Often in relationships couples will fight with each other. Both want the other person to hear them, but the arguments usually continue without one person giving in, so there is no resolution. And that’s exactly what both people want.
Often when in a disagreement partners will tell the other person mean things. They might call them names or discuss the way they act, all to point out that they have something that they need to share.
Cruelty Comes From Injury and Old Habits
When one person belittles the other, or demeans the other, the person doing the damage is really wounded. I know it looks like they are trying to hurt the mate, but that is now how people are wired.
If someone is saying something awful to the mate, it’s likely that the person saying the terrible stuff is really in pain. I know this is counter-intuitive. If someone is throwing up their anger on someone, we just usually think they are an angry person.
I know this, because I grew up angry. I was not angry because I wanted to be. I was angry because I didn’t think anyone cared about my hurt feelings and I wanted to make sure people knew I was suffering, so I yelled.
This makes perfect sense to a child. But this habit can grow up with people and they eventually use it on their mates. I know it is just a pattern that people have used for many years and it is an old, worn out habit by the time they are a couple.
Developing New Habits Helps Partner Hurt Less
But if you don’t know another habit, you will use what you know. And that is a sad way to get your point across. Here is what I have learned. If someone is angry and uncomfortable and loud and fierce, well it is likely that they are hurt somewhere inside of their body but they don’t know how to explain what happened to them so they just get mad.
It’s also likely that they are hurting so bad and just need you the mate to give them some love. And I know how hard it is, if not impossible to love someone who sounds like a fire alarm. But that is exactly what they need.
When we are able to recognize that someone is causing us pain because he or she is experiencing pain, our heart can expand for them and we can be there for them. I know this. I experienced this.
My husband was not a yeller. I was. He saw that I was hurting and he was there to hold me. Not at first, it took awhile for me to yell less, but eventually he was there with his big heart, and that was the first time I can remember feeling healed.
Understanding, Love, and Patience Can Help Lead Them to Change
So, if your partner is the one who yells or gets mad, try and understand that they are just playing out an old pattern from childhood. And I even bet they feel bad about it when they calm down.
And if you can also remember that you love them and this habit can change, maybe you can be their healer too, just like my husband.
It saved me and our life together.
Connect with Your Partner
Read a Book About Relationships
Learn how to more effectively communicate with your partner, by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might help both of you feel happier, more loved, and even more connected. 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.