Have you ever found yourself feeling:
“I’m just so mad, so hurt—again. I’m not going to share my heart with him anymore. He doesn’t understand. It is too painful. We’ll live in the same house but he can do his thing and I’ll do mine.”
Most of us, if we are really honest, have felt this way about our husband from time to time.
I call it falling into the trap of emotional divorce.
Imagine a solid glass patio door.
Emotional divorce is a bit like slamming that patio door shut on our hearts.
We still see the person on the other side, but there’s a strong, sealed panel between us.
We begin to close up our heart to him.
This trap can occur during stressful transitions in our lives-a move, a job loss, financial pressures, a new baby, caring for elderly parents, a child in crisis, etc. We are stressed and if each of us responds differently to the issue, we get irritated.
We are too exhausted to communicate.
We are afraid, and we unintentionally take it out on one another.
What do we do when we find ourselves falling into this trap?
1. Recognize what is happening and refuse to let that “patio door” separate you.
2. Make the decision to take a sledgehammer and begin to chip away at that glass wall.
Thick patio doors don’t usually splinter into pieces all at once. It takes a steady chipping away at a tiny crack until the door dissolves.
3. Talk to a godly older couple and ask for their help.
Most churches have older couples who would be happy to mentor you, pray for you, and encourage you. Get counseling as needed.
4. Remember God is for your marriage.
He is the strong “super glue” holding you together. You can rely on Him. He will bring you through this time and your marriage will be deeper and stronger as a result.
“For nothing is impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)
Susan Alexander Yates is a mom to five children (including a set of twins) and grandmother to 21 (including a set of quadruplets!). Susan and her husband John have been married 51 years. Susan has written 16 books and speaks on the subjects of marriage, parenting, faith, and women’s issues. Susan’s favorite time of the year is June when all her kids and grandkids are together for a week of “cousins and family camp” in the foothills of the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.