Why does it seem that we hurt those we love the most? It doesn’t seem to make much sense does it? Shouldn’t we be going out of our way to make sure their needs are met and be paying special attention to their needs and desires? The answer is yes, unfortunately this is more the exception rather than the rule.
Here are 3 more reasons why we tend to hurt our loved ones…
1) We take them for granted:
When we seek a partner, we are typically looking for someone to share our lives with on a long-term basis. When we expect or assume that our partner is going to be around long into the distant future, it’s easier to become lax with staying present in our relationship and appreciate and appreciate our partner. With this mindset creeping into the relationship, communication slowly begins to fall apart.
Staying present with our partner takes time and effort. If we don’t know how to be present, we fail to miss the signals being communicated by our partner. If these signals about what our partner needs and wants from you go unmet it could be a recipe for contempt and disappointment.
2) Unintended consequences:
More often than not, we don’t intend to hurt others. However, if we fail to take care of ourselves, we fail to take care of others; including the ones we love. What we don’t transform we transfer. If I don’t love myself, I will have a hard time truly loving others and receiving their love for me. when I don’t value myself, I have a difficult time seeing the value in others. If I don’t appreciate myself, I will often have a hard time appreciating others. When we fail to practice empathy and compassion with our partners, we foster a relationship filled with tension, contempt, and emotional isolation.
3) Intentionally hurting them:
Misery loves company. “If I can’t be happy then you shouldn’t be either”, “It isn’t fair that you have peace in your life, so I will create chaos in our relationship”. Anger is a secondary emotion. That means that there is almost always a more vulnerable emotion driving the anger we experience. It can be difficult and even painful to identify and express those more vulnerable emotions like, disappointment, embarrassment, fear, and sadness. When we fail to identify and express these vulnerable and painful emotions in healthy ways, we will likely respond with aggression and anger. Anger is easy to access and people know what anger is. Unfortunately, responding with aggression and anger often results in hurting those we love.
Here is the good news; you aren’t alone in this and things can get better! We aren’t born knowing these things but we can learn from our past if we are willing to be more vulnerable, learn to be authentic to ourselves and those we love.