I couldn’t even remember exactly what I said.
But apparently I said it.
And whatever I said?
She thought I meant to hurt her.
Or at least to her it meant I did.
One of the most important things to keep in mind in your relationship life, is that there are always four parts to every conversation.
There’s what your partner said.
There’s what they meant.
There’s what you heard.
And how you took it at your end.
The breakdown always happens somewhere along the process, and you end up assuming the meaning of your partner, without seeking clarfication first.
How you took it?
That’s why your feelings hurt.
But until you know they meant it?
Indulging those feelings is unrealistic just yet.
The first thing to do when you find yourself hurt, is work your way through a little process. Ask yourself, “Could they really mean that?” And then, “What’s the least hurtful thing I could interpret their actions to mean?”
In other words yet?
Give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
Instead of the worst meaning?
Give it the best meaning you can possible.
One very good reason to do this, is when how it feels is actually quite the opposite of how your partner normally treats you.
What is the likelihood?
Could they REALLY mean that?
If they clearly love you?
Doesn’t there have to be a better meaning?
Shouldn’t you wait to find out?
Explore that possibility first, before getting upset at them?
After you’ve worked your way through your feelings like this, go back to what I said in Part 1 of this series. Instead of getting hurt and just shutting down, push through and keep the communication happening.
Once again seek clarification.
Until you know they meant it the way you took it?
You don’t really have a reason to be hurt.
At least not one connected to REALITY.
Until you’re both on the same page again?
The conversation isn’t finished.
What do you think? I know it can be hard, especially when you feel really hurt by you partner, but can you see that you need to give them the benefit of the doubt until finally you can’t?
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