The Stuffer Who Collects Retaliation Rocks What do you do with your feelings about small (and not-so-small) situations that happen in your marriage? Do you share them with your spouse and get clarification with them? Do you let them see who you really are? Or do you keep them stuffed away (as Natalie wrote about in yesterday's post)?
When feeling "unglued", sometimes we will collect what is termed "Retaliation Rocks". These are things we use as a weapon for future disagreements. For example: Your spouse doesn't help with housework, but you don't say anything to he/she about how this feels. You stuff the feelings away in a corner of your heart. Later on (sometimes years later), your spouse doesn't initiate a date night and "A-HA!"... You just KNEW it! They don't love you and don't feel you are important (not true), so you explode on them, using one incident (or many) about just how "unimportant" you must really be to them! The problem with this is.... it's not true! You never shared with them how you felt in the first place, but instead kept this information and all of these feelings from your spouse's knowledge, only to bombard them with feelings later on in a deadly fashion.
Retaliation rocks are things that we keep tucked away and don't let our spouse see about us and our feelings. These cause bitterness that we keep inside over time, where we might feel annoyed at our spouse and then later on we allow these small things to erupt each time we feel upset about something completely unrelated.
Don't allow these rocks to sit on your soul. And don't pull out these "rocks" in moments of retaliation towards your spouse. They will only feel confused and unsafe with you.
Do you collect "retaliation rocks", only to use them as ammunition towards your spouse later on?
*Source: Unglued: Making Wise Choices In The Midst Of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst
Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling. Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.