Is HER Past Hurting Your Present and Killing Your Future?
You’re not the only one with undead things in your life. Unless your wife has lived an exceptionally easy and blessed life, she has been hurt in the past. Unless she has worked very hard to deal with these past injuries, they are affecting her, and you, and your marriage, and probably your sex life.
Her undead stuff is probably easier for you to see than your own. If she over reacts for no understandable reason, and it’s not that-time-of-the-month, suspect some undead injury from long ago. While you may occasionally come across something more recent, most of what causes big problems will go back to things from before you knew her. We’re less able to understand and cope with things when we’re younger, so those things usually do greater and deeper harm.
Years later, you come along and poke one of those places where she is injured, and she feels the pain all over as if it were happening now. No one likes pain, so she reacts to it, and she probably blames you – just as you blame her when she pokes your long ago injuries.
There are different scenarios:
- You did nothing wrong. Joe asks Sally if something has been done. He’s just asking for information, he’s not implying or insinuating anything. Because of past injuries, Sally feels accused. She gets scared, which makes her defensive and hurt, which makes her angry.
- You did something slightly wrong. Bob Asks Betty something in a rude way. Because of years of being treated rudely by others, Betty explodes.
- You sinned. Trevon lied to Raven about why he was late getting home and she finds out he was actually with friends. Because Raven’s father lied to her about almost everything, she assumes Trevon is keeping all manner of secrets and starts accusing him of lying every time he says something.
- You sinned, and her imagination ran with it. Freda found a couple of porn sites in Scott’s computer history. They are months old, generic, and relatively mild sites, but because Freda was molested at a child she reacts strongly. She tells Scott he can’t be alone with their children because she thinks he will molest them, and she says if he doesn’t enter into a one-month rehab for sex addicts she will get a restraining order followed by a divorce.
Each of these situations is different, and should be handled differently.
- If you did nothing wrong, you can still be honestly sorry your actions or words hurt her. Deal with it and set it aside. Later, when she’s not in the moment, you can try to talk about it. Suggest her reaction seems larger than it should have been. Ask if you did something more than you are aware of, and move on from there.
- If you were rude or otherwise wrong without having committed a major wrong, admit your fault, apologise, and drop it. Later, see if you can get her to see her reaction was too strong.
- If you did something significantly wrong, any suggestion she is over reacting will be seen as an attempt to avoid dealing with your own sin. You’ve lost the high moral ground, and while she has a problem that needs to be addressed, you need to first deal with your sin and any reasonable fall out. You may need some help with this kind of situation, depending on how strong her reaction is.
- If you sinned, but she’s blown it all out of proportion, you need to take a stand. If Scott, from the example above, really has not looked at porn in a couple of months it is unlikely he is a sex addict, and a month-long program is going to waste a lot of money. If Scott has only looked at porn with adults in it, he is not a paedophile and his children are not at risk. If Scott gives into Freda he will reinforce her fear driven error, which is not a good thing. Of course, standing up to Freda is going to be ugly, and Scott needs as much help as he can get – including as many people as possible she thinks of as friends.
Regardless of the situation, the best thing is to have set a precedent by working on your undead issues. Show her, by example, the past hurts us until we deal with it. If you’re good about killing your undead so she doesn’t suffer for your past, she will be far more likely to do the same.