How to Get Over Hurt Feelings in Your Marriage
by: Al Robertson
If anyone knows what it is like to feel the bitter wounds of betrayal, it would be me. I get it — I really do. When Lisa and I went through our problems, I didn’t know how I could ever get past the hurt. The pain was so intense that at the time, I couldn’t envision how we would ever put the pieces back together again. And for a while, I wasn’t at all sure that I had the desire to do it. I knew that the process of repairing our broken marriage would involve excruciating sorrow and doubt.
However, I knew the answer then, even though I didn’t know that I knew it. It was beneath the surface — way down inside me as part of the foundation of my life. Years of pursuing God and allowing the written word of God to speak to my heart prepared me to do what I didn’t think was possible — to reconcile with Lisa in a way that would heal our marriage and actually bring about a relationship that neither of us thought possible before.
I think the breakthrough for me was that I heard the voice of God say to me, “Al, you are a sinner too.”
Almost everyone pays lip service to the notion that they are not perfect, but normally we admit that while still maintaining some kind of moral high ground. We say, “I’m not perfect, but….” Then we fill in the blank with an explanation of why we are better off before God than the other person.
That’s not what happened to me. Before God could work an incredible miracle in us, he had to humble me and work a mighty work in me. Before I could dispense grace to Lisa, I had to come to a place where I knew that I was as desperate before God for his mercy as she was. In other words, I had to admit that I was as broken as she was — that there were things in me that contributed to what went wrong in our marriage.
There is a verse in Titus 2 that really speaks to this.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…
What is nearly impossible to do is to soak up God’s mercy while holding others accountable to a rigid law. Jesus told the parable of the unmerciful servant who was forgiven a debt of millions of dollars only to go out and grab a poor man who owed him only a few bucks and throw him in prison until he repaid what he owed him. When the servant’s master heard what he had done, he threw the man into prison himself. Then the master said, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
So I began to realize that it is grace that teaches me to be godly. It is when I forgive people who owe me (a smaller debt than the one I owe God) that God is able to do godly things in my life. Accountability is not a bad thing if we have the other person’s best interest at heart, but if by holding others accountable we are trying to hold ourselves out as morally superior, we miss the point.
Our goal — in fact, this is the centerpiece of our entire ministry — is to bring people before our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, for healing. We know from experience and from what God has revealed about himself that he delights in restoring broken lives — not to the place where they were before, but to the place where he intended that we be all along.
If you’re wondering how you can get past the pain that you are experiencing in your marriage, do this: Ask God to reveal to you how you have failed in your marriage too. Just know this — God’s desire is for you and your spouse to be reconciled — always. So when you place yourself under his care and control and allow him to have access to your heart, he will always be faithful.