It’s easy to get bogged down by worry, but it’s essential to resist the pull. Worrying prevents you from living life fully, and from truly experiencing the richness of your relationships–especially your marriage. In Matthew 6:27, Jesus asks, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

Worry occupies your mind, but it accomplishes nothing. It steals your time and misdirects your focus. It borrows trouble, creating all manner of worst-case scenarios in your mind that will probably never come to be.

At its very worst, worry can turn you into a destructive person before you realize what has happened. Chronic, pervasive worry becomes toxic to you, to your spouse, and ultimately to your marriage. Here are 4 ways that worry can cripple your relationship.

  1. Worry distracts you.

In our present distraction-filled world, why would you want to add another distraction to the stack? If you spend your time worrying, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Worry will keep your head out of the game–in all areas. You won’t be focused on the right areas of your marriage, your parenting, your job, or anything else. Negative thoughts and feelings will draw you like a magnet, and you’ll spend so much time in that muck that you will neglect truly important things.

  1. Worry distances you.

While you’re busy staying distracted by your worries, you’ll also find yourself doing two more destructive things: withdrawing and ruminating. Let us explain.

When you’re chronically worried, you’ll withdraw into yourself, spending more time in your own mind than interacting with others–namely, your spouse. And your increased time alone in your head will become obvious. You may send the wrong signals; withdrawal might communicate to your spouse that you’re detached, disinterested, or angry, when all you really are is worried.

Ruminating means that you spend a lot of time dwelling on a particular subject, going round and round over the same idea (and it’s almost always something negative). You could liken it to spinning deeper and deeper into a hole of your own making. So when you do communicate with your spouse, chronic worry will dictate that these conversations be dominated by rumination, thus bringing your spouse down instead of building them up.

  1. Worry damages trust.

Let worry dig its heels in, and soon you may find yourself becoming suspicious of your spouse (or others who are close to you) without cause. Worry can develop a mind of its own, hijacking your otherwise good sense and twisting it to create horrifying scenarios. If you’re not careful, these scenarios can begin to include your spouse.

  1.  Worry disrupts intimacy.

Ultimately, when a spouse worries constantly, intimacy in the marriage is disrupted. As the chronically worried spouse spins out of control into distraction, withdrawal, rumination, and mistrust, it doesn’t take long for intimacy to break down. A marriage with dysfunctional (or nonexistent) intimacy simply won’t hold up to life’s challenges.

In conclusion, if you recognize yourself as a chronic worrier, there is absolutely hope. Your spouse wants to help and support you, so consider calmly approaching him or her and expressing your desire for help with your worries. Allow your spouse to reassure you, and if needed, to help you find a licensed counselor who can help you to overcome the worry that has taken over your mind, your heart, and your life.

Have you experienced a plague of chronic worry in your marriage? How did you overcome it? We’d love to hear from you!

BelievingBP-02

 

11 Comments

  • Tina Fonte says:

    Reminds me of an old movie called “The Abilene paradox.” Although the short film is dated and speaks to group decisions, it beautifully illustrates how one naturally imagines the worst due to worry. Check it out on u-Tube. I learned about it in a recent grad class at the University.

  • Eric says:

    This was a needed reminder for me today. My wife and I have been married for nearly 9 months and over the last month or so I have growing in my fear of something happening to her asking myself, “Will someone break in tonight? What if I say goodbye in the morning and that’s the last time I see her?” It’s been a struggle for me to allow God to be God and trust Him. Thank you for the verse from Matthew. I’m going to ruminate on that for the rest of the day 😉

  • Craig says:

    What if your spouse has proven she can’t be trusted with multiple affairs and lies. I worry all the time about where she is what is she doing. When I expressed my concerns she says, “get over it, God has forgiven her and cleansed her white as snow”. I’m scheduled to meet with a counselor, she disagrees and is not interested in going. We’ve been married 21 years. Any thoughts?

    • Linda C. says:

      For me, it is my husband who has strayed and I have so many questions in my head but he says constantly bringing up the topic is preventing us from moving forward. So I worry and create all these scenarios in my head that may or may not be true.

    • Jenny Hale says:

      Why are you still there?

      My husband worries about a lot of things he refused to go places or do things. And staying out much past dark was not hardly allowed. Always complaining that there is not enough money. I have to fight to get me or the kids to the doctor. Every thing has to work out for him and what he wants. He complains about everything tells me I’m lazy, fat, ugly ect. Always accusing of me cheating. I have lied about how much I spent or how much is in the bank just because I don’t want to hear him complain or he will withdraw and act like we’re so broke we can’t go anywhere or do anything. I’m not allowed friends because they just take advantage of you. Or at least waste time that I could be working. I waste time walking the dogs. He makes me feel like I can’t do anything right.
      Yes I’m trying to figure out why I am still here.

  • Olivia says:

    Very good timing for this article. I’m having a very difficult time dealing with the proximity my companion has with his ex-relationship. I feel she is very present in our couple and this doesn’t help me finding my place. It is hard not to be suspicious and not worrying.

  • DONNA JOHNSON says:

    My husband removed himself from his job.
    My husband relocated us from the north to the south. It’s been 4 years he has been seeking employment. While as a man I can not imagine the worries, the struggles or the challenges he is quietly facing. As a woman I am probably facing 10% less.
    For the both of us the beauty and the joy is, that we are allowing space and time to make all the needed adjustments in our current situation.
    We have not lost faith, we are not losing hope and we remain active.
    Our added challenges are we back living with parents. Therefore love must greatly more abound. There is no doubt we are committed to our marriage and each other. What is interesting is no matter what we have faced in life, whether challenges, crisis or unforeseeing circumstances
    Our intimacy with each remains in tact and yes after 38 years of marriage we are still attracted to one another. At the end of the day I thank God that He is the keeper of our souls.

    • Delivered ny grace says:

      Please read . my name is delivered by grace in the commentary . I need your advice.

      • Delivered ny grace says:

        Dear faithful sister ,
        I must know how or if you ever had gone thru an issue like this . I trust you will help me . My husband tried cheating on me but didnt . He was an alcoholic and got into porn for the first time . He is better now but how do I get over my worries. He is home now and I am choosing love instead of my anger. He is trying and willing dispite his short comings . He loves me and is doing everything to move forward but its me . I am trying to trust God in my prayers and love him lile christ . Did you ever go thru this ? How do i get over it .

  • I find that people generally place blame when they are ashamed of their own behavior. The more blame, the more shame the blamer is feeling. The solution to this is not to continue to place blame on others, but rather to take responsibility for ourselves and our choices.

  • Delivered ny grace says:

    Dear faithful sister ,
    I must know how or if you ever had gone thru an issue like this . I trust you will help me . My husband tried cheating on me but didnt . He was an alcoholic and got into porn for the first time . He is better now but how do I get over my worries. He is home now and I am choosing love instead of my anger. He is trying and willing dispite his short comings . He loves me and is doing everything to move forward but its me . I am trying to trust God in my prayers and love him lile christ . Did you ever go thru this ? How do i get over it .

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