Early Marital Stresses

WHEN THE HONEYMOON IS OVER

 

When the champagne is all gone, the wedding flowers have

long since wilted and the honeymoon is just a romantic

memory, the real work of marriage begins.  In this stage,

conflict can seem to dominate a couple’s life.  They wonder

if it should be this hard to get along and begin to think

they might have made a mistake in choosing each other.

Many marriages fail in the first few years.  No one

enjoys fighting.  It’s stressful and it hurts.  Indeed, the

damage done when couples fight too hard and too long can be

irreparable.

When mutual respect and trust are casualties of war,

love dies too.  Hearts and dreams are shattered.  The

combatants limp off the field in opposite directions,

embittered and battered, to lick their wounds in solitude or

in another’s arms.

Love dreams die hard.  Mating is a biopsychosocial

imperative.  Most will try again, eventually, with someone

else.  Burned but not beaten, enflamed by new passions, hope

springs eternal.  We need to get this right!  And we’ll keep

trying until we’re dead, emotionally or physically.

There’s much wasted energy in all this sturm and drang.

The fact is that most of us don’t choose wrong the first

time.  We have an uncanny knack for marrying the very person

who offers us the chance to heal wounds we have carried since

childhood.  These injuries reassert themselves every time we

try to have an intimate relationship.  If we could only

realize we’re already emotionally impaired, we wouldn’t have

to blame our partner for disappointing us.

No one gets through childhood without some emotional

injury.  That’s because there are no perfect parents.  They

may do their best but there will still be hurt, anger and

frustration.

In marriage we have a chance to clean, dress and

heal these wounds, but first we have to bleed a bit.

 

 

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