December 1, 2020

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Must read: When ‘shame’ holds back your marriage

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There is nothing like a perfect marriage in today’s world plagued with mysteries and uncertainties. Nonetheless, when there is openness, sincerity and trust; love can certainly conquer all.

Marriage is the beginning of a partnership journey which involves several complicated dynamics in itself; unfortunately today many couples also carry pains and distress into their marriages, sometimes so pervasive and emotional that it can be internally damaging too.

Shame is contagious

The presence of shame can sometimes be traced back to childhood traumas where many couples had developed a shameful core which has continued to dominate their minds, bodies and souls; affecting their thoughts and feelings in their adult lives today.

Living with the feeling of shame can be contagious and can quickly flitter and destroy the spirit of love in your marriage, so contagious that it can hold back all your hopes and aspirations too.

Shame is real

Everyone must have experienced a form of shame or another but most people find it extremely difficult to manage the emotional impact that shame left behind in their lives and for others dealing with their present shame is seen as an affliction. When your understanding of shame is only based on humiliation and disgrace, it can make you feel isolated, insecure and also undeserving of love.

When you or your spouse continues to hold back your shameful past coupled with other marital challenges, the presence of shame and misfortune will certainly hold back your marriage too.

Shame is unworthy

The difference between a spouse who feels good about his/herself and one who feels worthless is the intensity of shame which holds each person back and the willingness to overcome the situation. If your spouse feels apprehensive about dealing with most difficult situations in your marriage, he/she may be going through a feeling of worthlessness if certain shame still lingers on in their lives.

The feeling of unworthiness can often result in argument and guilt which can harbour resentment in marriage especially when shame is misunderstood. A spouse consumed with shame may become very defensive and unwilling to take responsibility when confronted about his/her behavior.

Shame is self-seeking

Every individual is different but marriage has the capacity to recognise each person’s strengths and weaknesses as long as both of them are open and sincere with one another. The feeling of shame can build up in your marriage if your spouse has been silently living with the hurts and pains you had inflicted as a result of control and neglect in your marriage in the past or present.

Marriage is a partnership that demands that every decision be made together without one partner feeling disregarded or undermined; if your self-seeking act of control in the past or present has caused a major setback in your marriage, this can create a feeling of dishonesty and unreserved shame too. Shame can keep you in a bad situation for as long as you lack the confidence to speak out, move forward and change your situation for good.

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