Dealing with my baggage had a profound impact on my marriage. I dug deep into my past, remembering the pain, and speaking it out loud to my husband. Tears flowed as I shared what for years I had brushed off as “no big deal.” Years of silence no longer held power as I reflected on how I had allowed these past experiences to affect my present. I prayed for healing, I prayed for forgiveness, I prayed for letting go and I prayed for freedom. Piece by piece, I dug up the stink, and every time God showed up.
Some of my baggage was child play – experiences which some might argue were completely innocent. But for whatever reason, these experiences had filled me with shame. Shame that had placed me in the virtual back corner of every room, just hoping to go unnoticed. No one knew -for over 40 years.
I remember while reading Kevin Leman’s Sheet Music out loud to my husband one night, he shared how many times wives share things with a counselor that they have never told their husband. I suddenly knew that he was talking about me and the floodgates opened. That night in my husband’s arms I shared about my child play experience and the shame that it filled me with. I had let silence hold so much power over my life and it was time to break down the walls.
Raised in a Christian church, as a teenager I had committed to wait until marriage to have sex, but years at college took me far from God. When I met my husband, I was still a virgin, but immediately fell head over heels in love with him. I knew that during a couple of serious relationships, he had been sexually active. So I decided if he was going to fall in love with me, I needed to have sex with him.
All the years we were married, I resented him for the fact that I was not a virgin bride, and yet I was the one that had initiated sex. He never forced me or coerced me, I brought sex up. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I began questioning and wondering why he had not initiated or tried to coerce me. Did he really desire me or was I the consolation prize?
Now you need to know that I have the best husband in the world. He has never done anything to make me question whether he loves me. He has kept his eyes pure, he has always served me, loved me, encouraged me and provided for me. I let this baggage worm away in my head and question reality and truth. I had to confess my resentment to my husband, ask for forgiveness, and I had to pray to let go of my husband’s stuff.
Some things are harder to let go of than others – my husband’s past relationships – was probably the hardest. It was a choice to stop wondering, comparing and questioning whether he chose me or if I was a consolation prize. I had to consciously decide to believe my husband instead of letting my head spin wherever Satan would take it. But healing has come and it is amazing. My healing has also lead to my husband having more confidence in himself. He no longer has to tip toe around wondering if I will question and prickle and look for ulterior motives. I simply take him at his word. I believe him. And I trust him.
This renewed trust has opened up doors that I never knew possible. I believe my husband when he adores my body and I love his eyes on me. I am confident in my own desires and know that when I share them it is an absolute thrill for him. My husband has even begun to talk about some of his baggage, because I am no longer hyper sensitive when he brings up his past. We freely share in bed – all kinds of delights and we delight in each other.
But most of all, God has shown up and in very real ways shown us the power of prayer. He is good.
How has dealing with your baggage changed your marriage?