Sometimes when I work with couples, I see something that is hard to see. Two people who love each other who can’t hear each other. This often happens when there are two strong willed people in the relationship.
I know I am very strong willed. When I met my husband-to-be, I had been working on myself in my own personal counseling and I was pretty sure I was ready to meet my soulmate. And I did.
Sometimes when we get our feelings hurt, we want to lash out at the one who caused us to feel bad. This is pretty common for some of us. I know it was for me.
I grew up in a household where my mother was overwhelmed and released her frustration by yelling at her children. I know she loved us, but as a child I learned that this is what you do when you don’t like something: you yell.
When we are in a relationship and we get our feelings hurt we often forget that the person who hurt us is one we love. We might even see them as the enemy because they did something to us and it made us feel bad.
But what if we had the ability to remember all of the good qualities in the person that we fell in love with? Wouldn’t that make it a lot easier for us to return to our connection with them instead of hating them for what they did?
Yes, I know this is a big stretch for many people, but here is the thing. Most of the time when our feelings get hurt it is not intentional. We might make it into a war, but the beginning misunderstanding is usually just something that didn’t feel good.
Oftentimes in our relationships our partners will speak and act in ways that seem very strange to us. We will wonder why they are doing what they are doing or saying what they are saying, and our brain will immediately figure out what is wrong with them.
After they finish, we might even tell them that the reason they are talking the way they are talking is because of how they grew up and how they now sound like their parent and how this is something that isn’t resolved.
It is not uncommon for two people in a relationship to argue or disagree with each other. In fact it should be expected. We do not live in our partner’s head and we can’t always know when we step on a sensitive area.
These sensitive areas can release a big reaction and that can create a problem between two people who care about each other.
As a counselor I try and help people understand what happens during these instances. First we look at what happened but I always try and identify what the feelings were that prompted the reaction.
We all start out loving our mates. This is just how all relationships begin. Everything is perfect for a time and then things start to get more difficult.
This happens to all relationships. When the difficulty begins, that’s a signal that each person has to do some adjusting to make the relationship work. Only most of us have been single before we got into our relationship and we know how to be single a lot better than we know how to be a couple.
So, when we start to get our feelings hurt, some of us build a safety wall around ourselves so we don’t get hurt anymore…
All of us who fall in love want that love to stay as beautiful as it was in the beginning. This is only natural. When we finally meet our special someone and we feel the amazing connectedness we just want it to last and last and last.
Unfortunately, there is a name for this wonderful time. It’s called the “Honeymoon” period. It’s the time when everything is perfect. You get your person, they get you, there is never a hassle or disagreement, everything is wonderful.
But this time doesn’t last forever. In fact, it probably lasts somewhere between a year or two, depending on the people. This time is designed to meet our special person and that’s about it.
When we are in a relationship with another person, we often have a hard time being ourselves. We have our own habits and likes and dislikes that are uniquely ours and not our mates. But often when we strive for what we want we create conflict with our partners.
We will never be the same as our mate. And there are plenty of reasons why. We usually think very differently than they do. If we don’t know this is very common, we might even think that there is no way that we can ever understand each other because we are so different.
Some of us didn’t get a chance to figure out what our feelings meant when we were little. If our caregivers couldn’t read their feelings it is likely they couldn’t teach us ours.
If we didn’t learn what was going on inside of us we might have a couple of different behavioral responses. In my case if I was upset I would blame the one who upset me. Since I didn’t learn otherwise, I just used this habit well into my forties.
You can see as I write this that blaming someone for my difficulty is not effective. In fact it usually makes the person you blame react with some kind of defense or their own anger…
Wondering how to stop blaming others for your feelings? Blame can undermine relationships and impede the love and empathy you crave when feeling hurt. Are you ready to learn where blame comes from, how to end it, and how much richer your relationship might be if you do?