The feeling tightens your chest, while thickening your throat.
You stand, perplexed, by the insensitivity of the man you married.
How could he say/do/think such a thing about you/the kids/your motives?
Or maybe it’s a snarky biting comment from your mother, sister, or a girlfriend.
What do you do?
Are you silent?
Are you angry?
Do you react and hurt back, or do you respond?
Do you want to, but don’t know how to without causing even more heartache?
Feel trapped, wanting to change things, but just don’t know how?
It is likely you grew up in a household where conflict seldom, if ever, reached healthy resolution and more commonly was avoided altogether or resolved in damaging ways. This is one of the reasons The Respect Dare invites God to reveal His Truth in your life early in the book.
Destined to repeat the same unhealthy patterns without awareness and intervention, the upcoming generation misses out on the teaching of becoming intimate through resolving differences well, failing too in the healing process of apology and forgiveness.
Grudges are kept because conflict unresolved leaves a gaping wound of a door open on the issue.
There’s never a sense of, “We’re all good together again…” but rather, “I better walk on eggshells…” because we don’t know where we stand.
Maybe you were taught that the “silent treatment” is what submissive and respectful wives did.
Maybe you were taught that yelling or exploding was how conflict was handled.
Maybe in your house, calling people names, demeaning them, and telling them to “shut up!” was the solution.
Or maybe it was even worse than that.
Maybe everyone just pretended there were no issues…
Next week, I’ll be sharing a story about healthy resolution.
For today, I am just daring you to be brave. Dare you to ask God how conflict happened in your home. Was it resolved well? Was it avoided? Were you or one of your parents ever afraid? Double dog dare you to ask Him how this impacts your relationships today – it’s likely that it does. Triple dog dare you to share with us here about what He reveals to you.
The bottom line? Conflict is inevitable. Resolved well, it strengthens and deepens relationships. Resolved poorly or avoided, conflict brings resentment, bitterness, and destruction to relationships.
Glad you are on the journey! There’s life abundant here.
It’s why He came.
Love to you,
This reminds me of my childhood…..My mother is a angry woman always have been and I’m not really sure why, she is a closed off person and was never really emotionally involved in loving me and showing it. it She did a lot of yelling and arguing and she has to be in control. I thought I’ll never be like her, her but the thing is most people repeat how they are raised. I started doing all these behaviors in my marriage and pretty soon my husband was calling me my mother. That is another reason I am taking my journey with the Lord and husband. I don’t want my only trait for the rest of my days to be negativity and that’s what I was consuming my whole relationship with was a negative attitude about everything. You don’t have to repeat the way you were raised! Good luck to everyone out there on their journeys. You can make a better you!
Growing up, there was a lot of loud talking, not always yelling, and not always mean, but if someone didn’t get their way, they’d just get louder until they did. My mom never said an ill word to anyone, which drove me insane because my dad and I fought like we were getting paid to do it. I didn’t realize how much it hurt her that we fought until one day I was venting about how much I ‘hated’ him. You have to understand that my dad was unintentionally cruel, he said very mean things in the spirit of trying to be funny, he never understood why I got my feelings hurt when he said I was fat, or dumb, or ugly. He really thought he was joking. But I told my mom how much I hated him and that I was done ever talking to him. She just looked at me and said “Just remember, he’s just your father, but I married him. He’s my husband and I love him. You didn’t chose him, but I did.” at the time I thought “AHA I knew you were on his side.” But now that I’m older I get it. It hurt her that we never got along and that we put her in the middle.
When my son was around 12 or 13, I did the same thing to him, my dad and I still fought and it was wreaking havoc on my marriage. I would vent to my son because he was a good listener and very mature. But he finally told me to stop. That it hurt him when we all complained about each other behind their backs.
So my way to resolve conflict is to turn to someone that isn’t involved and talk about the person that is…incredibly unhealthy and it resolves nothing. In fact it makes things worse because you know when you talk about someone, they always find out….
Awesome that you can see these things, Susie! And I’m so sorry for all you went through… very difficult.
Sounds like God is shedding some light on those situations – which is really cool.
Am praising God with what He is revealing to you! 🙂
God wants you to apologize and seek forgiveness, while forgiving him as well. We are to pursue reconciliation, regardless of whose fault it is:
Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” NIV
Matthew 18:15, “If your brother sins against you, (that is, if its their fault) then you go to him….!” NIV
In either case, we go to the person – regardless of who is at fault. 🙂
Can’t wait to see what God is going to do! 🙂
Glad you are here,
Love to you,
We have been married for 7 years. Honestly, the first 2 or as everyone seems to call them “the honeymoon period” was anything but because of unresolved conflict, unrealistic expectations, and unhealthy expressions of anger and pain. When I didn’t feel understood or just dumbfounded at the insensitivity I would just boil over with absolutely no control! It turned into trying to say anything that would merit some sort of response from my husband. He is not emotional and I took that to mean that he didn’t care or worse that he didn’t and would never understand me. I can’t tell you what kind of pit of loneliness I was in! I know now, after starting the respect dare that I have been expecting things from my husband that only God himself can provide! How wrong it has been for me to do this to him! Never being satisfied with his efforts, and always quick to criticize! Bless his ever lovin’ heart that he has had to out up with me! I am so thrilled to be on this journey through The Respect Dare! I can’t tell you how much God has filled me and our marriage up since I’ve started! Thank you!
So privileged to hear what God is doing as you journey through the book! Your humble teachable heart is just beautiful. SO glad you are here!
Praising Him with you,
Love to you,
I tell myself, “shut up shut up shut up” in my head sometimes. It seems to help! My husband says sometimes he can see my internal struggle to keep my mouth shut and appreciates my effort! 😉
If it is something that really does need to be addressed, I will sometimes write a little note that tries to spin it in a more positive way, like, “I love how hard you work to take care of our family. I am feeling a little bit disconnected right now, though. It would mean so much to me if you could really take charge of planning some special time for us together every couple of weeks. I would love to reconnect with the amazing man I married!” or whatever would be applicable to that situation. It seems to really help ask for a change without being disrespectful.
Megan – I love your note idea. What a great way to ask for something. I hear you, I am often reminding myself to be “Be still” when inside I’d rather be anything but! Thank you for being here! Bless you.
Oh, how I wish it were already next week. Our hearts have been very heavy as of late trying to resolve conflict with my in-laws. There are so many grudges and unresolved issues because they are being swept under the rug. As David said, “my soul is sore vexed.”
Please pray for me and my family. God has been reminding us to “be still and know that He will be exalted”, but right now, it just hurts.
Sarah, our hearts go out to you… prayers for your situation with your in-laws… so much difficulty with those we love is so very hard. Praying His light and truth shine into your circumstances and all involved emerge stronger, more committed to each other, and more deeply in love with Him and each other.
Love to you,
I am just now in a situation where I am so angry and bitter and resentful and I don’t care about why it is that way. I asked God, I talked about it in therapy, I will never find out and I think it is not important. The only thing I would love to know is how I can change this. Since the beginning of my marriage my husband left me alone with anything dificult. He wouldn’t talk to me at all for days. When our son was two, he left the family to live alone. I walked with God for 9 years, believing and working on me and my faith until I was not able to stand the situation anymore so I asked for a divorce. I felt good. 6 months later he came to ask me if I wanted to try again and I said yes. We talked about many things. We decided to do things together and to find new ways for our love.A month laer we were in the same pit and if not worse enough I found out he betrayed me and lied to me.
I am still trying. I ahave got a divorce busting coach and I tried to do the respect dare, but this is not possible, because if I try to talk to him, ask him things that it says there he will just attack me in bad ways with horrible words.It hurts too much and then I get so angry I could kill him. And I want to learn to control this anger. I want to b e able to act correctly even if he treats me like sh…
I am treating him respectfully most of the time sinced two years. But it won’t change a bit in him. Yea, I have changed a lot and friends tell me, why I still put up with al of this, and I am starting to ask myself the same question.
I know, I didn’t make clear, what I am looking for here… I just need to know how to control my nager and even thouhgh I am hurt and tired of all.. How can I get myself to act correctly. I am not perfect and will never be and I feel that’s what I have to be if I read so many things you write in the blog or in the respect dare. I am only human.
Thanks for reading.
I am so sorry you are suffering this!! And for such a long time… and no, you don’t have to be perfect – there’s only ONE Jesus!
I can remember the anger. And the hurt.
And I’m so thankful for the many women who have seen their way through this to the other side – by God’s grace and in His strength alone.
We get to this place where we trust Him so much, where His love fills us so much, that we have the compassion of Christ within us, and we are just thankful to be useful to Him, because relationship with Him is everything. We have to get to this place in our walk, which takes daily prayer and listening, obedience until our heart is cleaned out and we can tell what our nature is, but not react that way, instead He is more than we are within ourselves if that makes sense. His compassion and His Spirit and our identity wrapped up in His opinion of us allows us to interact and not take things personally such that we have nothing but compassion and pity and understanding for those that hurt us.
And then, we can respond the way He leads.
Sounds impossible, maybe for you right now. I remember those days. 🙂 May I ever so gently, ever so lovingly suggest to you that you ask God what is under this anger? It’s usually a deep hurt, almost always tied to our own childhoods, a lie (or group of lies) we believed that we never healed from and through which we filter all of our current circumstances. Maybe you felt abandoned emotionally or physically by your parents and naturally had expectations of your husband that he would not do this to you, but he did, and so somewhere in your communication with him, perhaps you are setting up this scenario so that you can protect yourself from the hurt that would come when he disappoints you again… I don’t know, but I’ve seen things like this literally hundreds of times… and it doesn’t have to be this way. I’d like to encourage you in your journey – perhaps to talk with your counselor about the Yerkovich’s materials – there’s a great diagnostic here: http://howwelove.com/ that might help you sort through some of these things.
And God wants you to sort through them. He loves you and wants you to heal… and in doing so, demonstrate healthy relationship for your child and others in your life…
You’ll know you are getting closer when your life is filled with “coincidences” – when the short Bible reading you do first thing in the morning every day suddenly starts having deeper meaning, and that is confirmed throughout your day by strange happenings. And within you, is a deep trust, that even if things go badly, you know that they went the way God knew they would because you are sure that you did what He wanted. 🙂
Love to you, dear sister… this is a hard road, paved in tears. Your husband doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s on his own journey with God.
Prayers for you both.
I feel understood and accepted.
Thank you. =)
🙂 ((hugs)) to you, lovely. Check my post – I updated it with a great resource! 🙂
Love to you, keep us posted – I sense there is a victory for you coming, and He wants to use this pain to encourage your sisters in Him.
Nina – your post is spot on! There is one area, though, that is also a source of so much confusion and hurt in relationships. That is for those of us who are survivors of abuse and addiction. Dealing with someone who is out of control and dangerous gives us survival modes and coping mechanisms that don’t work when we are adults, when we are in a safe and healthy relationship, when we are moving forward through the hurt into the healing.
The challenges our spouses and children face as we learn, sometimes for the first time, that conflict won’t get you injured or cause someone you love to be threatened with death, are so daunting.
Having support is so important, prayer support and good friends who can help learn what is safe, positive and healthy when it comes to resolving conflict are critical for us who wish to learn new habits and new communication skills.
Often when we have an argument or having trouble resolving and issue, my sweet husband doesn’t know if it is something from the past flashing back, something more recent or a complete survival mode knee-jerk-reaction. What he does know is that it is confusing and hurtful. What we both know is that we can learn, together, how to communicate in healthy, Godly ways.
Life is fragile, handle with prayer the saying goes. Relearning and sometimes learning anew is also fragile, and needs to be handled with care too. We are better now than we ever were, but sometimes I get confused about what battle I’m fighting or even if it is a battle at all. I either shut down or I fight back. I’m learning to pray and to know when God wants me to speak and when He wants me to be silent and in both I trust in Him first.
Agreed! And the abuse Magnifies and Intensifies the situation – INCREASING the difficulties in resolution – while at the core, the issue is the same – something from our past is creating a flare. For some, this is a small flame and a small feeling of helplessness. For abuse victims, from what I understand, and please correct me if this isn’t correct, the flame isn’t small, but rather a bonfire immediately loosed. I can’t wait to explore this topic more with our group here! 🙂 You know I’ll be pulling in resources… 🙂
You are right, it can be an immediate bonfire or it can be a total lock down. Can’t wait to dig in with you and everyone! Prayers and love.
Comments are closed.