Hurt seems to happen in long-committed relationships. Often times, without ever even trying to, we uncover sensitivities and insecurities in our partners that can create feelings of vulnerability, betrayal, and mistrust. When these things happen repeatedly it begins to create a stress and anxiety within the relationship. These conditions are ripe for the conflict cycle, which I talk about so much, to arise. In the end, both partners can feel distant, confused, and resentful.
Anytime you feel a disconnect, confusion, resentment, or hurt, it is time to repair. In my work when I ask couples how they repair hurt I often hear that they “just forget about it.” Or perhaps in the future they just avoid the subject altogether. A good measurement for knowing when true repair has occured is if you can discuss the matter without ending up in a conflict cycle.
So, how can we get there? What can we do to repair so that we can discuss this same matter in the future?
Repair after hurt has happened is the one thing that can reestablish trust and security. This leads to feelings of love, connection , and closeness.