Are you struggling in your marriage? Do you have emotional scars from an unhappy childhood or past relationships? Is your spouse not living up to the expectations you had when you were dating or married? Would it feel like a relief to heal these emotional wounds and move forward in your relationship, without them getting in the way of intimacy, love, and lasting happiness together?”
There are scars we have on the outside that are visible for everyone to see. They mark us so to speak as a reminder of something painful and traumatic we experienced.
The scar points to an event. An event that would attempt to reshape how we perceive who we are now.
We also have internal scars. Things that scarred our hearts. Sometimes emotional scars skew our perspectives. The painful events can cause us to see through a broken heart, sometimes, even a shattered heart because of trauma on top of trauma.Sometimes emotional scars skew our perspectives. The painful events can cause us to see through a broken heart, sometimes, even a shattered heart because of trauma on top of trauma. Click To Tweet
Internal scars can become wounds we would rather bury inside. They manifest in different ways and we often try to cover them, but frequently and privately we struggle with them.
These are not visible to the naked eye. They are experienced emotionally. Sometimes, there are trigger points that cause them to manifest, reminding you of that painful event.Healing emotional scars in your marriage takes courage. It takes time and a decision to make your heart available for healing. Click To Tweet
What happens when it is something in our marriage? The relationship that is supposed to represent a safe place and refuge from life no longer is. Now what?
Healing emotional scars in your marriage takes courage. It takes time and a decision to make your heart available for healing.
In a perfect world, you get married and live happily ever after. You have meaningful conversations, trust, great sex, no money problems, and your kids are angels.
They have even given you the bumper sticker displayed on your car,” My child is an honor roll student.”
But, we don’t live in a fairy tale and our kids aren’t angels and on the honor roll all the time. The reality is, we struggle.
Struggling is one thing most couples experience but what happens when there is trauma? Trauma that leaves emotional scars.
What happens when there is a blow to the foundation of your marriage? Your dream of Happily ever after vanished out of your life with the blow you experienced.
Maybe it was infidelity, maybe it was a lie about finances. Maybe you are married to someone who has abused you emotionally and you are emotionally scarred and broken as a result.
Maybe they had addiction issues. You suffered silently. Prayed every prayer you knew to pray and yet it was still there. The isolation took a toll on you, emotionally depleting you.
You are now left in the wake of the aftermath of someone else’s choices that wounded you deeply and left emotional wounds.
Whatever the offense or breach, it affected you and violated the trust you once had.
- Where do you go from here?
- How do you heal?
- Will you be able to trust again?
- What will life look like for me and my husband now?
These are questions that race through our minds.
5 Ways To Help In Healing Emotional Scars In Your Marriage
At the beginning of a marriage, it is natural to feel so in love that emotional scars from previous relationships or childhood are barely noticeable. As time goes on, though, and you get more comfortable with one another, any old wounds might start to show through. And then these emotional scars can really ruin everything.
So if you’re married and have emotional wounds sustained from other relationships or your past, the following five tips might help heal those emotional scars and bring back some happiness to your relationship.
1. Practice Forgiveness
This isn’t saying what they did is OK. It’s making a quality decision to choose to let go of the offense so it doesn’t own and control your life.
When we hold things against our spouse it’s like drinking poison and expecting them to die from it. It doesn’t happen. It affects and spreads in your own life.
We often think forgiveness should happen automatically. It doesn’t always. Sometimes it comes off in layers.
As we continually choose to release them through forgiveness more of the weight of that situation comes off.
A violation in your marriage attempts to control and own your life because it begins to consume your thought life.
If it was infidelity you won’t find peace by wanting to know every detail of the affair. This will only bring more torment to you. It’s counterproductive.
If you find out details it might only torment you more. Knowing there was an affair is painful enough without tormenting details that won’t help you move forward and heal.
If your spouse is remorseful you can begin the hard work of rebuilding trust and healing.
If you aren’t getting the level of remorse you are looking for, remember, you can only control yourself. Shallow apologies hurt but forgiveness heals your heart.When we hold things against our spouse it’s like drinking poison and expecting them to die from it. It doesn't happen. It affects and spreads in your own life. Click To Tweet
The ironic thing about letting go of something makes room for it to let go of you. It no longer has power over you. This is the power of forgiveness.
Healing your emotional scars is the goal so your heart can be fully restored. So ultimately, your marriage can be healed if both parties do the work it requires.
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
Boundaries help you keep the good in and the bad out. They draw a line of distinction that teaches others how to treat you and shows you if you’re violating a boundary line.
Once trust is broken and the truth comes out, boundaries can help you start to heal and rebuild. Boundaries are accountability. Agreeing on them will determine where your relationship will end up.
Being accountable needs to be a willing choice for the one who violated the relationship. This can’t be forced, it has to be by choice. This part is very telling.
It takes both parties to want to heal and be restored. You are responsible for your own personal healing, not theirs.
If you have been violated you deserve to know where your spouse is going or why they were late getting home from work.
This doesn’t mean you investigate and police everything they do, but they need to understand questions for you to heal.It takes both parties to want to heal and be restored. You are responsible for your own personal healing, not theirs. Click To Tweet
Trust was broken and now, there are questions, especially if it just happened. It takes time and seeing changes happen that begin to heal those wounded places in your marriage.
Needing to see changes doesn’t mean you’re demanding. It means you’re committed to what accountability demands for the relationship to make progress.
Defining lines aren’t bad, they make things clear. Clear lines remove confusion.
Boundaries protect your own heart from further damage and scarring.
Be clear and specific about what you need from your spouse to move forward towards a healthier marriage.
3. Understand Your True Worth
After discovering the thing that hurt you so badly in your marriage your self-worth plummeted. Your confidence took a nosedive.
You began to question yourself and why this happened or what you could have done to prevent it.
Broken trust in your marriage has a way of placing a target on your heart and making you question yourself. You wonder if you were enough?
Why they couldn’t be happy with just you… Why the need for material things or drugs or other women or pornography?
The circumstances tell you you weren’t enough but what if that is a lie and not the truth at all? Be cautious about what type of thoughts that plug into you.
Be careful what thoughts you agree with. They have the potential to pour salt in an already wounded place. Rejection tries to convince you that you won’t recover because the wounds are too deep.
Be cautious about meditating on something that would make you feel worthless instead of worthy of love and being chosen by your spouse.
When we have emotional scars in our marriage we begin to filter through the brokenness and wonder if we are worth being loved. Brokenness has a way of distorting our view.
The broken pieces of a heart begin to distort a healthy way of thinking.
When we start healing our lens changes. We see clearer. We aren’t victimized by a violation, we put the responsibility on the one responsible.
Holding it against them isn’t what you do but, allowing the proper ownership to fall on the person who violated you is healthy.Taking on a false sense of responsibility for someone else's offense isn't noble, it is co- dependent. Click To Tweet
Taking on a false sense of responsibility for someone else’s offense isn’t noble, it is co- dependent.
Here’s an analogy: Why would I pay for a speeding ticket if I wasn’t speeding. I wouldn’t. It might affect me because we’re married and you have to pay a fine which affects me because we are in it together… But, I won’t own your part, only mine.
Choosing to take back your self-worth will preserve you. It will help you heal and decide what you will and will not tolerate in your marriage.
Defining lines aren’t bad, they make things clear.
4. Create A New Normal
Maybe, you don’t know how to be now. Everything you knew as your normal has been with the information you now have.
You’re angry. You’re hurt. You are frustrated because nothing will ever be the same again. You are now progressing into a new season with your marriage. You wonder if the residue of the past will ever go away completely?
From this point on you will have a new normal.
There will be a portion of your marriage before the event happened and now after. Not everything you had in your marriage before infidelity or broken trust was a lie.
It took you by surprise, but underlying issues started surfacing that got you as a couple to where you now are.
There was a breach of trust and it broke your heart. You can’t unbreak your heart but you can heal and move forward.
Don’t hold yourself hostage to what happened. Give yourself time and space to heal. Look forward to the possibility of your marriage being stronger than it ever was before.
New normals come because the old is no longer there. You do life differently now.
As a couple, you’re learning to be more open in your communication and vulnerable enough to talk about deeper needs being met within your marriage.
Letting go of what you thought your marriage would look like at this point in your life can open up your life to a brighter future together. You can heal together.
It can help you rebuild a new foundation. A healed and tested foundation. A new normal can look like coming to the place of absolutes in your marriage. Knowing specifically what you can’t live with helps bring clarification to the marriage.
It’s not about throwing down ultimatums but having some no tolerance zones of going back to that place again that was un- healthy. This shows you that the boundaries are doing what they are designed to do. Preserve you and the relationship.
What you walked through as you healed brought you to a new normal in your marriage. Both of you went through changes. Both of you had to face painful things. Discovered things you didn’t know were there.
You learned things about each other you needed to know. Emotional scars are beginning to heal because light can get into those broken places that were once off-limits.
5. Embrace Restoration and Hope
Time, counseling, lots of grace with each other. These will help you reconnect and rebuild your lives together.
The agony of dealing with healing emotional scars in your marriage is no small undertaking. There is a pain that heals and a pain that keeps you stuck.
Progressive pain helps you dig deep and investigate where the root of your marriage’s emotional scars come from. Both parties owning their part that contributed to causing their spouse pain will see healing through the humility to learn how they can change.
It is hard work. It’s being willing to do a deep dive into your emotional garbage and pain as a couple strives towards the place of restoration.
It’s not for the faint-hearted. It’s painful but… It’s a pain that moves you forward to experience the type of marriage you want.
A healthy one. A thriving one. A whole marriage where both people show up and do their part.
Now, other marriages can look at yours and have hope that they can survive too. You will more than likely have a keen awareness for others who are where you were in your marriage.
Now, your story can give them hope that they can be healed and find a new normal.
Final Thoughts On Healing Emotional Scars In Your Marriage
Before you can heal emotional wounds from previous relationships or childhood, building a strong foundation with your spouse is important.
It is important to understand that a romantic marriage does not necessarily mean your marriage will be happy and fulfilling. Many times, a happy marriage begins with dealing with the pain from your past.
Hopefully, these five tips will help you and your spouse find some emotional healing from past relationships or childhood so that you can once again be happy together.
Let’s Recap 5 Ways To Healing Emotional Scars In Your Marriage:
- 1. Practice Forgiveness
- 2. Set Healthy Boundaries
- 3. Understand Your True Worth
- 4. Create A New Normal
- 5. Embrace Restoration and Hope
Trust the process of your healing. Refuse the temptation to avoid the painful things that surface as you move forward. It takes time. Two steps back and one step forward doesn’t mean you aren’t making progress, it means you are in the process of healing on your way to wholeness.
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If you are having serious marriage struggles, we recommend starting with ‘Save the Marriage System‘ by Lee Baucom.