Wednesday, Oct 28, 2020

How Hidden Offense Can Send Your Marriage to the ER

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Cortne Smith
Cortne Smith
Cortne Smith is the Founder of Relationship Service Station, providing full & self-service programs to promote whole and healthy relationships, with a signature program geared to equip the widow/widower to move from PAIN to PEACE. She uses her written and verbal voice to bring marriages back into God’s covenant.

Home Remedy or Surgery?

It has been an interesting last few days here at our house (if you can read between those lines, married folks). It’s got me thinking:

“Why do we allow situations in our marriage to become unnecessary emergencies?”

Offense happens. Your husband does something that ticks you off; your wife says something that makes you mad. It’s normal to have these moments in relationships, but no less uncomfortable.

When we ignore the initial prick in our hearts and neglect to speak up on things before they get too deep or go too far, it causes prolonged pain and heartache that could have been avoided.

Have you allowed a slither of something to slide so deep into your relationship that surgery is now required to even begin the healing process?

Well, walk back with me in your minds to approximately 2 months ago. It all started with a simple splinter that could have been removed quickly and painlessly as a DIY home remedy, but it turned into something far more serious.

The Prick

Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Acts 2:37

I should have worked on my thumb the day it happened. Thirty days later, the splinter has begun to put pressure on the area for a constant, painful awareness that it’s in there. This foreign object is now causing nerve sensitivity and swelling, making simple tasks unbearable.  I decided to attempt a DIY medical procedure – a razor blade to cut through the skin, a pin to dig, and tweezers to pull out the foreign object – all to no avail. The splinter is now too deep and hurts too bad for a quick fix.

Two weeks later, I arrived at my primary care doctor. An x-ray revealed I must go to acute care to handle. Time had caused the splinter to bury itself even deeper than basic services could resolve.  The next day, I followed the instructions to go to the acute care center. During that visit, I was informed that a hand orthopedic specialist would be my next visit, due to the pain during the removal process. So, nothing was done that day to remove the foreign object.

The prick may be subtle, but we know it’s there. We are well aware that something or someone has gotten under our skin. But, what do we often do?  We let it fester into our relationship unchecked. We decide for the sake of “peace” to not act upon the situation, or have that hard conversation. At the prick stage, if we act immediately, the irritation of the situation can be resolved quickly.

The Pressure

A time to keep silent, and a time to speak. – Ecclesiastes 3:7

The next steps were laid out by the orthopedic department.  First, a mandatory consultation with a surgeon to determine my overall health. Secondly, a visit to determine if surgery can be conducted at this stage.  Thirdly, an appointment that will take another 30 days out. Now, I can only hope to get on the surgical calendar to have the procedure.

Pressure comes when we stay silent because of self-imposed expectations to not create friction within the house. However, we can create unresolved friction within ourselves that leaves us on pins and needles, extra sensitive to situations that would normally not faze us. When the pressure is present, it creates an antagonistic atmosphere within the marriage, stealing the peace that we initially stayed silent to keep.

The Pain

What honor is it to those who endure suffering because of their foolishness? – 1 Peter 2:20

I am looking forward to getting the intrusion out of my thumb and to be free from pain. But, I’m not a fan of walking around with extra surgical gauze on my thumb or the required minimum activity for two weeks. The reason I will not be able to immediately return to the way things were is to give time for the wound to heal, and to not rupture the stitches from surgery. The extra covering helps reduce the likelihood of infection.

Time has created a breach that can’t be repaired with home remedies but now requires intervention by professionals. Avoidance has extended the time spent in pain within your relationship. The pain stage is where we have allowed discomfort and fear to create a bigger situation than it actually had to be.

The Procedure (Pre & Post-Op)

In the abundance of counselors, there is victory. Proverbs 11:14

marriage counselingWhen you receive instructions from professionals on how to restore your relationship back to a place without pain – follow them! Remember the pain didn’t happen overnight, nor will the pain disappear overnight. It will require extra prayer, patience, and forgiveness to allow for healing to occur to bring your marriage back to a new normal.

While you don’t want to complain about every imperfection that occurs in your relationship, you must speak up about those things that can go from pricks to pain to infection – to the point of surgery or even severing to remove the foreign object.

 So, What’s the Play Call?

Do not allow a “splinter” of offense to remain a moment longer within your relationship.  Once the prick has been identified as a true intrusion – pluck it out!

Speak up!  Because silence could be the noise that drowns out your peace.

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