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MARRIAGE: Keeping Bed Bugs Out of Your Marriage

Updated: Dec 22, 2021




When it comes to common household pests, the professionals at a local pest control company agree that none can be as irritating and troublesome than the common bed bug. Year-round they are a pest that will test you through constant irritation. That is why they have compiled a list of questions asked about these nuisance bugs, and a quick-fire round of answers to accompany them.


Here’s a comparison between Physical Bed Bugs and what I’ve defined as Relational Bed Bugs. Relational bed bugs can infest a marriage and cause problems with intimacy if they are not dealt with.


What Are Physical Bed Bugs?

Physical bed bugs are a type of nocturnal insect that feeds on human blood.


What Are Relational Bed Bugs?

Relational bed bugs can feed on the bloodstream of a married couples relationship.


What do Physical Bed Bugs Look Like?

Bed bugs take on a flat oval-shaped figure with 6 legs. They have a reddish-brown tinge that is further exasperated if they are full of human blood from a recent feeding.


What do Relational Bed Bugs Look Like?

Relational bed bugs can be hard to see. Sometimes they can infiltrate a couples relationship over time and can even go undetected. We get married with stars in our eyes. Over time, the relationship begins to take on a new dimension with careers, children, finances, in-laws and the trials of life. Biting situations may arise that may cause un-forgiveness, bitterness, or maybe even resentment and walls can start to be built between the couple. Eventually those ‘little nuisances’ can creep into the marriage bed in the form of a lack of sexual intimacy.


How Big Are Physical Bed Bugs?

The common bed bug can range from 1 to 7mm in length.


How Big Are Relational Bed Bugs?

They can start small as a trivial irritation or hurt; a sharp word or a broken promise. But if not dealt with, this bed bug can grow and fester into resentment, hurt or pain from unresolved conflict. The next thing you know, an invisible wall can begin to be built between the couple and intimacy and communication between the two dies a slow biting death.


How Do You Get Physical Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs can enter your residence through a variety of ways:

Travel from close by infested areas, especially in apartment complexes. Hitch a ride generally in upholstered furniture, luggage, and clothes.


How Do You Get Relational Bed Bugs?

As stated earlier, they can start as a small wound or discomfort through conflict in the marriage. If this irritation does not get resolved, this conflict could continue to grow over a period of time and develop into a silent divorce. That means you are married but the relationship has all but died.


What does the bible say when someone wrongs you. How do you deal with the un-forgiveness bed bug? John 20: 22-23 says “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”


What God is saying here is that when you choose to forgive someone who has wronged you, you actually release those sins. This is powerful principal. It’s called the ‘Principal of Release’ and this so important in marriage relationships.


Here’s the catch, God says that if you choose not to forgive someone who has wronged you, you retain those sins. Someone once said, “Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.”


That’s why Jesus said at the beginning of that verse that we need to “Receive the the Holy Spirit.” Why? Because forgiveness can be hard. We can’t do it under our own human strength. We need the Holy Spirit’s power, grace, truth & mercy to forgive and kill those relational bed bugs.


Where Do Physical Bed Bugs Come From?

Bed bugs are most commonly found in mattress seams and bedsprings.


Where do Relational Bed Bugs Come From?

Relational Bed Bugs can come from numerous places. It could come from your family and how you were raised, and/or your belief system, your experiences (good or bad) before you were married. Maybe your parents didn’t model how to resolve conflict in a healthy way. Maybe you have someone who has hurt you or abused you in some way and you have kept others at arms length so they can’t get close to you for fear of being hurt again.


What Are the Signs of a Physical Bed Bug Infestation?

There are a few sure signs of a bed bug infestation: a rusty stain, tiny dark spots, eggshells, yellow nymphs, a musty smell, live bugs.


What Are the Signs of a Relational Bed Bug Infestation?

There are a few sure signs of relational bed bug infestation. Usually, there is a lack of communication because of the wall that you’ve built over time. You criticize each other. Or your use the silent treatment. Sex is a rarity if happening at all. You have the same argument over and over again OR you don’t argue at all. You don’t enjoy spending time with each other anymore. You start keeping secrets. You have thoughts about having an affair.


How to Get Rid of Physical Bed Bugs?

Calling a professional exterminator is your best bet as they will tackle the problem strategically. You can also try and eliminate the problem yourself by following specific guidelines with your clothing and furniture. You can even purchase protective covers to minimize the bugs from hiding in the seams and cover up any cracks in the walls (no matter how small).


How to Get Rid of Relational Bed Bugs?

Depending on the severity, you may have to seek a counselor to help exterminate relational bed bugs. If you have just started seeing possible ‘bugs’ popping up, you might want to consider a marriage workshop. ‘A Weekend To Remember’ and ‘The Art of Marriage’ are two events sponsored by Family Life that my wife and I have attended numerous times. Start going on Date Nights to help rekindle the flames from when you were first dating. Doing anything together that encourages conversation and tearing down walls that have been building up.


How to Get Rid of Physical Bed Bug Bites?

Using anti-itch and anti-septic creams can help. Skin irritations if left untreated can become infected. Be sure to consult with a doctor if the problem consists.


How to Get Rid of Relational Bed Bug Bites?

The best way to get rid of bites from relational bed bugs is to apply the healing balm of forgiveness along with grace and mercy or if your were in the wrong to ask for forgiveness and apologize. (See John 20:22-23 above)


Can You See Physical Bed Bugs?

Yes, you can, however, they are incredibly small and will predominantly come out at night time when visibility is at its lowest.


Can You See Relational Bed Bugs?

You don’t necessarily see relational bed bugs but you sure can feel them. You can feel them because they can be biting or there is a lack of warmth in the relationship. The relationship has started to grow cold and stagnant.


How Big Are Physical Bed Bugs?

The common bed bug is 1-7mm in length.


How Big Are Relational Bed Bugs?

They start out very small as an insignificant irritation or hurt. But if not dealt with, they can raise their big ugly head in the form of bitterness and resentment from unresolved conflict.


What Kills Physical Bed Bugs?

Pesticides and insect aerosols can kill bed bugs if applied directly to them. Extremely cold temperatures can kill them as well, however it is not a sure method.


What Kills Relational Bed Bugs?

Resolving conflict can kill relational bed bugs if applied directly to the problem. Warming up your relationship by rekindling the things that you used to enjoy doing together, loving unconditionally and asking for forgiveness.

Do Physical Bed Bug Bites Itch?

Yes! They can be extremely itchy which can lead to infection.


Do Relational Bed Bug Bites Itch?

Not necessarily, but they can lead to an infection in the relationship if not addressed properly.


Are Physical Bed Bugs Fast?

Bed bugs are not extremely quick crawlers and would be comparative to your average ant. But they are small enough that sudden movements can make a human lose sight of them, especially in the dark.


Are Relational Bed Bugs Fast?

Relational Bed Bugs are usually quite slow and can threaten your marriage over a period of time. It’s usually a subtle process of allowing your oneness in marriage to erode. The bible says that in marriage the 2 become 1 or Oneness.


Difficult adjustments in marriage can threaten that Oneness. Things like contrasting backgrounds, selfish motivations, and differing expectations can lead to isolation if adjustments aren’t made.


Couples entering marriage are sometimes equipped with the world’s plan and may find their oneness threatened. The world’s plan is based on a 50-50 performance of you scratch my back then I’ll scratch yours. This approach is destined for failure and isolation, not Oneness.

Another threat to Oneness is failing to anticipate or acknowledge selfishness. Our natural tendency is to be self-centered. This condition is destructive to relationships. We marry with “stars in our eyes” and we don’t always see this reality.


Another threat to Oneness is failure to work through inevitable difficulties and trials. There is a failure to anticipate difficulties in marriage and a failure to respond to them properly.


Another threat is extramarital “Affairs”. This bug can be an escape to anything outside the marriage - an extramarital love affair, a career affair, materialism affair, activities affair, or just plain old apathy affair. Those in ministry need to be especially careful of having a ‘ministry affair’.

How to Prevent Physical Bed Bugs?

Preventing bed bugs from entering your home is difficult if you visit places with a high volume of human traffic including movie theaters, retail dressing rooms, and hotels. Limiting the time your clothes, purse, luggage, and other garments are susceptible to a bed bug invasion can be challenging.


How to Prevent Relational Bed Bugs?

Preventing bed bugs from entering your marriage can also be challenging. The number one thing to do is to be intentional in your Oneness. It doesn’t happen automatically. When the 2 become 1 in marriage (Oneness) you give up your right to do what you want and you become a servant to your spouse. We are born sinful and selfish, always wanting our own way which naturally leads to the isolation.


Another way to prevent relational Bed Bugs is to pray together everyday. There is a saying that says “A family that prays together, stays together.”


How Long Do Physical Bed Bugs Live?

Depending on a variety of circumstances. Bed bugs can live for years if left untreated. Waiting for them to die and let the problem resolve itself is not an option as their colony will grow and continue to reproduce. That is why it is vital to hire an experienced exterminator who will eradicate the problem thoroughly.


How Long Do Relational Bed Bugs Live?

It depends on a variety of circumstances. Relational bed bugs can last for years if left untreated. Waiting for them to die and hope the problem is resolved is not an option. If nothing is done to treat the problem, nothing changes. My mom and dad had bed bugs in their relationship for 32 years until they decided to get a divorce. My first sister died at birth. My mom said my dad was out fishing and my dad said that he was working. That bed bug of resentment and unforgiveness festered over the years to a point that they were living a silent divorce. Once my youngest sister graduated from college, they got a divorce.


Where Do Physical Bed Bugs Hide?

Bed bugs will hide in small cracks in the wall, inside old furniture, the small crevices in a mattress and box spring, and piles of clothes to name a few examples.


Where Do Relational Bed Bugs Hide?

Relational bed bugs can hide in the small cracks of our hearts. When we allow even a sliver of un-forgiveness into our hearts, it can fester into an outbreak of biting bitterness over time.


What Do Physical Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

Baby bed bugs or nymphs are smaller than 1mm and start off with a yellow to light tan color. They will darken and grow as they get older.


What do Relational Baby Bed Bugs Look Like?

Baby relational bed bugs can start as small as a hurtful word or a broken promise and then can grow into big resentments and bitterness if they are not dealt with properly and rapidly.


What do Physical Bed Bugs Eat?

Bed bugs consume human blood.


What Do Relational Bed Bugs Eat?

Relational Bed Bugs can consume the bloodline of your relationship if you let them. Here are some examples; time away from home, harsh words, un-forgiveness, resentment, bitterness, too much time on your phone or computer, and more.


What Temperature Kills Physical Bed Bugs?

Heat treatment methods can kill bed bugs, but it is not a one size fits all. Temperatures exceeding 117 degrees will generally do the trick. Washing clothes in warm soapy water is effective and putting them in the dryer at high heat will also rid you of these little critters.


What Temperature Kills Relational Bed Bugs?

Keeping your marriage hot is crucial to killing bed bugs in your marriage relationship. What are some ways to keep the temperature turned up? Pray together. Avoid resentment and resolve conflict. Be your spouses BFF. Dress to impress at the end of the day. Keep dating each other. Keep sexual intimacy alive. Honor your wedding vows. Serve each other. (Sex starts in the kitchen and no, that’s not a location) Non sexual touches. Kiss & hug for 2 minutes. Plan a tech free evening. Don’t forget the small stuff (what does your spouse like?) Mix things up. Have fun together.


How Long Can Physical Bed Bugs Survive Without Food?

Depending on a number of factors including age and average temperature a bed bug can last between 20 to 400 days without any food.


How Long Can Relational Bed Bugs Survive Without Food?

Not long at all. If you and your spouse starve relational bed bugs by showing each other unconditional love, forgiveness, grace and mercy, they won’t survive at all and your marriage will once again thrive.


Do Physical Bed Bugs Carry Diseases?

Bed bugs are not known to carry any diseases. An infection from a bed bug bite can be caused by scratching the irritation and leaving a wound open.


Do Relational Bed Bugs Carry Disease?

They are not known to carry any diseases but relational bed bugs can cause an infection in the marriage if they are not dealt with.


Physical Bed Bug Exterminator

Hopefully you found this quick-fire guide helpful in some of the most common questions about actual physical bed bugs. We highly advise contacting professional exterminator tackle these nuisance insects so that you can have peace of mind in your home.


Relational Bed Bug Exterminator

More importantly, we hope you found this guide helpful in some of the most common issues pertaining to relational bed bugs. In some instances, you may want to contact a christian marriage counselor to help rid your marriage of this nuisance.


For more information on marriage, go "Get a Marriage Tune Up" by clicking here.



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