There are some people who hurt the ones they love unintentionally, while others do so intentionally.
We tend to hurt the people we love the most because that is when we are at our most vulnerable. We let our barriers down when we trust that they will not intentionally hurt us.
Sometimes lovers hurt their beloved to show their independence.
Especially when we are in intimate relationships, we give each other power over each other. Our partners learn our on/off buttons. Therefore, it is imperative that we be responsible and not abuse this power that we have on each other.
One of the familiar and frustrating relationship dynamics is when couples feel emotionally wounded by each other regularly. Yet they both love each other but keep hurting each other with verbal abuse, physical rejection, betraying trust, and taking each other for granted. They are often bringing up vulnerable topics, especially their past, which breaks emotional trust.
We hurt the one we love for numerous reasons:
We have all experienced various degrees of emotional hurt and trauma while growing up. Unfortunately, our identities form around things we have experienced, be it love, drama, affection, physical or verbal abuse.
As adults, we may feel alive or most like ourselves when we feel the same way we did as children, so we may do things unconsciously to get our partner to trigger those feelings.
A good example – someone who grew up without affection may feel uncomfortable with affection or closeness; they could sabotage it by picking fights to avoid intimacy. Or someone who grew up in a dramatic chaotic home may feel uncomfortable with silence and harmony that they trigger drama in their relationships.
As adults, our fantasy is to find someone who will love us and make up for the love we lacked as children.
Suppose we can’t get love from our parents or caretaker. In that case, it would be to get the love from someone who has a very similar personality to the person we initially feel wounded by.
We may not realize that the person we fell in love with has the personality and tools to re-create our childhood trauma emotionally. Once the initial infatuation wears off and we are too deep in a committed relationship, our fears and theirs often get activated. Too often, they get afraid and will strikeout in the same way their parents did. The result is that we get wounded all over again but worse because this person who is hurting us, we expected them to give us the love we never got, and they are unaware of their unconscious defenses.
We lack the knowledge and abilities of how to communicate our feelings constructively.
Many people may realize that they hurt their partners and would like to change but cannot as they don’t know how to or how to communicate what they are feeling.
Our culture doesn’t teach us well on how to communicate our feelings or relate to our own feelings, especially men who may feel uncomfortable when feeling vulnerable or fear, they could feel safer expressing anger when they are scared.
How can we stop hurting the ones we love?
We should all take responsibility for resolving our own emotional past hurts and learning how to make it secure for our partners to expose how they feel.
We should learn how to listen and validate our partners’ experiences, which will create a loving presence — learning to express feelings that will bring us closer and not create more hurt and distance.
We need to respect the fact that we have access to the most private and vulnerable aspects of each other’s lives in an intimate and committed relationship.
We need to learn to understand how and why we trigger each other to lash out in destructive and hurtful ways, without our ego.
We can hide from ourselves and others but not from the one we love and who loves us, as all our things will eventually come to light through this mysterious feeling we call love. When it does, we can either judge, attack, defend, or run away.
We could choose to be present and look inside ourselves with acceptance and love and see any element of ourselves that hurts others is a part of ourselves that needs love.
By this perspective, we hurt the ones we love so that we can learn to love ourselves and others wholly and unconditionally.
By healing and loving ourselves, we can ultimately heal our partners.
Anger problems are different.
Anger begins subtly by just putting a chilly wall up between you and them. Over time, they attack your self-esteem, insult you, threaten you, destroy property, and go as far as hitting you or killing you.
Blame is generally about the past. Solutions should occur in the present and future.