Healing Emotional Wounds


I’ve been posting on marriage killers for the last few weeks and they aren't pretty. So what do we do? How do we get our heart right so that our communication is pure and produces intimacy?

My first suggestion is to let Jesus heal your emotional wounds, your triggers. Marriage therapy research has shown that a large percentage of our triggers in marriage are from childhood wounds. Some therapists even put a number to this percentage – 90. So 90% of the issues that sent me off the deep end (and sometimes still continue to do so) with my spouse are the result of my painful childhood experiences. So imagine with me that I have a deep bloody cut here on my shoulder and my sweet hubby and I are standing listening to a Reggae band at a music festival in downtown Austin because that’s just what Jamaicans do in Austin. My husband leans over and puts his hand on my exposed gaping gash. What do I do? I scream like a crazy woman, that’s what I do! And that’s what you might do if you have deep unresolved childhood pain that is being triggered by your spouse. Or you may react in other negative and unhealthy ways. The saying that hurting people hurt people is a fact. Childhood wounds will keep being activated in marriage until they get healed, and we will keep using the same ineffective coping skills that will retrigger our spouse and keep us spinning in the crazy cycle.

It has also been found in marriage therapy research that we often marry someone who has the positive and negative characteristics of one or both of our parents. Think about it for a minute. Where do you think the sayings “I married my father” or “I married my mother” come from? Why do you think we are drawn to these traits, to these people? It might be a trait that you absolutely hate. It comes from a place of comfort. It’s like we’ve come home, no matter how dysfunctional they are. But God, who causes ALL things to work together for the good of those who love Him will use your spouse and their annoying, hurtful, insensitive, arrogant whatever to heal us, if we go to Him in sincerity. You see, He uses difficult circumstances as raw material for growth and healing, if we let Him.

Why don't you ask Jesus to show you your triggers, your wounds and let Him use your challenges with your spouse to bring healing and transformation to your life. For example, when your dear spouse activates your “I am emotionally alone” trigger, stop before telling him that you don’t know why you married him etc., and instead, go to Jesus. Remind yourself that He will never leave you or forsake you and that you are not alone. And with those words and His spirit speaking into your spirit, you can find healing. It begins with a sincere prayer in the midst of the emotional storm.  And if your trauma is so deep that you don’t feel you can do it without help, find a good Christian therapist who can help you work through the tough stuff so it does not have to damage your relationships anymore. This is the beginning of healthy communication in marriage. 

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