Damage Control: How To Recover When You've Said Something Hurtful

My wife, Connie, and I are in our 21st year of marriage and although it's been a wonderful, blissful, romantic, productive thrill ride, we didn't get here without making some mistakes…. all mine, of course. We believe in couples therapy; we believe in keeping God in the relationship and we feel like it's crucial to always be plugged-in to the latest advice and research from people who study couples for a living.

Psychotherapist Dr. Barton Goldsmith has written a book titled Emotional Fitness for Couples and in it he addresses the pitfalls and perils of hurtful conversations. For example: What should we do after we’ve said something hurtful, and a simple “I’m sorry” won’t cut it? Here’s how Dr. Goldsmith says we can recover from some of the most common, hurtful phrases:    

•    How do you take back saying “I hate you?” Dr. Goldsmith says for starters, you need to admit how immature those words sound. So, say something like: “That was so childish of me to say. I’m embarrassed! Can you forgive me?”

•    How do you recover after you’ve threatened to “break up” with your significant other? Dr. Goldsmith says no matter how long you’ve been together, it’s unacceptable to use the “B or D word” unless you really mean it - because it shatters your loved one’s trust. So, you need to make it clear that you know how wrong it was to say. Try something like: “I overreacted and was being dramatic. I promise I’ll never say that again.”

•    How do you take back calling your loved one a “jerk?” As it turns out, Dr. Goldsmith says people will usually forgive you for calling them names if you call yourself the same name because that sends the message that you don’t really believe what you said. So, try something like: “You know what? I’m the jerk for saying that!"

Also, keep in mind that we've had plenty of research on the radio show indicating that arguing and even bickering is very healthy for a relationship. In fact, couples who don't argue at all -"we never fight" - have the highest breakup/divorce rates because it means you don't care enough to 'fight' for the relationship. The one caveat here: NO NAME CALLING. Here's wishing you a wonderful, blissful, romantic, productive thrill ride with your mate.  

Back

Comment on this post

Blog Archives

What Do Women Want In A Man?
5 Stress Busters That Work
Ace Your Next Job Interview
How To Put Life-Changing Advice Into Action
How Volunteering Can Help You Live Longer
Make Your Home A Happier Place
3 Steps To A Happier Marriage
Why Being Bored Is A Good Thing!
The Right Way To Boost Your Brainpower
4 Ways To Get Happier - In Seconds!
What To Do If You're On The Receiving End Of A Meltdown
Live Your Life With Fewer Regrets
Is Your Lack Of Sleep Making You Fat?
Workplace Traps That Steal Your Time & Energy
What's The Best Time To Exercise?
Protect Your Relationship From Resentment
4 Tricks To Fix Your Travel Problems
The Top 3 Marriage Deal-Breakers
Find Your Workout Willpower
How To Be Great At Anything
4 Habits Of Incredibly Healthy People
3 Emotional Energy Zappers
Improve Your Marriage In 3 Steps
3 People Who Can Make You Sick
4 Ways Spirituality Can Improve Your Life
Holiday Habits To Keep Year-Round
4 Habits For A Happy, Healthy Marriage
Workout Intelligence for 2013: The Truth About Exercise
4 Secrets For Staying Slim
Protect Your Relationship During The Holidays
Did You Know You Spend A Third of Your Life Working?
4 Ways Sleep Can Dramatically Improve Your Life
4 Proven Ways To Kill Your Relationship
Sky-diving Without A Parachute (And Some Easier Ways To Kill Yourself) 
Treat Your Relationship Like Your Car
The Secret To Achieving Peace Of Mind
Damage Control: How To Recover When You've Said Something Hurtful
Taking Control Of Your Life… Before The Sun Comes Up
The Gramp Stamp: Yep, I Got One.
I'm About To Be An Empty-Nester
The Interview I Didn't Expect To Do
The Best Marriage Advice Is From Divorced Friends?
Post CO Shooting, gun sales are up.
The Colorado Shootings
YOUR DOG OR CAT AT RISK: 'PURSE POISONINGS"
The Pre-Prenup and your Relationship.
Ladies: Why you should date a geeky, scrawny guy.
Revenge Plastic Surgery
Weight loss Intelligence: Put your take-out food on a plate
Fighting Colds and Flu in the Bathtub
My New Year's Resolution
Dating, the internet and the CIA
What we can learn about communication... from the Apple Genius Bar.
Heed the Facebook age limit.