If this is what we are doing then it is time to STOP! Yeah it stinks when you have been hurt, but holding onto a grudge or withdrawing from your spouse is hurting you both. I have said it before and I will say it again, FORGIVENESS IS NOT JUST FOR THE PERSON WHO DID THE HURT, IT IS FOR THE PERSON HURT TOO!
Physical and emotional intimacy with your spouse is a must, but when you are holding something between you, it is like you have a box between you filled with snakes so you can't even reach over the box without feeling like you will get bitten. Have you been there? I know I have. I've been hurt many times. Sometimes getting over it is no problem, but other times I start filling that box with snakes. The longer I do that the bigger the box gets and the harder is is going to be to get them out of there.
It has taken me a long time and yeah I will admit it I am still known to do it, to learn how to get past the hurt. I've even been known to be hurt by my husband's hurt. That really doesn't help, it is like having two boxes of snakes between us, it is possible to get them out of there, but sooner or later one of us is going to get hurt more. That hurt is really just going to hurt us more. It is literally a venom to our marriage. It can be sucked out, but there will always be a scar there because we never should have put the box there in the first place.
So what's the first step of getting past it? Well, first you have to acknowledge that you are hurt by what was done. Sometimes it is obvious, but sometimes not only does our spouse not know we are hurting, but we don't even realize it ourselves. We have put that box of snakes there without even knowing it. So we have to acknowledge to ourselves and our spouses that we are hurt.
Next we have to ask ourselves if we have a legitimate reason for being hurt. Did our spouse do something that they knew would hurt you or did they accidentally do it? These two scenarios have different action points. If they did something they knew would hurt you then you have to talk to them about why they did it. Open communication between the both of you is a must if you ever expect to have a good marriage. Sometimes their answer may hurt more than what they did, but it needs to be out there. Hopefully, they won't try to put it all on you and what you have done, but sometimes that does happen. If that does happen then you need to acknowledge your role in what happened, but they need to take responsibility for what they did as well.
If they accidentally hurt you or they didn't even know they did, then that takes more of a look at yourself. Why are you hurt? Is it an ego thing? Is it a selfish thing? Is it some childhood trauma that it reminded of? Why are you hurt? Getting to the root of why it hurt you will help you work through the process and you can work on yourself here and hopefully fix improve whatever brought you to that point. Depending on the reason you are hurt, you may need counselling to get through it or you may just need to grow up and get over yourself.
After you get to the why of the hurt, the best thing to do is to pray about it. You should actually pray about it as you go through each step, but here specifically you need to pray to ask God to help you through the hurt. God is great at taking that box of snakes and getting rid of them if you will only ask. He can throw it far away from you and make it easier to get close to each other again. The important thing here though is we can go back looking for that box to pick it up again. During an especially hard point in my marriage I would pray daily for God to get me past the hurt and each day he would say "Let me take it from you Bethany.", but by each evening I had gone back in search of my box of snakes. It was like I enjoyed having that pain there. I wanted my husband, but I had rather reach toward him over that box of snakes rather than getting rid of it all together and getting as close to him as possible.
Finally, we need to strive for that intimacy with our spouse again. Intimacy is not just about sex, although that is an important part of it. It is about the closeness between you and your spouse. Do you ever touch your spouse and not feel like they are there? I know I do. We can talk or hold hands and it is like he is not really there. Now I can ignore it and do my best to get past it or I can acknowledge it and do something about it. Maybe we have not had quality time in awhile. Maybe we need a date that is not just watching a movie where all we do is sit in a theater and focus on something else besides each other. Or maybe one or both of us is trying to put that box of snakes back between us.
If you can't keep the box of snakes from between you, eventually one or both of you is going to get filled with so much venom that there is nothing that can get it out. Don't let that happen. Trust me there is much more pain there than you will ever feel from a hurt in your marriage.
Forgive them, get rid of the box and don't pick it back up.