The Poison Effect On Your Marriage
So your spouse did something or said something that really ticked you off. You’ve been stewing over it… long after the fact.
And maybe it’s something you just can’t seem to let go of. You keep replaying what your partner said, or the belittling comment they made, and every time you do—it scrapes the wound open yet again.
You also realize you’re holding a bit of a grudge against your spouse. How could they hurt you like that? Why would they say something like that to you? Don’t they value you, love you, want to protect you from harm?
Grudges are very much a chip on the shoulder we can carry around with us. But the effect is, it shuts us off from our partner. They say something nice, and we remind them yet again about that time they said something nasty. They do something nice, and we can’t really enjoy it because we think of that hurt they perpetrated on us.
Here’s a question for you: if you drank a vial of poison, would you expect your spouse to become sick from it?
That’s what holding a grudge does… it sickens only you, and only mildly may affect your spouse because of how you are holding yourself somewhat removed from them in punishment.
Grudges aren’t healthy for you and poison you on the inside because they lend themselves quite nicely to negative thought loops, painful memories relived over and over, and a general sense of dissatisfaction in your marriage.
It’s a very ineffective way to express your hurt and pain to your spouse, and it prevents you from healing and moving forward and enjoying life.
So next, lets look at a more effective way to handle that pain…and begin restoring your marriage
Effective Method for Expressing Pain
Okay, so your spouse isn’t quite getting the whole grudge thing. They haven’t fallen to their knees and begged for forgiveness or punched themselves in the face the way you may have been hoping they would do.
Here are some tips for effectively making your point… so you can heal from the hurt and work on emotionally reconnecting with your spouse
Tip #1: Go Ahead and Admit It: Your Partner is Human
You are human. Your partner is human. Humans are known for doing some dumb things sometimes, and sometimes they hurt their partner in the process.
We’ve all done at least one thing in our lives to hurt someone else, whether we’ve misspoken and embarrassed someone or were focused on something and forgot dinner plans we made and stood up a friend.
Acknowledge that your spouse is human, and proceed to the next tip.
Tip #2: Express How You Feel
It isn’t always easy to admit to being hurt by someone. Most people want to appear strong and bullet-proof to the extent that nothing can ruffle them. So maybe that’s true 98% of the time.
But for the other 2% of the time, something may slip through and hurt you where you’re vulnerable. Get clear on what was done to hurt you, and exactly how it made you feel. Then, share that with your spouse in a concise way.
While you are at it, let your partner know your expectation: that they won’t make cracks about your fashion sense anymore, or they will remember to call when they’re late so the nice dinner you made doesn’t grow cold on the table.
Tip #3: Be Prepared to Move Forward
Once you’ve vented your feelings, and after your partner has hopefully acknowledged what you’ve said and expressed some sort of remorse, be prepared to let the matter go and move forward.
The only way for a wound to heal is to let the scab grow over it and not scratch at it.