When Your Spouse Has a Ghost

if you're married to some one haunted by a prior marriage, here'show you can help.
  1. Name it.if you feel some thing unseen is in filtrating your marriage — if you're feeling unfair lyattacked or prejudged by your spouse — say so! But carefully. "I'm confused about why this subject sets you off the way it does. I'm wondering if it reminds you of anything. "Let your spouse process your observation; if he hasn't spotted the ghost yet himself,he may need time to make the connection.

  2. Be patient. Although naming the ghost is an important first step toward change, don't expect your spouse to corral that thing immediately. Because change is difficult, you'll see it appear again and again as your mates trivesto move out from under its influence. Offer support, not quick judgment.

  3. Don't take responsibility for the ghost. Ultimately you can't get rid of your mate's ghost; it'shers, so she must do the work to manage it.

  4. Know how to react.Ask, "How can I mention a 'haunting in progress' without putting you on the defensive?"

  5. Let the bullet bounce. When your spouse overreacts, remind yourself that it's about the past,not so much about you personally.Like putting on a bullet - proofvest, you can let what was fired at you bounce instead of penetrate.

  6. Own your part of the exchange.Ghosts are some times triggered when you act in a way that mirrors the previous partner. Anything that closely resembles their behavior or attitudes creates a landmine. As your spouse talks about his ghost, learn what you can do to avoid triggering those explosions and monitory ourself closely.

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Marriage; Past; Remarriage
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2007
Posted September 12, 2008

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