Pain Relief vs A Real Fix
Most of us don’t enjoy pain, be it physical, mental or emotional. This includes relational/marriage pain. When our marriage causes us pain we act to stop that pain. Unfortunately we sometimes choose fast pain relief over actually fixing the problem.
At the men’s retreat last week I did a bit of hiking – up a rather steep hill. It was great, but I’ve not done anything like that since July, and my muscles let me know about it. In this situation, a few pain pills and some muscle rub were a good choice. But if I’d torn something in one of my legs, just trying to relieve the pain would be a bad choice. Torn ligaments don’t heal on their own, and left untreated they limit life and may get worse.
Marriage is the same way. Some issues can be resolved with a few kinds words applied as pain relief, but other issues are more along the lines of tearing something. If the problem isn’t treated the injury will limit the marriage and probably get worse. “Rub some dirt in it and walk it off” is rarely a good answer to marriage difficulties. Many situations require discussion, apologies, forgiveness, grace, and promises to change.