If someone pokes at your arm, and it doesn’t hurt, it’s because there’s no reason for it to hurt. Duh.
But, if you have a huge, infected gash on your arm, and someone pokes at it, that’s going to hurt like a son of a bitch. Or, if they move towards your arm with a knife, you’re going to react too (obviously), in anticipation of damage and pain.
It’s the same thing for your heart.
In a relationship, if your partner says something, and you get really angry/sad/offended/jealous/insecure, it’s because A) you perceive a knife coming towards you, or they’re poking at a wound that’s already there.
So when you get upset, it’s your job to understand what that wound (or anticipated wound) is, and communicate that to your partner.
For example, a partner and I were sitting naked on the couch after a little sexy romp. Luckily for me, all the fat on my body pools right around my belly when I sit down, and she reached over with a smile and grabbed it.
I don’t have any real insecurities around my body in that way, so although I was a little like “what are you doing?” I also laughed and started to poke at her. (I still didn’t appreciate the gut grab btw, but it didn’t affect my self-esteem).
If, however, I was really insecure about my body, that would have been incredibly offensive/hurtful.
My response shouldn't be “never touch my gut again you insensitive bitch!”
Yes, I can ask my partner to not poke at what hurts.
Is it me? Or is it them?
The path I take, however, is I make that request to my partner, while I also work on healing that insecurity/wound so it doesn't become a problem.
Here’s another example. If I’m dating someone, and when we’re out, she’s talking to other men and having a good time (while I’m also talking to other people), but I start to get really jealous or feel insecure, that’s a big signal.
I’m perceiving a big knife coming at me. The knife being abandonment/infidelity/embarrassment.
It’s unreasonable to ask my partner to never speak to another man. It’s unreasonable for me to ask her to never laugh and have a good time with people. It’s unreasonable to ask her to never feel attraction for another person.
So this is why I recommend getting a sturdy guard rail in your apartment and chaining your partner to your bed so that they can never leave, and you never have to make unreasonable requests. And then we can be together forever, and ever, and ever. I always wanted my own little bunny rabbit. I will hug you, and pet you, and kiss you, and love you, and squeeze you. #problemsolved
All joking aside (you can still tie up your partner to the bed…just…let them go at some point), it’s up to me to understand this perceived threat.
It’s up to me to tell my partner. It’s up to me to work on the fear I have that she might leave. It’s up to me to work on the fear that I’m not good enough and that she’s going to find a better man.
It’s up to me to be such a sexy, badass, amazing partner, that she doesn’t want to leave. It’s up to me to ask for some extra lovin’ when I’m feeling scared.
If you, or your partner, are constantly angry, hurt, sad or scared in your relationship, then I don’t care how good the sex is, it’s time to go for some counselling/therapy/coaching.
Otherwise you’re just going to be bleeding all over each other.
And blood isn't exactly the best lubricant.....