Why is it that in the throngs of arguing we say things to hurt our partner even more than is necessary?
Is it not enough that in the heat of an argument our communication has completely broken down? Do we have to destroy our partner in the process?
What do you do when you’ve said something you shouldn’t have?
So really prevention is far better than the cure here so if there’s absolutely no basis of truth behind what you’re saying then think before you open your mouth and don’t say it at all. Seriously, you must not cross the line into this territory.
But if it’s too late and it’s already come out of your mouth then there’s two categories I’d like to deal with.
1. Saying something that isn’t true. (the one you really must avoid)
2. Saying something that is true but you’ve said it the wrong way or out of context.
1. If you’ve purposely set out to punish your partner by berating them, but what you’ve said just isn’t true and you know it, then you must retract your statement as soon as possible and apologise.
Recently, I did this to my husband and even before the sentence was completely out of my mouth I knew it wasn’t true.
Immediately I retracted what I’d said and even though my husband and I were in the middle of an argument I apologised for saying what I did and asked him to forgive me so we could move on.
We took a ‘time-out’ and after cooling down we were able to express how we were feeling and we managed to reach a resolution quickly.
2. Now I guess this could be called the lesser of two evils because at least there’s an element of truth to it but at the end of the day you’re still hurting the one you love. Maybe it was the tone of voice you used or the context it came out in which you didn’t mean so if this is the case then some further explanation can assist.
Obviously, you don’t want to dig yourself into a bigger hole but it’s important that you explain yourself clearly as well. When you’re both calm and the heat is out of the argument then try to clarify what you actually mean.
It’s imperative you still apologise for the inappropriateness of the comment and then express that you need to elaborate on what you were really feeling.
You could say something like: “I’m so sorry for hurting you by saying that. It wasn’t what I meant and I’d very much appreciate you hearing how I really feel about it”.
So what if you’ve been on the receiving end of those hurtful words. How do you get over that tirade of destruction?
Firstly you need to remember that those words were said at the height of an argument. When in the middle of a fight much of the focus is on defending ourselves and winning the battle, rather than the emotions of our partner.
With anger our emotions intensify to the point that our thought process become scrambled. We’re unable to think clearly or communicate well and often the boundaries of what is off-limits are crossed.
Does this mean we should forgive everything that’s said in this state? Absolutely not! But it does help to explain why it occurs.
What you need to find out and decide whether you absolutely believe it is; Did they mean what they said? And by that I mean is it a belief they have of you all the time or was it something said to hurt you at the time?
If you truly believe it was something said in anger and frustration then it’s best for both of you to let it go and move on. We’re only human after all and we all make mistakes. If there’s genuine remorse and an apology given then let it go.
On the other hand if what was said is a ‘deal – breaker’ then you really need to reconsider your position in this relationship. I’m not suggesting you up and walk out as soon as somethings been said to hurt you, but you do need to analyse why you’re in such a relationship in the first place.
More seriously however, if what was said could be deemed as domestic violence then you definitely need to seek professional help. If your partner is threatening violence on you or your children, is limiting your financial or social freedoms then please seek counselling as soon as possible.