In order to experience a truly fulfilling soul mate relationship, be vigilant to ensure that you don’t allow issues to go unresolved. The ones that are the most difficult to discuss are issues that have deep hurts attached. You may have said or done something that has deeply offended your spouse and be totally unaware that he or she is harboring hurt feelings. As a matter of fact, the actual incident may have happened years ago, and your spouse “buried” the issue because it was too painful. It didn’t get fully resolved when talked about originally. This is one of those boxes that clutters up the shop and is marked “DO NOT OPEN. DO NOT TOUCH”.
These issues are the most damaging to a truly close and intimate relationship. They create an emotional barrier keeping the relationship at a superficial level. The day to day interactions function just fine but real depth and intimate connection is illusive. Ignoring them is perilous because they will seriously damage your relationship. The longer you wait to open a discussion, the harder it is to talk.
All couples experience disagreements and say and do things that are hurtful. How you deal with the problem is what will make the difference. Do you approach issues as adversaries or as teammates? Remember you are on the same team. Working through an issue to a resolution that satisfies both spouses means your team wins!
Here are a few ideas on how to handle these issues:
- Pray and ask for special grace
- Be honest and take the risk of bringing the issue up again
- Set aside uninterrupted time when you have the freedom to focus
- Actively listen as you each share feelings and endeavor to understand your spouse
- Try not to blame or bring accusations
- Remember that you are bringing this up again so that you can have a closer relationship
- The goal is a heartfelt resolution where a deep understanding is achieved
- Be willing to apologize and ask for forgiveness. This needs to be genuine and not superficial
- Have an attitude to forgive. It may be hard to forget, but you will need to truly forgive
- Allow time to reflect for several days or even longer if needed. Be patient
- Never be demanding. Be patient and calm
- Seek counsel if you come to an impasse
Always keep in mind that the objective is to strengthen your relationship so that you can be closer together and experience a deeply fulfilling relationship. True intimacy can not happen when we harbor unspoken resentment and hurts. You must have the courage to continue to work at all issues.