Much of what we fight about in relationships is related to experiences we have had in the past. The past is over. Let’s commit to this truth as you read the rest of this blog.
I can count on one hand how many new issues there have been in my life in the past year. When someone or a person I love deeply hurts me, this is often a sign that I need to work out an deeply seated, possibly PTSD-issue. Don’t let this problem steep! Don’t turn away avoidantly! Stare the damn issue in the eye and tell it to get out of your life for good.
This may sound easy, but of course it takes much practice. Here is some advice about looking past the present situation to the underlying cause:
- When someone hits one of your nerves, tell the person you love that this is a particularly hard issue for you. That person will try his or her best (maybe after a few bad attempts) to stop pushing your buttons. Most people don’t want to fight.
- Take a moment after the angry event to tell yourself the truth about who you are and why you are standing right in this moment today: “I am made in the image of greatness. God never wants me to be upset or angry. Spirit is love and peace. I am made of Spirit: therefore, I, too am love and peace.” Say this until you feel it or until you calm down a bit.
- When you are not boiling angry, confront the situation for yourself, first. Remember when the exact time occurred in your life that you felt the way you do now. Who caused that situation for you? Who else may have been involved in changing your disposition from peace to negativity?
- After you have discovered what makes you angry, gently confront the person who pressed your possible PTSD button. Most people will want to work out what has been troubling your relationship for a long time. Someone who truly loves you, doesn’t want to hurt you over and over again.
- This is the important key: If you find that the person who pressed the button rejects your desire to work it out, try apologizing for exacting all of your anger at him or her, sharing that he or she is not the culprit for “all” of your anger. And then, tell that person why you feel this or how you came to this epiphany.
If you do all of the above and you don’t feel better, you definitely need to find some professional help with your relationship. Remember, relationships can be with anyone or anything (even a job), not just a lover or mate. Some people’s worst relationships are with their children.
These kids would love to hear a parent say, “Look, my dad used to treat me this way, and I would get so angry and frustrated with him. I never knew why it seemed he hated me. The truth is, he didn’t hate me. His father treated him just the same as he treated me. I don’t want to continue to do this to you or us anymore. Let’s work together to change this situation! I promise I’ll try harder to explain to you when you are hitting a nerve. But, I also need you to be a little more compassionate to me. I’m trying…” Something like that.
I have never been in a situation when truth didn’t work. When I say work, I mean that the truth either caused the problem to amplify so that I could see the reality that this person no longer wants to work it out. Or, I was able to see that the person I imputed all of this anger upon was actually someone who loved me dearly and wanted to help me heal from the past.