Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?

My husband is a very good guy. He is responsible, cares deeply for me and my daughter. However, I seem to only feel, think, and act very negatively of him or I am just mean to him. I do love him and I want to feel that love. What can I do?

Perplexed

Dear Perplexed,

Sounds like you have a case of the “I don’t really love myself enough” syndrome. That is my non-medical diagnosis for the condition you have. I have often heard your question phrased this way, “Why do we hurt the ones we love the most?” Since you are trying to figure that one out, I first and foremost recommend taking inventory of how you treat yourself.

How do you feel about yourself? Are you wishing you were more, better, faster, and are frustrated because you’re not? Are you happy with your work, the way you’re raising your children and the example you are setting? Do you feel joyous and grateful to be alive?

If you don’t feel very good about yourself and you are not taking responsibility for that, then it can wind up coming out in relationships in several different forms which include (and are not limited to):

  1. You want him to change and be different; primarily so you can feel better. The truth is, even if he did change, he still wouldn’t be good enough because you are not feeling good enough and you’ll continue to project it out on him.
  2. You get upset at little things he does or that happen to you in your life. Your reaction is your soul trying to tell you I’m hurting and I need to express it.
  3. You say mean things. This is another way of your feelings trying to express themselves.
  4. You feel powerless because you have no idea what to do to deal with the feelings of fear, anger, grief, sadness, loneliness, worthiness, etc.

As you can see low self-esteem and poor self-image can be dangerous to both you and your loved ones. The first step is to acknowledge you’re hurting and let yourself know that is ok. Feelings, all feelings, are valid. What you do with those feelings is the way you make or break your results. Even if you have a high IQ your intelligence will not help you solve the problem. The logic of the brain needs to make way for the wisdom of the heart. Many people today have lost the connection to their heart wisdom. You will not be able to think your way to a healed and authentically joyous place.

You must face the darkness in your soul. Before you do this though, begin to practice saying nice things to yourself. You must become more compassionate (with yourself). There is no room for self-abuse. Then, be with your feelings. Know that they are real and they are not who you are, rather they are messages from your heart.  Feel it and channel it in positive healing ways. A great way to get on the road to healing is through a good psychotherapist who encourages you to get into your feelings. Make sure that your internal heart work does not stop there. Acknowledging and accepting your feelings is the first part. Channeling the energy of these emotions to serve you for the better is the next step.

Like the Feminine Power Card displayed on the right says on the pink side, “Anger is a
Pink-Anger-web message to understand your fears and take care of yourself.” And it encourages you to contemplate on the blue side, “How can I channel my anger such that the result is positive for myself and others?”

Take the energy and do good things. Take on the commitment to see this feeling through until it transforms. To be there for it like a good friend.

Here’s a simple story of how I did this. One day a friend visiting me talked me into seeing a movie that I knew was scary and would be hard to take, but I gave in trusting her that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought. Well, it was really scary and hard and boy was I angry afterwards. I realized that taking it out on her or myself would not serve any purpose, so I was very quiet until we reached home. I didn’t know what else to do but I knew I was committed to not harming anyone. So I kept asking myself over and over on the way home the question, “What can I do with this energy?” I knew it had to be something that was not harmful and useful for dealing with the feeling. Then I proceeded to go into my bedroom and cry and get some of this pent up energy out. Crying was good but it wasn’t enough. Then I ripped out my journal and frantically started writing everything this feeling was feeling, thinking and upset about and wanted. That was good but it wasn’t enough. I took a really hot bath because that is something nurturing I love. That was helpful, but it still wasn’t enough. Then I cried some more and journaled some more. And then I was flooded with peace and a whole new perspective. This movie was a gift. It gave me the gift of addressing the pent up fears, anxieties and stressors that I had. They released all because my friend wanted to see this movie and I went. There was no more anger. I received the gift of the events of the day and the feelings inside me. I continued to enjoy a deeper appreciation and connection with my friend.

So I cannot tell you how to channel the energy. Rather I encourage you to explore it, honor it and do what you can that feels appropriate and you know is a positive step for you.

In Joy,

Laura

One Reply to “Why Do We Hurt the Ones We Love?”

  1. BH

    Thanks for the tip, Laura. I’m going to give it a go the next time I’m feeling angry or upset. Just recently I was in a place where I felt anger and hurt. It didn’t go very well, it seemed the more I tried to ignore that energy the more upset I got. It makes so much more sense to embrace the anger and hurt, explore it, honor it and move through it.

    Peace

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