There are constructive ways to deal with conflict and manage emotional pain as a wife, and then there are destructive ways.
I’ve chosen the destructive path a time or two (or three!) as a wife, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned as a result, it’s that effective pain management is key to having a satisfying marriage.
Early on in my marriage I was given to occasional fits of rage. I hit (rarely, but still, I did), I screamed way too much, I threw house hold items. Jeez! Talk about tearing down your home with your own hands.
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. (Proverbs 14:1)
These are horrible admissions! But I’m glad to say that since then I have learned better ways of dealing with conflict in my marriage and managing the pain that inevitably ensues.
It certainly wasn’t an over night process; but you know, after many years of allowing God’s word to wash over my life it began to change me . . . and because it changed me, it began to change the outcomes of my marriage.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 2:12)
Looking back, when I consider the reasons why I sometimes unraveled as a wife and mismanaged my pain immediately following conflict, I’ve been able to identify several key things that I did which were not profitable.
In fact, they actually made things worse!
They are glaringly apparent errors, and still, I continued to stumble over them.
This got me to thinking that if a person did the exact opposite of what I did, it would result in several amazingly effective ways to help them manage their pain.
Seriously, these are all very real emotions that I’ve struggled with when the emotional pain that followed conflict was off the charts. They are not fluffy concepts and ideas; they are real emotions and behaviors that are poison to a marriage and are to be avoided at all costs.
1. Don’t Panic!
Okay, something has happened that has caused you great emotional pain and has thrown you into a frenzy. Whether it’s a new, horrid revelation, a verbal fight, or even an old emotional wound that’s been reopened, DO NOT react by saying hurtful things to your spouse (or hitting, biting, clawing, or throwing appliances . . . and definitely NO hot grits! Note: Tyler Perry movies are bad for your marriage :-)).
Find a quiet place. Go to God in prayer. Cry out to Him.
Tell him that you are hurting and that you feel crushed and possibly out of control. Your prayer is meaningful to God and really does influence the outcome (even if it only influences your heart). Please believe in the effectiveness and power of prayer! I have often made things worse in a moment of panic by not taking time to pray.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress. (Psalm 107:28)
2. Maintain Your Perspective
Emotional pain is notorious for ruining our perspective as wives.
Those of us who have been married for some length of time can tell you that there have been days in our marriage when the sun shone brightly and we were head-over-heels in love. However, there were also days when the sky was black and a dark cloud hung over our head.
We have good marriage days and we have bad days.
Today may be a dark day, but the sun will shine again if you take these action steps.
If you haven’t experienced these dark emotional days – glad to hear it! But don’t be surprised if and when it happens because none of us are immune to them. And when they do come, kick despair to curb and keep it at bay with God’s word . . .
“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10: 4-5)
3. Don’t Look Backward
God did not design us to look backward longingly.
Looking backward can intensify emotional pain, create a sense of discontentment, and encourage unforgiveness.
Once God has done a work of forgiveness in your heart – look forward and let the past go. The painful memories are toxic and will rot your heart. Don’t be like Lot’s wife who could’t let go of the past and turned into a pillar of salt! Salt is a bad fashion statement. :o)
“Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10)
4. Don’t Forecast Doom
Sometimes looking forward can be just as lethal as looking backward; that is, if we’re forecasting a negative outcome based on our present painful situation. In this instance, trying to figure out the future encourages worry and fear. This is chiefly because we’re not likely to project a rosy outcome for our marriage when we are in pain.
Do not deceive yourself into thinking that things will NOT get better. You may be thinking the worst about tomorrow based on your present emotions and circumstance, but Jesus counsels us not to worry . . .
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
So there you have it! Four amazingly effective ways to help you manage pain in your marriage – because sometimes, the most obvious things are the hardest to do.
What about you? Do you have any other pain management tips to add to this list? Post a comment below to share. I’d love to hear from you!
These are great tips on taking responsibility for ourselves as wives too. Thank you for sharing with #theCozyReadingSpot
Hope to see you again tomorrow
Hey Marissa, you are so welcome. It’s always a pleasure to link up with the Cozy reading spot community!
Suzi t says
This is my greatest fear . I’ve been so unsettled in this regard. I hope I was meant to read this post for a reason.
I’m sure you were supposed to read this post. There is a reason and season for everything. I pray that it serves as a gentle reminder for you (and me) to keep trying to manage our pain in a God glorifying way.
Blessings to you and thank you for stopping by!
Michele Morin says
Well it’s not very original, but forgiveness is the key for me. If I hold grudges or make nice long lists of all the offenses I’ve stored up . . .
I need to stay in touch with the Gospel that says I’ve been forgiven MUCH!
Hey Michelle! Yes, forgiveness is KEY! I love your point. So valid. You wouldn’t believe that I cut that point out of the post because it was running long and I feel like I’m ALWAYS talking about forgiveness in my marriage posts. But you’ve nailed it. Thanks for getting it back in! Ans thanks for sharing!
Bre Rock says
Thanks for sharing, you’re so honest and I really appreciate it because what you say resonates with me in so many ways. Unfortunately, I can think of too many times that I’ve seen these in my own life. One thing I’ve found that helps me is to be calmly honest with my Hubs. So many times he can offer me a better perspective than what’s in my own head, this is especially true if I’m falling into your #4. He’ll look at me and say, “Really Bre, do you think the Lord won’t take better care of us than that?” It helps me so much to get out of my own head and take a real look at the situation.
Thanks for posting!
Hey Bre! Be calm and honest…I love it and I get it! Praise the Lord that you have a godly husband who helps you to have a godly perspective. Thanks for sharing with us.
I think another thing that is helpful is to learn to give yourself time to process. It keeps us from reacting rashly. We need to cool off, calm down, and go to God before we say/do something hurtful and harmful. A good idea is to take a walk, take a shower, get out of the house, call a friend or whatever. I call this THE POWER OF THE PAUSE. just pause and think, before you do something damaging. thanks~
Hi Karen! I love what you call your suggestion: The power of the pause. I know that is downright effective! Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom. I am hopeful that it will be another tool that wives can use in their arsenal to manage pain effectively. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. It’s a pleasure having you. Please come again!
Great post, Tiffiney! So eloquently stated, so powerfully practical and so biblically sound! You hit it out of the park, my friend! I’ll be sharing!
So glad to hear that what I’ve shared has resonated with you, and thanks so much for sharing! It’s always appreciated. I pray it blesses others as they take to heart what I’ve shared.
Thanks so much for stopping by my little part of the blogosphere. Have a blessed day. :o)
Renee (mendedandblended.com) says
Isn’t it amazing how our marriages change and mature as we do. I look back to when I was first married as see how immature I was….so glad God has grown me 🙂
Hey Renee, I couldn’t agree more! Thank God for growth. And thanks for stopping by and commenting. Have a blessed day.
I just know when I read your posts it will “hit home” and straight into my heart while making me laugh at the same time! I love your honesty and the fact that you share the “real” in married life. I’ve been in those painful places too and have had to learn how to control my own pain as well. I am an email subscriber and your emails are always ones I want to read. Stay tuned because I mentioned your name and blog to be one of the Behind the Link features at #100HappyDays in the next few months.
Wow! I am so glad that you can relate to my writing. I am really trying to glorify God and show his mighty hand in the affairs of my family. He is so awesome! And thank you for considering me for a Behind the Link feature. That is so kind of you.
Blessings to you and your family!