“Did you lock the door to our room last night?” That was the question Gavin asked me in a wondering voice and I immediately started laughing so hard because yes, yes I had. I locked the door and went to bed. Bernice, our dog, kept coming in while I was trying to fold the laundry and I needed her to stay out. Don’t ask me why I locked it so our dog couldn’t open the door so let’s call it a late night delirious decision. What you don’t know is that Gavin and I had a fight about 20 minutes before I locked the door.
Obviously, Gavin thought I was so angry that I locked him out. In all honesty, the past version of myself would have totally locked the door to feel in control; thankfully, the present me knows better. Gavin then carried this question for a full day and I had no idea! The day was busy with all kinds of kids things and when dinner finally came he looked at me and asked, “Did you lock the door to our room last night?” It would have been so easy for him to not say anything to me and let it simmer for days or weeks (past Gavin would have), but that evening he was wise enough to know that the things unsaid are the things that disconnect us the most.
Leave Things Out In The Open In Your Marriage
You see, the things unsaid, the things kept hidden in our hearts and minds are the things that make marriages fail. Why? Because they lead to shame, doubt, and confusion which makes our safe covenant no longer safe. The enemy does a really good job at putting doubt and fear in our mind. Have you ever heard one of these thoughts: “He thinks I am too much.” “She thinks she is right and I am wrong.” “He is so inconsiderate and did not even think of me.” “She is just doing that to hurt me.”
I could go on and on with the lies that the enemy puts in our minds; lies that we are responsible for addressing and, when safe, for sharing with our spouses in order to get clarity. Gavin could have easily gotten mad thinking that I had locked the door to hurt him and punish him; he could have kept it inside and our connection would have suffered deeply. Once the same lies keep coming to one's mind, they turn into shame, and shame makes the lies our spouse’s false identity. If Gavin thinks at first, “She is trying to punish me,” that same thought would eventually turn into, “She is a punisher,” and that would lead to a different interaction from him to me.
What Does God Believe About You, Your Spouse, And Your Marriage?
I want to encourage you to search your heart and ask yourself if you have placed any false identities on your spouse. How we treat our spouses shows us a lot of what we believe about them. Do a self assessment and then ask the Lord for forgiveness and ask Him to tell you what He believes about your spouse. It is helpful if we couple Bible verses with what He says because at the times when we forget, we have truth to stand on. Further, I want you to do a self assessment about what you think about yourself and ask God what He thinks about you. Sometimes we criticize others because we are projecting onto them our personal beliefs about ourselves.
Take the time to do this and if you do, I would love to hear how it goes and what God is doing in your life. Always remember that marriage is not about quick fixes and/or behavior modification, it is about heart transformation that leads to healthy changes in your marriage.
Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA
If you are going through a hard time and are in need of counseling, please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist or attending one of our marriage intensives. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:
Reach out to talk to a Marietta therapist.
Have your first appointment at Remain Connected.
Learn how to handle your marriage in a healthy way.
Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling
Our team knows you may experience more than marriage issues. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapy, anxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.