Couples are sometimes embarrassed to tell me how they communicate, especially in a heated argument. They often blame one another for making them feel terrible. I usually hear something like, “He always does this,” “She never stops doing that.”
Both people are locked in their pattern of responding to the other. These patterns cement over time. When people get to the end of their rope they say the most emphatic thing to the other person so they can to be heard. Sometimes it’s really harsh. And when a couple gets to this point they are locked in dueling tirades.
Even when couples want to improve their relationship, if resentment has built up between them it will stand in the way. Both know it’s there, and no one knows what to do about it. So what can you do? One way is to seek counseling learn how to get rid of it.
Unfortunately the resentment can’t just be destroyed; it’s become a part of the person who is holding on to it. It’s with them when they wake in the morning and think of their mate. It’s there when they talk to their friends. It’s present in a conversation with their partner. It’s always there, like a thick fog that surrounds everything.
Oftentimes when people are in a relationship and we get our feelings hurt we want, and need our partner to hear us, understand us and empathize.
It’s only natural that we want to be soothed when we get upset. This is what happens when we hold a baby or a puppy, they need to be held when hurt and we oblige.
But sometimes in a relationship two people get hurt. First one has a wound and then tells the other person, but says things in a way that the other person now gets hurt. Two people are now hurt and both are in their pain.
When we are in a relationship with the person we love it is so easy to misread how they are treating us. We believe that what they do has something to do with us, our behavior and our being. But that is not always the case.
Let’s say your beloved gets angry with you and is harsh with their words. You might think that they are really mad at you and you might lash back, or hold it in or try to escape.
What we do when someone is angry at us has a lot to do with our old habits. This is how we handle large emotions and we have been doing it this way since we learned how as a child.
When couples fight, sometimes there is a lot of anger that gets inflicted on people. Being angry is a secondary emotion. That means it comes second after the first emotion. The first emotion is often pain.
But if you have an angry habit, like I had, I know that there wasn’t someone to take care of your pain when you were little. And as little people if you wanted someone’s attention, well getting mad and yelling about it is a pretty good tactic.
But after you grow up and you are in an adult relationship it doesn’t work as well. That’s when the habit gets dicey and uncomfortable. If you have a pattern of getting mad and exploding, let’s talk. This article is for you.
Many of us lash out at our mates when we get upset. This is a habit or pattern we might have used since childhood. It might have worked then, but I have a feeling your partner is not very crazy about it and wishes it would stop.
I know, I lived this way for years. I would get upset and yell at the person who hurt me. I learned this as a little girl and continued to use it well into my forties.
People in relationships often have differing points of view. This is understandable because in a relationship there are two very different people involved. But when each person stands his or her ground and won’t give an inch and they are both doing this, then it can become a fight. We might even call it a war.
Many of us bring our old childhood habits into our relationships. They appear whenever our feelings get hurt and if we haven’t worked though these old patterns, we will use them on our partners. Like blaming them when we get hurt.
I grew up getting mad at the people who hurt me. I know this is not a good way to let people know they hurt you, but I was not trained to do any better. My single mother was overwhelmed trying to manage three rambunctious children and she often just got frustrated and yelled at us.
This is what I saw, so this is what I learned. When things didn’t go my way, I yelled. Of course, when I grew up, I didn’t yell that much, but when I really got my feelings hurt, I did. It took a while to figure out that I was bringing a lot of the chaos into my life by just getting angry.
Sometimes when we fight with the person we love we might feel bad about ourselves. On other occasions we might feel angry at them. It just depends on the way we are wired.
Some of us believe others hurt us and therefore we have to react. That’s how I grew up. Others believe they are at fault for the difficulty and blame themselves or just hold things inside. This is how the other half live.
But as I explain this to you, maybe you can see that both people are trying to make sense of something that went wrong: a problem, an argument, a disagreement, or a misunderstanding. It doesn’t matter what gets in the way, we all know when it’s something that keeps us apart it feels terrible.
All of us have habits we bring into our relationships. Some of them are very good, but some of them can bring about pain and hardship to our partners. And if we have those bad habits, what can we do about them?
Plenty! But the first thing we have to do is understand what it is we are doing.