When I was a kid I remember playing in the dirt and mud with my Tonka trucks. Those times were fun because there was something great about getting dirty. I also remember that sometimes my friends and I would have mud fights, and while I valiantly tried to win the “war” by escaping mudsling after mudsling, I often came home covered in mud. Today I no longer play with trucks in the mud with friends but I still find myself sometimes slinging mud at those closest to me. When I encounter people or situations that cause me great frustration and anger and I do not process those feelings in a healthy, holy and honoring way, I may find myself taking out on my wife the frustration and anger I feel through emotional or verbal outbursts. And when that happens, I would ask myself, “why?” Over the last few years of marriage, I have learned a few lessons about how the proper processing of frustration and anger impacts my marriage.
Avoidance Can Cause Hurt
I used to think that if I avoided dealing with feelings of frustration and anger that they would simply go away. More often than not though, they did not go away but actually reared their ugly head later on down the line. I have learned that when I avoid processing my feelings of frustration and anger for whatever reason, it is simply a matter of time before I will be forced to deal with them. While I cannot always avoid frustrating people or situations that stir up anger, I can proactively deal with the feelings so that those closest to me are spared from an unhealthy, unholy and dishonoring outburst.
My Wife Is My Partner
I used to think that I was sparing my wife from the details of life by not involving her in the process of dealing with feelings of frustration and anger. But if by withholding her from how I felt and what I was going through, I would instead be subjecting her to an emotional outburst, how is that honoring to her as my wife and my life partner? Is it not more honoring to her and our marriage to invite her into a time of vulnerability? Now you might say that this sounds good but that your marriage is different. Fair enough. Nonetheless, I realized that if my wife is wanting and open to being involved in the processing of my feelings, then I should not withhold from her. Instead, I should invite her into that process and the vulnerability of my heart and mind.
We Move Forward Together
Over the last few years I have learned that avoiding the process of dealing with frustration and anger is not healthy. I have also learned that involving my wife in the process of dealing with my feelings is good and necessary. However, the greatest lesson I have learned is that by involving my wife in the process, I am actually contributing to a stronger, healthier, and more intimate marriage and relationship. When I choose to process my feelings of frustration and anger with my wife in an open and honest way, then I am choosing to strengthen our ability as a couple to deal with the roller coaster of life.
I would like to encourage you that when you process feelings of frustration and anger with your wife in a healthy, holy and honoring way, then your marriage is impacted in several ways. You are able to grow in your understanding and compassion towards one another while also understanding each other on a more intimate level emotionally. Finally, you move forward together stronger than before and are thereby better able to handle future situations. May our marriages reflect greater love, understanding, and compassion to those around us and show all that marriage is a beautiful gift from God.
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