Painful relationships are never easy. We come from a place of so much love and care, but one day find ourselves progressively struggling to deal with the same hurts. How did we get here?
Many of us, when we find our special person, go all in. I know I have done this, maybe you have done this too. Going all in means that we love with our entire being. We have found the “right” one and we are blissfully happy.
This is how all relationships start. However, as anyone who has been with their mate for a while knows, that blissfully happy place doesn’t last. No, it doesn’t.
But if we are determined to build a life with the one we love, then we must learn new skills of how to love and be loved better. And these skills include understanding how we get hurt and how we heal.
Painful Relationships Are Rooted in Strong Feelings
I have this beautiful couple that I have worked with for a while. They are so in a groove when they are in that loving state. But when they hurt each other’s feelings then it is like war all over again.
I worked with them recently and what I have realized is that when we love deeply, we also get hurt in our hardened places, those areas that are so tender that when they get touched, all bets are off and some of us are ready to rage.
This might happen in your relationship too. Maybe everything is going fine and then someone says something or does something, and then it is a fight again. This too is very common. So, what can we do about it? Plenty.
Making a Painful Relationship Healthier Begins with Changing How We Act When Hurt
Only nothing I am going to suggest is a quick fix. All of these remedies are helpful in the moment, but after that moment if a similar incident were to occur you might think the remedy doesn’t work.
What you need to know is that you are probably in the midst of learning a new habit, and a new habit takes time because you have to repeat the motion over and over for it to become a habit.
But when we are suffering, all we want is relief, and if we are used to pushing back or leaving when we get our feelings hurt then that old habit will surface, hold on to us, and force us to follow. But we all know that those old habits separate us from the one we love. They are meant for you as an individual, not for you in a relationship.
Painful Relationship Incidents Can Be Dealt with Differently, Helping You Feel Better
So, what do we do when our hard parts get tapped and we are ready to war? First thing in this moment when you are reading this: understand that that is what you do. Getting awareness of yourself is the first step to making a change. Consider what you might be able to do differently when you get hurt, and just take some time to think about it.
The next time this happens in your relationship, you might be surprised by your inner strength and you might even do what you had thought about. Once we break out of our old pattern, our new growth reminds us again and again, and soon we have a new habit. And this one supports the two of you as a couple.
And that’s why we, all of us who want to be with the person we love for life, will work on ourselves and build a new habit. Do this for your health. Do this for your happiness. And really, do this because when you own your new behavior you will say to yourself, “This is so much easier!”
Learn How to Build a Less Painful Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to ease the pain in your relationship, by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help your previously painful relationship grow into your healthiest, most satisfying one yet. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.