I just can’t forget it.

4 Mar

We’re going to tackle another comment and concern that arose during the sex series I posted 2 weeks ago.

Again as always, if you’re in an abusive marriage or one where habitual addictive sin is present (drug use, an ongoing affair, physical violence) please seek professional help.  I am not qualified to assist in those situations.

It was brought to light that some women reading along are really struggling with trying new things, being vulnerable, and letting loose in the bedroom because their husband has said something or done something that really hurt their feelings.

If you’re married, there is no doubt in my mind that your spouse has hurt your feelings.  We are all sinners, we all struggle with selfishness, and it’s inevitable that we will occasionally hurt each others feelings.

In this instance, we’re not talking about when he said “your spaghetti isn’t quite as good as my mothers.”  While that can sting, it usually doesn’t make someone filled with sexual inhibitions for years.

We’re talking about the comments that sting a little worse in that department directly.

Comments like:

“I’ve noticed you really haven’t shed all the baby weight yet.”

“Hmmmm, I was with someone else before and SHE liked that.”

“That position isn’t really the best view for me.”

“You’re wrong.  Plenty of women do that for their husband.  What’s wrong with you?”

“I’m actually really attracted to “this” body type (showing you something polar opposite of yourself.)”

Can we just say this all together now? …… OUCH!

Those words (or similar ones) can cut like a knife.  And they don’t vanish very quickly.  In fact, even when apologized for — Satan LOVES to bring them back to the front of our minds over and over again like a broken record.

Even when we’re committed to forgiving and moving on, many women do better in a lot of ways, but still secretly struggle and hold back in other areas because the words just wounded them in such a way they can’t seem to heal and move on.

If you’re looking for me to write a couple of paragraphs with magic words or a quick fix, I can’t. I wish I could, but there is no “quick fix.”  And even though you’re the hurt one, it’s going to take work on your end to move on.  BUT, I really believe you can move on.  And I’ll share with you how I think you can get started.

I honestly believe across the board with forgiveness, the best way to start the process is to empathize with the person who hurt you.

WAIT! Don’t stop reading.  I know you’re thinking, “empathize with the man who said it really shouldn’t take two years to get that twenty pounds off?!”

I’m not telling you to imagine you said those words, because you didn’t and you wouldn’t.

What I want you to do is think of the worst thing you’ve ever said or done.  Seriously, the WORST thing.

Hold on.  Don’t breeze past this.  This is REALLY crucial.

Have you ever lied to someone and they found out?  Have you ever gossiped about someone not even really knowing if it was true and in turn caused some major repercussions for this person? Have you ever said something hurtful to someone and you knew the second the words came out of your mouth you’d went too far?  Have you ever told someone they could trust you, but then used what they said against them or told someone else anyway?

What is the worst thing you’ve ever done?

Now, imagine if that was the yard stick in which you were measured for the rest of your life.  Inhibitions go up everywhere in that area of life from anyone who knows.

You can no longer be trusted, be confided in, be believed, be accepted, or be a safe place for another person again.

If the desire inside of you for your apology to erase the hurt, and provide a new chance exists for yourself – you’ll finally find the empathy inside of you to extend that much mercy and forgiveness to someone else.  Including your husband.

Does that mean you’ll magically forget immediately?  Of course not.  But when those thoughts arrive, it’s a lot easier to take them captive telling Satan, “No.  This yard stick is not the standard for measuring my husband.  I’m going to measure him based on the hundreds of amazing things he’s done and said for me. He deserves forgiveness and another chance.  You want to destroy my intimacy.  You know if you keep this hurt at the front of my mind, the sexual experience we need to keep practicing over and over again to bind us in a way we can never be separated will be hindered and this tactic stops.”

Will repeating this once make all the pain go away and never allow it to come to your mind again?  No.  But! You WILL feel the chains loosen.

Now, comes the proactive part of fighting for your marriage.

Your goal is not to make the hurt vanish.

Here is the reality — a wound is an open sore.  There is the process of scabbing over which usually comes in the form of an apology and/or a choice to forgive (even without an apology), and finally comes a scar.

Scars do not hurt.  Yes, they still exist and can be seen but not every scar has to remain a negative story.  It can become a positive.  It can be a reminder of your growth in Christ by being able to forgive, extend mercy, show grace, and overcome Satan’s attempts to defeat you.

What happens for most of us in these situations is when the scab is almost healed, we ourselves rip it back off exposing the wound again.  If we never let the scab heal all the way and become a scar, we live with an open wound constantly and endlessly hung up on that one incident and destroy our whole future.

There is a lesson in learning to scar.  It’s unfortunate when it comes at the hands of our husband, but God wastes nothing.

The purpose of marriage is to MAKE US HOLY, not to make us HAPPY.  Being married to a human hurts sometimes.  That doesn’t mean it’s beyond the hand of God.  There is no way that God wastes a thing in our lives.  If the wound happened, He wants you to grow into holiness because of it.  Not to stay wounded because your happiness was faltered.

I know your husband caused the hurt.  But it really is up to you to become holy, or to stay the victim.

Practical Application:

Think about your biggest mistake and what it would mean if that was the yard stick in which you were measured for the rest of you life?

Take that realization and turn it into empathy for your husband.

Get on your knees and come to a place of accepting that this wound was always an opportunity for you to become holy, even when it hurt, and even when the scab kept coming off.   God wants it to scar over so you can use it in your testimony instead of being held back from what He has for you in the future — especially in your marriage.

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10 Responses to “I just can’t forget it.”

  1. trixie1466 March 4, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Kayla,

    This is truly an inspired post. Very practical advice for such a common problem. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Trixie

    • Kayla Gulick March 4, 2014 at 11:25 am #

      You’re welcome. I know this is a tender spot for many, and I know this one isn’t easy to hear or apply… but I know we women can do it – and be better for it. Thank you for being so encouraging.

  2. Elizabeth March 4, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Kayla,
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. Thinking of what happened from the perspective of the worst thing I’ve done myself is exactly what I needed to empathize with my husband and use what happened as an opportunity to extend the grace and love I myself need so badly from God. No, my husband isn’t perfect, any more than I am. I’ve always thought of scars as disfiguring, but from now on I’ll think of them as evidence of healing and spiritual growth–AND growth in the intimacy between my husband and me. You’re right that the hurt doesn’t go away right away; I”ve been struggling with it for many months, but I believe this is what I really needed to heal completely. God has used you and April at peacefulwife.com to “remind me of the song in my heart, even when I had forgotten the words.” I love and appreciate you both so much! Elizabeth
    P.S. I’m going to print this post and read it often!

    • Kayla Gulick March 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

      Elizabeth — few comments have ever actually made me cry. This brought tears of joy for me with the victory you can claim. Girl — Satan has had a foot in the door in your marriage with his constant chatter about this hurt. I’m so excited to see you close that door. Just wait and see how far this takes your intimacy with your husband. You’ll never believe how far you’re gonna go. And the best marriages make the best witnesses. Now — you’ll be used by God in ways you never knew possible. I hope you’ll keep coming back and updating about your new future. It’s going to be amazing!!!!!

  3. Lesley March 5, 2014 at 12:05 am #

    Kayla,
    This was so timely for me. My husband has said something so much worse than any of the things you have posted. I have been working so hard to forgive. Unfortunately I let Satan get that foothold in my heart. I have been working so hard to get rid of this bitterness that I have been measuring everything in our relationship by. I have just completed “How to be Free From Bitterness” I have been able to get the edges blurred a bit. It has been so difficult. I love your analogy. It sheds a different light on it. Hopefully I will be able to get past this even sooner than I had imagined.

    I love the way you cut through the crap and just get to the point. Thank You So Much!

    • Kayla Gulick March 5, 2014 at 6:45 am #

      Hey Lesley,

      First of all, I’m really sorry. It really hurts (worse than any other pain) when our husband sins against us or crushes our spirits.

      But! I’m so glad to hear that you’re working SO HARD to turn this into part of your testimony in Christ instead of continuing to let Satan beat you down every day for the rest of your life.

      And thank you so much for posting here. I know other wives are hurting in this way too and are holding back from commenting publicly but are reading every comment by other wives to look for support and hope that they can heal too. I’m blessed by your courage and want you to know, even in this small way, you’re already using it for God’s glory by giving hope to others!

  4. Crystal Williams April 14, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    Hie Kayla

    Thank you for the great post. But i am really struggling with moving past the hurt.

    This is my story. When i was 17, this guy that i was dating forced himself on me and that is how i lost my virginity. I grew up a Christian and always wanted to get married a virgin. When i met my husband i told him this and he understood. He said such things like “you make me so happy and i luv u so much that a hymen wouldnt make any difference.” Unfortunately he has an ex whom he had a sexual relationship with. They were each other’s firsts. This other time when I was pregnant (and the ex was about to get married) she kept on calling and messaging my husband even at odd hours such that one day, i called her and told her to move on with her life! i was sooo angry! I couldnt contain it…

    Days later i came across a message my husband had sent to his ex after i had called her. it said, “i am sorry abt Crystal. She is just so insecure about us. she says she feels that you are special because she will never give me what you gave me”. I couldnt believe it. Yes i had said smthng similar to that but i ddnt expect him to go telling his ex! I asked him about it and he apologised saying he didnt give much thought to the message when he wrote it. Really!? its been about 5 years since but to this day whenever i recall that message i feel so hurt.

    And my husband has hurt me a lot of times… he has cheated on me (3years ago) and apologised. i was going to get a divorce but he seemed genuinely remorseful. He has been transparent, even going out of his way to make me happy. I believe he loves me wholeheartedly and will not cheat on me again. He is a good husband and amazing father to our twins. But everytime i recall the ex… the cheating…. I have been a prayerful and respectful wife to him. Yet… Please help! How can i move past this?

    • Kayla Gulick April 14, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Hi Crystal,

      Thanks for sharing your story. I’m really sorry you’ve felt so hurt. That’s a tough place to be and moving on is not an easy task.

      I too have a situation that if I ever look back on it, it can immediately destroy me all over again.

      What I’ve had to do to safe guard my heart is two things.

      1.) Refuse to think about it. If a thought pops into my head, I am immediately intentional about doing something else. I will call a friend and start chatting about something or I will pack up the kids and head to the park and start playing with them. I cannot let my mind run wild or I will be in big trouble.

      2.) When I’m tempted to hold something over someone else… I spend a good amount of time reflecting on things I’ve needed forgiven for (especially from that person if possible.) It really helps to give someone some grace when you meditate on how you’ve needed grace yourself.

      I hope that helps get you started on the direction of letting the hurt stay in the past. Use it as a scar that reminds you of how far you’ve come and what the Lord has taught you. Instead of an open wound that constantly hurts you.

      • Crystal Williams April 15, 2014 at 4:39 am #

        Kayla,

        Thank you so much for the good advice. I think the “refusing to think of it” part is easier for me. I will think of something pleasant or something good that my husband has done for me. Or I will call a friend or start playing games with the twins….

        Reflecting on things I have needed forgiveness from my husband for… that’s tough! I am not perfect but I have always been a good wife to my husband. From the time we started dating, I promised to never do anything that would affect my relationship with him negatively so i have always tried my best not to hurt him.

        Thank you so much Kayla. God bless you.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What is the big deal about sex anyway? | Lessons Of Mercy - March 13, 2014

    […] I just can’t forget it – follow up post. […]

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