Research has revealed that over 90% of the issues couples deal with in marriage, are rooted in childhood wounds suffered by each person, prior to the age of 11. If less than 10% of the problems in your marriage, have been created by you and your partner, than it stands to reason that the majority of the pain you experience in marriage is unintentionally triggered by your spouse, oftentimes by them just being their natural, charming self. For example, if you grew up in a home where your dad or mom yelled a lot, just the slightest influx in your spouse’s tone or volume could trigger an emotional reaction in you, where your subconscious is automatically reacting to the familiar feeling and stimuli. This could motivate you to either lash out at your spouse, in ways you never felt permission with your parents, or distance yourself from your partner physically and/or emotionally. Too often in marriage, we mistake “triggered pain” for intentional wounding, and inadvertently punish our husband or wife, for the sins of someone from our past. This person you once believed you couldn’t live without; has gradually become someone you can no longer imagine living with.
Your Spouse is NOT the Enemy
One of the greatest tricks of Satan, is to get you to view your partner as the source of all your unhappiness in life. As negative experiences accumulate in marriage, you can begin to believe lies such as: “I never felt this way before I married this person,” or “My life was so much easier when I was single.” Yet, the moment you start blaming your partner for all of your ills, you unknowingly become emotionally dependent on them, needing them to get fixed before you can move forward. This keeps you stuck in an indefinite holding pattern, and your emotional and spiritual maturity is stunted. You justify your position by telling yourself, “I will do my part…just as soon as they start doing theirs.” Not only do you willingly choose to be the victim in your own marriage, but you also allow Satan to hinder your effectiveness in God’s Kingdom, since it’s virtually impossible to love others and judge your spouse at the same time.
Since you can’t change what you don’t know, God designed your spouse to be a mirror, reflecting back to you all of your deepest wounds, fears, and insecurities. Instead of lashing out or blame-shifting, every time your partner triggers some deeper hurt, God wants you to look inward and ask yourself, “Where is this pain really coming from?” Once you can identify the true origin of a wound, you can then take active steps to process your pain and experience deeper healing. God did not give you your spouse to make you happy, but to make you better! The next time you find yourself wanting to villainize your partner, take a moment to read Matthew 7:3, and ask God to show you the plank from your past, that He’s wanting you to cut down to size.