My husband and I came into marriage with a lot of pain from our pasts. Our childhoods were far from idyllic. We grew up in families where we experienced everything from traumatic events to dysfunctional relationships and more. I’m not blaming anyone for the wounds of our pasts—simply acknowledging what our reality was. Most likely, this is reflective, at least in part, to your childhood as well.
Unfortunately, those past experiences branded us in ways that have negatively impacted our marriage even today.
I know my marriage can’t be the only one that’s experienced this deadly dance.
How many of you can relate?
Are there times when your spouse, who normally is pleasant and perhaps even peace-loving, turns on a dime and becomes this Jekyll and Hyde kind of personality, dancing out a horrible version of the “Harlem Shake” that’s worse than any you’d ever want to imagine! You don’t know where this dark-side is coming from. You might have an inkling, but don’t dare point fingers!
Actually, it’s best not to point out or place blame, but it’s incredibly important to know why it’s happening.
Your spouse may be reacting to a trigger from his/her painful past when you get into an argument or situation that reminds your mate of some past event or relationship. And if that’s what you suspect is occurring, don’t go into defense mode! Which is easy to do, since this kind of reaction from your spouse is triggering some of your own soul wounds.
Instead, consider this a great opportunity to empathize with your spouse.
The reason empathy is so important, is that it is a key ingredient in being able to forgive your spouse.
So the next time you wonder, “What’s gotten into you, Mr Hyde?” Imagine the little child that’s still wounded and confused inside your mate. Offer compassion and forgiveness of whatever happened in the recent moment and you’ll pave the way, not just to your greater understanding and empathy, but also to deeper healing for your spouse.
What wounds from your past have stirred this toxic tango in your marriage?
How do you sometimes negatively handle the meltdown when it occurs?
How has God helped you positively handle the meltdown?
” … Mercy triumphs over judgment!” -James 2:13b (NIV)
“‘ … Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
Photo by Armando Maynez