The Greatest Reason Why Marriages Struggle To Recover From Problems
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Every couple will have their ups and downs. But more and more marriages struggle to recover from problems, issues, and difficulties. Many marriages survive these problems, but they don’t recover. They are like a volcano sealed with a plastic lid. It won’t hold. It will explode. But why?
There are basically three reasons why marriages fail:
1. Lack of knowledge.
2. Lack of character to implement the knowledge possessed.
3. And, most important, the inner emotional wounds have never been healed.
This third reason is the one that prevents marriages from recovering. A couple will yell, scream, threaten, rant, and rave at each other. They will hurt each other with their words. They will carve deep emotional wounds into each other. They will shatter each other’s security. They will create an environment that is mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually devastating.
And their solution to fix all of these injuries? The next day they pretend it never happened. Deeply hurt, deeply affected by everything said and done, yet they simply pretend that it never happened. They will, however, remind each other of what was said and done the next time they get hurt again. So injury is added to injury and a most marriages can’t recover from that.
In addition to the injuries inflicted on each other, the husband and wife often bring their own baggage into the marriage. For some, this may be a small tote bag and for others it could be an entire circus. Often, the baggage is emotional pain and injury inflicted upon them as a child. Perhaps they were molested, abused, ignored, or greatly insecure. This emotional baggage is still present. It has never properly healed. It will rear its ugly head in a marriage.
In both cases—and more often than not in combination with each other—the reason why a marriage struggles is because these emotional injuries were never dealt with. They never healed from these wounds. The injuries are still there. The common solution is to bury the wound as far down in the emotional psyche as possible. But even a single word can trip the volcano into erupting.
Marriage is a spiritual relationship. God created marriage to be a microcosm of our relationship with Him. God spends a lot of time in Scripture trying to heal the inner wounds that we have suffered. Take a look at a few of these references:
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Philippians 4:6-7 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The entire story of Jesus and Peter at the end of the Gospel of John demonstrates this concept so clearly. Peter, confused, angry at himself, hurt by his own words and his own failure, finds Jesus gently and kindly healing those emotional wounds.
Unless the emotional injuries in your life are healed, you will constantly struggle in your marriage. It’s like a cancer that will invade every aspect of your life and marriage. These wounds must be healed. Until they are, you’ll never have the marriage you want.
Face your injuries—stop hiding them or burying them. They need to be healed. The first step to healing is to face it.
What do we tell our child when he falls off his bike and scraps his arm up? We ask him to let us see the wound. We need to see it, we need to put some medicine on it, we need to clean it out and disinfect it. Yet often a child will cover up the wound with his hand and become more afraid of the healing process than of the wound itself. They know that the peroxide stings. They know that the wash cloth will cause them a bit of pain as the wound is cleaned out. So they don’t want to show you the wound. We make our children show us the wound. You need to face your own emotional injuries.
Most people with deem emotional wounds are more afraid of the healing process than they are of the wound itself. This is a tremendous mistake. Don’t make it!
Get help. The best help is actually your spouse. Ideally, a marriage is supposed to assist in helping each other heal from these emotional wounds. But if that is not currently possible, then go see a pastor or another good counselor. Let him take a look at the wound. Let him help clean it out and apply a healing balm to it.
As a pastor, I recommend going to God and allowing Him to be the bandage on the wound. When we get cut deeply we need stitches to bring the ends of the wound together and keep them together. We put bandages over the cuts to protect it from outside elements while it is healing. This is the job that God wants to perform for you. Spirituality is the bandage to emotional injury. It is interesting how many people with emotional wounds think they are spiritually inept or bad. This merely demonstrates the connection between the two. Turning to the spiritual will allow you to function while your emotional wounds are healing.
But when all is said and done, ignoring your emotional injuries will short-circuit your marriage. You need to heal. You need to recover from these emotional wounds before you can have the marriage you want.