Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Over Reactions in Marriage – Part 2

Q. Recently my husband really let me down. We had made plans to do something on a certain date. He forgot all about it and made plans to do something else. He was very busy at the time and hadn't written down the date. I know he doesn't pay attention to details like I do. The problem is I over react to this sort of thing. I take it very personally.  First I was absolutely furious. Then I got really pitiful and felt totally unloved and unlovable. I cried buckets and it was days before I recovered. Why do I over react to this sort of thing and how can I learn not to?
A. Many of us over react but we’re not usually aware of it or honest about it as you are. It’s important to pay attention to over reactions as they may signal that something else is going on other than the present day issue. The current experience touches pain deep inside us. We feel like a hurt, needy child. 
Over Reactions are Normal in Children
Babies and young children feel things intensely and have little control over their emotions. When frustrated they’re consumed with anger. When hurt, they cry intensely. As we get older we become more civilized and learn to delay or moderate our feelings. We learn to remain in touch with our feelings without being overwhelmed by them.

A child who experiences a trauma such as abuse, neglect or abandonment, will often learn to disassociate his feelings in order to not to be overwhelmed and to survive. He learns not to feel. However, the feelings are locked up inside. Even without a major trauma, we may have had experiences which were too overwhelming to deal with as children. We carry these feelings and issues with us into our adult life.
Conquering Over Reactions
Though we may not remember the "trauma" itself, something in our present circumstance triggers long buried emotions. To overcome this, notice the times when you do over react. Write down what happened and how you reacted. After you have several examples of over reacting, figure out what these examples have in common. The scene in each example may be similar and may be reminiscent of how you felt as a child. Write about these childhood scenes. How does your present life compare? Realize you are no longer as vulnerable as you were back then.
Learn to love the hurt and needy child inside you. Remind yourself that the needy child is irrational and emotional for some very good reasons. Tell her God loves her and will take care of her. Tell her you also love her and will take care of her. Read John Bradshaw's books Healing the Shame That Binds You or Homecoming for additional ideas on healing the inner child.
Counseling can also help you work through deep inner hurts. 
See Over Reactions in Marriage - Part 1.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. “ John 8:32 NLT

Blessings, Dottie

1 comment:

  1. An informative series. I need to tell you the link to the first part doesn't seem to work, Google couldn't find it. I found it though. It is as informative as this on. Thank You.