I’ve been there. I’m certain you have too … standing at the end of a good long stretch of going without, straining to see if what we want and need is off in the distance. But it either seems out of reach or is withheld like some cruel joke.
Any prolonged deprivation of a need can lead to vulnerabilities … and vulnerability can lead to cracks in the very foundation of a marriage.
Here are some examples:
- When your spouse is a control freak, you might be vulnerable to push the boundaries like a rebellious teenager would with a parent.
- When your spouse neglects you for long periods of time, you might be vulnerable to unhealthy escapes like; workaholism, over-involved parenting, overly independent personal pursuits.
- When you’re not connecting sexually, you might be vulnerable to opposite sex encounters or affairs.
- When you’ve been criticized one too many times, you might be vulnerable to having a fantasy affair, which makes you vulnerable to an actual affair.
- When your spouse rejects your faith, you might be vulnerable to spiritual attacks, which can lead to deciding to disconnect from other believers or church altogether.
- When you allow yourself to ruminate on your anger towards your spouse, you might be vulnerable to bitterness or viewing divorce as an escape.
- When you keep all your concerns and struggles to yourself, you might be vulnerable to denial and depression.
- When you don’t address and seek healing for the hurts or sins of your past, you might be vulnerable to unknowingly erecting “barriers” that keep your spouse at a distance.
This list isn’t exhaustive, but it does give you some insight into how certain unresolved issues or unhealthy patterns in marriage can increase vulnerability.
There’s an additional problem that comes with prolonged vulnerability … we often lose sight of its danger to our marriage. And even worse, we may begin to feel we can’t reverse the pattern or find healing for the damage. It may start to feel like a runaway train—and you’re the one tied to the tracks!
So what do you do to stop the train?
How do you stop the vulnerability from fracturing your marriage?
Open your eyes to what’s going on, especially your part in the reaction. Do you see yourself in any of the examples above? Then don’t make excuses anymore and especially don’t let fear cripple you into paralysis on one end or perpetual motion on the other.
Open your heart in prayer. Call upon God and He will help you, if you surrender the situation fully to Him. No Indian Givers allowed!
Open your mouth by confessing your sins and struggles with others who are trustworthy. Remember this promise: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16a (NIV)
Healing comes through the truth we share and the support and accountability we receive.
Don’t let the train of vulnerability run you over. You have the power in Christ to break the ties and find freedom and healing for your life and marriage!
photo credit by Lizard10979
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