Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Before we can begin where we left off in our last blog regarding this journey of “re-discovery”, we will need to dive into something first that, for some, is of a higher priority within their relationship that is unique to their circumstances.
One of the things that drive me crazy each summer is having to deal with a common nuisance that wreaks havoc on our attempts to have a somewhat decent lawn. Ours is not necessarily the best lawn, but it is made even worse by this pest. Yes, I am talking about the dreaded “mole”.
The thing about moles is that they can be quietly burrowing underneath for weeks and you wouldn’t know it until one morning you look out your window, or walk to your car, and you see the familiar pile. Other times you see the raised grass or dirt as they borrow close to the top.
Eradicating these vermin is quite a challenge. Concerted efforts are required. Some prefer to call in the experts to kill or capture them through specific technics. The “do-it-yourself” crowd, of which I admit I fall into, take on the battle with remedies sometimes successful, and sometimes not so much. The thing is, if an active mole, or moles, are not dealt with in some manner, they simply continue to be a constant problem that will only fester and grow.
Our marriages are, in many ways, like a yard. We look to do what we can to make it look good on the surface, however, under that surface may hide an ever-present mole or two.
In discussing divorce, and a means of saving a marriage, it is important to first acknowledge that some marriages are having to deal with specific matters that many others are not having to face. And that makes their marriage more complicated. Because of this, restoring a relationship becomes a wide gulf that can be hard to cross. Like those moles, these things quietly burrow below, only to rise up and create a mound of mess in their wake.
What are some of the moles that appear, sometimes out of nowhere?
Clinical depression is attributed to a combination of biological, psychological, and social sources of distress. There are six common depression types: Major depression, Persistent Depressive Disorder (dysthymia), Bipolar Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Perinatal Depression, PMDD (a severe form of PMS). Some people may have already had this disorder going into a marriage yet were never diagnosed as such. We may write it off as just that person’s personality until it gets out of control. In other cases, it is not until later on into a relationship, for one reason or another, that a person is faced with this. The good news is that clinical depression is treatable. However, it first must be identified. Some go through life refusing to believe they are stricken with depression. This is a form of denial. Others feel afraid to find out and so refuse to go get checked. Ultimately, it is left to fester in their lives and impacting their marriage and those closest to them. Specialists are available to help. There is no shame in seeking it. Once this is handled, then healing can begin in that person’s life, and in the relationship. If you believe you, or your spouse, might be dealing with clinical depression, I encourage you to find out more about it and then make an appointment with a specialist who can provide a diagnosis and guidance. Don’t guess! And there are support groups of those in similar situations that you can be around. Seek them out. No one should deal with this alone.
For those that become depressed due to their job, personal fears such as fear of the unknown, the future, and other outwardly factors, keep this in mind. They say 80% of the things we worry and fret about never comes to pass. And yet, we allow this 80% to consume us. All the time and energy spent in misery, in fear, and in depression needlessly. One of the most powerful ways I know in fighting inner demons that depress us is to gain an even bigger inner peace. The kind of peace I’m talking about can only come from one place. That is our reliance, trust, faith, and hope in Christ. It is a peace that can set one free. I personally know this to be true. You can too!
Schizophrenia. This is a serious brain disorder that is not very common. Some causes of schizophrenia are a chemical imbalance of the brain, genetic risk factors, environmental causes such as prenatal exposure to certain types of viral infections, and certain drugs such as psychoactive or psychotropic drugs like methamphetamines or LSD. And even heavy use of marijuana. It is stated the younger an individual starts, and the more frequent these are taken, the greater the risk. With the changes in marijuana laws lately across our country, this should be alarming to us.
The usual age range that schizophrenia may appear is said to be from 16 to 30 years of age. This means that there are chances where a couple that marries young may find their world turned around should one have this disorder with no initial symptoms visible in the beginning. Those that are facing this now need a strong support network, an abundance of love from their mate, and if they haven’t already, seek professional assistance as this can be successfully treated and managed.
Illness & Injuries. This is meant to be a broad term in order to include any illness not mentioned here. There are some couples who, years after marriage, find they are faced with challenges to their relationship in the form of such examples like Alzheimer’s or dementia, the results of a heart attack or stroke, paralysis due to an illness but also from injury, alcoholism, other mental health issues, brain injury, PTSD, anger issues, burn injury, drug abuse, and addiction, lupus, muscular dystrophy, leukemia, cancer, or amputation. This is only a sampling to be sure.
Wounded soldiers coming home from war to find they are faced with rejection due to their injuries. Spouses who become caregivers, due to illness, feeling that they got more than they bargained for. A husband or wife who is at the receiving end of abuse due to one of the symptoms previously mentioned. These are just a few of the realities people are facing.
How in the world do you return from something like this and get back to what you once had? The truth, for those dealing with these particular situations, is you don’t. You don’t because you can’t. It will never be the same as it once was. And, as much as one may miss “how things use to be”, it is important to come to the point where you can let that go, and instead realize the importance of looking ahead in starting something new. A relationship that will fit with what exists now. In letting the past go, we can free ourselves from an internal struggle that knows no end. Acknowledging one season has come to an end, and with it, a new season in the relationship beginning. Many have done so in the past, you can too.
This is not to trivialize any circumstances. The reality is, some marriages that are facing one of these topics may be so volatile, or the condition so extreme, that there is not the ability for them to continue, at least under the same roof. It does not necessarily mean two people walk away from one another. It is that to heal or help, distance is one’s best friend. There are exceptions of course. Ultimately, the only ones that can judge that, and make the call, would be the two in the relationship. And, if one is incapable, then it falls on the other to take on the responsibility as to what the next step might be.
Some other type of moles that nevertheless create mounds of trouble would be some of the following:
Past Relationships. One that can get overlooked is past relationships that have left deep scars, bitterness, and pain. And, that a person has not yet been set free from. We think that moving on will take care of it. However, we only carry it with us to the next relationship and into a marriage where it lies underneath, slowly burrowing until something triggers it to come to the surface. An argument that unleashes past unvented feelings. Lack of trust that produces various insecurities and actions. All actions and words are compared and matched to this past relationship, seeking to find similarities that only sabotage the current one. This one leaves many molehills. One of the hardest things to do is to again, let the past go. We cannot hold on to the past while reaching for the future. When we do this we only find ourselves stuck in one place. We can neither move back or forward. Time to flip the page and start a new chapter. You gotta let go and get unstuck!
Addictions. Addictions are another type of mole that undermine a marriage. Addictions go beyond what may normally come to mind, such as drugs, gambling, and alcohol. Addictions are vises that enslave an individual. Personal addictions draw in those around us by the very nature of relationships we have with them. Their impact on our lives will, given time, impact the person we are married to, and the type of relationship we have with them. These often are secret things until they get so out of hand that they rise to the surface for others to see. Molehills that get other’s attention. This happens when the addiction becomes bigger than one person can handle.
Restoring a relationship is a process. Before two people can start on that process, these types of conditions have to be addressed first. The recovery of an individual becomes the first priority. Once that has been addressed and personal wellness, healing, or stability comes into the picture, then there is a better means of focusing on the human connection.
If this blog is speaking to your specific marriage circumstance, we hope that this blog will help in motivating you to reach out to those who can partner with you. Specialists, help groups, and others that are specific to your particular issue. Some people close to you that you can confide in. Others who can help build you up in your faith. Or, if that thought is new to you, some people who could start you on a solid path that you trust and respect. A local pastor, a church, a family member, a neighbor, a co-worker.
Know this, God speaks to everyone. The problem is we are so busy and have so much noise going on in our lives, mine included, that we don’t hear Him over that noise. You see, He speaks with a still, small voice. He does so purposefully. If we really want to hear what He has to say, then we simply have to stop for a minute, filter out the noise, and intently listen. Once we do, we will begin to hear that voice within. We sometimes mistake His voice as our conscience. However, to separate the two know that God does not speak in doubt, fear, uncertainty, wickedness, evil, pride, and the like. No, His is to give direction… “This is the way, walk in it.” After all, isn’t that what we are always wanting to understand at every juncture of our lives? The answer is “yes” and God knows that. So, look for the voice that speaks in those terms.
Until next time, we wish you LOVE, JOY & PEACE!
Brad & Yvonne