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What Do You Do, When You Hurt The One You Love?

I’ve been cooking for my boyfriend, because it’s important to him.  But, it hasn’t been without a bit of pain — actual pain.  I don’t always pay attention to what I’m doing, so sometimes I cut or burn myself.  But, it’s usually not a big deal. 

Well, the other night, it was my boyfriend that got burned instead of me. 

He went to help me move an oven rack.  But, before he did, he asked if the oven was off.  I thought it was and said, “yes.”  But, it wasn’t.  He grabbed the rack with his hand and got burned — badly. 

He actually felt it “sizzle.”

IT WAS AWFUL.

After we had his hand in ice water and he was over the shock of it; the hard part was dealing with the fact that I had really hurt him. 

He let me “doctor” him and do other things to make him more comfortable (like fixing him a snack and letting him surf the T.V. channels at full volume :).

And, I really appreciated it, A LOT.  I felt so bad and helpless to make him feel better, that I was happy to do anything to make it up to him. 

And, even though he was hurting, he didn’t make me suffer any more than I had to.  He let me make-up and make-it-up to him as much as I could.

And that’s a good sign. None of us are perfect.  And sometimes we’re gonna hurt each other, even when we don’t mean to.  (That doesn’t mean we ignore unacceptable behavior or we let someone hurt us repeatedly.) 

But, it’s a sign of a good relationship, if your partner accepts your attempts to reconnect after there’s been a “break” in the relationship*. 

In other words, they let you make-up, without torturing you about it. 

So, once again, I’d like to hear from you.

How do and your partner reconnect, after you hurt each other?

p.s.  *To read more about this, check out John Gottman’s book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail. 

p.p.s.  The next day he was fine.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • So embarrassed

    Let’s see,
    I have been dating this guy who is great. I love his family and I get really comfortable around them. This past weekend we went to his sister's house to celebrate his nephew's birthday (this is his first time bringing a girl to an event) everything went great!!!! Till the last night… Being Latina we drink and the tequila was brought out. My thought was two drinks and I am done. However, I had been dieting all week and the two drinks hit me so hard. I don’t remember most of the night.
    He said I had a “loose tongue” and I was off to bed. I am “in the dog house” he is so upset and not returning my phone calls, I am so embarrassed. What to do???

  • Vondie,
    I appreciate your candidness =) and glad to see that you were forgiven! I (accidentally) scratched my boyfriend’s car last month and he showed his frustration. But I have recently learned that his first response is not usually his real response…often a day or two, or three, later his thinking becomes more balanced. This has helped me not to react to his first response, but give him time to go away and think about it. He has not brought up the incident again. Of course, I offered to help him fix it, but at this point it is no longer that important to him. =)

  • Vondie

    Wow, I’m starting to feel much better! Thanks for sharing.
    Vondie :)
    p.s.
    in response to “so embarassed,” I feel your pain… but, I think you can just explain about the dieting and not realizing it was gonna hit you so hard. But, of course you can only do that, if he’s willing to listen.

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