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We now know that it is preposterous to think in terms of what a normal marriage might be. But it can be prosperous to strive for a healthy marriage. In the past few weeks, we’ve been conducting some self-checks on our emotional and relational health. The first self-check was to assess whether or not we are controlling. The second self-check assessed any codependency on our part as husbands. Now it is time for the third self-check
Here’s the Third Self-Check: Am I connected?
A CSA survivor’s ability to relationally connect with others is often compromised by the abuse. For instance, connection involves trust. But since the perpetrators of CSA are often trusted individuals, a survivor’s ability to trust – or relationally connect – as an adult is compromised. This will present challenges in the social relationship of a husband and wife and will provoke situations when the husband wants to ask “What’s a normal relationship anyway?”
But let’s remember that we are striving for a healthy relationship and that begins with us as husbands. The first step to being connected with our wives is to be connected with ourselves. Here’s the self-check question: How well do I know what is going on within me so that I can share my soul with me wife?
Most of us guys have to really think in order to connect with ourselves (i.e. – to really know what’s going on inside of us). Here’s a helpful exercise. Using SASHET as an acronym, we can identify our feelings by asking, “Am I Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy, Excited, or Tender?”
The purpose of this self-check is not to find whom I might blame for any negative feelings, but rather to take ownership of my feelings. If I have negative feelings and attitudes that linger unresolved, it’s then time to see a trustworthy pastor or counselor to help me navigate the course.