“Everybody’s got a story to tell, everybody’s got a wound to be healed. I want to believe there’s beauty here. Cause Oh, I get so tired of holding on.” -Plumb
Do these words resonate with you? There are plenty of issues in marriage, including top stressors such as financial, family issues, infertility. We have learned from years of counseling and listening to other couple’s stories one of the top marriage stressors is dealing with our spouse’s wounds. We have a responsibility to manage our own wounds but in the heat of an argument, it is the ‘wound’ poked the hardest that gets all the attention. For me, Danielle, it is being ignored. Any argument, hurt or misunderstanding can usually be linked back to being ignored. I can’t always see it so clearly but my husband, Russ, can. We believe if you understand your spouse’s wound(s) you are able to take the offense(s) less personally and even develop compassion for your spouse.
When my stepdaughter was in middle school, I was playing tag inside the house with her and being very loud and rambunctious. As I’m running by, I see Russ’ jaw clenched, looking very tense. I would get so frustrated with these reactions because being silly and playing with my stepdaughter was about having fun! Over time, I learned being silly in Russ’ childhood home would cause his father to become angry, sometimes even violent. Russ appreciated me being silly and playing tag with his daughter but he couldn’t help but be stressed due to years of growing up in a threatening environment. Understanding his reaction has developed compassion and understanding on my part, in the same way he has become sympathetic when I feel I’ve been ignored.
Does your spouse have an irritating behavior you struggle with? Do you understand where it comes from? How do you manage bumping into your spouse’s wounds? Comment below or share your thoughts in our Forum.