When Sleeping Dogs Won’t Lie

People often have anxiety about getting help for their marriages. That anxiety can have many sources. For example, concern about what others will think—will they assume our marriage is in trouble?

Sometimes the anxiety is that talking about the marriage with someone else will stir up problems and “awaken sleeping dogs.” We tend to work hard at sweeping things under the rug, stuffing away our feelings and learning to live with the way things are. Looking at the truth of our feelings and relationships can be intimidating and frightening.

What if it leads to conflict?

What if it requires change?

It’s true that all of those are risks we run. But it is important to recognize that whatever issues exist in our marriages will be there whether or not we choose to acknowledge them. Relationships will involve conflict, and life requires change. Those things are inevitable.

The good news is that love is tough and durable. As scripture puts it, “love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). It is stronger than pain, larger than problems, and flexible enough to cover the journey of our lives.

I realize that that is, in part, a matter that we have to take on faith. Yet, there is much evidence for the strength of love. It is what got Jesus through both the anticipation and the reality of the cross. It is what caused Moses to plead with God not to wipe out Israel. It restored both the prodigal son and Peter, after his great failure. Love is what caused creation and what sustains it still.

So the issue, then, is not whether love is strong enough to get our marriages through their growing pains and through the muck into which we’ve drug them. Rather, the question is whether we will choose to operate out of love rather than from a place of wounding, fear, anger, or shame.

Even if you’re experiencing anxiety about getting help for your marriage, I hope that you’re willing to choose love. We here at the Marriage Recovery Center are ready to help you figure out how to put that in motion, to discover what love looks like and what it sounds like in everyday life. For more information on the counseling and programs we offer, please contact our Client Care Team. We look forward to working with you!