1. What is an emotional trigger?
This the trigger that sets off inexplicable outbursts. Whether you are male or female, young or old, life brings with it many hurts, such as from rejection, mistrust, or misunderstanding. Such emotions scars if they are not dealt with, then a single phrase or action can ignite a fiery outburst, with loss of control and reason.
Why do such outbursts happen frequently within marriages? Before marriage, everyone had high expectations – that the other party will make up for whatever one lacks. The higher the expectations, the greater the disappointment and that can easily turn into anger. Without wise counsel from God’s word, there is no renewal of the Holy Spirit, then hatred may follow.
2. There is no right or wrong emotion
As Chinese people, we are not used to talking about our emotions. We never really reflect through what it means to be weary, angry, lonely or disappointed, or what a sense of insecurity is about. Our understanding and expression of these feelings are stunted. Perhaps if we understood more, we can pinpoint these feelings and handle them better. When a husband and wife quarrel it gets very emotional. So unless we know how to handle our emotions, there could be many incomprehensible outbursts.
There are no right or wrong emotions, only real or fake ones. It is how we express our emotions that may be right or wrong.
3. To become a listener
There is no perfect marriage. We must all learn how to give love and to receive love.
“Hello Kitty” is well loved by many people, whether they are 8 years old or 80 years. In fact, the Hello Kitty design has a biblical teaching. James 1:19 says, “My beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Without eyebrows or mouth, and 2 big ears – Hello Kitty tells us to listen more, speak less, and look kindly on others.
In husband-wife relationships, learning to listen is difficult but it is even harder to listen to the other’s feelings. Eph 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”
Deal with your emotions appropriately, rather than just suppressing them.
4. The language of apologies
Psychologists say that 69% of all issues in any marriage cannot be avoided. Start by accepting, then love will follow. If one does wrong, then one must apologise. By our readiness to reconcile, we show that the relationship means more than self. Every apology speaks 5 messages: ● to express regret ● to accept responsibility for wrong ● to make up for the wrong ● to repent sincerely and ● to ask for forgiveness.
Regardless if the other party forgives or not, it is our responsibility to apologise.
By God’s grace, Jesus has shown us how to love and be victorious over our emotions. We can restore our marriages and reconcile with our children - bringing hope and escape from the curse of the previous generation.