‘Premeditated Hurting’


I’ve been collecting a lot of great phrases and quotes from my patients lately. The latest is a reference made to something called ‘premeditated hurting.’ This was contrasted with what my patient called ‘accidental hurting.’

Premeditated hurting takes place when someone you love hurts you by design. In other words, he or she has put some thought into it. Premeditated means some kind of planning occurred prior to the hurt, like cheating, betraying or taking advantage of your partner in some devious manner.

Accidental hurting occurs when a person in love hurts or is hurt by the person in love by accident, like when you say something you really didn’t mean or you react because of some past hurts that have not been resolved or you misinterpret what the person you love means when he or she says something to you. The assumption being that you can’t be in a love relationship without getting hurt, accidentally of course.

In a twosome there are too many opportunities to rub each other the wrong way. Because there are two people in a love relationship there will never be 100% agreement. In fact all the energy you would have put into trying to avoid hurt at all costs in your love relationship, should go instead into learning how to heal your hurts if and when they arrive. For example, learning how to talk about your hurt feelings to the person who hurt you is a big step in the right direction.

Too many people practice complaining about the hurt they feel to everybody else instead of learning and practicing the art of telling the one who hurt you. When you get good at (never perfect at) talking about hurt feelings you are setting up the psychological conditions in your mind and heart to better heal the hurts you are feeling.

By the way, premeditated  hurt is always harder (not impossible) to heal. Why? Because in most cases you don’t see it coming. It’s usually sneaky and behind your back. When it happens you go from love to shock a little too abruptly for the system to adjust to so easily. It’s pretty hard on the heart to go from love and trust to shock and hurt in a flash of awareness.

In addition to healing the hurt you’d have to tack on a little time to recover from the emotional shock involved. I think the chronology is you would recover from the shock first then heal your heart after that. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending how you look at it, you also have to make a few decisions regarding your relationship when the hurting is ‘premeditated.’

One big decision is whether or not you are going risk it happening again. Premeditated hurt is a tough hurt to get over. Why would someone who loves me, intentionally with premeditation no less, hurt me? Getting the right answer to this question will probably take a little time and work to get through your mistrust.

Getting trust back after losing it in a love relationship is probably one of the hardest things to do in a love life. A lot of people give up and move on, figuring they’ll never really be able to sleep again if they stay. In some cases, bravery reigns and lovers repair trust for the first time in their relationship. If you are repairing trust more than once, you should check to see if you’re in an abusive love relationship.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan


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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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