It’s common knowledge that untreated wounds can become infectious. Infected wounds redden, ooze pus and hurt. When this happens, most people go see a doctor immediately for treatment. In worse case scenarios, amputation becomes necessary. It becomes better to loose a limb than a life.
What does “infection” look like in a hurting marriage? There’s fighting, yelling, screaming to be heard. There’s walking away, there are items being thrown, there’s fear in the eyes of an innocent child. There’s guilt and regret. There’s secrets and escape. Two lonely and emotionally needy people with the same address.
Our relationship suffered due to wounds that were left untreated. Years of anger evolved into bitterness with apathy not far behind; the love in our marriage, dying.
Years filled with emotional turbulence etched weary lines on otherwise attractive faces.
We sought outside help because neither of us could bring ourselves to sever our marital bonds, though we came close. We desperately needed answers and hope.
With the help of counseling, I passionately presented my case. Carrying my wounded heart on a platter, I let out my pain in a tearful fury towards my husband. He heard me out. When finally done and satisfied that I was heard, I realized that the decision still lay before me; to end my marriage, or to stay and see what might ensue. This was a time of vulnerability and anxiety for me. Me, me, me. Notice that this was a time for ME.
The truth of my own sins was yet to be highlighted. I was far from the necessary steps of self-reflection, repentance and forgiveness because my hurt was blocking rationality.
As a matter of fact, the steps came in backwards. I chose to forgive first, then I self-reflected, and finally repentance followed. Like a slug on a dry slap, the process moved forward.
In our case, I’m not sure these necessary steps would have been reached without outside help. I learned that anger, a common emotion needs to be extinguished and controlled. Anger is a warning. It has a purpose. Yielding to it satisfies a darkness in our souls, but this can wound others in it’s wake.
Instead, recognize the value anger has in how it points to wounds which need treatment. If your marriage is in fact on the brinks of ending, seek treatment immediately. Think of infection, amputation! Use common knowledge. Save the limb!