Marriage does not unravel in an instant or without cause. Over time, unintentional carelessness creeps in. A cutting remark strikes the heart. A mean gesture or a cruel look will begin the process of wall building.
As the hurts are delivered, regardless of their intention, we build, feverishly raising the walls of self-preservation. Do you recognize the symptoms?
• Frustration – You desire affection, but you find little satisfaction.
• Sexual issues – Sex with your spouse leaves you empty and ungratified.
• Wandering thoughts – You’re starting to look for love in the wrong places.
• Emotional numbness – Feelings for your spouse are vanishing fast or are already gone.
• Anger – You easily become exasperated, even infuriated, at your partner.
• Loneliness – Your spouse is never truly with you.
• Compulsive behavior – You often us food, drugs (prescription and/or illicit) or alcohol to kill your emotional pain.
As the wall is built higher, we find ourselves lost in these desperate emotions. More than anything we want to belong. The number one desire of all mankind is to belong. In order to belong we need a reason to exist and someone with whom to give and receive love.
We look to our spouse for this belonging and the fulfillment of our deepest needs. This thinking I brought to adulthood and into marriage. One of the greatest deceptions of the married life begins when we are children. Fall in love, live happily ever after.
I have an eleven-year-old daughter. We have seen every movie on the planet with this theme. Is it any wonder our children proceed into adulthood with this thinking?
Belief regarding marriage and relationships is formed as children in the family unit. We must explore this history to understand where we came from and how to break a cycle of unfulfilled expectations.
I will share my personal story with you. For years I lived in the “happily ever after” trap. I was freed several years ago. My freedom also brought freedom to my spouse. Amazing things changed in our marriage.
My prayer journal was hugely helpful. I hope you have started yours. Write this scripture in it today.
Psalm 71:3 Be my rock of refuge,
to which I can always go;
give the command to save me,
for you are my rock and my fortress.
Continue to write out your heart prayers before God. Imagine an angel lifting the words off the page and carrying them to the throne.
Have a blessed day, Lynn
Next: Overcoming our misconceptions about marriage and finding true belonging. Also, how to help your kids avoid the same pitfalls.