It hurts (a lot) when someone you care for doubts your motives.
It’s one of the most upsetting things in the world. It’s a recipe for an epic fight.
When you’re upset, point out the actions that make you feel hurt. Don’t accuse your partner of intending to hurt you.
Why? Because if you’ve experienced this yourself, you know it leaves you feeling misunderstood to the point that you actually feel lonely.
“If he doesn’t know my character well enough to know I would not intentionally hurt him like that then he must not know me at all.”
So what should you do when you feel hurt?
For starters, don’t ignore it or avoid it. I’m not suggesting that you say nothing. That’s a bad call. If you’re hurt and uncomfortable, you need to communicate that. Stuffing your feelings will only lead to resentment. That’s toxic in any relationship. It will end up pushing the two of you apart in the long run.
You can and should tell him when you feel hurt. Tell him he was insensitive. Tell him he’s ignoring an emotional need you have.
Just don’t tell him he meant to hurt you. You see the distinction, right?
Letting him know he let you down is one thing. Accusing him of intentionally hurting you is something else entirely.
When you make that leap, he’ll hear it as an attack on his character. And really, it is. He will get defensive in a heartbeat, and I know that’s not what you want.
Sure, there will be times when you genuinely feel like he hurt you on purpose. But a lot of that suspicion is tied to your feelings of disappointment. And guess what? Those feelings will pass. When they do, you’ll remember that you’re with this guy because you trust each other. You don’t want to undermine that foundation of mutual trust in the heat of the moment.
The key is to focus on his actions, not his intentions.
Instead of questioning his motives, stick to the facts. Tell him that what he said or did left you feeling hurt. Even if the situation is something you’ve addressed before, steer clear of implying his actions signify a lack of concern or investment. Most likely, he really didn’t mean to hurt you.
After all, he’s human. Even the best guy in the world is going to screw up from time to time. In giving him the benefit of the doubt, you’re paving the way to resolution without a knock-down-drag-out fight.
And if you really want a solid relationship, share this tip with him. Make it a rule about how you handle conflict as a couple. Agree that both of you will always be honest about how you feel when you’re hurt, but you’ll never question each other’s good intentions.