There a saying that goes, “Out of sight, out of mind“.

There is truth in this but it’s also a lie. The truth is that when not seen we often don’t consciously think about it. BUT it is still in our mind. I am not talking about “in our mind” as in a “storage” context. I mean “in our mind” as in actively turning it over. I firmly believe that just because I am not aware I am thinking about something does not mean I am not thinking about something.

Triggers, a common term in many circles these days, are one proof case for my point. As some know a trigger is an event that evokes a reaction (see this blogs articles on triggers) that is not in accordance with the situation at hand. On other words the brain is reacting based upon the memories evoked. Out of sight, out of mind? Not at all. The trigger instantly brings us to the point of reacting to the here and now as if it were one more in a long string of injustices, when in fact it is completely unrelated. AND we are often not even aware of why our reaction is more severe than is called for.

Unless it’s all brought out into the open IT WILL fester, IT WILL dictate, IT WILL cause bitterness, IT WILL cause anger, IT WILL cause self-loathing. Bringing something into sight is like a doctor at the hospital. She opens the wound, scrubs the wound. Does it go away? No. Does it hurt? Yes.

So then what good is it? Yes. The healing comes with time. Leaving the wound untreated may seem like the best thing to a child but any adult knows that unless the child goes through the pain of exposing and cleansing the wound there is no assurance that it will be able to heal properly – and may cause much more serious damage.

So, now I get to my instigator for this post. A relationship. The most intimate of relationships, marriage. The unfortunate thing in life is that two people will injure one another. It’s inevitable in this fallen world. Eventually, if left untreated for long enough things begin to fester. We have seen and heard about marriages that reach their breaking point and culminate in serious atrocities committed against one another. Sometimes it looks like aggression, and for some it looks like silence.

I believe I’ve said it before in this blog – but for sure I have said it before in many places at many times. Whether a couple is “fighting” or running to their separate rooms to avoid the fight – it’s all the same. Both are emotionally injurious to the relationship. In both cases the most basic of human needs, to be loved, is withheld. We’d all look in horror if a newborn were left in a room, fed at regular intervals but had no other contact with their parents. Why do couples who go to their corners somehow think they are better than those that fight? It is abuse in another form. Every human being needs love and attention.

So what keeps us from doing this. Well to be quite simple… and honest, it’s you.

“If only you , I could fill your need.” It’s your fault, sure I am not perfect BUT you’re way less perfect.”

Isn’t that the approach we often have in relationships? Maybe it gets so bad that a friend steps in to help mediate (or we take it to a professional). Most people will often admit they aren’t perfect (to throw us off the scent) and then direct our attention to the matter at hand. Admit it, that bone of “I’m not perfect” is a masked way of saying “Hey, I’m exposing myself so you can see I am NOT the problem”.

So then what happens when we may be exposed or at least our facade may have a crack in it? You know the answer, if I can’t deflect – I’ll do what it takes to hide who I really am. After all, “you need to understand the PROBLEM is not me”.

I recall attending marriage counseling years ago thinking “today has been a tough day at work, tough things happened recently in the relationship – I wonder if I’ll be perceived wrongly. Sure, I’ve got issues but you’ve just GOT to see THE PROBLEM!”

My instinct is self-preservation. Avoiding would give me time to be the rational being I am. After all the ugly is not my norm. Everything we do is about about making sure the big I is presented in the best light. I always ensuring I have justification for the wrongs I have committed. Left without check I will always take care of me.

Christ said it best, “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? ” Matthew 7:3

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