Christian Counseling: Marriage Problems And Personal Baggage

The U. S. divorce rate for marriage, Christian or not, is about 50% for first marriages, 70% for second marriages and 80% for third. Yes, it gets worse with each succeeding marriage, not better, despite having learned more about oneself and what it takes to make a marriage work. The reason? I believe what is central is individuals become sensitized to the hurt, anger, distrust, betrayal and abuse in one relationship and carry unresolved parts of those traumas into the next relationship where they become activated once again. 



Consider a bruise on your arm. The area before being bruised is not sensitive to pain when touched, but after being bruised and before healing, it doesn't take much to cause sharp pain. Relationally, repeated bruising causes one to react the same as when one touches something hot--an involuntary pullback or automatic, self-protective survival response. When a current marital partner presents with the same, similar or worse wounding attitudes and behaviors as those from a previous marriage, or other relationship for that matter, he or she will discover loving feelings, trust and openness to emotional and physical intimacy are quickly and easily challenged. All it may take is one hurtful word or angry expression and all the troubled feelings and memories of the past can come flooding into the present. It is the power of both the unresolved past pain and present pain that often overwhelms the goodness of the relationship and speedily sets in motion a sense of panic over the thought, "It's happening all over again!"



The solution? To ensure a lasting marriage, preventive and rehabilitative desensitizing of long-lasting bruises is imperative. A good insight-oriented therapist can spot these sensitivities and help a person or couple find resolution to the baggage, conscious or unconscious, being brought into a present or even future relationship.




 

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