Someone’s Got to be the Healer

Posted on November 10, 2020


I know.  You both have done some things in this relationship to hurt each other.  But really, your partner has been the major culprit.  I get that.  I do.  Largely because that’s how you both tell it.  You are both in a lot of distress.  “Look how much bigger my pain is than yours; look how much more you have hurt me,” is getting you nowhere. 

What are you going to do about it?  Thus far your protests have been falling on deaf ears. 

First, let me remind you of a few things.  The reason that this hurts so much is that this relationship really matters.  Likely, no one else in your life can put you in this much distress.  That is because he/she matters to you.  This is your person, the person who promised to love you for the rest of your lives.  If you are feeling not particularly loved and valued by this one person, of course you are in a lot of pain. 

Second, it is really hard to be empathic when you are in your own pain.  This is particularly true when you are trying to get your own needs met by the person who is seeking comfort from you.  That’s a gridlocked situation.  Couples don’t get broken so much as they get stuck.  They get stuck in a dance where they keep hurting each other while trying to get their needs met by their partner. 

So here’s the deal.  Somebody’s got to be the healer.  Somebody has to break the cycle.  You can only control you.  You can’t control your mate (look how trying to do that has gone so far).  In the long run, for relationship health, there needs to be a certain balance to the relationship (which will never be 50/50).  However, if you want this to get better, perhaps you need to put the focus on empathy, compassion, understanding, and grace for your partner.  Hopefully, that will create the same for you. 

Your partner is not stupid (look who they married).  There will always be a reason that each of you do and say the things you do.  Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to be able to see things through your partner’s eyes (and heart).  If your partner isn’t making sense, you aren’t there yet. 

One final thing, marriages are systems.  Systems try to maintain homeostasis (i.e. they are resistant to change).  The first time you try to do something different, the system will try to push you back into your old patterns.  It will take some perseverance on your part.  If all else fails, you are welcome t blame me.  “I read this blog post about improving our relationship.  I was trying to do what the guy suggested.  He doesn’t know everything.  How could I have done it better?” 

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