Why I keep hurting my spouse?

I keep hurting my spouse ever since we met and now after marriage by being half committed in our relationship, she doesn’t deserve to be treated like this and I even told her last week that I want a divorce and flew to a different country now I regret saying that and I’m sick of this happening once in every 3 months, I don’t know why I treat her like this she’s an amazing woman and she doesn’t want to give up on me
Asked by Mike

It's You

If what you say is true, then it's you. If you can't sustain in the relationship, there's something that you need to work on to get to where you can be a good spouse or just let her go completely. You can't sit in something that you need to sit in and feel you need to react. Why you do this could be helpful. Why you can't sit in a discontent state is most likely what you could focus on here. 

Your response to something your spouse does or your response to work or stress that you project onto her is the problem. The question is, what do you believe that you cannot tolerate leads to your response of hurting her, or in this case wanting a divorce and leaving the country? What happens when you feel an emotion where your solution is something that hurts her? What do you push a good thing away for if you say is accurate and you don't believe that she deserves this hurt? Is this all self-sabotage? 

What you'll need to do to be able to improve in these situations is to learn the skill of distress tolerance. The issue here isn't as complex as our mind makes it out to be. In actuality, you experience an intense emotion, have thoughts that exist, and are driven by beliefs that get your attention and cause you to react. You are responding to your perception of events and cannot allow the events or emotions pass by. Imagine it, you are in a discussion with your spouse, and they say something that triggers a feeling; you start having thoughts (which can be reminders of the past in some way), and instead of trying to push them away, self-destruct or some other faulty coping skill resulting in hurting her, you let the emotions, thoughts, pass. Imagine you take a step back and notice what is happening, the pain, the attention-grabbing response of your mind being activated. If you can fathom this, then you can do it. You have the ability to let the emotions pass (because they always pass) and to become something greater at the moment, and that is to improve in your tolerance. 

Much of therapy focuses on the why of a reaction. For instance, your mind says that she said something and that this thing made you feel a certain way. However, you are actually being triggered when she says something. You are being reminded and then brought back to some vulnerable state, possibly childhood, depending on the information that you react from. You aren't reacting to the moment but reacting to what you perceive the moment to be. If you are being brought back to that state where you had to react to survive or push her away because you don't believe you deserve good things, then your reaction makes sense. You have to start tolerating the distress first but then do the work on identifying what led you to such an emotional reaction that hurt both you and her and is something you regret later. 

You don't have to listen to your mind when it says to react. You can let the thoughts pass and stay in the moment. You can be angry and hurt and be calm. You can be in a marriage and still disagree. You can experience hurt as well as tolerate that. You have to start challenging the belief that when you feel something, you have to react. You don't. From what I said here, you can start to separate from these thoughts and being to improve the relationship by growing instead of running. 

  1. Notice thoughts. 
  2. Allow thoughts to exist (don't fight or deny them) 
  3. Sit with them (taking a step back from the moment to notice it)
  4. Explain what your thoughts are (improve in the act of articulation)