phone and just go, you know what?
He probably just needs that right now. Then, to ask yourself, what do I need? What was I hoping to get from him? You wanted to feel connection with him, you wanted to feel love. But you can do that for yourself. You can just go, all right, love, what do we need? What kind of night do we want? Do we want to spend time with him? Do we wanna take a bath? Do we wanna read books to the kids? Maybe cleaning this kitchen so that it was just done and it wasn’t weighing on me is what I really want, right? When you begin to check in with yourself on what your own needs are and you begin meeting your own needs, there’s a lot less pressure on the marriage and the husband, then you will also, because now we’re in the place where we’re just curious about what’s going on with everybody and serving and serving them and meeting their needs. You’ll do the same thing with the children. What do the kids need?
So just by changing our thought, I wonder what’s going on with him and leading to this feeling of charity or curiosity has you showing up the way that you want to as a wife, the way that you want to, to take care of yourself and the way that you want to as a mom. And we’re not eating cookies and we’re not drinking wine and we’re not scrolling on the phone. And you may clean the kitchen because you want to, because you like the way that the house functions when you do that. Or you may go, you know what? Those dishes can wait till tomorrow. I wanna relax for a little bit and you may choose to then scroll on your phone to relax. But I will tell you, relaxing, scrolling feels very different than I’m anxious and I don’t wanna feel my feelings scrolling because all of those things are neutral, right? Eating cookies, drinking wine, looking at your phone, those are neither good nor bad. But the way we do them, there’s like a twisted, sinful way that we do them and then a sainthood way that we do them.
So then your result is going to be that you wonder what’s going on with him. You’ll wonder what’s going on with you and maybe wonder what’s going on with the kids. And you’re gonna have so much extra energy because we didn’t spend all that energy being upset and thinking about the past and chewing on how much he doesn’t care about us or listen to us or angry cleaning. We just have that energy now to do something else. When people say that our program changed their life, this is what they’re talking about. They went from watching their husband be on his phone and it was stealing their joy, stealing their peace, causing them to spend a lot of energy, being angry, hurt, upset, acting out, childishly, hurting themselves to being able to have peace, being able to show up more charitably and really living a life that has more of those fruits of the Holy Spirit all the time.
No, but so much more time. The other day we were just, I don’t know, we were running some statistics and I was shocked by how many people have been with us for more than two years. So we opened the membership in December of 2020 December of 2020. And I just, I was just in awe. I was so humbled by how many women have been with us for two years and, and then I wasn’t surprised because I thought, yeah, this is what we teach them. And, and our, especially the women who have been with us for a long time, they just keep leveling up in other areas of their life. So they bring something else and then something else. And it’s kind of, you kind of get addicted to having more control in your life.
And that’s exactly what God wants you to do. Being a saint is controlling the way that you show up regardless of what God puts in front of you. And that’s a never ending work. But it feels so good to spend time with your extended family and not have them drive you bananas. It feels so good to have your kids do totally normal kid things and have it not drive you bananas. It feels good to be a woman who can take care of herself and not in this way, not in this weird feminist agenda way where you’re like, I don’t need any men in my life to take care of me. No, we love that guy. Marriage is sacramental. Our job is to get each other to heaven. But you wanna stand so firm on your own two feet that you can see him with charity and love. And when you’re meeting your own needs because you’re managing your mind and you’re just even beginning to ask yourself what those needs are, you will show up so much better for him.
So save this episode, send it to your friends. This is one where I really break down how to do the model. And then I wanna invite you to join our membership all quarter one. We’re talking about having a sacred self-image, which is basically showing up a lot more like Mary, with a lot more charity and love and gentleness and patience and joy. That’s what you really want. And we can teach you that in any area of your life. We can teach you that skill as you work on your marriage or minimalism or weight loss. That’s why we have all those programs. All of the programs are just a way for you to practice this one skill. And it doesn’t matter which one you pick, but you’re gonna learn how to slow down your thinking, how to take every thought captive to Christ and how to think things on purpose so that you enjoy the experience of your own life better, even if none of the things around you change. It’s incredible. All right, ladies, I love you. Thank you so much for listening. And remember, you were Made for Greatness.