Cache directory "/home/content/f/w/s/fwschmidt/html/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/ttftitles/cache" is not writable.Emotional debt

My work often involves working with clergy and students preparing for ordained life. Many of the personal issues they face are no different from those faced by others. They simply have a different spin.

Years ago, for example, I counseled a 40-something priest. He had been married for 15 years.

The plans he had made to go to seminary were no surprise to his wife, nor were the moves that are inevitably a part of ordained life. But she secretly resented it. She considered herself the only one who worked during the years that he was in school (though seminary and part-time jobs thread through it represented a great deal of work). He had encouraged her to follow her own path, but she felt that she had been left with inferior opportunities for education. And although the moving actually increased her opportunities for professional development, she became angrier with every move.

What accumulated was an emotional debt that he could never repay; and the weight of it was as apparent in her public behavior as it was in private. She scolded him in public and complained in private. When the young priest attempted to address the issues, she curtly responded that she was “entitled to her opinion.” Over time, the prospects of ever changing the narrative that she wrapped around their relationship dimmed and his desire to even change them waned. Eventually, they divorced.

You are entitled to your opinion. But life-giving marriages are not about countervailing claims. They are about a shared spiritual journey, mutual investment in the spiritual and emotional growth of another human being. They are about a capacity for adventure. They are about forgiveness.

A relationship burdened by emotional debt is a relationship in trouble.

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