Does your marriage suffer from what I call emotional amnesia? That is, when a problem arises, do you or your spouse act as if you have never learned good conflict resolution skills? Do you forget about the emotional heart strings that have been tied throughout the years and give place to your raw emotions? Is it common for the both of you to live in a moment of frustration as if you have never been taught anything in the past?
Emotional amnesia. That’s what I call it. It is the propensity for couples and individuals to see nothing in their situation but what they are feeling. It causes a temporary apostasy of sorts of all they have learned, yet it yields unfruitful results that can last for days, months, and possibly years.
David experienced this as a result of his lust. For a brief period of time, he forgot all of God’s goodness and His ways, and it led to years of difficulties in his life. We see the same pattern in many others including Adam and Eve, Peter, and Achan to name a few.
Medical or Maturity Issue?
Is emotional amnesia a medical issue or a maturity issue? For some, the answer could be medical, but, for most, I believe it is more so a matter of maturity.
Though my previous statement may sound a little rough to some, I feel it breeds hope. That is, if our problems are more of a maturity issue than a medical issue, then there is a remedy more so within our grasp and within our control.
If you have been to one of our conferences or read much of our materials, you know that I am convinced that we are producing a society of adult children. That is, as a father of 8, I know first hand that children have a difficult time seeing past their feelings. In fact, as a parent, I do not believe they even start their quest toward adulthood until they learn to start pushing aside their emotions and following God-given principles.
The great problem I see that is destroying marriages is that many fail to see past their anger, feelings of unforgiveness, selfish desires, surface logic, or hurt when dealing with their spouse. To be frank, as long as this occurs, many a spouse will continue to loathe the adult consequences of their childish behavior.
In chapter 3 of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another, I ask our readers to consider who or what is the the true God of their marriage (Philippians 3:19). That is, if our anger or despondency guides us in our conversations with our spouse, then, at that time, the god of our marriage is not our Father, but our emotions. This is key because what guides you is your god, and your marriage will never rise any higher than its true god or God.
Food for thought . . . Dr. Force