Have you ever had someone that you love very much, actually hurt your feelings or endlessly irritate you? We question our love for them when they grate on our last nerve, fail to live up to our expectations, break a promise, let us down, or discount and minimize our feelings and opinions.
Men have a hard time with their wife when she vehemently disagrees with him about an issue he is contemplating, or if she starts directing something about their shared life rather than submitting to his latest whim or decision.
A man’s heart hardens a little, each time he is not totally adored, submitted to and respected. A woman’s heart hardens too when she feels unaffirmed, ignored, unimportant, devalued, or less than cherished and unconditionally loved.
When we are offended by our mate, we may react by fighting back, screaming, accusing and cursing at each other with abandon. We may even use abusive words and behavior, and attempt to control our spouse by force.
Conversely, we may withdraw and distance our self physically and emotionally from our mate. We make less eye connections, neglect focused attention and physical touch, and we speak with detached feelings.
A sick soul cannot think clearly, because we are too absorbed in nursing our wounds. People with buried trauma from our past attempt to inflict pain on others to diminish our own pain.
Codependent people often neglect our own needs in an attempt to meet our mate’s expectations. If we do give up and capitulate to one another and neglect our own soul, we may suffer with sickness in our body and spirit, as well as in our soul. We sell our self short, and we give-in until we no longer recognize our true self.
The truth is that we cannot successfully control another person. They own their feelings, perspective, opinions, needs, decisions and values. We share many of these, but differ in others. We can, however, control our own actions and reactions toward other people.
I found peace in my soul about all of this by first gaining a thorough understanding of my spouse’s decisions, which I cannot control; and then making my own decision, which I can control.
We set our mate free to make his/her choices, and then we make our own choices.
If our spouse disagrees with our choice, we are open to discussion; but we do not need to force our self to capitulate and to reap the consequences of his/her decisions that we disagree with and that we cannot support.
I am learning not to over-react, but to submit to God’s Spirit. We can gain our wisdom and strength from the Trinity’s presence in our life. We ask for God’s guidance, and we make our decisions according the Spirit’s direction in our life. If we do this as a couple, our relationship greatly improves.
Father God, please remind us that disagreements are common in life; but when we constantly capitulate to our partner’s plans, this causes resentment, which often sets into our soul and builds thick walls of bitterness between us. Then, we use our body language and tone of voice to convey our feelings, which often only exacerbates the problems between us.
Help us to see that the only way out of this dilemma is honest, but loving communication about the sin in our own life that causes our behavior, as well as clear explanations about how we really feel about the situation that is occurring. Give us the strength to forgive one another for slights and abusive words and actions that produce sickness in one another’s soul, and to be open to new ideas and challenges that we can face together.
Thought for the Day:
We can heal our soul by journaling our thoughts and emotions clearly and honestly, and by taking a searching inventory of our negative emotions as we ask God to show us the root cause for them; once we understand what is causing our thoughts, feelings and behavior, we can clearly communicate it to our spouse.