Why Can Being Married Hurt So Much?

So we stood up in front of God and man and promised to love and cherish each other, right? Then why does the person we’re married to sometimes have the ability to hurt us more than anybody else on the planet? 

The answer is that they are hurt themselves. They have what I like to call “emotional broken arms.”

Couple Hurting From Past Pain Feeling Disconnected

I often explain it like this: When one walks around in the world in the perfect state of health, nothing hurts--everything is fine. When someone brushes up against them or accidentally steps on their toe, they respond with a somewhat calm, proportionate response like “Hey, careful, you brushed up against me.” or “Ouch, you stepped on my toe. Please try not to do that again.”

However, when one has a broken arm and someone brushes up against them, they feel unbearable pain and often times explode with “Aargh! How could you? I can’t believe you did that!” or even worse, they attack back with something like “You did that on purpose. What the heck is wrong with you? Get away from me!”

Many people are walking around in their marriages with “emotional broken arms.” Therefore, when he forgot to pick up the dry cleaning again, or she ignored him when he walked in the door again - for all intents and purposes, minor “brushes,” - the emotional pain is excruciating and the response is extreme and oftentimes ends up sounding something like, “You (awful person!) I can’t believe you did that again! You obviously don’t love me. I’ve had it!”

But how did these “emotional arms” get broken? They can exist for many different reasons including but not limited to: the environment in which one grew up, past transgressions within the relationship, or even fear of the future and, in particular, of being abandoned.

When “brushed up against,” these emotional broken arms have led people to say things and do things out of pain that have significantly injured their partner’s feelings, doing damage to the relationship. Understanding that there may have been painful circumstances or suffering that contributed to the person’s actions and having compassion for what drove the person to their transgression can go a long way toward healing the “broken arm” and ensuring that the minor “brushes” stay just that, minor.

Further, understanding that it may be your arm that is broken, will help you take responsibility for your own pain and not take it out on your partner.  Exploring and being aware of your own “emotional broken arms” allows you to control your reactions and stop the hurt before it starts.

Does any of this apply to you? Do you have any further questions. Please comment below.

To learn more about forgiveness and the complicated emotional dynamics in your marriage, check out our  StrongMarriageNow System.

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Wishing you a lifetime of happiness,

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, StrongMarriageNow.com

  • shynell

    my husband has filed for a divorce and we are not together. he has gotten older and very jealous....please help...

  • http://FireFox Sharon Scroggs

    I have and desperate situation in my Marriage that will take a miracle to heal my broken arms. My husband Danny, came to me back in 2011 and told me he no longer Loves me. We have been married 18 yrs. And I have to stand firm and put on the whole armor of God and stand and not give up. I have a very strong Faith and I am will endure and wait on Gods timing and come Hell, or High Water I will never give up. God is God of this universe and nothing is to hard for God. I am believing that God is going to restore my Marriage and soften Danny heart and bring him back to himself. I could go to more in detail about my story how all this came about. Thank You,

  • http://gmail Brenda Moore

    My husband cheats and a big liar he spends all his money on his two grown boys and they both works full time jobs but when i want to buy my grand children a toy he gets mad and dont want me too. And he expect me to put gas in the truck so he can go to work but he give his money to his boys and i only goes to work in the truck one day a week. I'm feed up. Somebody please tell me what i should do

  • Andy

    My wife and I have been together 14years and we have three children. She was injured in a car accident in 2005, and now lives with chronic neck and back pain. I have tried to be supportive, and spend most of my spare time at home helping her and looking after our kids. I do tons of housework, i have never cheated on her, or anyone else I was with before her. I don t drink, gamble, chase other women, or even hang out with my buddies.
    Some days, she needs a handful of meds and about ten minutes just to get out of bed in the morning. I give her lots of massages, and try to think of fun and creative ways to spend time with her, as her pain issues don t seem to bother her as much whens she s doing something thats fun.
    In spite of all this,a few weeks ago she gave me devestating news. She says that she no longer loves me.........and probably never will again. She has asked me to move out. I suggested marriage counselling, but she said no. She treats me now as if everything wrong in her life is my fault. Her bahavior is exactly the reverse of what it used to be. Normally she is a cheerful, bright, and optimistic person, with a charming personality. Now she is pessimistic, angry, and negative person, who bad mouths me to her friends with accusations and stories of things that I have never done.
    To me, this is way beyond an emotional broken arm. More like an emotional " skull fracture"



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