How Our Pain Makes Things Worse


When we are in relationship with someone we love, we often get our feelings hurt. This is very common with couples. We start out by believing that we are the same, that we just get each other and feel a sense of home with each other.

But the longer we stay in the relationship, the more we realize that there are differences between us and sometimes those differences lead to misunderstandings and hurts.

How Honeymoon Stages Give Way to Conflict

Eventually, sunset falls on the "honeymoon" stage, and the cumulative pains and injuries give way to a relationship stage called "conflict."

This is common too. Couples start out in the “Honeymoon” stage, but eventually end up in something called the “Conflict” stage. This is when there is disagreement and we really see that we are not in the same bubble at all.

When in the conflict stage we start to see that when we or our partner gets their feelings hurt, their reactions may be very strong. These reactions can and often do leave scars or wounds in their mates.

When we receive hurts from our partners who we love, those hurts really sting. They aren’t slight; the pains are massive. And when we hang on to those pains, they start revisiting the relationship every time we get hurt.

Past Pain Follows Us and Makes Things Worse, Unless We Heal

Unhealed pain follows us around our relationship, like the ball and chain this man's dragging.

One thing that stings will remind us of all the other times we were wounded by our mate. Throwing this list of injustices at our partner is another common tactic used by people who are wounded.

It’s as if the mate wants to show their partner what they have done and then they won’t hurt their partner ever again. Only this never happens. The partner just wonders when the mate will get over the things that happened years ago.

What we are looking at is pain that is not healed. What needs to happen is to heal the pains that are being stockpiled in the person who is holding on to them, because that person is suffering.

There is a saying in the psychology world, “Pain that is not transformed is transferred.” It means that our unhealed pain is moved around and announced over and over again.

Empathy and Compassion Help Heal Our Wounds

Empathy and compassion can take us from pain to reuniting, making our relationship happier like that of this smiling couple.

What successful couples learn to do is understand what they need from the partner when their feelings get hurt. When they can explain what happened to them, the mate will see what they have done and this creates empathy. Empathy is feeling another’s pain. When a partner understands what they have done by feeling their partner’s pain, then there is compassion. And compassion is the gift of healing provided from one partner to the other.

This is the good stuff in a relationship. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with the other person. You love your mate. Show them your hurts. You might be surprised at how you can be healed, and that is the greatest gift of being with someone you love.

And besides, after the conflict stage comes the “Commitment” stage. This is where you want to live, forever.


Embrace the Language That Makes Relationships Flourish!

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to reduce conflict and heal from pain in your relationship by reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you show more empathy and compassion, helping you move past hurt and feel truly loved. 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.

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