The Secret Enemy in Your Marriage
And 5 Practical Ways to Deal With It
The greatest enemy of your marriage may not be quite what you think. In an article on Relevant Magazine’s website, John Weirick discusses what the secret enemy and how to deal with it:
“Left untouched, unexpressed conflict will turn assumptions into accusations and accusations into evidence. It’s like rendering a verdict when the other person didn’t even know court was in session.
Unexpressed conflict gets really practical, really personal, really fast.
Tension built up day after day from unvoiced irritations will sour the good experiences your family wants to have. Failures to apologize and bury the hatchet will kill the mood; say goodbye to laughter and sex when one or both of you feel wronged or uncared for.
When you allow your guilt about a mistake to grow into shame, you won’t even want to try to be a better spouse. Shame keeps spouses apart by telling the lie that you are bad, not just what you did was bad.
That shame perpetuates itself because it operates like a prison. You don’t know the way out, and your spouse doesn’t help you find a way out, so you start to believe you really do deserve punishment because you’re a bad person…
It’s one thing to see conflict and know it’s there. Usually, it looks like stomping into another room, or seemingly eternal car rides home after blowing up at each other in front of friends. Almost everyone can see those social cues of conflict.
What matters is how spouses express it to each other. The very act of expressing a misunderstanding, feeling or frustration with your spouse can actually create a stronger sense of togetherness that will help resolve the issue.
As Brené Brown writes, “Giving and soliciting feedback is about learning and growth, and understanding who we are and how we respond to the people around us is the foundation in this process.”
John goes on to write about the 5 ways to deal with unexpressed conflict in your marriage. Read the entire article here.