Monday, May 30, 2011

Dealing With Emotional Baggage (in Marriage)

During any counsel scenario - (1.) typical marital issues or (2.) personal/emotional issues

Marriage Issues - probably caused by or inherent to a marriage relationship. ie: problems that didn't exist until the union.
Examples: $ management by 2, child discipline, sexual compatibility, dealing with in-laws.

gender differences, personal preference, issues of teamwork and cooperation.

Marriage issues are common - there are some in all marriages.
Marriage issues are predictable - "let me finish your story"
Marriage issues are relatively easy to diagnose and address.

Emotional Issues and Emotional Baggage are not problems caused by the union.
They are unresolved issues brought into the union.

So..... Emotional issues and emotional baggage on the one hand cause problems in marriage. BUT, they are not caused by the marriage!!

Descriptive Terms

1. Baggage
- because brought it with you. (unpacked in the relationship)

2. Personal - because it's yours! It belongs to you!

3. Emotional - because it's deep seated, solidly rooted feelings!!

4. Mental - because it affects how you think, see, perceive. And how you think and feel leads to how you act, react, respond

5. Unresolved because the problem is past experiences. The problem is past experiences that have not been resolved, dealt with, cleared up, etc.

6. Issues, problems because the are problems!!! Your feelings, conclusions contrary to God's will for you. So, (a) hinder growth, maturity (b) hinder your ability to give and receive love.

May be inherited, learned, environmental, introduced (by trauma) *these are real causes, BUT, they may even be perceived, and imagined cause!!

*POINT - these (any) unresolved emotional issues are:
1. contrary to God's will and intent for you.
2. hinder your growth, maturity
3. hinder your ability to give and received in a relationship

In summary: 1. It's sin, wrong, detrimental!
2. You have to be the one to deal with them.

IV. Observations

We all have emotional baggage, because we are sinners, raised by sinners, in a sinful world.
2. Emotional baggage comes in all levels of intensity.
Some are minor. example: prejudice against little dogs.
Some are major. example: prejudice against little boys or girls!

Most issues are not big BUT can be compared to a thorn in your shoe!!

3. The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals within the marriage.

4. The emotional health of one cannot (fully) compensate or offset the emotional baggage of the other. Can make a difference, can help, but cannot make the relationship what it should be.

5. Emotional issues in one tend to create emotional issues in the other. (introduced baggage)
Example: abusive alcoholic can effect wife??

6. Emotional issues in parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.
Example: who is more likely to be physically abusive?, sexually abusive?, domineering? later in life. Statistics show that it is usually those who have come out of those types of situations.

Again: NOTE: most of the illustrations are radical for the sake of illustration.
But, remember, emotional issues come in small doses more often than in large doses.

Application - take responsibility for your Emotional Baggage
On one hand, you may not be responsible for owning the baggage. However, (as an adult) you are responsible for dealing with it!!

First. how not to deal with emotional baggage .... denial, indifference, stone-walling, blame transfer, helpless victim, etc.

1. Admit generally - you are a sinner, were raised by sinners, have emotional issues.

2. Assess yourself.
It's HARD!
Because not convinced of the issues, not convinced of need

The Need here is objective measure. - subjective is measured inwardly (my thoughts, feelings, opinions, stand
Objective is measured from without - independent of inner beliefs

The objective measure for emotional issues??? - God's Word - 2 Tim. 3:14-16

3. Admit specifically

4. Deal with issues scripturally
Examples: confession, apology, forgiveness, repentance, fresh input....
John 8:31 & 32

5. Replace the baggage with truth -
"put off, put on"
(Get help if necessary!!!)

1 comment:

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