Dealing with Emotional Hot Spots
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
All of us have emotional hot spots. When our spouse says or does certain things, we get defensive. Usually our response is rooted in our history. You may find that often your spouse is echoing statements made by your parents that hurt or embarrassed you. The fact that you get defensive indicates that the hurt has never healed. The next time you get defensive, ask yourself why. Chances are, you will have a flood of memories. Share these past experiences with your spouse, and he or she will develop greater understanding.
What if you are the spouse? Once you learn why your husband or wife gets defensive in a certain area, then you can decide how to move on. You might ask, “How would you like me to talk about this issue in the future? I don’t want to hurt you. How could I say it in a way that would not be hurtful to you?” Now you are on the road to defusing the defensive behavior of your spouse. You’re also following Scripture by being patient and making allowances for your spouse’s struggles, as Paul encourages in Ephesians 4:2. Learning to negotiate the “hot spots” of life is a big part of developing a growing marriage.
Lord Jesus, please help me to uncover why I get so defensive about certain things, and give me the wisdom to change my reaction. I know I also need to extend special patience and grace to my spouse when he or she becomes defensive. Help us to avoid each other’s hot spots rather than triggering them.