Lighten The Load for a Happier Marriage

But forget all that—

it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. Isaiah 43:18

The little town of Scottsboro, AL, is the home of Unclaimed Baggage Center where all the luggage that makes the rounds at the baggage claim area in the airport goes when no one claims it. Quite a business. If you ever wondered what got left behind, that strange question can be answered in northeastern Alabama. But as you are waiting for your own bags to arrive from a trip, do you ever think to yourself or say to each other: “That monogrammed Louis Vuitton piece must surely contain valuables; and that hot pink Samsonite number with the stickers on it looks intriguing; wonder who has that cardboard box held together with duck tape and string; or how about that sleek silver case with the sturdy lock or that duffel bag?” All that tee-up had a purpose. Each of you comes with some to marriage with some psychological baggage. Here’s a question, “If your psychological baggage was traveling on that same conveyor belt at the airport, what kind of shape would it be in, and could it even fit in an airplane bag? My sweetie said when we got married that some folks come with baggage, we came with steamer trunks loaded on 18 wheelers. What would yours look like? Scuffed up? Tightly locked? Nondescript? Overweight? We ask such the question because your answer reveals a bit about how you consider your past. It provides a quick glimpse into your feelings about your personal history.

Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough. –Charles Dudley Warner (an American novelist and contemporary and friend of Mark Twain)

These feelings are what psychologists are getting at when they talk about your proverbial “baggage.” Here’s a thought for you: History is what has happened in your lives. Baggage is how you feel about it. Your psychological perspective on your past determines, to a great extent, your personal health and vitality – not to mention how you interact with each other. By the way, you need not suffer a traumatic accident or something dreadful to have baggage. We all have baggage. Even the most well adjusted and healthiest people have baggage. No one is exempt.

You may have childhood angst over parental divorce, conflicts with friends and family or remorse over missteps and lost opportunities. Everyone has a history and an emotional response to it. What matters, when it comes to being a healthy, thriving human being in a loving relationship, is whether or not you have explored or even unpacked your baggage together. Reflect and Respond What piece of emotional baggage do you most need to explore together in your marriage? Remember this as you start unpacking. Your spouse is not God and unless there is some current event that is creating baggage for which amends need to be made, unpack your past sins and experiences with God and then look at how your upbringing and past experience is coloring your present relationship to better understand and empathize with your mate. You’ll be glad you did. No sense in carrying around all that baggage. For this kind of baggage, there is no Unclaimed Baggage Center.

I Love You More

Learn how marriages can thrive when couples use everyday difficulties to strengthen their relationships! You will learn to recognize the most common sources of marital discord; the fine line between obstacles and opportunities; the importance of accepting the two sides of sex and intimacy; and the five not-so-easy steps for solving problems. It’s available everywhere, including