Calamine Anyone?

September 16, 2010

in the generous life

My husband did a lovely post yesterday that I want to pass on to y’all.  It’s a very helpful concept when you find yourself clueless over your husband’s (or your own) behavior.

Imagine I had a bad sunburn, but wore a shirt so you could not see it. If you came up and hugged me (I’m from Texas, everyone hugs) it would hurt – probably a lot. Now imagine if rather than hugging me, you slapped me on the back – very hard. That would hurt even more.

In the first instance, you have no intention to hurt me – in fact, you intended to bless me. In the second instance what you did was not nice, and would have hurt had I not been sunburned, but my pain would be far greater than what you intended.

What if I reacted in each situation without telling you I was sunburned? In the first case you would think I was crazy, in the second you would think I was a big baby making way too much out of something minor.

The same kind of things happens in marriages all the time, except that the sunburn is wounds of the heart and mind, wounds that can never be seen. What’s more, we tend to either not know or not care that our wounds are not the norm – we expect the world to see the wounds and treat us accordingly, or we think the entire world is similarly wounded and thus similarly sensitive.

So, your wife has one of these hidden sunburns, and you do something you think is nice, like a hug. She reacts with hurt or anger, and you have no idea why. She can’t or won’t explain. Or, you slap her on the back and she goes off on you, telling you how mean and horrible you are. You can see that it might have been a bit much, but her reaction is so over-the-top that you feel wronged by her. It’s clear to you she is unreasonable and can’t be talked to, and you pull back.

You can avoid a lot of trouble by learning see the wounds in yourself that your bride is hitting. Help her to understand, or at least be aware of, your injuries so that she can try to avoid them while you work to get them healed. Additionally, when your bride over reacts, don’t chalk it up to her hormones or just being irrational – try to figure out if you are hitting an internal sunburn.

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Joan Stockdale September 16, 2010 at 2:41 am

What a super illustration! So very often this has been true in our marriage but I never saw it in this light. O the importance of looking deeper! Thanks for sharing.

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Lori Lowe September 16, 2010 at 3:59 am

I appreciated this message because it opened my eyes to why I may react very strongly, or overreact in some cases, about something my husband sees as minor. Clearly we women have our sore spots and we react when those are poked. We may not even understand or be able to verbalize that, but having our husbands understand those areas can help immensely. Nice post.
Lori Lowe
.-= Lori Lowe´s last blog ..More on Marrying the Wrong Person =-.

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Phil Lopez September 18, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I am new to bloging and now a very firm believer. This post was very true in all aspects. My wife and I are having trouble in our marrage and we are trying hard to fix it, but postings like this will keep me looking and finding new ways to see our relationship. To see different ways of how we are doing things so maybe we find whats wrong and live happy. I appreciate your words and please keep honoring us with them. Thank you!

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