Why is it so hard to coach ourselves about husband challenges? Well, it’s our most intimate relationship. We are the most vulnerable with our husbands and so we are able to be deeply hurt by what they say.
Sterling shares a five-step process for what to do when your husband hurts your feelings. We certainly won’t get it right every time but it helps to know what steps we can take to feel less pain when we’re having conversations with our most loved person in the world.


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Click Here for a full transcript of the show.

Hi, and welcome to the Made for Greatness Podcast. I’m your host Sterling Jaquith, and today on episode 55, we’re going to be talking about what to do when your husband hurts your feelings. And I’m going to give you five steps to go through. And I want you to know that you could go through this process if anyone hurt your feelings, but it does feel different when your husband hurts your feelings. There’s something about that relationship that we are so close with them. We’re so vulnerable with them. We open ourselves up to trusting them, but then of course, when they hurt our feelings, it hurts so much more because of that. And I don’t want you to beat yourself up about that. I think a lot of times we’re kind of confused. Like, gosh, why can’t I just get over this? Or why did that hurt so much?

Or we think my friends don’t hurt my feelings like that as if something’s wrong with the husband, but really it’s just the nature of the relationship, right? We don’t sleep with our friends. We don’t tell them everything about ourselves. We don’t see them day in and day out. And that’s, what’s beautiful about the marriage relationship, the intimacy that we have emotionally and physically, but it does just make us so much more vulnerable to pain and to having our feelings hurt. So the perfect life coaching commentary on having your feelings hurt is that your thoughts create your feelings. So husbands never hurt your feelings. It’s just your thought about the words that he said that hurts your feelings. But I would never say that to a client, right? Like if a client came to me and said, oh my goodness, my husband did this thing. And it was so awful.

And he just, he really hurt my feelings. That’s not the moment to say, well, actually, it’s your thoughts that create your feelings. So it was just your thinking that hurt your feelings. That would be dismissive and unkind. And it isn’t the right moment. And even as a coach, knowing I still have hurt feelings over things that I talk about with my husband. And I know that it’s my thinking, but it doesn’t change them at the moment. It feels like he has hurt my feelings. And so I’m going to give you the steps to go through. When you think here are my feelings, right? I’m not going to give you the steps to manage your thinking, to get to that perfect place where we’re all completely all knowing beings. And we can understand, oh, it was just my thinking that caused her feelings in my body because most of us are not ready for that. And certainly our marriage relationship is the most difficult one to get there on to really process. He didn’t hurt my feelings. And I want you to know that it is a good thing. It is a good thing that you love him so much. You want him to want you, you want his approval. You want him to like you, you want him to love you.

Those are good things. And that is why you feel so exposed and vulnerable and why his words can feel so cutting and sharp. It is because of love. And most likely his words that are cutting and sharp, or if he’s being defensive or whatever he’s saying is because he loves you because he’s scared because he feels unwanted or rejected or also unliked and he’s lashing out, or he’s trying to grab onto you. Oftentimes when we’re scared, we do the exact opposite of what we should be doing in order to create trust and connection. And so we’re both doing that, but just know that it is coming from love. It is coming from this desire to know each other and to be attached and to continue the relationship.

So let’s dive into the five steps when your husband hurts your feelings, okay, you’re standing together. He says some words and you’re like, oh, that’s terrible. Hurts your feet. You feel it in your body, you feel like punched in your stomach or the air gets sucked out of your chest. And this can happen over a small thing like him saying, why did you load the dishwasher wrong? Or it can be a big thing where he says, I just feel like you love the kids way more than you love me. And you don’t pay attention to me.

The first step is just noticing that you are hurt. One thing we say now is noticing that you are triggered, right? That you are in a fight or flight situation. Just noticing that whoa, body, whoa, brain. I see that we are really upset right now that really hurt our feelings. Right? So step one is just noticing that if you can tell yourself in your brain where the pain is in your body, that brings a deeper level of awareness. And it also puts you in the Watcher’s position. So instead of just feeling all these things as if you have no control over it, as soon as you kind of flow outside of yourself and you start talking to yourself, you’ll be a little detached. And that’s a good thing because then the pain won’t feel as strong and like it’s driving your behavior. So what that would look like is you would in your brain be thinking, oh, honey, that really hurt your feelings or our feelings. However, you want to talk to yourself and you are just feeling sick in your stomach right now. It just feels like there’s a knot down there. And that really hurt our feelings, but it will be less powerful as you’re talking to yourself, noticing how you’re feeling and describing it. And where is it in your body? Step. Number two is to comfort yourself. I love you. You are safe. I am with you. You’re going to be okay.

You know, that was very hurtful, right? Whatever you would say to a friend or a little girl, right? We’re going to comfort herself is step number two, right? Just give yourself a hug in your mind. If you can maybe touch your arm, you know, touch your skin. Step number three is to, is to set. Number two is to comfort yourself. Step number three is to try to calm down, not with pressure. We’re not like, Hey, you seem really upset. You should calm down right now. Nobody likes that. Nobody wants to be told to calm down.

So instead you can just tell yourself, how can we calm down a little bit? Do we need to go outside? Do we need to drink some water? Should we go listen to music? Should we go pray like a two to five minute thing to calm down? And you might need to communicate this to your husband. Hey honey. I’m just feeling really upset right now. And I think I’m going to say things I don’t want to say. Can we just take a time out for two to five minutes? I’m not leaving you. I want to talk about this. I want to connect with you, but I’m just, I’m really upset. And I would just like to go drink some water or have some fresh air on my face. Can we come back together in five minutes? Right? You want to tell him what’s going on so that you, so that he doesn’t feel abandoned?

You know, especially for those of you that have husbands who have abandonment stories in their past, either from their parents or previous relationships, some of your husband’s like freak out when you want to walk away in the middle of a conversation and it’s really scary for them. And so you can just help him by saying, I love you. I’m not leaving you. I want to keep having this conversation. I just need to calm down a little bit. He still may be upset. We can’t control that, but you can communicate clearly what it is that you’re asking for what your needs are. So step number three is to calm down when you are calm and you have to actually be calm. You have to, to have lost those fight or flight feelings in your body. You’ve heard the desire to lash out and be defensive or to run away.

 You want to check in with your body and see, am I still feeling kind of one of those things or have I really calmed down? If you’re calmed down, then you should be able to access your prefrontal cortex, your complex thinking brain. And then you can remind yourself how much you love him. That you know, that he loves you, that you are committed to being married and that God is with you. Those things are true. You love him. He loves you, even if he looks ridiculous. What I mean by that is even if he’s acting angry and barky and loud, that guy loves you.

 And that you’re committed to the marriage. Commitment is so important. The commitment piece is why we are willing to be uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable to go back to that conversation and work it out. It is uncomfortable to be honest with ourselves about our flaws and the ways that we can grow. It is uncomfortable to apologize and ask for forgiveness. And if you’re going to ask your brain to do those uncomfortable things, you’ve got to remind it why we are committed to this marriage. And one of your reasons might be, Hey, we’re Catholic. And we made a vow and this is a sacrament. And that’s why I’m committed to the marriage. One of your reasons, maybe, you know what? We’ve got these kids. I want to set a good example for them. I’m committed to the marriage. And one of them, maybe I love this guy and I don’t want to be with anyone else.

 So I’m committed to the marriage. You may have many reasons for your commitment, remind yourself about them and remind yourself that it is okay to go through periods or seasons where you really don’t like that guy. And you probably do like some things. So I would challenge you to, to think of the things that you do like, um, but loving someone is an act of service. We don’t have to feel friendly towards them all the time. You can love him by just staying, being committed to the marriage and looking for your own work. Your work might be to speak with more kindness.

 It might be to compliment him more. It might be to comfort yourself when he’s going through a rough time and saying things to you that he probably doesn’t mean. But step four is really about anchoring yourself to your love for him, his love for you and your commitment to the marriage. And then also the God is with you. I think in moments of pain in our marriage, we feel left by God. Where are you? Where is the soccer, mental grace? I thought it would feel good, but he is with you. And he picked this man for you.

 Marriage is a crucible where we both get melted down and we are created into a new form, our sainthood form, but the melting down part, you guys extremely painful, but it is a good and a beautiful thing. It is a holy thing to be reformed to becoming one. And both of us desiring and working towards St. HUD, and then step number five is repairing with your husband. And that is an optional step. You may not be ready for that. Right. There may be a lot of hurts and wounds and maybe some lower teeth trauma, and you’re not ready to come back. You don’t trust him you’re you don’t feel ready. And that’s okay. I would never make someone repair with their husband if they weren’t ready. And if you’re in a really difficult season in your marriage, you’re just going to do steps one through four. Notice that your hurt, comfort yourself, calm down, remind yourself of your love and your commitment.

 But number five, repairing with your husband. If you feel ready for that is where you go back and you say, I’m sorry for how I reacted. Or I said, or the way I said it, sometimes we say things that are reasonable. We just say them in a really Nene and cutting way. And those are the things we are the most scared to apologize for because we meant the words like we want him to know. I don’t like this. Well, we can still apologize for the way we said something while maintaining what we said in the first place, you can affirm your marriage. That’s a big part of repairing. I love you. I know you love me. I know we’re both committed to this marriage. We’re going to work this out. I don’t have the answer right now, but we’re going to keep trying.

 You don’t have to know everything, but just setting the stage of love and commitment. And I see you and I’m here and I’m not going anywhere. I’m trying. That goes a long way. Always remember there is a little boy inside of your husband who is scared and feels unloved. You can only speak to that part of him. I love you. You are a good man. You are a good father. There will always be evidence of those two things. Even if there’s a lot of evidence of him not being a good father, a good husband, find the evidence that there is, and stand up for yourself. Part of repairing is saying, and this is where I’m at, but don’t do that. If you can’t do it with love and kindness and charity, right? That’s why step five is optional because it’s worse to go in and say, but you really should, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is that we’re upset about. And when we get spun up again, don’t do that. If you’re not ready, the repair isn’t necessary until you’re ready.

 All right, ladies, it is a hundred percent sure that when you have hurt feelings, it is because of your thoughts. You’re thinking he doesn’t love me. He doesn’t respect me. He doesn’t like me. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t care as much as I do. He’s hurting the children. A lot of us have that thought. When we see our husbands kind of being barky at the kids, he’s ruining them. He’s crushing their little hearts, right? But those are just thoughts. They may or may not be true. They’re rarely true to the degree that we’re thinking of them.

 But if I was coaching you about your marriage, which is a great deal of what we do inside of our master’s programs and in our one-on-one coaching, a lot of husband things, because the most vulnerable relationship is the one that often cuts the deepest. You can do these five things. You can notice that you are hurt. You can comfort yourself. You can calm down. You can remind yourself of your love for him and his love for you and optionally. Step number five is to do the repair. All right. I hope that’s helpful for you guys. I love you. I’m praying for you. I always pray for Catholic marriages. The devil is trying to attack them. So we must be strong and vigilant and we must be humble. And remember it is very uncomfortable to step into the work and to do the growth that our marriage asks of us, but it is worth it. And God is with you. Thank you so much for listening to the made for greatness podcast. Remember that you were made for greatness.