PART 2 – How The Lies You Believe Damage Your Marriage
Last week, I alleged that we all believe certain lies. We don’t mean to believe them, but we do. Usually they plant themselves inside us when something painful happens to us and we interpret it the wrong way. We make some bad assumptions about ourselves, others, the situation—even God. Sometimes it’s not a traumatic event that starts us down the wrong path. It’s a pattern of life that we observe. We begin believing things that simply aren’t true. The personal story I opened with last week about my family not listening to me sets the foundation for this post.
That painful event was the last straw in a life pattern I’d experienced. I came to believe that no one wanted to listen to me, no one cared what I thought, and I might as well keep my thoughts to myself.
As it turns out, my thinking was pretty skewed. Just because my family didn’t listen to me doesn’t mean no one does. My husband, children, and friends all listen to me when I speak. Actually, I’ve received requests to speak to various groups. “No one wants to listen to me,” has proven to be a lie.
In addition, that event and even the patterns within my family may have been true at a point in time. The painful event did happen. That type of thing happened regularly—for a time. That doesn’t mean it’s true forever. It’s certainly not true now.
How does this affect my marriage?
As long as I continue to believe the lie in my heart, it will affect all my relationships—including my marriage. If I’m talking to Bob and he gets distracted or interrupts, my heart picks up the devil’s refrains, “See, he doesn’t really want to listen to me.” “He’s not interested in what I have to say.”
When our spouse reminds us of that old wound, we go into self-protection mode. I tend to withdraw. “If I don’t talk to you anymore, you can’t hurt my feelings by interrupting.” May I suggest that not talking to your spouse for long periods of time is not a good relationship-building tactic?
Some people prefer to “fix” the situation by controlling it. They may do this by yelling or insulting their mate. “You are so inconsiderate!” “You always interrupt me. How would you like it if I interrupted you all the time?” Some respond by soothing the hurt with a quart of Haagen Dazs ice cream or a shopping spree or other indulgence. These strategies make the situation worse, not better.
The problem is further exacerbated when our spouse, wanting to make amends, tries to penetrate our defenses. We keep them at arms’ distance because we are unwilling to chance any more hurt. And the relationship crumbles a little more.
John 8:32 tells us: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The only way to exit the downward spiral is to replace the lie Satan planted in your heart with God’s truth. We’ll show you how to start that process next week.
If the Holy Spirit is prompting you to identify and get rid of the lies you believe, we have devoted three chapters to the topic in our book The Marriage Dance. Our friends Kathy Collard Miller and Larry Miller go into great detail in their book Never Ever Be the Same. We recommend beginning your journey by reading one of these two books.