Leave Your Spouse While You’re still in Love – Part 3

Mini-Book cover

Mini-Book cover

DO YOU KINDLE? If so, would you please part with 99 cents and download my first Kindle “mini-book”experiment? It’s titled Blessing, Grace, and Incarnation: The Foundations of the Spiritual Marriage and Family.  I’m looking for additional ways to fund the The Waco Foundation for Mental Health Care, and so your feedback on this first project will help me determine if this is a good place to invest my energy.

Now… picking up from my last entry

Richard Rohr describes an addict as someone who can’t get enough of what he already knows doesn’t work.  There’s an addictive process at work in marriage conflict, and it involves our inherent addiction to

  • making anxiety go away, no matter what the cost, and
  • justifying the choices we make that feed, rather than, diminish the conflict.
We usually can see that our ways of going about dealing with the conflict aren’t working, yet we keeping beating our heads against the same dead horse.  Rage and/or Depression begin to get a significant foothold.  Some people start with rage, and then get depressed.  Others start with depression, and then grow enraged.One sign that someone is starting to get entrenched in rage and depression is that all attempts to hear and understand are replaced by the drive to build a case. The victim mentality takes over and one or both partners begins to interpret every action or situation as proof that he or she has been wronged.

A key principle of spiritual formation in virtually all of the world’s great religious traditions is that maturity is found when one moves toward pain and anxiety rather than running from it.  Attacking, withdrawing, and abdicating are all methods of running away from the anxiety.  And if you find yourself building more and more of a case against your spouse, then you have probably begun to chosen the victim path, and may well be on the way to dipping your toe in the pool of bitterness and revenge.

More on that in my next post…

Questions for Reflection

  1. What have been the sources of disillusionment in your marriage.
  2. How have your choices and behaviors fostered disillusionment from your spouse towards you?
  3. With which if the three destructive styles (Attacker, Withdrawer, Self-Abdicator) do you most relate?
  4. Which of these styles best describes your parents?
  5. Are there signs that you are starting to play the victim?

About Wes Eades

I've been a pastoral counselor, marital therapist, and overall listening ear since about 1989 or so.
This entry was posted in Anxiety, Marriage, Maturity, Spiritual Formation. Bookmark the permalink.

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