Sunburned on the inside

Imagine I had a bad sunburn, but wore a shirt so you could not see it. If you came up and hugged me (I’m from Texas, everyone hugs) it would hurt – probably a lot. Now imagine if rather than hugging me, you slapped me on the back – very hard. That would hurt even more.

In the first instance, you have no intention to hurt me – in fact, you intended to bless me. In the second instance what you did was not nice, and would have hurt had I not been sunburned, but my pain would be far greater than what you intended.

What if I reacted in each situation without telling you I was sunburned? In the fist case you would think I was crazy, in the second you would think I was a big baby making way too much out of something minor.

The same kind of things happens in marriages all the time, except that the sunburn is wounds of the heart and mind, wounds that can never bee seen. What’s more, we tend to either not know or not care that our wounds are not the norm – we expect the world to see the wounds and treat us accordingly, or we think the entire world is similarly wounded and thus similarly sensitive.

So, you wife has one of these hidden sunburns, and you do something you think is nice, like a hug. She reacts with hurt or anger, and you have no idea why. She can’t or won’t explain. Or, you slap her on the back and she goes off on you, telling you how mean and horrible you are. You can see that it might have been a bit much, but her reaction is so over-the-top that you feel wronged by her. It’s clear to you she is unreasonable and can’t be talked to, and you pull back.

You can avoid a lot of trouble by learning see the wounds in yourself that your bride is hitting. Help her to understand, or at least be aware of, your injuries so that she can try to avoid them while you work to get them healed. Additionally, when your bride over reacts, don’t chalk it up to her hormones or just being irrational – try to figure out if you are hitting an internal sunburn.

5 Comments on “Sunburned on the inside

  1. Well first it seems that who ever you are posting these NEVER replies back to your readers!! Not sure if that’s not in your plan of action but if your giving out advise on marriages and if someone comments on your post – just maybe you may want to reply. As far as the post if you’ve tried all that and they still don’t want to “play” nice then what? I’m just sayin!

    I’m @

  2. @ Eddie – I reply fairly often. My replies are in the comments, with a blue background. If a comment makes a good point and stands on it’s own I often don’t say anything – but maybe I should.

    As to what then, it depends. It takes time for her to heal – time and space. If she has not been given that, then you should not expect a chance. If she has been given that, then it’s time to push a bit. If she had a physical aliment that was not going away on it’s own, you would urge her to see a doctor – her mental and emotional injuries should be the same. Show her that her pain is hurting her, her family, and her friends. Show her how it limits her and causes her to live in fear. Don’t make a sudden huge deal about it, start small, work up. Don’t make it about you and what you want, but about her deserving to be healthy.

    • Thank you for the respond. As far as those options I’ve tried to offer her/us all types of help, through family, medical, mental – you name it I’ve tried it. No way in the world am I perfect, and will probably screw up at some point today. I’ve given space (she left us for 7 mos) no change. Offered counseling (she didn’t want to go) – no change. I understand that I can’t change anyone and honestly I’m not trying to change her, I like her as she is. But I made a commitment and just wondering when are people going to uphold their part in what they say… just venting I guess. Thanks again for the reply.

  3. Internal sunburns can be created before, during, and after you take your vows. Here is an example of one that I know many couples deal with—cuddling. Some people love to cuddle while others can’t stand it. Gender has nothing to do with it!

    Sometimes, it is the wife who wants to cuddle, but the husband just wants to go to sleep. I guess this is the most common scenario, but it is not the only one. There are many men out there who would love for their wife to snuggle up to them and fall asleep in their arms every night.

    However, there are some ladies out there who simply cannot get to sleep when someone’s toe is on their side of the bed let alone having arms and legs wrapped around them. It has nothing to do with love or trust; they just want to go to sleep.

    In either case, the remedy is to discuss this with your spouse and “try to figure out if you are hitting an internal sunburn.’ Don’t let them continue to think it is something that is wrong with them personally. Help them to understand how you are feeling, what you are comfortable with, and find ways to compromise so that everyone gets in a cuddle or two–at the right time–so all can enjoy. – A Safe & Sexy Store for Christian Married Couples

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