Love hurts. No, not like those cheesy Hollywood movies or romance novels. Real love is a lot messier, filthy, and painful. No matter how much you may love someone, you either get hurt or end up hurting someone you love.
Love is pain
As the old saying goes, we hurt the ones we love the most. Yes, it sounds terrible, but there is actually some science to it. When we love someone, whether it’s romantic or platonic, we let our guards down and become honest, open, and vulnerable with each other. While this should make our relationship stronger, in reality, it creates the ground where we hurt the ones we love, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
We ignore them.
We blame them for our mistakes.
Although we feel ashamed and regret our actions, our behavior eventually creates fault lines in our relationships which leads to its premature end. In fact, researchers have found that we are more prone to show aggression to people who we love and care about the most.
According to a 2014 study, “the people that we interact with most frequently (e.g., family members, friends, romantic partners) are the most likely to make us angry,” and how we hurt people primarily “depends on our relationship with them.” The researchers observed that we can hurt our loved ones directly, such as physical or verbal aggression, or indirectly such as avoiding them or complaining to others about them. “Whether the harm takes the form of words or blows, aggression is harmful to individuals and to relationships,” adds the study.
However, when you understand that unintentionally hurting someone you love is a natural part of any relationship, it can help you control your toxic behavior and be more deliberate in how you strengthen your relationship.
Reasons why you are hurting someone you love
Is your behavior with your loved one destroying your beautiful relationship? Do you keep hurting someone you love over and over? Then there are some ugly truths that you need to realize. Here are a few reasons we hurt the ones we love the most –
1. Unrealistic expectations
Expectations arise naturally in any relationship. But when you love someone the most, your expectations can easily turn unrealistic and unreasonable. And when those expectations are not met, you can become angry and end up hurting someone you love. One of the main problems with these expectations is that they are often left uncommunicated as we expect our loved ones to read our mind and do exactly what we want. But as you must already know, that never happens in reality.
What we fail to realize is that these unrealistic expectations from our loved ones and relationships leads to disappointment when they are not met. We start comparing our relationship to others and forget what makes our relationship meaningful. One 2011 study has found that when we unrealistically view our romantic partner as an ideal partner, then our marital satisfaction can decline. “People who believe their partner mirrors their ideals might only be disappointed when time later reveals how their partner falls short of these lofty standards,” adds the study.
The more valuable someone is to us, the higher our expectations are from them. So when even the slightest thing goes wrong, we feel hurt and hurt the other person in return. We need to realize that none of us are perfect and all of us are flawed. Instead of idealizing our loved ones, we need to accept them as who they are and keep our expectations reasonable.
2. Unresolved past trauma
So why do people hurt the ones they love? The reason may lie deep in our childhood experiences. Adverse childhood experiences can result in unresolved trauma which we often recreate unconsciously as adults. And as life would have it, most of us have gone through some traumatic experience as a child. Whether you were abused, neglected, abandoned or faced any situation that left a deep scar in your mind and heart, past trauma can screw our relationships as adults. It can make us behave aggressively with our parents, friends and romantic partners. So if you are still coping with the effects of childhood trauma, it is likely that you will find yourself hurting someone you love.