Building bridges one family at a time….

I knew a woman who carried a ‘D’ suitcase

Divorce and How it can become emotional baggage:

A topic I have wanted to write about for years now. I think I have finally overcome through God’s love, comfort and His healing touch which has allowed me to re-evaluate my own marriage, and let David off the hook. My pain and expectations were not His to bear but rather my own emotional baggage that needed to be tossed.

Who does it impact? Will the children ever heal? Will the adults ever heal? What are my alternatives? But why should I stay in a marriage that I am not respected and treated the way I want to be, the way I deserve to be? I have asked him/her to change. I met someone else who treats me so much better, the way I deserve to be treated.

Many questions, statements, conversations…….I have heard through the years even in my own life as a daughter of divorced parents. I have heard my share first hand of many of these various forms of devastating mini life changing blurbs, and the impacts are never easy, in fact they are heavy heart bearing and as the years go by, I do seem to find healing, but then there is the triggers from calender days that mark milestones— and hence the healing begins again……….

Divorce does hurt tremendously even after years of healing and resting in the Lord. Holidays, birthdays, special days such as Father’s day. Mother’s day and even days where special accomplishments have been achieved, all seem to have their very own suitcase. These suitcases became emotional baggage in my own marriage when I internalized that expectations must be met in order to remain happy. I learned all about accommodation, setting the bar high, self fulfillment and self-praise. All the things that Christ teaches us that we are to stay away from because of the devastating life impacts. He is THE great counselor! I am simply striving to be more and more like Him.

Through Christ and a relationship with Him, I have a light in me that illuminates even the darkest of my pains. Dave and I both agree that divorce is NOT the way to get our needs met and fulfilled. We have experienced what emotional baggage can do and we are blessed that we have been able to overcome. It was a long hard battle that we journeyed.

His needs, my needs, our needs, their needs, needs that become wants and wants that become demands…………and demands that ultimately and destructively become ultimatums. It leaves our brains limited and unwilling, manipulative, hurtful and hurting, plus we then begin to allow strongholds that determine our behavior. Once a stronghold sets in, then a foothold from “you know who” begins to attack the mind, misleading you to believe that unless your needs/wants/demands are not met, then an ultimatum of Divorce would resolve these unmet needs.

How can you fight this battle? Don’t take the first step.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How can I be the husband that God has called me to be?

    Divorce does not remove unfulfilled needs.

  • How can I love and honor my wife the way that God would want me to love her?
  • How can I respect and love my husband the way that God would want me to love and respect him?
  • What can I do to be the man that God has called me to be?
  • What can I do to be the woman who God has called me to be?
  • How can I show my spouse that they are significant to me?
  • How can I express intimacy to my spouse?
  • What can I do?

We spend more time expressing ourselves from a place of unfullfillment but we are responsible for fulfilling our own needs simply because we created these needs. Whether they came from emotional baggage or from selfless mindsets, we are in control of any stronghold that we have created.

Does this mean that I can never tell my spouse how I feel and that I have a need? NO. When I feel a need coming on……….I pray that this need is not a selfish need and ask God to help me discern through my own self and through a need to connect with my spouse. Letting your husband know that you feel………… preventing you from stepping on this ladder that will only lead to disconnection, damage and destruction.

For example: I might say to David: I feel like we haven’t spent enough time together these last few weeks……….. dave might say: “well, I have been busy with the kids.” (leads to disconnection) OR “well, I have been busy with the kids and I guess I didn’t realize you were feeling left out. Let’s do something together this Friday…..” (validating response to a need to feel connected).

Example of a need that could be  climbing the ladder of UN-success…………

I just need you to spend more time with me, it’s just you and the kids, and I am just tired of it already…..(My need became a demand). It sounded so negative therefore open to the possibility of defense.

Recognizing our needs is part of healthy living but demanding and wanting is only accommodating the self.The question to ask is HOW will this bring fruit to my marriage?

The grass is not greener on the other side of this ladder.

Every marriage needs watering and through this watering comes growth. Don’t stop watering it just because it has weeds. The moment you notice weeds, begin to weed them out. Water and fertilize your marriage with the fruits of the spirit.

Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Pour these fruits into your marriage daily and watch your spouse grow in God’s love because you loved her; because you loved him.

The truth is……..It is NOT about me. It is about God in me and how I conform more and more to His image. That should be our daily goal.

Do not allow emotional baggage to enter into your homes, into your relationships. Recognize any suitcases that you carry and allow God to begin to heal these wounds.

Divorce is one of the suitcases I have carried as a daughter of divorce and its impacts are permanent. Just when healing takes place and this rock goes into my forgiveness jar, a new event in my life will take place and I relive the impacts of divorce all overs again. I then begin the steps of healing knowing that God is THE GREAT COUNSELOR and HEALER.

Once I recognize it as emotional baggage, Dave is more willing to provide comfort and understanding.

“Marriage is not about marrying the right person but rather becoming the right person.” (shared by one of my Pastors)

How can I be the right person for my husband? Wow this changes things.

For many years this was a dark place for me as emotional baggage can often become. Through Christ and his constant desire to love and grow me, He has illuminated this light that was implanted in me to remind me that I am God’s child. I do not have to meet expectations. “I can dream. I have a burning fire inside me filled with Hope.”

Divorce does not remove or restitute unfulfilled needs!

How will you begin to water your marriage today?

My heart is that, if you have taken a step up this ladder, that you can always step down and begin to make changes within.

Love & Hugs! -Marie

Sharing a song that has provided encouragement these past few weeks. “There is a light inside us all”   This Little Light Of Mine by Addison Road


1 Response »

  1. Great work

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