Monday, February 7, 2011

Love Can Hurt By Hannah Davis

Why do we always end up hurting those who mean the most to us? I’m sure I don’t stand alone when I think back on the heartache I have endured and caused those I love. It seems backwards to think that we hurt those who are most important to us the when we want nothing but happiness for them. Recently I read a blog by Aaron Ben-Zeévith and agreed with his ideas of why people tend to accidentally hurt those they care for. With some careful thought and consideration I have modified several of his possible reasons for this behavior and even come up with my own, all of which I wish to share with you in the hopes that, armed with this knowledge, we can reduce, if not eliminate, the pain we sometimes cause to those we love with all our heart.

Close personal relationships require people to break down their walls and reveal themselves including the good, the bad, and the ugly. This makes us extremely vulnerable and when we are in such an open state, we are more sensitive to what is said and done around us. Normally we are unintentionally hurt by those who love us. For instance, they might spend a lot of time working in order to create stability and a steady income in our lives, but we just notice their absence and how we feel neglected in their pursuit for money or success. These innocent but harmful issues need to be addressed so both people can resolve the issue and repair any damage done to the relationship.

A second reason is that we get a large amount of our happiness from those we love. This means that when we are disappointed or frustrated with them we tend to hurt because they, at that time, they no longer are a source of happiness. If this is the case, then it is impossible to have a completely blissful love where no pain is involved. With this in mind, we must remember that we can expect to be hurt once or twice in a relationship. If, someone is continuously hurting us or is doing so intentionally, then we can no longer assume they love us and the relationship may need to come to an end. Just because we are in love with someone doesn’t mean they will repay the feelings.

Perhaps a third component that leads to hurting those who matter most is that we look to them and believe they will never hurt us. Because of this it stings more when we are hurt by a statement or action that appears to be malevolent. Most people can think about their past and find a remark that really hurt them. I ask you to think about what upset and hurt you. Next imagine if another person had said that and how you would have reacted. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that when I am criticized by those I love, it seems to cut deeper then if told by a stranger or someone I don’t tend to care for. Does this make us more sensitive to the way those we love make us feel? Again, I believe this is because we have allowed ourselves to become vulnerable, and in this state we can be more easily hurt.

How does this apply to teens and young adults? During this challenging part of our lives we are exploring relationships and starting to date. Not everyone we fall for will be able to protect us from all pain; they cannot even protect us completely from themselves. For example, when I split from my first serious boyfriend it really hurt. The night we broke up he told me things that normally wouldn’t have hurt me, but coming from him it did. My feelings for him affected how I reacted to his words. I had never felt so torn down and broken, and in my humble opinion, this was because I was hurt by someone who I had allowed past the walls I had labored to create throughout my life. During our relationship we came across times when we accidentally hurt each other. When we got back together we had to focus on learning how to overcome our issues and understand what caused our pain.

I am not the only one to deal with these issues; everyone must undergo this stage of life. The pain and occasional heartache from love is experienced by teens and adults as we move through life in search of a mate that makes us truly happy. We may give our hearts away to people and in return get hurt. We may give love and not have it returned. Or we may be lucky and find that one we are meant to be with and come to learn that no matter how much we care for one another we will accidentally hurt our loved one and in return be hurt by them.

As Robert Burns, a Scottish poet from the sixteenth century, said, “Had we never lov'd sae kindly, Had we never lov'd sae blindly, Never met -- or never parted -- we had never been broken-hearted.

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