Sunday, January 23, 2005

Why hurt our beloved more than we should?

Why hurt our beloved more than we should?

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Saturday, January 22, 2005 12:42 AM

When Rose and Jimmy were courting, they knew that they were made for each other. They never doubted that they would one day end up exchanging vows at the altar. And that is exactly what happened. It was hard to find a happier couple on their wedding day.

A few years later, the two were still happy. Now they had three kids and were settled in their careers. Jimmy felt that he was still the luckiest man in the world. He loved Rose now more than ever and looked forward to years of happiness together. Rose was of the same mind. Jimmy was as faithful as the rising and the setting of the sun. He was a good father who came home from work early and liked to spend time with the kids.

Their married life was routine and generally peaceful. I say “generally” because there were some bumps on the road that they had to deal with. It was those moments when they had their fights that truly disturbed Jimmy. When they were courting, things went along very smoothly. They had their squabbles, but nothing very serious. Things were different now. Both of them had advanced in their careers and lived under constant stress and tension. They brought their problems in the office to the house and they would increasingly find themselves into some serious encounters over the children, finances, etc.

Jimmy took more time to recover from these unpleasant encounters. He found it difficult to handle Rose’s temper which had grown more explosive over time. When they argued and Rose would let loose a verbal broadside, it hurt him deeply. More deeply than the argument warranted. It’s just that he sometimes wondered how she could hurt him so and still insist that she loved him deeply.

When we get hurt by the ones we love and those who profess to love us, the pain is always greater than if it comes from a stranger or an avowed enemy. Perhaps it is because we expect the loved one to be gentle in his criticism. If he must hurt, efforts should be made to minimize the pain. We expect special treatment from the beloved. If we must be confronted, then it should be a gentle confrontation.

We expect a greater level of sensitivity from someone who insists he cares. We expect anger to be more controlled, the words to be less cutting, more carefully chosen to avoid inflicting unnecessary pain even as the point is made.

Very often we who love are tougher on our loved ones than on the enemy. Perhaps it is because we believe the loved one can tolerate our excesses more readily and be more forgiving than the enemy. This is why we treat the beloved more roughly than he or she deserves.

There is more verbal abuse that is inflicted on our loved ones than anyone imagines. It should not be that way, but, sadly, it does happen all too often. It isn’t fair and it isn’t loving behavior. And every effort must be made to do away with this kind of unloving behavior.


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