Ideally, you won’t ever have to wonder how to forgive your husband for saying hurtful things. Nonetheless, such fairytale rarely (if ever) happens in real life. In reality, no husband is such a prince that he never says anything hurtful. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad person. He’s only a human. We all say something unkind, either in the heat of the moment or unintentionally. If you’re wondering how to forgive your husband for committing such marital transgression, here are four things to consider and understand first.
What’s OK and what’s not in marriage
As we already mentioned, people say hurtful things. This has been happening since the beginning of the world and will continue to happen. Our next section will demonstrate why and how this happens. For now, it’s important to understand that you should not consider every exchange in which you felt uncomfortable a hurtful exchange. You do have the right to your own experience of whatever was said, but please consider the nuances of communication.
In other words, you and your husband are merely two humans talking, not two errorless robots. As such, it is inevitable to hit a bump here and there and to say something upsetting from time to time. There is a difference between verbal aggression and a slip-up. The intention behind what was being said and the frequency of such remarks are some of the aspects of the said difference.
And, as you can already assume, aggression isn’t alright. As the matter of fact, it is considered one of the three major deal-breakers in marriage. The other two are addictions and affairs. If you feel that your husband is plain aggressive, and not just a bit temperamental and clumsy in an argument, you should consider a more thorough change in your relationship.
The reasons why people say hurtful things or hear hurtful things
Apart from aggression and a desire to dominate a conversation and the relationship, people can say cruel things for many reasons. As an example, your husband might feel intimidated himself and tries to maintain his position by being spiteful. Or, he might have been raised that way, to believe men are to be tactless, and women submissive.
However, as research shows, it is not an entirely objective phenomenon. In other words, the cruelty might also be (at least in part) in the ears of the beholder. It appears that the same statement can be perceived differently based on a number of factors. Among others, relationship satisfaction was proven to influence how the receiver of the upsetting message will perceive it.
So, in essence, it is both you and your husband who have the power and the responsibility to ensure that your communication is direct and kind. He needs to understand what is hurtful to you and avoid such language or tone of voice. You, on the other hand, have the power to change your own experience and perception.
How to learn to communicate in marriage
For a marriage to work, and for the communication to be productive, many couples often require a bit of guidance. It is not that you need an expert to teach you how to talk to each other, but the majority of people has a few destructive habits in communication. We had learned these inadequate ways of conveying our thoughts when we were children, and we need a bit of a help to learn new and healthy communication skills.
Therefore, reach out to a therapist, buy a book or two, or search the internet, but do make sure that you both undergo a cleanup of your communication styles. You should learn how to be assertive at all times, to avoid being unfair and hurtful to each other. Yes, you are wondering how to forgive your husband, but it’s also entirely possible that he feels the same. You’re a team in this!
Steps to forgive your husband for saying hurtful things
- Validate your emotions – however you feel after talking to your husband, it’s relevant and valid. Whether it was intentional or not, if you feel hurt, accept it and validate it.
- Find a constructive relief – engaging in a hurtful exchange won’t solve anything, it will only make things worse. Instead, write a diary, talk to a friend, or do something productive until you feel calm again.
- Examine the problem analytically – try to imagine it was someone else who just had that argument. Is there a way to see things differently?
- Focus on the positive side of your marriage, and work on promoting those aspects of your relationship. Emphasize the love and care for each other, and concentrate on that to move on.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.