Yesterday I heard two little kids fighting, one yelling at the other, “You hurt my feelings.”

Little kids are still learning how to negotiate life. So it’s reasonable that they would blame someone else for how they feel.

But for us adults, it’s important that we understand that we are completely in charge of how we respond to what others do and say to us.

So no one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you angry. No one can make you cry (unless they use physical force.) Each of us is responsible for how we react and respond to others.

Part of that responsibility is how to communicate with your husband or boyfriend when they cross the line and treat you with a lack of love or respect.

Sometimes, if you don’t speak up, he doesn’t know that what he did or said upset you. So first, it’s important to communicate what’s going on.

But if you blame or accuse, then communication won’t occur.

Communication only happens when the person you’re speaking to understands what you’re saying. (Learn more here!)

If they are defensive, they’re focused on protecting themselves, and coming up with something to say back. This is commonly referred to as a fight.

So how do you handle this kind of communication?

First, let him know how what he said made you feel. Let him know you take responsibility for how you reacted, but that what he said didn’t feel good. It’s possible that he didn’t know you felt that way.

Be sure you don’t blame or accuse, but ask him how this might be handled in the future.

Together, come up with a loving, playful, or humorous way of letting him know he did or said something that didn’t feel good.

Real love can only happen when you both keep your hearts open to each other. Clear and loving communication will take you a long way toward making sure love grows, instead of drying up.

From Erin at LoveRomanceRelationship: Here is a great review of Kara Oh’s very powerful book: “Please don’t mistake this for the typical Women from Venus Men from Mars sort of thing. This is a deep dive into the psyche of men in a most innocuous way. In other words, a kid could understand it. Applied, this changed my relationship dramatically. When purchased for a friend, she ended up buying it for every woman in her family ranging from age 23 to 55. Even my gay friend found value in it for his spouse.”

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