Do you have any regrets in your marriage? Do you have sore spots that renew guilty feelings at the slightest reference? We’ve talked before about how it can be easy to fall into the trap of throwing emotional jabs in the heat of an argument, prompted by hurt feelings and indignation. It’s easy to fall into the trap, but what are the lasting consequences?
Have you ever been in a relationship of any kind with a guilt-tripper? Or maybe you’ve found yourself in such a role. Either way, the interactions probably weren’t very pleasant.
To those who use the guilt-trip approach to get what you want… Stop.
If you’re trying to throw your spouse’s past actions up at them all the time, all you are doing is driving a wedge between you and your spouse while being selfishly manipulative. It will not elevate your marriage. Being respectful, however, will.
To those who are continually being sent on a guilt trip when your spouse wants his or her way, it’s okay to be assertive (stand up for your rights while being respectful of your spouse’s rights). If there are unresolved hurts and regrets in your marriage, maybe it’s time to address the elephant in the room and put them to rest for good.
If it’s been addressed but you’re still reliving it frequently, I’d encourage you to remember that some mistakes damage trust in such a way that it can take quite a while for consistently trustworthy behavior to begin to repair that trust. So, ask yourself if your spouse is using guilt to be manipulative, or if your spouse is bringing up past mistakes because he or she is still insecure because of your trust-damaging actions. This may greatly impact how you respond!
Above all… choose to be respectful and loving. The marriage is about both of you… not just you.
As always, if you are having difficulty sorting through trust and guilt issues on your own, consider finding a couples counselor who may be a good fit for you!
Keri Kitchen is a devoted wife and mother, blogger, licensed mental health counselor, and founder of The Carys Rainn Foundation. To read more about what God is doing in her life, visit her blog at www.aftertherainn.com