I have always been emotional. I cry at movies. I cry at weddings. I have even been known to cry at a funeral of someone whom I had never met. I put myself in another’s place and imagine what it must feel like for them. This is great for showing empathy and weeping with those who weep. But at times I feel engulfed by it.
For years I tried to hold my emotions back. I envied women who could dab a tear from their eyes and hardly anyone would notice. Not me. I ugly cry. My nose turns bright red, and my eyes swell. It’s not a pretty site. Add to that my inability to stop the flow of tears once they begin, and you can see how this is embarrassing.
Engulfed and embarrassed. How is my husband supposed to learn to live with me in an “understanding way” as 1 Peter 3:7 commands? It is no easy task because I often don’t understand myself.
What we have found to work after 4 decades of practice, is communication. Not the empty kind where nothing is really gained from the conversation. I’m talking the kind where I have Tom’s full attention. Here are four steps that have worked for us in finding a deeper level of Emotional Intimacy:
- Examine my heart – Tom asks me good questions to help him understand what I’m thinking.
- Explain how I got here. What thoughts led up to these feelings? Sometimes I have an immediate answer, and sometimes I don’t know. It takes further questions and deeper probing into my heart. But having a spouse who is willing to lean in to know me in this way is an indescribable gift. And many times we don’t figure it all out in one sitting. It’s a process and we have a lifetime to work on it.
- Express the truth in love by reminding me of Scripture. It is the Truth of God’s Word that will set me free from all the binds me.
- Embrace. On the Myers-Briggs personality test, I scored 100% feeling on the feeling/logic section. There is no logic to be found in my brain. Spock wouldn’t know how to deal with me, and I’m grateful I didn’t marry Mr. Spock. While my husband doesn’t always understand my emotions he has found that many times I just want to be heard and held.
The other thing that has helped me grow in this area is pouring my heart out to the Lord. I take Him my fears, my insecurities, my disappointments, and my requests. I cry in His presence and something amazing happens. I feel the burden lift.
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28,30 ESV
Our emotions are a gift from God. He made us each with varying degrees of emotional needs. The spouse who leans in to become intimate on an emotional level with their spouse is demonstrating what it means to love and cherish.
Have you or your spouse ever been engulfed by emotions? How did you find a way out?
(Did you find the 6th secret letter for today? Once again it’s shown by the words in BOLD)
This is our 29th post in the Ultimate Blog Challenge to post everyday in April.