Many marriages are being put to the test right now, as we continue dealing with the stresses of quarantine. Jeff is joined by psychologist Dr. Peter Damgaard-Hansen to discuss common problems that are happening in marriage during COVID-19 and how we can overcome them.
Snippet from the Show
“Our need for love is greater than our capacity to provide it.”
We all have expectations for marriage. Common examples include:
- My spouse will always be there for me when I need them
- My spouse will take care of me
- My spouse will make me feel better when I am down
But we are unable to always meet these expectations, which results in hurt feelings. Responding with anger or resentment when these expectations aren’t met is the crux of the many marital problems.
Common Problems in Quarantine
- Forced togetherness – We may feel that the other person is not there because they want to be there, but because they are forced to be there.
- Reaching the point of zero – We assume that in relationships, one person will make the other feel better when they are down. But what happens when both spouses are in need of the other to make them feel better? The problem here is not a lack of love, but the need for both spouses to receive at the same time.
- Becoming more aware of your own imperfections – discovering your own imperfections and being disappointed with yourself can make you lash out to those around you.
How Can We Better Love Our Spouse
- Avoid unloving actions – this is much more manageable than trying to love perfectly.
- Repent when you discover you have failed – apologize for when you fail to avoid unloving actions, but it must be sincere.
- Forgive your spouse when they fail to avoid unloving actions.
- Understand why you are angry – you are most likely angry with your spouse because you were hurt by them—the person you expect to help you. Further, it’s not just that you’re hurt, it’s that you feel alone in your hurt. But you are never alone in your hurt, because God is always there.
- Don’t feel guilty about not being able to love perfectly.
- Don’t blame your spouse for not being able to love perfectly.
- Experience togetherness – know that your spouse may also be feeling alone and isolated, and that shared feeling can actually bring you together.
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