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Healing comes first

October 26, 2011

A Great Idea …

“If you hurt your partner when he or she is already hurting, you’ll just throw gasoline on the fire. Before you start to deal with the [issue at hand] . . .you must find a nonverbal way to connect and show that you value each other. (Patricia Love and Steven Stosny in their book, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, p. 108)

In Other Words …

A physical wound should be treated with proper first aid before the injured person tries to resume normal activity.  The same is true for emotional wounds. Those wounds need to be treated with compassion and kindness before issues can be dealt with.

When our partners are hurting, we shouldn’t immediately push them towards solutions. We need to offer listening ears, tender hearts, and loving gestures. Only when our partners feel safe and loved can we return to effective problem solving.

How This Applies to You …

The next time your partner is hurting, don’t try to fix the problem until you deal with your partner’s pain. Just be there and listen. Sit with your partner and offer comfort. After your partner is feeling better, you can work together to find a solution.

To Find Out More…

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas) check out the Navigating Life’s Journey blog

For an excellent (and free!) program on marriage, see The Marriage Garden at Arkansas Families.

For an excellent book focused on marriage, read How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Patricia Love and Steven Stonsy or The Marriage Garden by H. Wallace Goddard and James P. Marshall.

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