Core Wounds and Relationships

This year at SureHope, we have been focusing on what core wounds are and how to identify them. It is true that wounds are critical to the understanding of who we are as individuals. God reveals them to us so that we can receive healing.

There is another layer to our wounds and that is how they impact our relationships. Specifically, I am talking about how they impact our marriages. I bet you if you are married you have experienced a time when you reacted to something your spouse said/did and were confused as to why it was the type of reaction it was. In our relationships, underneath the issue that we have conflict about lies the activation of our core wounds.

It is impossible for our core wounds to not be activated sometimes in our relationships because when we are open and vulnerable with our spouse, we are more sensitive to feeling unsafe. Normally, when our core wounds are activated, our reaction is borne from the lack of safety that we feel at that moment. This is some level of the fight/flight/freeze response. It does not mean that our spouse is an unsafe person.

There is a cycle that exists with our wounds in relationships. The cycle often presents during times of conflict. The way the cycle works is that something happens (even outside the relationship) that activates our core wounds, and we react in typical ways. The most common reactions are defensiveness, withdrawing, anger, blaming, and shutting down. The cycle exists because when we have these reactions that triggers the core wounds of our spouse and then they react to their wounds. Ultimately, we are often in conflict over our core wounds more than the topic itself.

The great news in understanding our core wounds and reactions is that we have the power, through God’s help, to interrupt that cycle. God uses our relationships to heal our wounds. In Christ, all the “treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden.” Colossians 2:3

If we allow God to pour out His wisdom on us, we will recognize our reactions as borne from our wounds and choose a different path.

-Mike Vaughn –


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