Wedded Wednesday – Vulnerabilities in Marriage

I’ve been there. I’m certain you have too … standing at the end of a good long stretch of going without, straining to see if what we want and need is off in the distance. But it either seems out of reach or is withheld like some cruel joke.

Sunset on the Tracks - 365/70 

Any prolonged deprivation of a need can lead to vulnerabilities … and vulnerability can lead to cracks in the very foundation of a marriage.

Here are some examples:

  • When your spouse is a control freak, you might be vulnerable to push the boundaries like a rebellious teenager would with a parent.
  • When your spouse neglects you for long periods of time, you might be vulnerable to unhealthy escapes like; workaholism, over-involved parenting, overly independent personal pursuits.
  • When you’re not connecting sexually, you might be vulnerable to opposite sex encounters or affairs.
  • When you’ve been criticized one too many times, you might be vulnerable to having a fantasy affair, which makes you vulnerable to an actual affair.
  • When your spouse rejects your faith, you might be vulnerable to spiritual attacks, which can lead to deciding to disconnect from other believers or church altogether.
  • When you allow yourself to ruminate on your anger towards your spouse, you might be vulnerable to bitterness or viewing divorce as an escape.
  • When you keep all your concerns and struggles to yourself, you might be vulnerable to denial and depression.
  • When you don’t address and seek healing for the hurts or sins of your past, you might be vulnerable to unknowingly erecting “barriers” that keep your spouse at a distance.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it does give you some insight into how certain unresolved issues or unhealthy patterns in marriage can increase vulnerability.

There’s an additional problem that comes with prolonged vulnerability … we often lose sight of its danger to our marriage. And even worse, we may begin to feel we can’t reverse the pattern or find healing for the damage. It may start to feel like a runaway train—and you’re the one tied to the tracks!

So what do you do to stop the train?

How do you stop the vulnerability from fracturing your marriage?

Open your eyes to what’s going on, especially your part in the reaction. Do you see yourself in any of the examples above? Then don’t make excuses anymore and especially don’t let fear cripple you into paralysis on one end or perpetual motion on the other.

Open your heart in prayer. Call upon God and He will help you, if you surrender the situation fully to Him. No Indian Givers allowed!

Open your mouth by confessing your sins and struggles with others who are trustworthy. Remember this promise: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16a (NIV)

Healing comes through the truth we share and the support and accountability we receive.

Don’t let the train of vulnerability run you over. You have the power in Christ to break the ties and find freedom and healing for your life and marriage!

photo credit by Lizard10979

***********

WW rules:

  1. Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage or parenthood.
  2. Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or copy and paste the WW button to your blog.
  3. Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.

Optional but encouraged:

    • Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
    • If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”   

    Also linking up with NOBH, Works for Me Wednesday and To Love Honor and Vacuum

    • oh … the photo says it all and the examples you have shared speak a loud Vulnerability SOS …

    • bluecottonmemory

      There’s a prayer I pray when chaos threatens our relationship: Dear Father, open his eyes to what’s going on and open my eyes to anything I have done to contribute to my hurt/anger/frustration. – it never fails!

    • Wonderful insights Beth. I love the three suggestions. So often, some of us feel like our vulnerabilities are a ticket to “acting however/doing whatever”. But soon realize it’s a frustrating response, with no healing in it. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Thank you for showing up here on a regular basis to encourage us in our marriages, Beth. It’s such important work. Blessings from my household to yours!

    • Such a powerful list of barriers – and through our years of marriage I can see where some of these popped up.

      Every time I see your blog name, I physically nod my head. Yes. Marriage is messy. But your 3 points – to open my eyes, heart and mouth – are an antidote to the mess. I love this post. Thank you.

    • Megan@DoNotDisturb

      I really enjoy your 3 practical action steps. Thanks for sharing!

      Megan

    • Those were great examples. Even if we don’t find ourselves in a situation that leaves us vulnerable right now, it’s very helpful to put up a guard around our hearts now before a difficult situation arises.

    • Maurie Roselaine

      Wow, I definitely struggle with a couple of those. Thanks for the encouragement! I definitely need to be reminded of consequences and what I need to do about it.

      http://twainbecomingone.blogspot.com

    • Amy M.

      I have been the rebellious teen … and learned that sometimes it’s not control, it’s caring. Control is a hard thing, but it can go into discussion and negotiation. It can be tempered and read correctly. It’s not a dead end.

      Neglect did lead me to over-scheduling activities and volunteer work, and now that we have turned everything around, I don’t know how I ever managed all those pursuits! When you put time into your marriage, you don’t have time for a hundred other things, and you shouldn’t. Everything in moderation.

      I could go on for almost every point, but the fact is, I hadn’t viewed these as vulnerabilities. In my mind, I saw them as distractions and replacement behaviors … but vulnerability fits exactly. Thanks for giving me a new perspective!

    • oh, i love how you took this to confession. sometimes the hardest thing for me to do when i’m feeling vulnerable, is to open my mouth. you always point to Him, Beth. thanks for these wise words!

    • Kathryn

      Thanks so much for inviting me to the link up! I linked up my post on “Making Every Night Date Night” Thanks also for the encouraging post. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by my site and inviting me back here. It is so true that when issues go unresolved for a long time they can make us vulnerable, often in ways we least expect. We may not be able to solve every problem, and we probably will never be in perfect agreement with our spouses. But by addressing and understanding the issues in an honest, open way, we strengthen the bond rather than weakening it through avoidance.

    • Pam

      Good thoughts today on Wedded Wednesday, Beth! Thanks for posting.

    • Annabel

      Wonderful words here today, Beth. I will be praying that God would open my own eyes to see where I might be vulnerable. Thank you for sharing your space.

    • stephanie harrison

      Thanks for visiting my Blog Beth! I linked up my post, Why my marriage will stand the test of time as requested. Thanks for inviting me here!

    • Alecia

      Those cracks often are unnoticeable until they are detrimental. So important for us to be deliberate about meeting our spouses needs as well as communicating our own!

    • Thanks so much, Linda! I feel that passion–SOS–is a perfect way to put it. I want to sound the alarm because for many of these examples, I’ve been there. And there’s hope. That’s what I hope resounds even louder. 🙂

    • Ooo! That sounds like the perfect prayer to sum this up! Thanks for coming by and encouraging me and sharing your story in the link up as well!

    • Yes, it’s strange the things we convince ourselves of when we feel deprived. But as you’ve said, it’s just a frustrating dead-end when we do. Thanks for your similar heart-beat, Ngina. I’m always thrilled when I see you in the link up and comment section! 🙂

    • Just as your words provide important work for young moms, Becky. I’m so glad you’re staying in touch with me and sharing your stories in this place, my friend!

    • Then you are a smart woman, because a lot of people go through life and marriage with blinders on when it comes to how they are vulnerable. Thanks for being willing to admit you’re not perfect, as well as, encouraging me greatly, Lori!

    • I’m so glad, Megan. Thanks for coming by and linking up with WW again!

    • Yes, that’s part of what I hope is the take away–we can all fall into these traps from time to time. It is something we need to be aware of and guard against. Thanks so much for linking up and encouraging me, Elizabeth!

    • I’m so glad this resonated with you, Maurie. That means this is a homerun for me–since I really just want people to see themselves here, if there’s a problem cropping up. I truly appreciate you saying so and am grateful you’ve linked up with us for WW!

    • I think they start out as innocent distractions but when taken to extreme (which is the natural pull as deprivation continues) turn into vulnerabilities. I’m so glad you found this helpful, Amy and I truly appreciate you linking up and sharing your story here as well!

    • How could I not? I’ve found such healing in the ministry of trustworthy friends–not to mention that I see it happening when I, as a counselor/life-coach, provide that outlet and support to others as well, Kelli. Let me just say, I always love seeing you show up here in this place. You bring a smile to my face, my friend!

    • I’m so glad you did, Kathryn! It was such a hopeful and overflowing-with-goodies kind of post. I’m so glad to spread the news to others! I hope you join us next week too! 🙂

    • Yes, there are so many couples that are just living in “auto-pilot” and never stop to see how their choices and commitments are hurting their marriages. Thanks so much for your kind words and for joining us in the link-up, Rosemary. I hope to see you back next week too!

    • You’re so welcome, Pam. I appreciate you coming by and saying!

    • Thanks for encouraging me, Annabel. Now that you mention it, I will pray that for myself and others as well! Thanks for linking up and I’d love to have you join us next week too!

    • You’re welcome and I’m so glad you did, Stephanie! I appreciate all the ways we can learn from each other … especially from those, like you, who’ve stood the test of time!

    • Yes, that’s what’s so dangerous about these areas, Alecia. They seem perfectly normal or at least “deserved” when we feel deprived. Thanks for coming by, linking up and encouraging me in this place, my friend! I hope you keep coming back for the many WW’s to come!

    • Vinae Winn

      Thanks for the eye opening article, it makes me pause and think. I’ve been noticing lately I need to be more intentional and purposeful about my marriage and with my kids.

    • By the way, Kathryn, I hope you join us again for Wedded Wednesday tomorrow (2-13) because I’m providing a link to your blog and mentioning your blog post on the date nights. 🙂