So many marriages and relationships are suffering from toxic emotions, habits, and thought patterns from being driven by emotions and the desire to be correct. If this goes unchecked it can lead to divorce and the destruction of the relationship.

Let’s take a look at a few that are very toxic and become aware what could be the barrier in your marriage that needs to be fixed so that restoration or even resurrection can take place.

Criticism is very destructive and can damage not just the relationship but the one you are in the relationship with. It is healthy to be upfront and honest, but when you are criticizing them, you no longer are addressing the actions of a person but the person themselves. This sets in discouragement and many issues that can cause them to be embittered and even severe low self-esteem to where they are not going to want to change due to lack of hope. This puts a shame on who they are and not conviction of the bad actions but condemnation of who they are.

An emotion that gets in the way of communication is being in contempt. This leaves one person feeling like they have the upper hand but instead they are pressing for justice and validation for what they feel and not taking any kind of accountability if it is pliable. This is usually done out of anger and in the heat of the moment words are said that can damage the person’s soul and they cannot be taken back once they are put out there. This is why it is so important to not speak out of anger but excuse yourself and ask God how He wants you to handle things. You need to be open to receive what the other has to say as well as what you may think or feel. When you take a moment and step back, it prevents you from saying something that you may end up regretting later. If you find that you cannot control yourself in this area it is a good idea to reach out for outside spiritual help or deliverance so that you do not become a weapon that the enemy can use to destroy.

With contempt, another emotion that comes to mind is offense. When you walk in this offense it shuts you down from finding middle ground to solve the problem. It shuts down also all self-accountability. Even though at times you may feel that you have the right or be justified but it doesn’t solve the problem it only covers it and grows. And even if they were the one who was originally at fault when you begin to walk offensive, you too also become guilty for being in the wrong.

Another side to this is stonewalling. Being defensive and shutting down is not the answer either. This approach will cut you off emotionally from the one you are in a relationship with quickly. It will continue to drive a wedge of division until you choose to face the issue, confront it, and get rid of the problem and not just let it remain.

Another very toxic resort that people pick up trying to keep control or order as some may colorfully put it is becoming a punisher. They may even use the silent treatment as a way of control or even speak to them with hostility and anger when answering them in the idea that the pain will cause them to feel sorry or bad for what they are doing. This actually has an opposite effect on both people involved because it causes you to be cold, shut off, and indifferent.

It is ok to be angry but not to punish. You cannot make someone sorry. It is at this point that you need to make sure you choose to do what Jesus did and He did not bring punishment but the chance to give the other person to speak what they have to say and then Jesus stuck to the truth regardless what the other person would think and He always did it in love and not the sappy kind of love but the love that has authority without wanting the other person to pay.