Unfortunately, love and pain go together. Many people have confessed to me how hard it is to love their partner. This is especially true after you can no longer trust them in one or more areas. Yet, our desire to connect means we still want to love someone, even when it is hard to do so. This blog will look at some steps to letting go of the pain and rebuilding your relationship.
Over 28 years of marriage, my wife and I have said and done things that hurt each other. Sometimes we knew they did when we did them, and sometimes we didn’t realize how much pain we had caused. I have learned the fastest way to healing the pain caused by each other, a few steps can be taken to quickly put us back at a place where we can forgive and move on.
I think you can learn from what we have discovered to help you restore love and joy in your relationship. So how do you live with love and pain?
I believe you can love someone who is hard to love by following these 3 steps:
Step #1 – Deal with love and pain by focusing on their motives, not their actions.
We tend to judge others behavior without thinking too deeply into why they did what they did. We all have done something bad when our motives were not to hurt or blame others. We are full of opinions and beliefs that our partners don’t have. Let’s say your partner leaves dirty clothes on the floor after you have asked them over and over to pick them up. Is it because they are trying to hurt you or is it because the value of keeping your floor clean is not as important to them? For most people, it is not meant to hurt, but merely an oversite of how much it means to you. When we realize their motive is not hurtful, but a difference in priorities, we can let go of our hurt feelings and find ways to express how much it means for us to have no clothes on the ground.
Ask yourself this when ANY action from your partner causes you to be frustrated. Then you will avoid the personal attacks that lead to hurt feelings and just deal with the action that you want to change. There is a way to get your partner to change, you need to dig deeper into it to find it. Again, love and pain show up when we misunderstand our partners intentions.
Step #2 –Deal with love and pain by remembering why you loved them in the first place.
Often we blame our partner for qualities we knew about before we made commitments to them. Your frustration about not changing them may drive your bitterness instead of their behavior that has not changed. Don’t hold their natural flaws against them just because you have grown tired of them. Even the things that attracted us to our partners become grating over time. Realize that you are probably doing things that are just as annoying.
Also, fighting fair is a big part of keeping pain out of your relationship. I previously wrote about how to fight fair here – so check it out for more help.
Even after understanding their motives and remembering why we loved them in the first place, we sometimes find ourselves still struggling to avoid pain in our relationship. Which leads us to the third step:
Step #3 –Deal with love and pain by finding boundaries that lessen the impact of the actions that hurt the most.
One of the realities of great relationships is realizing that love and pain go along with areas of our lives we disagree. There are just some subjects my wife and I stay away from. Talking about family is usually the fastest way we can hurt each other.
We tend to think in black and white terms, but the truth is most relationships need boundaries to make each other feel comfortable. These boundaries can include things that might be silly to one partner, but very important to another.
Keep in mind that this is not for physically and/or emotionally abusive relationships. This is for relationships that for one reason or another have experienced pain.
You can redevelop a deep love for someone that has lost your trust, but it just as much about you letting go of your bitterness as it is their willingness to change. Both are necessary to rebuild a great relationship.
What is one step you plan on using to help you love someone that is hard to love? Post in the comments below, and remember to sign up for my free Ebook 20 Relationship Secrets to Transform Your Life Together!
Make YOUR Relationship GREAT!