The marriage relationship is directly affected by the emotional health of each partner.
Once we get married, it’s important that we continue to grow emotionally, because it will strengthen our ability to relate to our partner. Today’s Marriage Monday is about evaluating your past in order to have a great future.
Jill and I have coined a term for the home we grew up in. We call it our “home internship,” where we learned about communication, conflict, God, marriage, roles of men and women, sex, and so much more! Our “growing up” experience, or “home internship,” is comprised of what our parents taught us–directly or indirectly–as well as the choices we made independently of the family. These provide a filter to how we view relationships, in general.
The reason it is valuable to evaluate our past is to assess whether our home internship served us well or whether there is a need to do a new home internship in some areas.
For instance, one spouse may have come from a home where conflict was handled with rage. The other spouse may have come from a home where they pretended there was no conflict. Neither are healthy. So both partners might consider the value of doing a new internship in conflict management.
A new internship might be pursued by reading books on the subject, pursuing the counsel of a more mature couple or a pastor, attending a marriage retreat, or seeking the help of a marriage counselor.
Jill and I have used all of the above resources to pursue some of the new internships we’ve needed to rid ourselves of baggage from our past that wasn’t serving us well in marriage. It requires a willingness on our part to pursue the new internship, but we’ve found that the more emotionally healthy we are, the stronger our relationship is.
If you’ve never evaluated your past before, take a few moments to think about these things:
- View of God
- Role of Men and Women
- Negative self-talk
- Critical Spirit
Do you find that you consistently have trouble in any of the above areas in your marriage? What was modeled for you in the home where you grew up? What was spoken or unspoken concerning these issues? Would it be valuable for you to do a new internship in any of these?
Evaluating your past is not something we do to “blame” our parents or even “blame” ourselves for choices we made before marriage. Instead it is to help us understand our views and perspectives on issues that affect our marriage and to evaluate whether those perspectives are helping or hurting our marriage.
What about you? Have you evaluated your home internship? Have you ever done a new internship in order to improve your relationship or your own emotional health?