Have you ever experienced a hurt, betrayal or major disappointment by your partner? Do you still feel the hurt although the incident may have happened months or years ago? If so, you may have experienced an attachment injury to the bond that you and your partner share. When this happens, relationship distress is predictable.
Over the course of any relationship, partners will make mistakes, hurt or disappoint their loved one. The bigger problem is how couples typically react to these unfortunate circumstances. These reactions may include “sweeping it under the rug,” therefore moving past the incident too quickly, or even minimizing and denying the impact of the hurt. It is nearly impossible to heal these past hurts without talking about them.
These guided conversation steps can help you and your partner heal past hurts in your relationship:
- Articulate your hurt to your partner.
- Communicate deeper attachment fears about the impact of your hurt. For example, did you feel abandoned? Rejected? Alone?
- The offending partner understands the significance of the incident and acknowledges your hurt.
- The offending partner softens, takes ownership of their role and engages with empathy, remorse and regret.
- The hurt partner can now ask for reparative care and comfort.
- The offending partner can now respond in an emotionally corrective way which is effective in healing a past hurt.
Although some attachment injuries can be worked through by couples on their own, many can be complicated to process. Reaching out to a mental health professional can help provide a safe space to heal the past hurt in your relationship.
Written by: Porsha Jones