People get abused in many ways. For some it’s physical and emotional abuse or neglect. Many have suffered sexual abuse or rape as a child, adolescent, or as an adult. Abuse impacts every person differently. It catapults some to work through the wounds. Others build walls or habits to protect themselves. Some of these walls or habits are more destructive than others. Regardless of how one reacts, these reactions can seriously impact a marriage.
Having wounds from the past myself, I knew I had to work to make sure that Lisa was not going to have to deal with any cracks from my abuse. To heal from past abuse, you first have to acknowledge that the abuse really did occur. Second, you need to place responsibility on the person who actually committed the abuse. Third, some anger counseling is usually very helpful. Fourth, you need to move into forgiveness. As someone moves through trauma they will also go through various stages of grief. The owning and releasing of that which has happened and the consequences in our lives from the trauma is a process. Grief is a process that moves us through denial, anger, bargaining, and sadness toward acceptance.
As a counselor for as many years, I know abuse and neglect impact every soul differently. For some, just walking through the process I outlined can bring great relief. For others, getting professional counseling may be necessary to heal the wounds incurred in their particular journeys through life.
Regardless of the wounds you may have experienced as a child, adolescent, or adult, you can heal from them. You and your spouse are worthy of a healthy and happy marriage. I know, personally and professionally, that as someone actively heals, his or her marriage becomes easier and so much more fulfilling for both people.
Content taken from: The Ten Minute Marriage Principle