Marriage Matters: Ways we silently hurt each other...
Today I focus on some of the top ways partners hurt each other in relationships. But here's the kicker, these are silent ways we hurt each other. Those sneaky, passive and indirect ways we hit where it hurts. I often refer to these as silent because sometimes we don't see them coming and sometimes we don't recover from them easy...
1. Hurtful words
I have heard the phrase before but "Hurt people, hurt other people". When our partner does something to upset, disappoint, frustrate us - we so quickly reach for a hurtful word. Not just any word - but a word that we know will 'cut' our partner. So they can feel a pain that we've felt - either in the emotional heart or in our pride.
2. Ignoring our partner
Our partner looks to us for so many things - including support. And when we show disinterest maybe not even on purpose, just too busy to focus our attention in that moment, we also silently tell our partner "What you're saying is not that important".
3. Shaming and Blaming
Ahh - the cousins we love to hate. Shame and blame. We should, could, would our partners to death when they make mistakes and then we decide to pull out all the stops to avoid taking responsibility for our part, to instead point out all of our partner's flaws.
We believe we know everything. So in our prideful ways we criticize our partner. We judge their looks, their words, their dreams, and their challenges. We fail to support them because we don't agree with everything. We again, point out their flaws and judge them harshly with some of the things that mean the most to them.
5. Taking them for granted
They'll be there. There always there. We assume our partner will stay at any lengths. We allow our ego to inflate so large we forget to thank our wife for cooking dinner, or cleaning the home. We get so caught up in our self-centeredness we forget our husband works hard for the family - or that he needs to be told he's worthy.
Not sure if you caught the theme in these silent relationship hurts, but a major part is that when we engage in these behaviors...we are selfish. We aren't considering our partners any longer, only our feelings. And at the root of many of the relationship counseling I've seen - is one of these silent hurts. Our pride can keep us from seeing the silent ways we hurt, and also from forgiveness if you've ever been the partner who is silently hurt again and again. Pride will also keep you from working on your relationship, communication and behaviors - even including seeking counseling services.
Think today - have I silently hurt my partner? If so - look for ways to check your pride and make changes.