When I was thinking about my yesterday’s post a couple of weeks back, I asked my bride what one word she thought was the root of most marriage problems. She gave me two words: selfishness, which I covered yesterday, and fear.
Fear paralyzes us, and destroys both relationships and lives. Those who live in fear are captives, and their life tends to get smaller and smaller over time. If either you or your bride is living in fear, your marriage is being harmed by that fear.
Fear can come from a variety of sources, and the fear need not be part of the marriage relationship to harm that relationship. A few common fears:
- Financial fears, including fear of losing employment.
- Fear of spouse’s anger.
- Fear of death or disease for self, spouse, or children.
- Fear of spouse’s disapproval or disappointment.
- Fear that your spouse will have an affair.
- Fear of some person who has hurt or threatened you in the past.
- Fear that your spouse will leave you.
- Sexual fears – my spouse will want sex, my spouse will say no to sex, my body won’t work right, my spouses body won’t work right, we are in sin, and so on.
A fear need not be rational to be a problem, and knowing a fear is not rational does nothing to lessen that fear. Some fears are long standing, and many are built on fears from our past. A wife’s fears about her husband may be due in part to things her father, step-father or some other adult male did when she was young. However, it’s rare for a woman to hold onto a fear based on her past if her husband is not doing something to aggravate the situation.
If you have in the past given her reason to fear you, or anything you might do, say or think, please realise that it takes more than “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again” for her fear to be banished. It will take time; she needs to see you not returning to your past behaviour, and she needs to see you not returning to that behaviour in difficult situations that once triggered the actions that caused her fear.
If she can’t deal with her fears, she needs Trained Third Party Help – same for you if you can’t deal with your fears.
Bottom line: Don’t live in fear, don’t let your bride live in fear, and DO NOT be the cause of your bride’s fear.