We protect our marriages. We do what we can to ensure protection and maintain the
covenant and integrity of our union – against infidelity, outside influences, flirting,
pornography, etc…against all of these types of visible or tangible things.
But how often do we protect our marriages from the things that we can NOT see? How
good of an effort are we putting forth in protecting our marriages against things like
depression…anger…fear…anxiety…? These types of negative emotions are killing
Sometimes, nothing is being done to resolve these types of issues. Instead, one
spouse suffers in silence with these emotions, while the other spouse suffers in silence
because the effects of these emotions are creating ripple-effects throughout the
relationship. One spouse hasn’t talked about it, while the other spouse can’t seem to
figure out what they’ve done wrong this time to receive the cold shoulder, the silent
treatment, the lack of intimacy…
It’s something we don’t always think about, but it is so vitally important to protect the
emotional state of our marriages.
It is easy to say how important it is, but sometimes, execution may not be so easy. So here are three ways that might help:
1. Talk about it.
Often times, all that is needed is to sit down with our spouse and have a
conversation. Yes, it may be tough to talk about, but keeping the end result in
mind – a healthier marriage and a happier you – just might be all the motivation
you need to get the conversation started. Once you talk it out with your spouse,
you may be surprised to realize that they had no idea that you were feeling all of
these emotions, and are more than willing to adjust accordingly to help you heal
or overcome the hurtful emotions.
2. Have regular check-ins with your spouse.
It may be difficult for our spouse to initiate a conversation to let us know that they
are struggling emotionally. Maybe, like me, your spouse is a procrastinator when
it comes to having conversations. In these instances, they may need a little
prompting to get the conversation going. So having regular check-ins can help
your spouse to engage in these difficult conversations. Here’s how: when we ask
our spouse how WE are doing in the relationship…if there’s anything they need
from US, it more than likely will open up that line of communication and make it
easier for them to express their feelings. These types of check-ins also help to
assure them that we are not pointing the finger at them in a “what is WRONG
with you??” kind of way. But rather, what they’ll typically ‘hear’ is “what do you
need from me…how can I help?”.
3. If you need help, get help.
So let’s just go ahead and break the stigma that seeking professional help is a bad thing! There is no shame in seeking professional help to assist in coping and working through our emotions. Sometimes we just can’t see our way through a situation while we’re IN it. It can become difficult to focus, cope or even be hopeful that there is a resolution to a challenging situation. A counselor or
therapist can assist with that by helping to put things in perspective and guide us to a more positive outlook.
Hopefully, these three ways will, if nothing else, spark an interest in evaluating the emotional health of your marriage. As with our physical bodies, our marriage needs consistent maintenance of its health, and we are responsible for that.
Here’s to healthy marriages!