Did you know that avoidance is coping mechanism? It’s certainly not a healthy one, but it’s a way for people to cope nonetheless. People try to avoid topics or situations that can make them feel uncomfortable in some way. By avoiding the situation, they avoid the pain, hurt, frustration, or discomfort that might come along with it. Avoidance makes people feel like they are maintaining peace and protecting their own interests.
When you dig deeper, however, avoidance is dangerous stuff, especially when it comes to marriages. When you avoid situations or certain topics of discussion, that means the issue is never really addressed. Things that are not addressed don’t just go away, though. They fester. They hang around and pick away at the foundation of your marriage like termites. I’m sure that isn’t what you want.
So what’s the alternative to avoidance? It’s not rocket science, really. You have to build up the courage to deal with issues head on. Whether it’s something simple, or one of the more complicated things that can happen within a marriage, dealing with it is far more productive than brushing it under the rug. When you deal with what’s going on, you are able to grow and move on. Without growth, marriages cannot last.
I am not claiming to be avoidance-free. I’ve played the avoidance game myself. Sometimes it just feels easier. But deep down, I know it’s a bad idea, and eventually I put my big girl panties on so I can deal with the situation.
There’s a lot to be avoided in most marriages, but if you avoid some things, the damage may be more than you bargained for.
Here are 5 topics you need to stop avoiding if you want your marriage to last.
Depending on how you were raised, talking about money may be very uncomfortable. I understand, because it’s not easy for me either. But despite that, you have to be able to only talk to your spouse about finances.
Managing your household budget, as well as planning for your future, are critical issues that you don’t want to avoid for much longer. If you do, marital problems will develop as a result.
If you’ve experienced a painful situation that’s been worked through and all has been forgiven, keep it in the past and move on. However, if you have lingering pain and you are struggling with forgiveness, it has to be addressed. The pain won’t melt away if you don’t find a healthy way to confront how you are feeling. Consider counseling or therapy if you must, but if you want to go on to have a long and happy life together, find a way to work through the pain so you can move on.
I know avoiding issues that involve extended family members may seem simpler but if those issue persist, avoiding them won’t work for long. Having a discussion with your spouse about how to manage issues with other family members is very important and can help you achieve some peace instead of the constant turmoil that comes with unaddressed family drama.
Depression is a difficult topic for most people to discuss, and avoiding it altogether just seems easier. But the truth is, dealing with depression alone is incredibly lonely and potentially dangerous. Whether you are experiencing symptoms or depression, or your think your spouse is, don’t continue to avoid your emotions. You have to help each other through it.
Do you have dreams buried inside of you and you never discuss them because you think they are too big, or you think your spouse just won’t get it? Don’t spend a lifetime with those dreams buried inside. You have to tell your spouse what your dreams are. You have to ask for the support you need so you can pursue your dreams and bring them to life.
BMWK family, what topics have you been avoiding in your marriage?