Emotional Hot Spots in Marriage

My husband and I love talking to each other…. a lot. And because of this familiarity with  each other we tend to be honest with each other. So honest to the point of not filtering what we say. We speak what’s on our mind. One moment we’re having fun and then the next we’d be frustrated and angry at one another.

There are nights when we’d wonder what went wrong? The day would begin right with quality conversations over breakfast and some jokes thrown on the table, then later we’d end up spiting each other. We’d say sorry and forgive each other the next day but then it would happen again.

It seemed to be a pattern. Later on I found out that there are what you call “emotional hot spots” as coined by Dr. Gary Chapman, that could trigger an argument.

“All of us have emotional hot spots wherein when our spouse does or says certain things, we get defensive – because our self-worth has been threatened.”

Conflicts in marriage are normal but the impact of those storms can be lessened if we prepare for it.

One way how we arm ourselves for the inevitable is to discuss what words we should be mindful of saying. I found out that one of my emotional hot spot is whenever my husband says “tapos na ko dyan (I’m done with that stage)”. I feel that my husband doesn’t understand where I am, he is belittling the situation I’m in, or that he disregards it. Of course he doesn’t intend to make me feel that way and his intentions are just to assure me that my situation is indeed no big deal. I do respect his wisdom and experience but whenever those words are spoken it just triggers my emotional hot spot.

When I asked my husband what is his emotional hotspot, one of which is when I compare him to others. If he could just be more like so and so. Or sometimes I hide it through dialogues like, “see? didn’t what he / she say sound better than if you were to say it in a certain way?” I found out that this disrespects him.

What I appreciate is that my husband is open to identify which words shuts us off and then we could learn how to communicate it better so it would reflect the best intentions of our heart.  Sometimes the intentions are good but the way we communicate it doesn’t reflect what we really mean.

Some couples on the other hand don’t have the liberty to discuss what their “emotional hot spots” are.

If however that is the case, I submit to what was taught in CCF regarding Reacting vs. Responding. That when something happens, we have a choice to React or to Respond. Reacting is out of impulse but responding is a well thought of action. Whenever our spouse then hits our emotional hot spot, we have a choice to 1. scream our head off or 2. understand where our spouse is coming from and extend grace to them.

We are still a work in progress and it is indeed a challenge to overcome our old ways and habits, we may sometimes still be affected when our emotional hot spots are triggered, but I am especially encouraged by this verse,

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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Waiting on God

Hate to wait? I believe most of us will agree with this. Nobody likes to wait patiently especially now when everything has an instant solution. It’s tough to wait on someone or something when we know we can do something about it – yes it may not be the best thing but at least we got some result. It’s tougher to wait when we know it’s beyond our control – when the waiting time is indefinite.

Last Sunday in CCF, I was reminded of the discipline of waiting, and waiting on the Lord.

In Psalm 27:14 it says, Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Imagine falling in line to get an interview with President Noynoy or the President of the United States and 5 hours or so have passed, do we demand an explanation on why it’s taking so long? Do we get mad, throw a fit and walk out on them?

So why can’t we wait patiently for the President of all Presidents, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords?

As Pastor Peter said, the ability to wait on the Lord depends on your knowledge of Him. Do we think God is there to punish us by waiting? Or do we believe God is sovereign, He knows everything, therefore He just wants us to learn something in our waiting?

God is not slow to answer and He is not slow to bless. Sometimes when the waiting time is too long, we get impatient and fail to realize that as we wait on God, He is also waiting for us. God wants to bless us. What father does not want to bless his children? Though we are unfaithful in waiting, He remains faithful in waiting patiently for us to be ripe and ready for what He wants to bless us with.

In our journey with God, we must understand that when He withholds something, He just wants it for our best. So when the time comes for Him to give it, we may delight more in the  blessed than the blessing, the giver more than the gift. God wants us to love Him and choose Him over anything.

Our tendency is that when we pray for something and we finally get it, we become preoccupied with the blessing and forget who blessed us. We tend to make it the end goal and become happy and content with it. Our waiting on God and dependence on Him stops. So in our walk with God, we go back to another waiting cycle until we learn to become what God wants us to be and wait on the most important one who deserves to be waited upon.

You may ask, how do we receive God’s best? Whether in work, in your lifetime partner, the best in life?

god's best

We must hold on to God’s promise everyday and walk in His ways – do things God’s way and not our own way. This is one of my favorite verses in this season of my life,

Psalm 37:34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land.

It is a lie to think that God has forgotten us. But sometimes we choose to believe that lie and do things our own way. Especially when people give us ideas that in order to be successful in life, we must have the best material things, must get married at a certain age, must be successful in business or our work no matter what it takes. We then resolve to shortcuts since we cannot delay gratification and wait any longer. When we want immediate success in business we do shortcuts. When we want the security of love of our partner, we give our purity away outside of marriage. When we want to forget the pain and hurt in our lives in an instant, we take substances. When we are not happy with our spouses and with our marriage, we opt to separate with them. We do things our way than go for the righteousness of God’s way.

We fail to understand that when we do things our way and fail to wait, we cannot escape the consequences. Yes there will be immediate satisfaction but in the long run there will be consequences. Indeed what we reap we will sow.

If we did not wait on God and did things our way, we will not know what we missed had we waited upon Him. If we fail to wait, we settle for less than God’s best for us.

As opposed to when we wait, hold on to God’s promises, do things God’s way and wait on His right and perfect timing, all these will result to the sweetness of the blessing – no less than God’s best for us.

When we obey God, there is a blessing.

Psalm 34:17 says, When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

However, if we did make mistakes – did things our own way which are not pleasing to God, He is merciful and just to forgive us our sins. We just need to repent meaning turning 180 degrees from our sinful ways and humble ourselves to Him. 
Yes it is hard to wait, but when we walk with God, He also gives me and us the encouragement
in Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. 
God is so faithful and loving that even as we wait on Him, he even encourages us and gives us the capability to wait on Him.
The greatest gift of waiting is knowing that God Himself is the greatest gift. May we continue to seek God and find encouragement in His promise.
As He promised a long time ago that someone will save us from our sins and this was fulfilled through Jesus Christ, so will His promises in our lives all the more be materialized. God bless you all! 🙂
Photo from CCF Facebook page

Photo from CCF Facebook page

 

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