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Why is it that we tend to hurt people we care about and in return let them do the same to us? Is it really that hard to avoid hurting the people we love the most?

Some things are worse than others but even the smallest lies can end up being the most painful ones. I guess where the lines blur here is when the pain being inflicted in any form is intentional or not. Someone who inflicts pain on you intentionally is not someone who actually loves and cares about you. Those who actually love and care about you will not do anything on purpose to hurt you. 

A lot of the time we hurt the ones we love because we aren’t where we need to be within ourselves and it holds us back. It causes us to be unable to either communicate our feelings properly or be constructive without taking things overboard. I know, this can be frustrating but it does seem to be true. Sometimes we’ve experienced things in our past that cause us in the future to react in ways we perhaps shouldn’t. All of these things can contribute to unknowingly or unintentionally hurting our partners. 

The Relationship Institute wrote as follows about this and moving forth:

So what can we do to stop hurting the one we love? We all have to take responsibility for getting clear and resolving our own emotional hurts from the past. We need to learn how to make it safe for our partners to express how they feel. We need to learn how to create a loving presence where we genuinely listen and validate our partners’ experience. We need to learn how to express feelings in ways that bring us closer, not in ways that create more distance and hurt. We may need to do some work together to understand how and why we trigger each other to lash out in hurtful and destructive ways. We need to respect the fact that in an intimate committed relationship, we have access to the most private and vulnerable aspects of each other’s lives. We need to treat that as a sacred privilege that we relate to with the utmost respect, not as an entitlement to trample upon for our own ego gratification.

We are all on a journey of awakening, and intimate relationships provide us with a powerful opportunity to see ourselves and our psychological and spiritual lessons more clearly. We can hide from ourselves, from our therapists, from our bodies, from our spiritual teachers, and from our friends, but we cannot hide from the one we love and who loves us. All of our stuff will eventually come to light through this mysterious and wonderful process we call love. And when it does, we can choose to defend, judge, attack, and run away. Or we can choose to be present, to look inside with acceptance and love for ourselves, and to feel gratitude that this aspect of ourselves has revealed itself. Then can we clearly see that any part of ourselves that hurts others is simply a part of ourselves that needs more love? From this perspective, we hurt the one we love so that we can learn to love ourselves and others more unconditionally, more deeply, and more completely. And by loving and healing ourselves, we ultimately heal our partners’ wounds as well, because we make it safer for them to fully be who they are, and to experience the deeper Oneness and magic that only love can bring to our lives.

We all need to try and grow as best we can in order to protect those we care the most about and live a proper healthy life with them. For instance, if you’re not good at communicating your feelings let your partner know that and try to see what can be done to help you open up more with your partner so that in the end you can become more capable. Growth in this kind of thing is necessary and without it your relationship will be doomed.

Psychology Today wrote as follows on this topic:

There are many cases in which lovers are likely to hurt their beloved without intending to do so. Love is a close and intense relationship. Lovers spend considerable time together, and many activities of each have significant implications for the other person. Naturally, in such circumstances, the lover may unwillingly hurt the beloved. For instance, one may devote a lot of time to work, thereby neglecting, and unwillingly hurting, one’s beloved. In many cases, a by-product of an enjoyable activity to one person is an unpleasant situation for another. The more time two people spend together, the greater the likelihood of such situations. The great significance in our lives of those we love is that these people are both a source of great happiness and deep sadness; they may benefit us as well as hurt us.

The phenomenon of hurting without intending to do so can also be explained by referring to the trust and sincerity which are essential in love. Accordingly, the role of politeness or good manners, which may prevent some kinds of insult, is of less importance in such a relationship, and lovers are less careful in what they say and do. This opens the way for a lover to easily get hurt. The price of being able to behave freely without having to consider every consequence of your deeds is saying and doing hasty things that may hurt your lover.

There are many cases in which we unintentionally hurt our beloved as a result of external circumstances that are beyond our control. Take the case of two lovers who are married to other people, but profoundly in love with each other. The woman, who can and is ready to get divorced, may be hurt by the man’s inability to leave his wife, believing it indicates that his love for her is more superficial than hers for him. However much the man might really want to make her the happiest person in the world, his external circumstances are beyond his control and make him behave in a way that hurts her.

At the end of the day it’s all about focusing on growth and trying to keep your partner’s best interest in mind, isn’t it? We should all be more willing to work through the things that cause us to inflict pain on the people we care about. Through that, we can overcome this problem and perhaps fix things before they’re too late.