Lately, I am thinking about my past relationships. Somehow, all of them helped me understand love and women a bit better. Many beautiful memories will stay in my heart forever. As well as many bad memories. I can continue bragging about what happened to me but this is not the topic today. Even though I promised my ex-girlfriends I will never hurt them, I still did. Furthermore, I can never forget how two of my ex-girlfriends cried in front of me because I hurt them. The worst part, I did not know how I hurt them until they told me. Nevertheless, I never want to see my next girlfriend cry because I hurt them, again. A relationship is a lot of work. To understand it better, we need to know why we unknowingly hurt each other.
What happens when we argue
We need to understand that men and women are different. Different in behavior, needs, values, and communication. If some of you are not convinced read my last posts about it (Men: Why men become silent, Why men pull emotionally from you; Women: Why a woman’s mood rises and falls, Why women love to talk).
First of all, differences and disagreements do not hurt that much. People can live together for 50 years even when they disagree on various aspects of life. Instead, how we express our differences and disagreements leads to most of the fights. Practically speaking, most couples start arguing about one thing, and within 5-10 minutes, they fight about how they are arguing with each other. Unknowingly hurting each other, what could be a harmless argument that can be resolved by mutual feelings, understanding, and acceptance of difference, leads to a furious battle. They prevent understanding each other because of the way they are approaching.
How we unknowingly hurt each other
It is not about what we say, it is never what we say. Moreover, it is about how we say it.
How men’s arguments hurt
My ex-girlfriends or even my best friend did one mistake. Arguing with me via text. This is always a relationship killer. I was accused of a lot of those two. Unmanly, not disciplined enough, overall, not the man I was supposed to be. I felt challenged.
I always showed my love in a respectful way, and with a lot of care. Even though those two meant the whole world to me, they overstepped my limits times and times again. And it resolved bad for our relationship. I get furious. Furthermore, I am not aware of what I say. Looking back these statements were harsh attacks against them. I gave the order to shut their mouth, attacked their most vulnerable spots, and even screamed once. After the volcanic outbreak, most men tried to calm down the situation. Mostly, they neglect the hurt of women. “Don’t be upset. It is nothing to be upset about.” Unknowingly, we make it worse. In summary, by neglecting a woman’s hurt, we unknowingly hurt women.
It is hard for men to understand the hurt of women. Because men are not as vulnerable to harsh tones and uncaring comments. And they used these uncaring words with their friends, too.
How women’s arguments hurt
Unlike a man, when women feel challenged the tone of her speech becomes mistrusting and rejecting. This kind of rejection is more hurtful to men if they are emotionally involved. Women start and escalate arguments by first sharing negative feelings about their partner’s behavior and giving him unsolicited advice. If women miss the chance to weaken the negative feelings with messages of trust and acceptance, men respond negatively, leaving women more confused. Again women are unaware of how unknowingly they hurt men with their mistrust.
How we unknowingly hurt each other – The Fours F’s for avoiding arguments
Most of us have a specific way of avoiding arguments. There are f’s of avoiding arguments: fight, flight, fake, and fold. Each of them offers a short-term gain but in the long-term is counterproductive. Let us have a look at these stances.
The first stance is most common among men. When a conversation becomes unloving and unsupportive some individuals instinctively begin to fight. They immediately move to a fight stance. Their motto is: “The best defense is the offense.” For example, they strike out by blaming judging, criticizing, and making their partner look wrong. They tend to start yelling and express lots of anger. Moreover, they force their partner with intimidation to love and support partners again. When their partner backs down, they think they won, but in truth, they have lost a lot.
Intimidation always weakens trust in a relationship
The second stance comes also from men. To avoid arguments they retire back to their caves and never come back. Furthermore, this is like silence treatment. For example, they refuse to talk and nothing gets resolved. This passive-aggressive behavior is different than taking a time-out and then coming back to talk and resolve things. In contrast, they deny love to their partner. Unlike, taking a time-out, still loving their partner, and then talking lovingly, any kind of loveable interaction is cut off. Their way of trying to get what they want is to punish their partner by withholding love.
Rather than attacking their partners directly, like the fighters, these men hurt their partners by slowly depriving them of the love they deserve.
In the short term, they gain peace and harmony. But if issues are not being talked about and the feelings are not being heard then resentments will build.
Arguing is an important part of a relationship. Ignoring it will only build up resentment and love will be lost slowly over time.
The third stance comes from women. To avoid arguments they pretend there is no problem. For example, they will fake a smile, agrees, and be happy with everything. However, while they avoid arguments like this they become increasingly resentful. And this resentment blocks their natural expressions of love. It becomes problematic because they are not honest about their feelings, so they try to make everything “OK, alright, and fine”.
Men use these phrases, too. But with another meaning. “Ok, I will deal with it alone” or ” It’s alright I know what to do.” Unlike men, women use these phrases to avoid arguments and conflict. Women may fool themselves and believe everything is alright. But in truth, it is not. Furthermore, they sacrifice their needs, wants, and feelings for the sake of not arguing.
The last stance is typically for women, as well. Instead of arguing, they blame themselves for everything and assume responsibility for whatever is upsetting their partner. In the short run, it may look like a loving and supportive relationship, but they end up losing themselves.
I encounter many women with this mindset. It is weird to hear when they say they are complicated and hard to deal with. In a way that makes them the worst and most troublesome women ever existest in history. When I asked them to give me some examples, I did not find any weird or harsh behavior from them. In other words, they are marked as overreacting most of the time. I listened and asked questions. In most of the cases, these women were hurt, sometimes by their partners, sometimes by themselves. But overall I approve of their upset when they are hurt.
These women have this “Fold”-Mindset. Blaming themselves for the mistakes of a failed relationship and assuming every conflict is their fault. Not only did they take the burden, they even give up who they are.
Summary – How we unknowingly hurt each other
Arguing is the most difficult part of a relationship. Doing it wrong can end a relationship quickly. Even though many people never want to hurt their partner, they still do. Not knowing what went wrong is hard to analyze and harder to fix.
However, with this first post, you should roughly know how you hurt your partner. And maybe you already know how to fix it. This topic is rather complex. That is why I will split this topic into three parts. First, we learned how we unknowingly hurt our partner and the 4 stances on how to avoid arguments unhealthy. Second, we will analyze why some of us keep arguing. In addition, we will have a deeper look at the meaning and the structure of each argument. In the third and last part of this series, I will show you typical conflicts of couples, analyze them, and show how he and she could defuse the situation.