Sometimes we have marriage questions we are embarrassed to ask others. Sometimes we just don’t know who to ask.
In our marriage class, occasionally we open up a Sunday evening for these exact situations. Participants of the class submit anonymous questions on index cards.
Many of the questions are similar in tone and nature. While we are all individually unique, our problems are not. Oftentimes we think we are the only one going through a specific situation. I’ve picked a few from Sunday to share with you.
The first one is: “How do you handle situations when you and your spouse are fighting and they begin to say mean/ hurtful things to you?”
This answer is simple in theory, but will require strength on your part. When things turn bad during an argument, stop talking and step away. Do not continue to feed into the fight. No one can fight alone. When you stop talking and remove yourself from the argument, the argument can de-escalate. I recommend going to another room. Revisit the discussion after both spouses have had time to calm down. In cases of domestic violence, leave the home for your safety.
The next question is, “How do you get over a deep hurt in the marriage?”
The first thing I want to acknowledge is that marriage can be painful at times. When we get married, we take two people from two different backgrounds and put them together as one. There’s bound to be pain at some point of our marriage. With that being said, marriage can also be the most beautiful relationship you will have on Earth.
To answer the question, you simply cannot “get over” a painful hurt in a marriage. Whenever there’s pain, there has to be a process. We want the pain to end because it’s uncomfortable. We will oftentimes try to act like everything is fine after an offense. This only buries our pain deeper and allows it to take root.
To go through the process, the first thing we have to do is forgive our spouse. Remember, unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. It always affects us more than anyone else.
To learn how to forgive, please read the article I wrote two months ago.
As you are processing the hurt, allow yourself to feel angry, maybe even grief (such as in adultery when you feel a part of your marriage has died).
There are no right or wrong emotions as you go through pain. Just be cautious that you do not allow yourself to become stuck in them. Sometimes for more severe offenses, outside help is needed to help you process.
Finally, you and your spouse will need to have a heart-to-heart where you discuss the hurt, the events leading up to it, and how you both will proceed forward together.
For more detailed and personalized instruction on forgiveness, my husband is leading a four-week class called, “Live to Forgive, Forgive to Live.” He also helps couples through the trials of marriage through free counsel.
Contact me for information on the class or how to reach him.
Until next time, stay the course!
Kindra Warner is a marriage group facilitator at Grace Christian Center in Killeen and a Herald correspondent.