How do you know that the pain has taken over and your marriage is suffering? It’s not very difficult. The most important part of making this assessment is the ability for you and your spouse to be completely honest with yourselves. This is where a couple needs to acknowledge not just how they feel about the pain they are experiencing, but how their feelings are being manifested in their behavior.
Another problem that many couples face is the gap that exists between how your spouse really feels, and how you think your spouse feels. Managing pain is a very unique experience, and unless someone tells you where he or she is in the process, you truly cannot determine where that person stands based on his or her behavior.
Although painful experiences seem to show up out of nowhere and slap you in the face, they actually do more than that. They find a way to become a part of your being, and then the pain settles in and becomes a part of the fabric of your marriage. How can you tell this is happening? Here are a few
signs that the pain is taking a serious toll and your marriage is suffering because of it.
- The pain is the first thing on your mind in the morning and the last thing on your mind before bed.
- You find yourself annoyed with your spouse because of how he or she is managing the pain.
- You feel like your spouse is distant and is not supporting you during your time of need.
- It’s beginning to feel like the pain will always be there.
- You can’t recall the last time you had a joyful experience with your spouse.
- It feels like your marriage is “falling apart.”
- The idea of working through the pain is starting to feel like too much.
- You are angry with your spouse.
- You are angry with yourself.
- You sense that you and/or your spouse are showing symptoms of depression.
If any of the items listed above ring true for you, it means that your marriage is suffering as a result of a painful experience, or maybe even more than one painful experience. Acknowledging that this damage is taking place is half of the battle. The other half, of course, is determining what you can do to repair the damage and develop the skills you and your spouse need to strengthen your marriage and not only get back to where you were but become a stronger unit than you’ve ever been.
BMWK, are you ready to acknowledge if your marriage is suffering?