Loyce was angry when she called for a marriage intensive. She and Chris had a rocky six year marriage. She said, “I feel stuck with Chris and he treats me so bad. I can’t do anything right.” As the parent of an eighteen month old and three year old, she did not believe she had any financial options.
When we met with Chris and Loyce for the marriage intensive, we learned that they were in a messy pattern of interacting that we have noticed in many couples over the years.
Becoming A Victim
When we experience something uninvited, unexpected, traumatic or conflict in our marriage, sometimes we drop into a victim role. We react to our world and our spouse by moving to a place or situation with few options.
- You refuse to take any responsibility for your part in the relationship problem.
- You hold onto hurts. You store up your resentment and anger. You hold onto grudges.
- You refrain from saying what you want to say. You become reactive to your spouse and do not ask for what you want in the relationship.
- You feel powerless as if you have no control or influence in the relationship.
- You begin to trust less and less.
- You assume the worst about the motives for anything your spouse does or says.
- You feel sorry for yourself. There is an absence of gratitude for your relationship and your spouse. You compare yourself and your spouse to others.
- You unintentionally make yourself better than your spouse. You look down at your spouse while at the same time viewing yourself better than you truly are.
Casting Your Spouse As Villain
When you slide into the victim role, you automatically begin to place your spouse into the role of villain. Your actions toward them begin to pull them into the role, therefore their behaviors begin to match what you have assigned.
Sometimes when the relationship is dangerous, your spouse may very well be the villain and you need to take steps for you and your children’s safety. Find out if you are in a dangerous relationship in this link. But if your relationship is not dangerous, then your victim role is drawing the villain behavior out of your spouse.
Stepping Out Of The Victim Role
Break out of this negative pattern of interaction. The pain of staying stuck in the victim role might be strong enough to allow you to take action to see if you can break the pattern of interaction. If you are ready to get a different and new future, take the following actions:
- Accept Responsibility – Realize that what you are doing (or not doing) in the victim role is actually contributing to the problem. Discover how you are contributing to the continuation of this relationship problem.
- Find Your Best Self – Touch base with yourself about the kind of person you are when you are at your best. Your best self would not be doing the kinds of things you have been doing. Rediscover who you are at the core of your soul. Remind yourself of how the God of mercy, grace, and love sees you. Step into being the spouse God made you to be. Get professional help if you have trouble finding this.
- Create A New Future Together – Instead of reacting to what your spouse does, take action to create a new future. Be a loving and grace oriented spouse. Say what you need to say by requesting from your spouse what you want from them in a way they can hear it. Fill your heart with gratitude again. Live out of your best self. Assume the best.
What do you have to say?
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This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2017. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.