Ok so your marriage might not be in the place where you want it to be, yet no matter what you try, things just do not seem to change for the better. I fully understand where you are at. I speak with couples every single day who are where you are, so please firstly understand that you are not alone. You and your your spouse did not invent marriage problems!
So how do you begin to work to make things better?? U.N.I.T.E. is the word we will build together over these next few days leading up to the video on Sunday which will put all of this together for you. Tonight we will focus on the U in U.N.I.T.E. which stands for:
Understand the Hurt
We are going to begin at the absolute best place to start in order to rebuild your communication and marriage with your spouse – we are going to dig into the hurts that have been building up over time that you may or may not have been talking (or yelling) at each other about.
How do we do this? What you need is two pieces of paper and two pencils or pens. Each of you needs to take a sheet of paper and a pencil and then go into separate rooms in your home where you can be alone with your thoughts and not distracted by the television or your phone or anything else. Just you, your pen and paper, God, and your thoughts.
Now on your sheet of paper, I want you to write the following:
“You really hurt me when……..” and then I want you to fill the rest of the line with absolutely anything that you feel your spouse has hurt you by either doing or saying. Now I urge you to keep this list to the really important items, the items that you truly feel you have been deeply hurt by. Saying that you were hurt when he forgot to take the trash out just should not make this list – it is too trivial. Only the truly important items.
Why do we do this and what is it supposed to accomplish, especially since many of these items are the items you may be yelling at each other for already? Well to begin with, how is that yelling working for you? Not so great huh? When you are at the point where you are yelling, you are considered out of control of yourself and the situation.
We write these things down for a couple of reasons. First, this will allow you to brain dump and truly think through the things that truly matter to you and will show you that maybe some of the things you have been arguing about may not even be considered important by you. Second, during future steps you are going to hand this list over to your spouse and they are going to read them. I will explain how this will happen in a later post so for now just focus on writing our your hurts.
When you have listed them out (and there is no limit here – I have actually seen people who have had 15 written pages of hurts, of course they have been married for 52 years!) the next steps is to write beside each hurt all of the emotions that the hurt makes you feel.
Let me give you an example of one to get your started:
“You really hurt me when you told me that you feel I do not do anything at all, ever, to help around the house.” This makes me feel unloved, unappreciated, and worthless.
Wow! Unloved, unappreciated, and worthless are huge words that cut right to the heart of a person, and if this is how you feel, then by all means write it down because only by sharing how you truly feel will you be able to help your spouse understand your hurts.
Hopefully now that you see one written out, you will see the power that lies in these statements. I guarantee that you will write out hurts that your spouse has no clue you were hurt by, and you will read hurts that your spouse has written down that you knew nothing about. That is the precise reason why we write these out. We want our spouse to understand our hurts – what they are, how they made us feel, and why they are important to us.
I urge you to play the home game and go ahead and write your hurts out on paper. I also urge you to get your spouse to do the same. Friends, you can do this even if you have the best marriage in the world and I guarantee it will strengthen your communication with your spouse. Oh and if you tell me that you can’t write any hurts down because you have never been hurt, well I’m afraid I have to tell you that you need to repent of a lie!!! All people on this planet have been hurt by their spouse at one point or the other. We are human and it happens.
So once you both have your hurt lists written, keep them to yourselves for now and do not let your spouse read them yet. This is very important. There is a proper context and way that you should read these lists and I will share that with you tomorrow evening as we learn what the N. stands for in my U.N.I.T.E. marriage therapy methodology.
As always, we love you and we appreciate your time every time you stop by godslightcc.com to read our posts, watch our videos, and listen to our podcasts. You mean the world to us and we could not continue to bring our insights to you without your continued support.
Tomorrow we will review the N in U.N.I.T.E. I promise that if you stay with us all the way through Sunday you will have the tools you need to begin to rebuild your marriage and start communicating again with your spouse.
See you back here tomorrow!
Pastor Brad Komgenick