If your partner keeps doing that thing that they know hurts your feelings, it can be hard to hear “I didn’t mean it” again and again. Cue 2001 Degrassi Craig and Ashley. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, How many times do I have to say it? Maybe they always forget to call when they get off work, or they keep forgetting to introduce you when you’re both at a party. When it keeps happening, it can be hard to tell if it really is an accident.
“Partners can absolutely hurt repeatedly on accident. Whether it’s criticism that is coming from a place of good intentions but poor delivery, partners can repeatedly engage in behaviors that hurt even when they are not trying to,” Klapow says. “This is why it is imperative that you communicate about the particular actions hurting you. The longer you don’t address it, the more the pattern can become ingrained.”
The best way to handle an “ouch” moment is by expressing when you’re in pain, and explaining why it hurts. Your boo continuing to hurt your feelings doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily trying to be painful. Try speaking to them in different ways about how you’re feeling. They could think you’re kidding and are not truly upset, or they could be fuzzy on what they’re doing wrong, and unsure how to fix it. The best way to ensure good feelings all around is to open lines of communication and try to be as specific as possible.
From a joke gone bad to forgetting to pick you up at the train station, there are a lot of reasons why your partner might have accidentally made you sad. If you’re feeling bummed, talk to your boo about how what you’re thinking. If you’re noticing a pattern in ouchie behavior, it may be time to set some clear boundaries and #relationshipgoals to work on. Everyone makes mistakes, and with a little communication and care, you can work through these problems. But if the pain continues, know that it’s OK to walk away from a relationship that no longer serves you — because you deserve the best.