Relationships make life worth living. But they are also painful and complicated.
As they say, no pain no gain. Without experiencing pain, you cannot enjoy pleasure. But the question is how much pain should you tolerate to experience true happiness?
Most of us know someone who continues to be in a relationship despite getting hurt. When the person you love deeply hurts you badly, should you walk out of the relationship? Or, should you try to convey your feelings to the person and make them understand how their behavior impacted you?
For some, this is an easy choice but some others may find it hard. It is a tug of war between your love and self-respect. Ultimately, who is the winner depends on who you are as an individual. And, it also depends on the person who hurt you. If they take the cue and apologize promptly and sincerely, you may find it alright to forgive and forget.
This article takes a look at the situation when someone you love hurts you deeply. Here you will find the choices available to you in this situation. And, you will also find here tips and suggestions on how to decide on your approach.
Why does a loved one hurt you?
Before you think about your approach, you need to dig deeper and understand the reason behind the painful act. Here are some occasions when someone does a hurtful thing to their loved one.
- They are angry. Most often it is at someone else and not you.
- They are stressed. Health and wealth are the two common stressors.
- They are depressed. They are facing mental health problems.
- They are scared and worried. Suppressed negative emotions are often expressed like this.
- They love you too much and are overprotective.
- You are in an abusive relationship.
- They do not love you or care for your feelings.
- They don’t have respect for you.
- They hold grudges against you.
- They take you for granted.
- They consider your submissive nature as an invitation to do whatever they want.
- They fell out of love with you.
- They are jealous of you.
- They are retaliating against your assertive or aggressive behavior.
What to do when the person you love hurts you?
When you are hurt by someone you love, your initial reaction will be one of shock and dismay. Your thoughts would be, “When I am offering my unconditional love, how can they do this to me?”
Relationships are tricky. When you love someone, it can make us vulnerable. The other person is misusing your vulnerability to hurt you. The pain is felt on different levels. Often it is your self-worth, self-belief, and confidence that are the victims. Sometimes it is your trusting nature that bears the brunt of the assault.
When you are hurt, it may come out as feelings of anger and embarrassment. When your self-esteem takes a beating, you may start questioning your appeal, power, and feeling of security. You may feel scared, vulnerable, and insignificant.
The surge of emotions in you needs to be dealt with as a first step. However, as a reflex, you may want to lash out at the person. Or you may feel “enough is enough” and want to give up on the relationship.
It is important to have control over your emotions and actions. Your reflex reactions can only make matters worse. Developing coping skills and evolving a mindset that gives you more control over your feelings can help you remain calm to devise a strategy and think up the best possible reaction.
An important point to remember here is that it is not your fault that you got hurt even if you may be blamed for it. The most common excuse of the perpetrator is that they were just reacting to your triggers.
Tips and suggestions to handle the situation
1. Analyze the situation with a calm head
Get to the bottom of the issue in as impartial a manner as possible for you. Find out the truth about the matter and choose an appropriate response. Avoid instant reactions at all costs.
2. Avoid the urge to defend yourself
Turning either defensive or offensive can only hurt your case. Try to remain calm and patient to offer only your perspective without involving emotions. This will give the other person a chance to explain themselves. Then maybe together you can work towards a consensus.
3. Go easy on your claim to being right
Whether you are on the right side or not, don’t harp on this too much. This can close many doors in the relationship. Often when a relationship falls apart, it need not imply who is right and who is wrong. It merely means that they are unable to agree or there is a difference of opinion.
4. Own up your mistakes
Maybe you also did something wrong and this escalated the situation that led to your partner hurting your feelings. If you feel that you did something wrong, owning up doesn’t hurt. You may feel that you are justified in your actions because of the incidents of past abuse. If you did something wrong, you did something wrong. Full stop. Don’t drag in the past to justify yourself.
5. Act, don’t react
The reaction is spontaneous and done without much thought or consideration for the consequences. This can only help you get into deeper trouble. Instead, try responding to the situation. When you respond, you act after taking enough time to think and analyze the situation. You will have better control over your behavior.
6. Adopt a conciliatory approach
Avoid both offensive and defensive attitudes. This can only help in harming you. A conciliatory approach doesn’t mean you take on the blame or accept the actions of the person. With this approach, you are leaving the door open for all possible solutions. Often when you take this stand, the perpetrator will be willing to walk in through the door.
7. Set boundaries
Irrespective of whether you are in a relationship or not, your rights and privileges as an individual are undeniable. You have every right to place personal limitations and set clear boundaries. You can also ask your partner to respect the boundaries set by you.
8. Don’t allow the episode to ruin your happiness
If someone hurt you for no fault of yours, you should not let the incident take away your happiness and peace of mind. As you have done nothing wrong, you should not allow it to ruin your life. Carry on with your life. You can choose to forgive and forget. Do remind yourself that you forgive to ensure happiness and mental peace for yourself. You just want to get this behind you.
How to get over hurt feelings in a relationship?
When you are hurt by someone you love, it is your choice how you want to handle it. Here are some suggestions for you to consider.
- Realize that you cannot change others
- Be clear about what you want
- Let it go
- Forgive and forget
- Don’t play the victim and blame others
- Get it out of your system
- Focus on the present
- Open up your heart to happiness
There is no denying that you have been hurt by the actions of your loved one. However, what you do with it is equally important. If you react, retaliate, or ruminate, you are digging your own grave. You are becoming equally complicit in the wrongdoing.
This may not be the first time you have been hurt by this person. This also means your past reactions to similar episodes are not working. It is time you change the tactics.
Being in love doesn’t mean you have to behave like a doormat. Being a doormat means your self-esteem is almost non-existent, implying you cannot love yourself. In turn, this means you cannot love others.
Forgiving someone need not necessarily mean that you are absolving others of their wrong-doings. It just means that you are permitting yourself to move on.