“He came up and started talking to me about how I was too sensitive for what he said. I told him that I was just telling him because it hurt my feelings.
“He got mad and walked away from me. ”
If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, don’t worry! Below, we have compiled a list of 9 tips on how you can respond on a marriage issue like this.
1) Don’t tolerate this kind of attitude
Marriage is supposed to be a partnership – not a dictatorship.
Your husband needs to learn that he can’t just dismiss what you feel by getting angry every time you talk to him. This will make you live a life like you’re walking on eggshells, constantly trying to avoid what could upset him.
So stand up for yourself! If you don’t, he will think he can treat you however he wants and because of his temper, you’ll be too scared to do anything about it.
Take this as an opportunity to show him that you won’t let him get away with treating you badly.
You can compromise, but don’t be a pushover.
2) Stay calm and stick to the facts
If you find yourself in this situation, your first instinct is probably going to be anger.
You will want to scream at your husband and tell him how much he hurt you. But before you do that, stop and think about what he said or did that made you upset. What was it exactly? In what way did it hurt your feelings?
The most important thing here is not to exaggerate.
A study shows that better communication is associated and consistent with the idea of higher levels of satisfaction in marriages, thus, more satisfied spouses showed more positive, less negative, and more effective communication.
Issues in marital life will always be present, and it is essential that you are able to handle them in a calm manner, so as to maintain a happy marriage.
If there are moments when your husband has hurt your feelings, try to stay calm and talk through it in a quiet space, away from distractions.
As you try to explain your point, avoid using any aggressive or attacking language. Instead, try to explain your feelings with a calm voice and avoid using words that might agitate your husband even more, such as nasty words or the “you” word.
3) Focus on the problem, not on your spouse
This is often a difficult step for most people. It’s almost like the instinct you have is to defend yourself.
The problem is someone hurt our feelings, so it’s okay to get angry.
Right? Wrong. If you allow your husband to be right when he thinks he has hurt your feelings, and you scream at him or reprimand him, it will encourage him to do it again. The other way around is, you should focus on the issue at hand, not your husband.
Try to make him understand that his words or actions caused you pain. Tell him how it made you feel, and why it wasn’t right. Try to be clear and specific so that he understands what the problem was.
You will also want to tell him how he can go about fixing it in the future so that it doesn’t happen again.
In addressing the issue of being too sensitive, try to think about how your husband tries to express hurtful words. He may have intended on being playful and funny, but you felt otherwise and got offended.
The conflict should be addressed in terms of what was said, not on how it was told.
4) Ask questions
The next step is to ask questions. Questions are really effective as they will get your husband talking, and get his thoughts out of his head.
Ask him how he felt when he said the hurtful words or took the action that made you feel hurt. Ask him why he did it and what he was trying to achieve.
Let your questions be like:
- “Did you know what you said hurt my feelings?”
- “Why did you do this?”
- “What was your objective?”
- “Did you know it would hurt me?”
- “How do you feel now that I am hurt?”
- “Is there anything I can do to help so that this doesn’t happen again?”
Now you’re talking about his intentions and what was going on in his mind when he did it, not just what happened.
Questions are a great way to help your husband understand why something hurt your feelings, and how to do better next time so that it doesn’t happen again. The questions can be anything that might help you understand what your husband was feeling and thinking, and how to deal with the issue.
And lastly, don’t forget to share your own thoughts and feelings. Tell him about what he did and how it made you feel.
5) Empathize with his feelings
Coming from this perspective will help you understand your husband well. It will also help him to accept that his actions hurt your feelings, and hopefully help the problem to be resolved.
This is the key to dealing with conflict in a healthy manner. If you can find a way to empathize with your husband’s feelings and voice, you can help him to learn how he can improve so that it doesn’t happen again.
Let him open up to you and listen to what he says. This will help him to realize how you feel, and from there, he will be more willing to talk through the problem.
When we empathize with a loved one’s feelings, we are more willing to empathize with their actions. We also recognize that they could be right because we understand their mind and feelings as well as we do.
Empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s point of view, or to view the events in someone else’s life as if they were happening to us.
This helps us because we are then more willing to understand their intentions and take responsibility for our actions.
6) Give him time
Give your husband enough time to sort things out. If he has done something wrong, give him the time to think about it and reflect on how he can handle his words or actions next time.
There’s no way he can do this overnight, or even for a few days. Of course, you can talk to him in the meantime to help him, but don’t pressure him into dealing with it all at once.
Give him a chance to show you that he can improve, and that he is sorry. If he says sorry in a genuine way, try to forgive him and move forward without holding on to the hurt.
With time, your husband will realize that the way he did something before was wrong and he will know how to avoid it next time.
7) Be honest with your feelings
Not everyone handles conflict well. Some people just get very hot under the collar and can’t control themselves when they are angry.
Some people do the reverse of this, and withhold their emotions. They simply bottle their feelings up inside until they explode and lash out at someone else in a dramatic way.
This is a step that most people avoid because they don’t want to hurt their partners. But you need to be honest with your feelings… your husband needs to understand what went wrong and why it was wrong.
Even if your husband feels bad about what he said, it doesn’t guarantee that he will change. If he wants to be a better partner, then he needs to hear what you’re saying so that he can reflect on his actions and try to correct them.
A relationship, especially marriage, is a two-way street, so talking about it out in the open is much better than stuffing it all away somewhere.
8) Fix your part too
As much as possible, it is best to fix your own part first before blaming it on another person, in order to avoid any unnecessary conflict between the two. We can’t always control what other people do, but we can change our own actions so that we don’t get hurt.
We need to realize that if we don’t feel strong enough to deal with conflict in a healthy way, then there are probably some things that we need to work on in order to make ourselves more capable of handling conflict with our partner.
If you can see your part in the problem, you can work on it in order to reduce the conflict between you and your partner.
Overcoming the challenge of being too sensitive takes time and effort. It involves dealing with all of your negative reactions, and learning to manage the situation and come out stronger.
9) Watch the fallout
You will want to monitor the situation so that you can see how things are going. If things are going well in your relationship, then you’re doing something right.
However, if your husband is still not able to talk some sense into himself or solve problems, you may want to reconsider – if he is still stubborn and doesn’t seem like he means what he says, or is his usual self after a few days, then it might be time to reconsider things between the two of you.
You may notice that your husband may have a hard time talking about it and understanding why he hurt your feelings. He may simply just not fully understand.
The key is to keep communicating about it and keep working through things together. The trust will grow if you work through the issues together. This is how your relationship can grow deeper and become much more meaningful.
We all have a tendency to blame our partner for the way that we are feeling, but it’s important to realize that our problems start with us, and we should be working on resolving those issues, too.
We also need to understand that when we’re upset about something, our spouse may not always mean what we take as offensive to us.
This doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care about you, but rather is still feeling out the situation and trying to work out what is right and wrong.
Finally, we have to be willing to apologize for our own actions, and then we will be able to move on from there and forgive the situation.
Words can hurt, but your actions can heal. Take this into account in your emotional health and give yourself the best chance of working it all out.
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If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
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