There are, in my experience, three types of hurts that one can experience at the hands of another:
- The perceived hurt. Something that was said or done by the other that touches a wound, or elicits some form of hurt feelings. Usually the other doesn't have a clue as to why there are any hurt feelings in the first place.
- The actual hurt. Something that was done by another, though unintentionally, that actually does hurt us. This can be something the other has said or done that has indeed hurt us. The other, in this case, will know that they have done something wrong.
- The malicious hurt. This one, to me, is pretty obvious. Someone goes out of their way to hurt us.
In the first two instances, there is a need to claim my feelings. When I have been hurt in either of these ways, I need to start with a prayer for forgiveness and healing. Once I have managed to bring myself into a calmer place - sometimes this can take time - I will sometimes try and reach out. For me, it is important to take a step back to work out my feelings because I might do or say something that will only cause more pain and hurt.
Once I have managed that, it is also important to take the steps to point out that I have been hurt. Usually it is pretty obvious because I have a distinct behaviour pattern when it happens.
The reconciliation and healing process can be the most difficult to get under way. Especially if one or both parties involved are particularly hard headed! ;)
Here, one should use statements like, "my feelings were hurt when you did x", or, "did you know that I was hurt when x happened?". Using accusatory statements like, "you hurt me by doing x!" or inflammatory statements that put the other down are to be avoided. They really only make matters worse. By starting with a prayer together for reconciliation, sitting down together and talking about the feelings that were hurt and the circumstances around that can be very vital to bringing peace back into the home and marriage.
As far as the third instance, one needs to be very careful. I have been in my fair share of manipulative relationships where the other would use very malicious and hurtful tactics, sometimes unknowingly, to put me in my "place". Outside of marriage, one could walk away if the other was unwilling to work things out, seek some form of help, and learn to treat others with respect. Inside marriage, especially if it is a constant form of abuse, then outside help is needed! Professional help is even better!
Ultimately, I find that it is only when we are consciously working to keep our relationship and marriage founded in and on the love given to us by the Father in Jesus Christ that we are able to pull through these tough times.
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