Rejection doesn’t mean you’re not good enough; it means the other person has failed to notice what you have to offer. ~ Mark Amend
Ever felt alone, felt unwanted or unappreciated? Ever been rejected by someone, whether directly or indirectly? Ever experienced those feelings of anguish, of bitterness, betrayal and, sometimes, rage?
I bet you have; rejection by an employer, a school, government, peers, social circles, loved one(s)… That feeling stinks. I have felt that way, sometimes in the course of my short life. For instance, I was once denied entry into a country for a work assignment. It truly hurt as it felt like an attack to my person, to my being.
Many are usually unable to cope with rejection well. It is not surprising. We want people to think well of us, for them to embrace our views and genuinely accept us for who we are and what we are able to offer. After all, we are not bad people, or so we think.
For those who have experienced a heartbreaking moment, you know how painful it feels when someone you care for deeply says he or she is not interested in you. It can leave you devastated, in quite a state of helplessness.
Why would this person not want to love you back, you wonder? Is there anything you need to do more or less to win them back? Should you try harder? Should you change something about yourself? You go into denial about what is going on, hoping things will revert to the norm.
But how does rejection play out in marriage? How do you deal with such deep feelings in a relationship that is meant to last till death do you part?
At the heart of every relationship is the desire to feel loved and needed. It is therefore no wonder that any feeling of rejection is devastating because it implies that we are no longer loved and are not significant to our spouse. Rejection manifests itself when we no longer pay attention to our spouse’s needs. As a result, some spouses feel neglected, ignored or even taken for granted.
You have heard it before, men feel neglected or rejected if they are not respected or their sexual needs are not met. Women on the other hand are emotional beings, and therefore emotional neglect on the husband’s part results in feelings of rejection.
Rejection leads to a state of dejection; a sad and depressed state, a state of sorrow, despair, low spirits, misery, you name it.
Many people find themselves doing things that do not make sense, getting into wrong company or even carrying out unwanted actions. Talk about bouts of anger, passive aggression or withdrawal of affection. Picture getting into affairs with the opposite sex, focusing too much on work, children, sports or other activity, or even alcohol and drug abuse. We could go on. All these can end up being unhealthy actions that one can take up while dealing with rejection. We should never underestimate the effects of rejection in relationships.
So how do we deal with it? How do we handle rejection?
I had shared some of my insights on dealing with broken hearts in my article Un-break my heart. Let’s now share about dealing with rejection especially whilst in marriage. What to do?
Express your feelings to your spouse about feeling neglected. Let your spouse know how what saying ‘no’ has affected you. If your spouse does not wish to hear your feelings, seek audience with a couple or older person that may intervene on your behalf.
Assess what could be causing your spouse to reject you for this to be discussed between the couple. Hopefully you can discuss the issues when you are both emotionally sober. Re-evaluation is actually a positive benefit of rejection. You get another chance to be better, to do better.
Seek help where the underlying issues are serious. Seek the services of a counselor. You can also get help from people who have gone through similar circumstances who can help you pursue a proper path.
Love yourself, after all we are asked to love others as we love ourselves. Be careful that you do not allow your mind to accept that you are unworthy, unloved or unaccepted. That would be the devil’s delight. But we do know we are loved by the King of Kings, the Almighty God.
Focus on your goal or purpose on earth. Remember that Jesus was also rejected but set a good example to us on how to deal with rejection. He did not seek revenge for any wrongdoing done to Him. He focused on His goal on earth; to bring reconciliation between the world and God.
Lastly, Forgive. Jesus asked that those who did Him wrong be forgiven. Forgive where and when you have been hurt by the actions of your loved one.
I hope we can all understand the negative effects rejection has to a number of people, resulting in low self-esteem and in extreme cases, depression and dejection depending on the circumstances.
For those of us who have friends who find themselves in this space, let us pray, love, understand and stand with them so that they find hope for their relationships.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4.19