Spouse Saying Hurtful Things? Here’s The Best Way To React
What should you do when your spouse says hurtful things?
Your husband or wife is someone you love dearly, your best friend, but sometimes it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.
When your spouse is saying hurtful things, what is your first reaction? We feel hurt.
There is a rush of angry, negative feelings, a vicious cycle of exchanging hurtful words back and forth or avoiding a conversation altogether. If that described you somehow, in shape or form, you’re not alone.
Civil Arguing is a normal part of a healthy relationship between married couples as both are trying to figure each other out progressively; however, failing to deal with these hurtful outbursts can damage trust, commitment, and intimacy and create a toxic marriage whole.
Today, we will discuss what to do when they say hurtful things.
How to React When Your Spouse Says Hurtful Things
Below are the steps to take when people say hurtful things to help mitigate the issue and achieve a positive solution!
First, Don’t React – Hold Your Response
When your wife or husband says hurtful things, a wave of emotions runs through your brain.
Have you accidentally said something in the heat of the moment?
We have a “flight or fight” response internally that wants us to act immediately in the heat of the moment. However, that’s the worst thing you could do!
It is normal to experience various feelings/emotions as sometimes our spouse’s words can be cruel. Still, it is essential to remain calm, take a step back, and take a deep breath. Hold your response not to say something you’ll regret.
This calmness will allow you to effectively re-evaluate the situation in the following steps to fully understand and break down the words and their motivation.
Identify Hurtful Words
Harsh, negative words are a byproduct of a defense mechanism called projection, where one projects their feelings onto another, usually negatively. Typically, when a partner says hurtful things, those on the receiving end are overwhelmed by the harsh words used and forget to identify the words their spouse says t them.
Identify the hurtful words and take note of them. By doing so, you will be more able to create the bigger picture of the conflict and understand the root behind them to have an honest conversation about it.
The important thing is that context adds depth to figuring out a solution.
Find the Source of the Harsh Words
As a human being, your words indicate your emotions, and each emotion is rooted in a particular event or season that we may be in at this time. Saying kinds of hurtful things regularly comes from a deeper place.
For example, you got laid off from work.
- How’re you going to feel? Angry or upset.
- Lost a relative? Sad.
- A little hungry or tired? Irritable.
People tend to carry those emotions into other parts of life as they deal with the hurt.
A healthy way to find the source is to ask insightful questions to get at the root of the painful things they are experiencing. Then, while you’re searching for what is that trigger, actively listen and show that you care about them.
You may get pushback, but the most sensible thing is to make yourself available to help them process everything down the road, giving them enough room and time.
Once you have found the source, store it and plan to talk later when emotions aren’t running high.
Talk About It When Cooler Heads Prevail
When cooler heads prevail, couples tend to be more willing to open up and express their emotions to one another. In addition, knowing the source of the conflict makes you more apt to have an honest conversation to unpackage those feelings.
Keep in mind that this doesn’t ensure an argument won’t occur but decreases its likelihood. Those outbursts made in the past can still have reserves of anger and blame towards you or someone else.
On the positive side, adult relationships thrive on getting uncomfortable. So when one partner initiates a genuine conversation on a challenging topic like this, it can be the catalyst of change.
Come Up With a Plan
A toxic relationship is not a long-term relationship you want to stay in.
Many relationships fail because of a lack of communication, and some are afraid to commit to a word that scares most, change. But, unfortunately, you can’t fix a broken marriage if neither of you is willing to communicate.
Talk about proactive steps of communicating effectively about how each other feels when things may not be firing on all cylinders, or talk about feelings/emotions so that you can help each other deal with and process things. Be sure to commit to a course of action that ensures both are heard and understood.
- Talk when calm
- Set action steps
- Share how you feel hurt when they use those words
- Use/implement the “Would you say this to a child, grandparent, or friend approach.”
- Consider professional counseling if necessary
When we stop communicating, bad things happen. This step is critical to maintaining a healthy marriage. Talk it out, agree on the next steps, and commit to the process.
Don’t Take it Literally or Hold on To Words Next Time
Words affect the way we think and, therefore, act.
When your spouse says hurtful words, don’t take those words literally. Chances are your wife or husband isn’t a mean spouse. But, as alluded to before, verbal fights are perfectly normal.
While it may take emotional maturity, forget about the hurtful words and the feelings it conjures up. Instead, remain poise and take a deep breath, identify them immediately, find the source, and when things are all calm, be intentional and genuine in addressing it and coming up with a game plan to solve it down the road.
Also, remember to forgive. Forgiveness is moving on. The situation was minor, and your spouse didn’t mean it; in that case, they deserve forgiveness.
This article was produced and syndicated by Parent Portfolio.
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