Monday, April 5, 2010

Hurt People Hurt People

No I didn't hit copy and paste. Though it reads like a riddle, it's the sad truth. Hurt (adjective) people hurt (verb) people. It's one of those things I came across when I was deep in my "why, why, WHY??" stage of healing. (And make no mistake, it is a stage of healing. Though it seems as if you're wallowing in betrayal muck so thick and deep, you'll never get anywhere, you really are getting somewhere...just really, really slowly.)
Hurt people hurt people. And, just like that, I got it.
My husband didn't hurt me because I was 10 pounds heavier than when we first met.
He didn't hurt me because I sometimes interrupted him when he was talking.
He didn't hurt me because I'd become boring in bed. Or I hated the movies he loved. Or I stopped shaving my legs except when other people were going to see them.
Nope. He hurt me because he was hurt. As in wounded. Damaged. A broken man.
And when we accept that truth, it frees us. It lets us off the hook (that we hung ourselves on) for his actions.
I hadn't recognized the extent of his hurt, his brokenness, and frankly didn't really want to. I wanted him to be who I wanted him to be...not who he actually was. I, who had grown up with alcoholic parents and benign neglect, was sick of taking care of everyone else. I wanted someone to take care of me. And though my husband tried over the years to get me to really see him, I didn't want to. I wanted strong. Capable. Infallible.
Not him. But the him I thought I could wish him into being.
And so he gave me that...except when he couldn't, which was much of the time. And those times he lied to me so I wouldn't see that he wasn't that person.
Hurt people hurt people.
Ain't it the truth.


  1. Very true. My husband reacted to threats to his career/his self worth by hurting me. I had put him on a pedestal with my very high standards. Instead of coming to me with what he perceived as failure he decided to DESTROY us. To destroy US he chose to cheat because he knew another way I would have fought to "fix it" like I always want to do. I guess, that is why I still hold onto our marriage, I feel like he didn't see in me the opportunity for a refuge just judgement. I want to show him the love that he didn't know I had within me for him. It makes me sad to think how alone he felt. That turned into selfish lust for another. And then how put that loneliness onto me, to punish me, and to destroy us for him to runaway from the pain. I am committed to finding that healing from the hurt to come out the other side stronger yet more open. Scary.

    1. Flaca,
      I really think it's wonderful that you're so open to seeing your husband's pain and subsequent response to trying to alleviate his pain. But...I wonder if you're taking on too much responsibility for his choice. While you might be incredibly demanding in your principles, had he been healthy himself (and had healthy boundaries), he could have responded by simply shrugging his shoulders and thinking to himself, "well, if SHE wants to push herself to the edge, that's her choice; I'm going to relax...) Instead, he bought into what he perceived as your need for him to be perfect, then hurt YOU for the story he was telling himself. What I'm saying is, you two were the perfect storm...but HE has to take responsibility for how he handled it. I wonder if your overachieving, ultra-controlling (I can recognize in you what I have in myself) self is taking on more of his stuff than you should. I know that I tended to want to take on more...with the belief that if I caused it, I can change it. Sometimes we have to let other people own their shit, to use the vernacular. :)
      If I'm off base, by all means let me know. Just a hunch...


  2. I have read this before and in re-reading it I see and hear EXACTLY what you are saying. We are 15 months out and I read this today with different eyes than ...hell, a month ago! I have told myself that this was HIS choice...bla bla but letting go of the sadness is taking me the "longest"...I am reacting to the "being hurt" by his choice. I do "hear" the anger in Flaca and understand it. I also hear your compassion Elle in your response to her. All of us on this site have been hurt in a way we never thought possible. My husband told me that he fell in this hole and I threw him a rope...I have told him on many times...yea well I think at times I fell into that hole with you and now we are BOTH climbing out ...I used to think who is going to throw ME a rope...and I realize I am climbing out one step at a time...I know I will survive this and maybe after I have climbed out of this hole I will see that I had secured that rope BEFORE I threw it in!
    Thanks again for this site...I will add my " it feels soo nice to know I am not alone in this"



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