My fiancé and I were both raised in godly homes and had individually been through deep inner healing with the Dillons (who happen to be my parents)! We were doing our best to connect to each other and care for one another's hearts, but for some reason we kept bumping into similar difficulties over and over. I would try to talk something out with him, and he would interpret my firmness as anger or disrespect and react to me by shutting down and not letting me into his heart.
Or, I would not be available right when I had planned to be, and he would feel that I did not care about him. I tried to explain that this was not the case, and I would feel like a failure and that I could never meet his expectations in our relationship, or that he would not listen to me if I did not communicate just the way he wanted to hear it. This made me feel that he did not love me unconditionally.
We met together with Leroy and Jeanne (Dad and Mom) before our wedding to identify and share our core emotional issues with each other. (Core emotional issues are areas of past pain from wounding situations resulting in emotional damage.) Our desire was to learn to be sensitive to the tender places in one another's hearts. We discovered that each of the "problems" in our relationship was simply a place where our core emotional issues were bumping into each other.
For example, when I would be firm or talk straight to him, he automatically associated that tone with the anger he sometimes felt from his mother, which caused him to feel dominated, helpless and crushed. He felt like he was being sentenced to the dungeon, so he shut down tightly to avoid being wounded again. There was also a time when he was forgotten at school and when he lost his family at an amusement park, causing him to feel that he wasn't important and that no one cared for him. This, of course, was how he felt if I missed an appointment with him.
I, in turn, had struggled with feeling like a failure most of my life and feeling misjudged. So, any time he would try to tell me to change my tone of voice, or that it bothered him that I was not punctual, I would feel that, once again, I could not measure up and that I was being misjudged in my motives.
As we uncovered these things and saw how clearly they related to each other, we began to really care about the heart of the other person. Dad and Mom taught us how to speak into each other's hearts - specific things relating to each wound from the past - to help heal those places.
The result has been unbelievable! We were already madly in love, but now feel like everything before our "connecting session" was "seeing through a glass darkly." Both of us feel liberated to be ourselves with each other, not afraid of reactions or of being rejected or misunderstood. We know, really know, how deep the love of the other person is. Both of us have commented to one another, "Now I know the REAL you, and I like and love you better than ever!" It is amazing how this one day has changed us for the rest of our lives. We look forward to beginning our married life with this deep connection, and we are so grateful we now have the tools to continue it forever.
Testimony after marriage
At the beginning of our marriage, even though life was great for the most part, we did find little issues and "triggers" arising here and there. Fortunately, since we were aware of the core emotional issues and wanted to care for each other's hearts, we were able to work through the issues together and find healing. We found that as we prayed through the pain and wounding with each other each time things surfaced, the fewer those issues became, and the quicker we were able to find connectedness.
Now, after one and one half years of marriage, we have built a foundation of trust that allows us to avoid misinterpretation of each other's motives, freeing us to live "open" with one another and really love each other deeply. This helps me as a wife to feel loved and cherished by my husband, and helps him to feel honored and respected by me. When things come up in our relationship, we are able to understand each other, find healing quickly, and end up more in love than before. We enjoy living with the understanding that we are out for the good of the other; Knowing that any bump we come across can be surmounted together. We are so grateful to God and to Mom and Dad for showing us how to have a marriage that is wonderfully fulfilling the way God intended it to be.