Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster


I hate roller coasters.

I really do. I didn’t always, in fact my first date was when I was 14 years old. A boy asked me to go to the fair, and I couldn’t wait to go on the fastest, wildest ride together. It was called the Zipper because it went up and down, spun around and in an oval all around. It was crazy, and I loved it, until…we got off. I noticed my date wasn’t feeling so good–he looked green–and then the worst thing happened for anyone on a date, much less a first date! He threw up. He was embarrassed. I was embarrassed. And the night was pretty much ruined at that point.

That wasn’t when I started hating roller coasters though.

I think the thrill left me when I started having children. But I’ve often found myself on another roller coaster of sorts–one caused by my emotions, and I hate this one too. Some days I don’t have a choice of resisting it. It’s as if the beast scoops me up and insists I go on a nightmare of a ride. I can even feel nauseous when it’s all over.

What I’ve found helps the most is to take Tom’s hand, look him in the eye and explain what I’m feeling. It may not make sense. I may end up slobbering all over him as I try to tell him what’s going on in my little brain, and he may not understand a word I say. But somehow knowing that he cares enough for me to try to understand makes all the difference. I think just focusing long enough to try and put my emotions in words helps with the disorientation caused by my spinning emotions.

The perplexing thing about all this is what works one time may not work the next.

This fact alone can cause Tom much frustration, especially since he can’t relate to the why of it all.  If he didn’t love me, he might be tempted to give up on me altogether, like a first and last date at the fair. But he does love me. He’s proven it over and over. Sometimes the best thing he can do is hold me tight until the roller coaster ends.

How has the emotional roller coaster affected your marriage? Have you learned to help each other until the ride passes? Or do you tend to add another carnival ride to the experience like The House of Horrors? Please, for the sake of your marriage, don’t disengage when your spouse is facing something you can’t understand. Take your perplexities to God and ask Him to help you understand the unexplainable. You may be surprised that He answers you in specific ways that impact your marriage in a lasting way.


About Debi Walter

Tom and Debi have been sharing encouragements through their blogs for many years. Marriage, Reading God's Word and documenting family history is our focus. Growing in our relationship with the Lord is primary in all we say, write or do. We are grateful for all who desire to join us in the same endeavors.
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5 Responses to Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster

  1. Mrs. T says:

    I can so relate to this in two ways. One, I absolutely loved the zipper! 🙂 And two, I am the same exact way and my husband faces the same frustration. The last time it happened, we tried to dissect the situation and find out why I can have two different reactions in what seems to be the same situation. We concluded it was directly related to my love tank, there are certain things that send me on the roller coaster even if my love tank is a little low. Now that we have figured that out, he knows what to do when I feel this way. The hard thing about this is I actually have to express myself, I am very emotional and it usually involves crying and him waiting a ridiculous amount of time for me to get ten words out between sobs. What I started doing is keeping a journal. I share with him the things I’ve read on blogs or in books and how I feel it relates to me and our marriage. He loves it. He looks forward to coming home and reading it and it has really opened everything up for us.


    • Debi Walter says:

      Mrs T, That’s a great idea! Thank you so much for sharing it.
      We pray it continues to strengthen your ability to communicate and to grow in understanding those emotions that can be so debilitating.
      Tom and Debi


  2. I’m married to a christian man but not necessarily the spiritual leader. Our marriage is a roller coaster always. Even as two believers I often feel we are on a Ferris wheel and not a roller coaster. We go round and round and I’m ready to move to the next level. However we will remain in the seats with are seat belts fastened but man it’s not easy. Xo. Thank goodness I have Jesus


  3. Mrs. T says:

    Might I recommend a book to you? Sacred Marriage – What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? Written by Gary Thomas. (No relation 😉 ) It can help, even if you are on your own and your spouse is not interested in “working” on the marriage. It might give you a different perspective and some peace.


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