Monday, May 30, 2016

Dealing with Emotional Baggage

During counseling sessions, often must distinguish between -
1)  typical marital issues = caused by the union
2)  personal, emotional issues - exited outside the union, brought into the union from without

Marital Issues = problems caused by or inherent to marriage.  ie:  problems that did not exist prior to the union.
Examples:  money management by 2, child discipline, blended homes, sexual compatibility, dealing with inlaws. 

Maybe - gender differences, personal preferences, teamwork and cooperation - BUT - marital issues = common, predictable, and therefore (relatively) easy to diagnose, address.

Emotional issues/Emotional baggage = are NOT problems CAUSED by the union.  They = unresolved issues brought into the union.
Examples:  passion =>frigidity = because childhood sexual abuse
                 lying  deceitfulness = formed in foster system
                 inner vows - "no woman's gonna control me" - domineering mother

These cause problems within marriage but are NOT caused BY the marriage.

Examples:  combat veteran, PTSD, POW's, Female captives - result in anger, violence, stubbornness, fear, suspicion, withdrawal, chauvinism, skepticism, domineering, insecurities, fear of bonding, intimacy =>from former failed marriages

OFTEN hidden/masked during courtship but surface in the intimacy of the home.

Baggage - bring with us and unpack int he marriage

Personal - it's yours, belongs to you.  (will cause problems for spouse But not spouse's problem)

Emotional - deeply seated FEELING, logic resistant - may even bye untrue!! - examples:  anorexia, inferiority complex

Unresolved - not dealt with, not cleared up.  problem is not the past experience.  = current Response to the past experience.

Issue/Problem - because = a Problem!!!
Hinders personal development, damages the relationship.  Keeps from becoming what supposed to be, created to be.

Origins?  may be:
        inherited - examples:  stubbornness, depression
        learned - examples:  kids in foster system - learn to do what necessary to survive
        absorbed - examples:  prejudice against opposite sex
OR Combination of these three.

Whatever the cause, the Result = unhealthy Feelings => improper actions => relational turmoil 

May be masked, hidden, down-played during courtship, but WILL surface within intimacy of marriage.

#1.  We all have emotional baggage - because we are sinners, raised by sinners, in sinful world

#2.  Emotional baggage comes in all sizes (carry on size to steamer trunk)

#3.  The emotional health of a marriage cannot exceed the emotional health of the individuals within the marriage.  A ________ marriage is made of ________ people.

#4.  The emotional health of one cannot (fully) compensate for the emotional baggage of the other.
example:  marital math   a 7 + a 3 doesn't = 10.  =5    7+3 divided by 2

#5.  Emotional issues in one tend to create emotional issues in the other.   Example:  abusive alcoholic =. wife? with problems = "2 become 1"

#6.  Emotional issues in parents tend to create emotional issues in the children.  who is most likely to be physically abusive?  sexually abusive?  - ans:  those who were physically, sexually abused as children.  Hence, create chains of Baggage.

(having said all that, might ask) Does it Really Matter??    Not to survival, but to thrive
Matt. 22:36-40

Emotional health affects:
1) your personal development
2) your relationships with others
3) your influence and impact on other


So, how should a Christian Respond?

#1.  Responsibly - (response-Able)
#2.  Biblically - (according to God's measure and Revelation)

Un-Biblical Responses:  Denial     Downplay    Indifference   Stonewalling   Blame transfer    Defeatism

Biblical Response? 
Examine - "how do I look?" - use friend, use mirror (God's Word)

Admit - say same thing God says

Repent = turn around, forsake, walk away

Repeat - because we tend to forget

May be MANY important steps between these 4  (this is more inspirational than instructional).

Add that knowledge + those steps = VERY IMPORTANT

BUT the biggest issue here = decision!!

Who's Boss in your marriage?  home? - husband?  wife?  kids?  inlaws?  job/income? 

Who SHOULD it be?  - GOD!!!!

No comments: