Some couples are unkind to each other

Some of the couples who seek my help have created a dynamic which is unkind.  They say unkind words and behave in unkind ways to each other and in some way expect this to give them a good future.  Of course, they know it isn’t working but they don’t know how to stop.

My question to them is

What does being unkind give you?

Most people are kind. When you first met your partner you both spent your time being kind to each other.  That and the chemistry that sparked you both to connect resulted in you creating feelings of love within yourselves.

Because of this dynamic, you continued the relationship and allowed it to blossom.  It blossomed because you both continued to be kind to each other.  You probably put each other first.  You worked at making the other feel special.

If you had used your current behaviours and words to win your partner I doubt you would have succeeded.

What has made you change your pattern of behaviour?

Well at the start it may have been because ‘life’ just got in the way.  By life, I mean jobs, children, finances, major life upheavals etc.  Or simply complacency.  But the path towards unkind behaviours and reactions is a slippery one and once on it, couples can slide.

Deep down most people who are being unkind don’t like their current destructive behaviours but find it difficult to stop.  This can be for several reasons:

By being unkind they can:

  • Feel noticed when previously they felt ignored
  • Get ‘their own back’ for past hurts
  • Justify their actions as retaliation to other issues
  • Hold on to past hurts

Both men and women can do this.  Now as a couple, who are at heart both really kind decent people and who probably deep down still love each other, are destroying their relationship.

Why change can feel difficult

If you feel you are not being true to yourself and have become someone you don’t particularly enjoy being then before you attempt to shake off your destructive behaviours ask yourself:

What am I getting by staying with this current version of me which I am running?.  You will be getting something. Look at the suggestions I introduced above.  It may not be very pleasant but my guess is you can justify one of them.

So now you run your unkind behaviour and version of you and expect your partner to change.  You want to be heard and understood but all your partner is seeing is a version of you that isn’t the person they recognise and who is unreachable.  Any attempt to connect can be rebuffed or ignored.  Why?  Well in order to justify their current pattern of emotions an individual can cling to being ‘right’ (ie their partner is continually unkind and hurtful, or wrong) so their partner doing the opposite does not fit with their current belief structure so gets dismissed as being insincere.

You may find yourself thinking

  • “He/she’s just trying to get around me”
  • They want a quiet life
  • They don’t mean it
  • ………or some other similar thought.

People hurt each other without really meaning to

Regardless of any attempt to reconnect, the recipient of the unkind action still feels hurt and so goes over and over the hurt in the hope of making sense of it and to find answers as to why their partner behaved the way they did in the first place. They interpret their partner’s actions from their own perspective and tell themselves they would never behave that way.

In the absence of any answers, and to solve their internal confusion,  it is easy to create a reason for what he or she did. The trouble is the reason they come up with is highly unlikely to be the truth.

The partner who behaved badly often doesn’t know why they did what they did or said either so now I have two people wanting different answers to the same question in an attempt to justify the emotions they are each experiencing.

Stalemate and endless arguments ensue and the couple is now stuck.  Stuck in a marriage they are now destroying.  A marriage that, with help and new understandings could be great.

Take a step to halt being unkind

Check-in with yourself.  Are you being the best you can be?   We all have choices on how we behave and how we choose to react to situations.  Are you holding on to your current behaviour because to do something different might feel you are ‘letting your partner off-the-hook’?  Well maybe that can feel true but what do you really want?

Are you prepared to walk away from this relationship without discovering the real truth?  You can, of course, and for some that is the right choice, but for so many, it turns out to be the wrong decision – often when it’s too late to change it.

I suggest you become curious about other possibilities before taking that irretrievable step.

Do you want to create a new and better connection with your partner?  Do you want to create a future with this person that looks and feels exciting?

If so then giving love and learning to understand and interpret your partner better becomes more important than anything else.

Kind, loving people can become unkind but that doesn’t mean they can’t change, but to change first they have to understand.

As a couple, you are unlikely to be on the same page at this stage so one of you will be further down the line of wanting to learn and change.  This doesn’t mean the other can’t join you.  It takes courage to query and learn but the results can be more than you ever dreamed was possible.

Now might be the time to take that step and find out how to understand each other at that deep level you crave.  I am here to show you how.