You’d think that after almost 29 years of marriage, my hubby and I would have tamed all of the “beasts” that arise from the moments when our wounds are triggered … but you would be wrong! 😉
I think it’s sort of like the apostle Paul’s “thorn” that God did not remove from his life to keep him looking to Christ to fill his weaknesses with Christ’s strength.
[bctt tweet=”These thorny marriage issues keep us humble, motivating us to look to Christ for His strength! Find out what they are at MM! #humble #Christ 2 Corinthians 12:9″ username=”BethSteffaniak”]
As I mentioned last week, one of the first steps we take to tame these triggers is to identify them. If you want to read some examples of triggers in my marriage, read last week’s post here.
Here are the steps my hubby and I take …
Step one – admit you’ve been triggered
You don’t necessarily want to admit this to just anyone. I’m speaking in terms of triggers that occur in marriage. Make a commitment to talk ahead of time about how you want to handle admitting triggers when they occur. Remember, it must be respectful and not spoken in blame like, “you triggered me again!” Unless, that is, you like riding with your mate on the “crazy cycle!” 😉
And if you and your mate are not handling conflicts well, then choose to admit you’ve been triggered to God instead of immediately admitting it to your mate.
Either way you admit it—to your mate or to God—respectfully ask your mate for the chance to calm down, think through and pray about how you feel before trying to discuss it together.
Step two – identify triggers
The best time to identify your triggers is soon after a conflict or whenever strong, negative emotions arise—especially from out of nowhere. You might want to keep a notebook handy to jot down what you felt and a brief description of the conflict/situation to refer to later. Then you can come back to your list at a time when you’re ready to pray and process.
step three – pray and process triggers
1. Ask God to give you insight into what this over-the-top response is related to. Most often, there is some childhood wound you can identify. If you can’t trace it back to childhood, consider a more recent wounding that has occurred.
2. Ask God to give you insight into what you felt when you were originally wounded.
Did you feel worthless? Like a failure? Controlled? Humiliated? Abused? Ignored? Devalued? Left-out? Objectified? etc.
Here’s a prayer and processing tool that my husband and I use, especially when our triggers erupt into conflicts between each other. (You’ll also be able to use this, later on, to talk with your mate in a specific and empathy-building way. So stay tuned for more instructions!)
3. Ask God to help you forgive those who’ve wounded you in that way. This will probably need to be a daily commitment to ongoing prayer and forgiveness …
[bctt tweet=”Though forgiveness is ignited by a decision, it also requires a daily and ongoing surrender of our hurts to Christ. #forgive #prayer” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Next Wedded Wednesday, I’m excited to share a guest post from Debbie W. Wilson of Refreshing Faith along with a giveaway of her new book.
I will continue this series the following week with some biblical and relational insights, as well as more free tools to use in this important process toward healing.
Speaking of free tools, don’t forget you can snag my free ebook, Forgive U by subscribing (in the sidebar) to Messy Marriage! Easy peasy!
Click the link for more posts in my series, Triggers in Marriage.
What hesitations do you have in working together with your mate to identify and process triggers?
What is one trigger that you’ve already identified that tends to erupt at all the wrong times?
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