By Janel Breitenstein
I read last year there were five medical dramas on the big four TV networks alone. Makes sense. Hospitals feel so … dramatic. Everyone rushing around! Everything life or death! Tears and blood all over the place!
Even I, who (true story) nearly fainted from a clearly painted-on black eye in a college play, love the gravitas hovering over a human body. As long as I’m not, y’know, eating a salad or something.
Any veteran watcher of medical dramas will tell the onscreen doctor that, should you find yourself in the middle of surgery, and a pool of (fake) blood begins rising in the (fake) body cavity, you need to find the bleeder, STAT. Or your fake-patient is going to fake-die.
It happened on the drama I was watching last night: The doctor himself actually died from his own internal bleeding. (Shouldn’t he have seen this one coming?)
Then again, when I look at marriage, it seems an environment ripe for internal bleeding. (Metaphorically speaking only, of course.) Real life doesn’t leave us unscathed.
I’m not talking about self-healing injuries in a healthy relationship; i.e., the argument where you need to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11). The hangnail of irritation like his constant over-talking, her forgetting to unload the dishwasher again.
I’m talking issues that keep causing damage—her lack of organization in finances or doing what she said she would, which means he can’t trust her. Abuse from a past that she never speaks of. The breach of trust when you first married. The way he treats her stepkids.
Lesson from Medical Drama Land, and very real life: You must locate the bleeders in your marriage and actively address them (tips in today’s further reading).
They’re leaching life from your relationship. And the consequences might be more dire than you’d imagine.
Action points: What’s one below-the-surface issue, current or past, “internally bleeding” in your relationship? Make a doable plan to actively, tenderly, and firmly address your bleeder. Stick to your plan.
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