Rejection in marriage.
These days, it seems we have heard everything about the state of marriages. The goings on within continues to perplex everyone. The domestic violence, emotional abuse and torment, the killings, infidelity, manipulations, neglect, isolation, sabotage, suicides, rejection, loneliness, celibacy (sexless marriage). These evils are happening and commonly! When the marriage ends acrimoniously, as it now often does what to do? Do we just move on? When the one who said “I do, for better or for worse” rejects you, how do you handle it?
Rejection and loneliness within marriage have increased to such alarming rates. When a spouse, for whatever reason no longer sees their spouse as they used to, when something has changed, it results in a sad state. When a relationship fails, it can be painful, and rejection can be the result. How do you cope? Moving on can be difficult, people have killed or even kill themselves as a result. Rejection can bring agonizing misery, leaving one cold and isolated.
Time eases the pain. It may not be about you, so do not allow low self-esteem to diminish you. It is not the time for self-blame either, ‘maybe I was not good enough,’ ‘if I could have pleased him more’. Do not allow belittling emotions. In such situations, it is too easy to allow feelings of unworthiness and negativity to cloud good judgment.
Even if there are intrigues, infidelities, secrets that you are fighting and you think it best to part, guilt can be a burden to either party. If someone is already disgusted with himself or herself, because of something that they did or happened, rejecting them is not the answer but empathy.
If you are a strong woman, for example, able to ‘ride the storm’ and not fall apart, your man may feel inadequate or useless (because he is not able to be comfort you as he would like) and take it out on you. Seek godly counsel and input, friends. Let it not be a case of double tragedy whereby you are so aggrieved; you seek retaliation or ungodly counsel.
Selflessness and forgiveness are forms of emotional maturity. We must have the ability to forgive, because the power of forgiveness and love can help the situation.
Marriage is intended to be a lasting relationship. Couples will not always agree on everything, but there has to be mutual respect and consideration. When couples find it difficult even to mention one positive thing about the other; then pray is required. Because rejection does not come from the things we like about the other but the things we do not like. There must be space to express our feelings and concerns, to the other. Issues not discussed and addressed, before or during the marriage, bring cracks in the institution. Communication is key, it is the life line of any relationship. To have a responsive marriage, communication is everything.
There are still other forms of rejections within a marriage, for example:
- Material rejection. When the couple do not share tastes and preferences and one party trivializes what the spouse feels, likes or desires, leads to a dangerous path. What you see as a small thing, your spouse sees as a mountain, so consideration and sensitivity of each other is important. Appreciating and recognising your differences and finding ways of managing them is true wisdom.
- Verbal rejection. Harsh words can be so demeaning and demoralizing. Some men (and women) are so vulgar, they brutalize their spouse when they talk and they do not care who is listening. Using dismissive, abuse words and gestures is not anything to overlook; there will be consequences. We must be mindful of what we say and how we say it.
- The silent treatment. When you decide not to speak to your spouse. You are in the same house, sharing the bed and no words are exchanged in a prolonged time. Nothing destroys a relationship faster than the silent treatment. Though we have perfected the art of PR marriages, where in public, we are the perfect couple but at home, you are evil. Your spouse wants to talk, to solve the problem but you are just quiet, enjoying the pain of the other.
Rejection is painful because it is contemptuous of what the other has to offer, deeming it as rubbish. This leads to a myriad of negative emotions, evil thinking, revenge, hatred etc. Rejection comes with many questions, since it is not easy to understand why you are rejected and can sometimes lead to suicide.
When it comes to intimacy, the pain of rejection is magnified. Intimacy rejected can cause serious emotional extremes. For example, ‘if I can’t have him or her, then I’d rather he be dead than go to another’. A rejected spouse can lose control of their emotions, unable to bear the intensity of the pain of rejection. It can be intense.
Rejection can also come from our own habits such as alcoholism, sex, drug addiction, pornography etc. The pain addiction causes can lead to rejection of self and others.
Recovering from rejection
Rejection is not final, neither is it a true reflection of who you are. We can suffer rejection from those close to us and even not so close. People have experiences that affect their reality, they have issues they are still grappling with and just accepting the situation or others is not easy for them.
For example, if it is a case of parental rejection, maybe they had not planned and neither were they ready for a baby but a baby came, their disappointment can manifest in rejecting that child. It is not the child’s fault nor is it about the child. It is about the parents. Their lack of discipline to discuss and plan is projecting their disappointment and resentment on the child is self-absolving. We must not see ourselves as the aggressor sees us.
Letting go of the past and pain is the best healing therapy. Move on from the rejection, as painful as it is.
One rewarding way is letting go, especially those things we have no control over. We have been knocked down but not out, we are able to get up, do not stay down. God has a plan and a future for each one of us. We look forward, not losing focus.
Even when others may not notice or appreciate what we do for them until we stop doing; we must get to the point of enough is enough. We deserve better; not allowing disrespect.
Finally, some chapters in our lives have to close, without closure. There is no room for healing or fixing those things that are broken. Inner peace begins by reclaiming your life.
We have no control over what others do, or say about us, but we can choose to affirm self.