Posted by: Derek Guyer | May 20, 2008

Talk with your Spouse Tip #5


The other night, I was talking to what has become a very close brother-in-Christ (I’ll call him Mike).  He admittedly has major communication issues with his wife. About a year and a half ago, he cheated on his wife, and things have obviously been very rocky ever since. He’s been at a total loss for how to get things back on track. Everything he says digs a deeper hole. No matter how true or honest his comment may be, her pain is far deeper, and she is not willing to receive it. He wants peace, but she’s still hiding from the pain. She’s hurting so deep that no matter how much truth he may be speaking, she’s fighting.

What do you say when you want to fix things, but have caused so much pain that your words hold no value? The wall is up, and you’re on the outside. 

This is a tough situation, but trust me you’re not alone. We’re hearing about it all of the time, and this isn’t exclusive to homes hurt by affairs. Most homes are riddled with broken love and hearts.

When Mike started telling me the issue, we wrestled back and forth for quite a while looking for a way to work through this with her. He wanted so badly to have a good conversation. But she was broken. So, we had to first take down the walls. 

Mike’s wife needed to know he loved her and that he wasn’t just picking out her flaws. I guarantee that most of you reading this can completely understand. You may not have been cheating on your husband or wife, but you’ve hurt them. We’ve all been there in one way or another.

If you’ve hurt them bad enough, your tone, facial expressions, eye contact, etc can all be offensive. It’s not because in and of themselves they’re offensive. It’s because they’re being associated with the pain that’s been created. The way you look at your husband so intently when you’re concerned about him is the same way you looked at him when you told him about the affair. The way you won’t make eye contact is the same way you looked when he addressed you about the pornography. It could even be the way you cancelled plans with your spouse’s family to go to the game.

As I told Mike, if she’s on the defense, taking the wall down is the first step. “If she doesn’t like the way you tell her about it, write her a letter.” So, he did.

He said the same things he’s always said, but wrote it this time. She responded with flying colors. Why? Whatever barriers were in the way before, had been taken down. 

Sometimes “talking” with your spouse requires not actually talking but using another form of communication instead. If your living in a broken marriage, this may be the very thing you need. 

Communication tip: Stop laying the mortar for the bricks between you and your spouse. Write a letter and start taking down the walls.

 

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