We have all heard it before, “We always hurt the ones we love.” Why is that? You’d think that it would be the exact opposite.
The way that I see it we’re the ones that are hurting. We lash out at the ones that we love because they know us best. We figure that they will forgive us easier than another that doesn’t know us well.
What happens though when we are on the receiving end? Harsh words can end a relationship, cause retaliation and trigger a like response. If the person hurting us is in pain any of these actions just make the situation worse.*
Consider the spouse who has just lost their job. They are worried about supporting the family, finding a new source of income and perhaps what others may think of them. They are in pain. Stress builds and something small could trigger them to be angry and unkind. It isn’t their intent to hurt… they are hurting.
When you are dealing with this situation try one of these Simple Steps to ease the stress and pain:
- In a quiet moment tell them how you feel. For example, “I know that you are really stressed out about losing your job. We will get through this together but we need to support each other. I love you and you are my best friend. I don’t want to fight. I want to help. What can we do together that will make our marriage stronger and make this challenge our success story?”
- Give them space. When there is an outburst remain calm (Simple though not necessarily easy…). When they are done lashing out say something like, “I know that you are stressed out right now and I don’t believe that you really meant to hurt me. I am going to give you some space. When you want to talk I am here for you. I want to work through this together but fighting and being mean isn’t going to help.”
- Remain silent. If you know that nothing that you say is going to help then walk away and silently bless the person that they may find peace and happiness. Then don’t repeat their harshness in your mind. That doesn’t help you. (Again, simple but not necessarily easy.)
When we return anger with love we stop negativity in it’s tracks. That can only be good. Remember in the end that everyone is responsible for their own happiness. It’s their choice and it is yours. Choose the one that feels better.
*A word of caution here. I am not talking about abuse. There is no excuse for abuse and no one should ever have to tolerate physical or mental abuse.