Couples that avoid hurt from happening (or the hurt that has already happened) are preventing intimacy from developing.
No one really enjoys being hurt, and being hurt is a part of all close intimate relationships. It’s going to happen. The difficulty is in viewing pain as though it is a gift, not the plague.
Pain is not fun, but neither is numbness. I don’t know about you, but when I leave the dentist after getting a shot of Novocain, I cannot wait for it to wear off. The feeling of not controlling half of my face is miserable (not to mention drooling and talking like there’s a boulder in half my mouth). People were not made to be numb, we were made to feel.
Mary Oliver penned this beautiful line, and it speaks well to the realities couples face: “I was once given a box full of darkness, it took me many years to realize that this too was a gift.”
Pain shapes our lives either in our acceptance of it or our refusal to experience it. Creating a space for hurts to be a welcomed guest in your marriage will serve you well. A noble calling for every marriage would be to create and live out a relationship that engages the hurt, and heals the pain.
Develop guidelines for how you’ll address hurts in your relationship. Setup a regular time to “clear the air” together, and keep short accounts. Find intentional ways to ask for and offer forgiveness.