Hurt in Life
Has your spouse hurt you in some way? This is, of course, rhetorical. The answer is yes. Two imperfect people living together are most definitely going to hurt each other. It’s just a part of life. I’m talking about the hurt that comes from something he’s said or done in a moment of frustration, not the major hurt of affair or abuse. We all get hurt sometimes by the words of others, whether strangers, colleagues, or family. It can sting the worst when coming from our spouse, but it doesn’t mean we have a bad marriage. It doesn’t mean it’s time to call it quits (a basic to having a successful marriage). This just means we’re normal! So how do you handle it when your man hurts you? Below we take a look at different reactions as well as their benefits and/or disadvantages.
The Silent Treatment
This is when you refuse to really engage in conversation with your man. It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t speak a word. You keep your words to an absolute minimum and those that you do say are very straightforward and cold. The benefits of handling hurt using this tactic are that you can usually avoid a knockdown, drag-out fight in that moment. This might be a good thing if you are, say, in the middle of Target (nooo, I haven’t been there, done that 😉 LOL)!
It also keeps you from spouting words that you might regret saying later on. The Living Bible translates Proverbs 10:14 to say “A wise man holds his tongue. Only a fool blurts out everything he knows; that only leads to sorrow and trouble.” A woman who has opened the flood gates of the mouth and let every word of hurt and anger pour out of her mouth surely knows this holds true.
On the other hand, remaining silent can stall communication and reconciliation. If you’ve been hurt by your hubs and he’s trying to apologize, move on, or explain his perspective, the silent treatment doesn’t help either of you. Honest, respectful communication is key to diffusing the situation, understanding each other, and reducing the number of occurrences for this same type of hurt. Remaining silent can also breed resentment if the issue is silently swept under the rug, not to be dealt with until next time you’re hurt. When this happens, the silent treatment can turn into a repeat cycle of the same hurt.
Turning the Tables
Another tactic is turning the tables. This is doing to your spouse what they did to you. Call me names? I’ve got a worst name to call you! Nitpick something I’m doing? Let me overanalyze you and the things that you’re doing wrong and see how you like it! “I (insert what he’s upset about)?! Well you (insert something similar that he does wrong)!!” The only benefit to this reaction is that you might get something off your chest that you’ve been bottling up. I really don’t know that I’d call that a benefit though, because in the middle of your hurt is not the time nor place to start piling issues.
The cons of this tactic are pretty endless. Turning the tables is pointing the finger. Pointing the finger when you’re hurt and upset is not going to help the matter. This is a marriage, not a tournament. Remember, you’re on the same team! Turning the tables is not dealing with the issue at hand. It is turning against your partner and making him your opponent, your enemy. Going back and forth about things that each of you have issues with is like firing arrows at each other. It isn’t healthy.
Communicating with tone and tears, aka a hot mess of a hurt wife, is a reaction many women have to hurt. The benefit of this tactic is that it is communication, which is healthy for a marriage. What really matters in this reaction are the words and tone used. In a healthy marriage there is trust, which means each partner is completely exposed and vulnerable to the other. Knowing this is so, a wife’s raw emotion exposed can shock her husband because he is seeing all of her emotion. Husbands’ reactions to this can differ though. Your man might be sorrowful about it.
However, a lot of men aren’t going to have the same sympathy for tears as another woman does. They’re different creatures (remember men are from Mars, women are from Venus? 😉 ) They can grow to resent this reaction from their wife if they feel it is irrational and forced. Remember, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you’re saying it’s how you say it. That wise advice came from my youngest daughter’s first grade teacher 😉 but it serves us all well.
It is a normal basic instinct to defend yourself when under attack. Many times in marriage it will feel like you’re under attack when your mr. brings up something about you that he doesn’t like (the way you treat his mother, your new hairstyle, how you handled his work party, etc). Defending your character is not a bad thing. The defense mechanism can come in handy when there’s been a misunderstanding about your motive or intent. It’s imperative, though, that (yes, again) your tone is calm and your word choices wise.
For the most part, though, a husband will not attack the character of his wife. Hello?! He loves you!! It is important to stay focused on the issue at hand and not let the insecurities from the past creep up and activate defense mode. Emerson Eggerichs teaches men and women to constantly remind themselves in the midst of hurt that their spouse is of good character. This is part of why you married them. When you throw up the wall of defense you can block yourself from really hearing and understanding what your man is trying to communicate.
How do you handle?
Happiness is not a constant. Marriage is hard. I am 100% positive that you will upset and hurt your man and he will upset and hurt you. Human interaction is complex and messy, yet so fascinatingly beautiful. So how do you react to hurt? Do you go silent? Or turn the tables? Do you melt in emotion or go into defense mode? Do you react a different way that I didn’t cover?? It seems like there are many different ways a wife can handle hurt from her man. Regardless of how you handle it, we can all be thankful to God for His grace and mercy that get us through each day!
Thank you for reading!