11 Things That Almost Everyone Does In Relationships That Are Actually Super Hurtful
No matter how happy you are, and how nice you think you are to your partner, there are totally those moments when you accidentally hurt them. You just feel all your inner jerk well up and explode out of your body. We all do it. In fact, as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate and Planned Parenthood Certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, I feel like I have a Ph.D in ways couples are totally jerks to each other. I mean, sometimes people are just awful to the ones they love the most.
It's normal. I'm not saying, "Here, have a free pass to be a total ass" but I am saying you don't have to beat yourself up forever about it. You're not broken. You're just a normal person in a normal relationship with it's normal ups and downs. What I'm also here to say is that if you are more aware of your triggers and the things you do that hurt your partner, you can do those things less. You'll never be in a real, honest relationship with another person where you never hurt each other, but you can work to hurt each other less. And to hurt each other in better ways. Plus, there's always room to improve your apology and forgiveness games.
1. Not Listening And/Or Interrupting
Is there anything worse than telling your partner about something that's pretty important to you, and then in the middle of one of your sentences, your partner says something out of the blue that shows they were clearly not listening, but also that they were not even pretending to listen? It makes me feel so unimportant. Like I don't even matter. Everyone is guilty of this from time to time, and while it usually has noting to do with your partner's worth, it's still makes them fell bad. Like, it really sucks. Try harder not to do this. It's just a better way to live.
2. Falling Asleep Early
If you're tired you're tired, right? No big deal. Except sometimes your sleeping can be a romance killer. For example, if your partner makes you a romantic dinner, lights some candles, puts on sexy music, then disappears to put on something sexy, expecting some love time, only to return to find you passed out on the couch, that hurts. It makes your partner feel unwanted. It's frustrating. If your partner is making an effort, it's important for you to make an effort, too.
3. Correcting Your Partner
The need to be right is strong in some. So strong that it can be hurtful. Have you ever been telling a story and your partner stops you to correct what you're saying? It may seem like no big deal, but it's actually embarrassing, and demeaning. If the facts are critical to understanding, and you can't wait until after your partner is done talking, then try to find a kind way to correct the story. Otherwise, just let your partner tell their tale and hold your tongue. Especially if it's not really a big deal.
4. Questioning Your Partner
You love your partner. You want them to be safe and happy. Maybe that manifests itself in a series of questions you think are helpful, but are received as hurtful. "Are you sure you want to do that? Did you remember your charger? Is that what you really want? Why don't you do it this way?" Once in a while, those questions are life savers. Too many, and your partner will start to feel like you don't think they're capable enough or smart enough to take care of themselves. It's a hurtful way to love someone, and you might not even be aware of it.
5. Taking Each Other For Granted
It's hard to put your finger on exactly what it means to take someone for granted. You could be living your life, and not realizing your partner felt like they were not appreciated or valued enough. This is why communication is so key. We all get lazy sometimes, or assume our partners know how we feel. That can be a dangerous and hurtful game to play. Better to check in regularly to make sure you're both getting your needs met.
6. Pointed Sarcasm
Sarcasm is a way of life. Without sarcasm, how would we express ourselves in passive aggressive ways? How would be get some of our humor across? We need it. But sometimes there's sarcasm and there's sarcasm. You know what I mean. It's that moment when you take your sarcasm too far, or sound a little too serious, and the results are devastating. I'm not saying you need to give up sarcasm. I'm just saying maybe you need to soften the edges of your comments so no one gets hurt.
You have to remember anniversaries and birthdays. That's a given. But you also need to do your best to remember other things that are really important to your partner. It could be remembering that they had a tough meeting, remembering the date of a loved one's death, remembering they don't like onions on anything, or remembering how they take their coffee. Forgetting can be hurtful. It can make your partner feel like they're not important enough to you, or that they're not truly understood. Put things in your phone if you need to.
8. Acting Out On Social Media
Social media is like a stage that everyone you know can see. If you go on there and flirt with other people, tell jokes about your partner (even if you think it's in good fun), or tell too much private information to your friends and followers, you could be hurting your partner. We all do it. I posted a conversation that I thought was hilarious, but my partner felt like I was making her look dumb. It's important to have good communication about what you and your partner post.
9. Assuming Instead Of Asking
Always ask. You may feel like you know your partner so well that you don't have to include them in decisions because you know what they'd want. This is often a mistake. Even if it's something as small as getting you coffee without asking what your partner wants, it could be sending the message that you make the decisions. It could make your partner feel like you don't appreciate that they (and their preferences and thoughts) grow and change.
10.Not Giving Personal Space Or Alone Time
If your partner is an introvert and you're the type who likes to be together a lot, you could be hurting your partner unknowingly. If your partner is the kind of person who needs that alone time to thrive, and they've told you this many times, you need to do your part to make sure you're meeting that need. Not doing so will make your partner anxious, cranky, and stressed. Then they might lash out and hurt you back (verbally, not physically, of course, not that either is OK). You have to do your own thing sometimes. It's just the truth about being in a healthy relationship.
11. Giving Up On Romance
Things cool down in relationships for a lot of people, but that doesn't mean there is never any affection, romance, spoiling, passion, and sex. If you suddenly stop giving good bye hugs, good night kisses, romantic gifts, and compliments, your partner will feel it. If you never go on dates or make an effort to make each other feel loved and special, it will eventually hurt your partner and your relationship. If you love your partner, make sure you always show it.
We're all jerks sometimes, and bad partners other times. Those moments don't have to define our relationships, though They don't have to become the norm.
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