Christian Counseling: Getting Used To A Troubling Feeling Or Relationship

When people speak about getting used to a troubled feeling or relationship they are saying they are fine, that there are no longer any negative consequences or, at least, ones worth attending to, and that they have moved on. But are their worlds of feelings and relationships really fine and without long lasting consequences?  

Consider the history of how people arrive at the point of saying/believing they are "used to it." A difficult feeling is repetitiously stirred, most often by a relational conflict that may or may not be confronted. In the latter case, perhaps after several discussions or arguments and having lost hope of resolution, people create safe zones for themselves though behaviors, such as: distancing (pervasively stepping back from connection), withdrawing (become noncommunicative) or rationalizing ("That's just him!"). Then people attempt to compartmentalize their negative experience. Kind of like "out of sight, out of mind." But, in truth, that is often suppression (can still recall the problem), repression (can't retrieve the memory of) or, in the face of the conflict, denial (it isn't happening).

Many people feel fine about getting rid of troubling feelings most any way they can, which frequently involves the use of defenses. Generally, those "I am used to it" believers don't understand or don't believe that unconscious feelings have any noteworthy personal effect upon their lives or the relationship involved. That is simply untrue. All feelings have an energy and a life. They are not dead and gone. in my opinion, they are never completely extinguished or vanquished.

When experiences are cut off from consciousness, I believe they become part of our brain's limbic memory system, which is responsible for the formation of memories and emotions. In the field of neruomarketing and research, strong evidence suggests 70-80% of decision-making is emotionally-based, not logically or objectively made. These decision-making emotions may be conscious, but many appear to be based in a gut feeling, which is unconscious. Any unresolved emotions remain impactful on current and future decisions and other behaviors. Emotions and memories have an effect that is ongoing for individuals and their relationships. 

The next time you are tempted to quickly respond with, "I am used to it," think through it first. Song of Songs 2:15 tells us to capture the foxes that ruin a vineyard (the issues/problems that destroy a relationship), not to ignore them. 

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