“Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked, that means pain.”– Corrie Ten Boom
Ginny and Jay have been married for 15 years, but Ginny feels alone in her marriage. It wasn’t always like this, but she’s noticed a drift. Communicating with Jay seemed more challenging, and it’s harder to resolve issues in their relationship.
Jay prefers doing things his own way. Silent treatment, manipulation, deflection, defensiveness, and withdrawal became a normal part of their relationship. A situation that would take 10 minutes to resolve turns into a full-blown argument.
At first, the situation was subtle, and she tried to ignore it. Ginny blamed herself. She’s tried to reason with her husband, but he would twist her words and blame her each time. She felt everything going wrong in her marriage was her fault. Sometimes she feels crazy because Jay always had to win.
Perhaps you, too, are feeling lonely and unloved in your marriage. Maybe both of you can’t seem to agree on what you want for your relationship. Issues go unresolved for months because you are tired of arguing about the same things over and over.
Feeling unloved, isolated, and unresolved issues in a marriage is painful. Rejection by a spouse often leads to feelings of shame, inadequacy, and confusion.
Maybe you’re asking yourself questions like, What did I do wrong? What’s wrong with me? Why am I not good enough?
You are not alone. Leah, too, experienced the pain of rejection and feeling unloved by her husband, father, and sister. She felt insecure and worthless (Genesis 29:15-35), but she found hope in the Lord.
7 Steps to Overcome Rejection in your Marriage.
Overcoming rejection in a problematic marriage is not magical. Working on yourself and your marriage takes time, so be patient and kind to yourself.
- Seek the Lord in prayer. Share your pain and feelings with God. Ask for His help and guidance. This situation calls for making time for fasting and prayer.
- Get professional help even if your spouse is unwilling. Do it for yourself because as you get stronger internally, you will gain essential tools and confidence to change your response to the dysfunctional dance in your relationship.
- Establish boundaries for how you will respond to the distressing behaviors in your marriage. Often, your spouse may act out of their own past emotional baggage and not know the full impact on you. Boundaries will strengthen your ability to confront your spouse in love. Initially, you may feel guilty about setting boundaries. Let go of the guilt. As you become consistent with the boundaries, your spouse will need to reevaluate their behavior because the rules of engagement have changed. You are no longer taking part in the dysfunctional dance.
- Get support from trusted friends. It is tempting to stay isolated and not reach out to others for help. Just like Moses needed Aaron and Hur (Exodus 17:12-14), you need friends to hold your hand up.
- Practice self-care. What brings you joy? Do things that nurture your soul. Rest, eat well, take a Zumba class, learn a new skill, volunteer, walk, and spend time with those who love you.
- Confront in love. Your spouse might have grown up not knowing how to handle conflict or relate well. Maybe they’ve learned to build emotional walls to protect themselves as a coping mechanism. Identify an issue that you want to resolve with your spouse. Bring awareness to the problem by stating your needs using “I statements.”
- Meditate on God’s Word and embrace the truth of who God says you are. Your identity doesn’t come from your spouse. It comes from God the Father, and He sees you as His beloved child. (1 John 3:1)
God loves you unconditionally! It’s not your fault, and you are not unworthy because your spouse rejects you.
From experience, those who reject their spouse often struggle with insecurities, which they project on others. However, there is no need to waste time and energy trying to change another person or make them like us.
Like Leah, let’s shift our focus from the pain of rejection and accept God’s love. We have value, self-worth, acceptance, and contentment in God.
To overcome rejection, focus on God’s character and your identity in Him.
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