I love pain. No, I'm not a sadist. But I am a realist. I love pain because it is the greatest indicator that something is wrong with our body. Don't believe me? I dare you to let a tooth become infected and develop an access; allow a splinter to remain in your finger for more than a day; stub your toe or hit your elbow's funny bone. Now do you understand why I love pain?
Well, pain in a relationship is also the greatest indicator that something is wrong with our relationship.
Pain forces us (or should force us) to take a good, serious and hard look at a love relationship, job, circumstance or situation in which we find ourselves experiencing the pain. Unfortunately, we can become accustomed to pain.
A little nagging pain in the knees can eventually lead to knee replacement surgery. A little nagging pain in the eyes can lead us to seek corrective lenses. A little nagging pain in our body can lead to successful corrective action for the body. Or, a little nagging pain can lead to serious illness and even death, particularly if it is ignored for long enough.
A little nagging pain reflected as an intuitive urge may be telling you that the reason your husband is working late every night of the week for months on end is not to get ahead in his career. His head may be on another woman's pillow.
A little nagging pain reflected as an intuitive urge may be telling you that the reason your wife is talking incessantly about a male co-worker is because she has developed more than just a co-worker relationship with him.
Severe pain inflicted by a partner's physical or verbal abuse should not be ignored or explained away. No, you do not deserve this treatment. No, there is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong but it sure isn't with you! Yes, it is normal to expect to be treated with respect. Yes it is normal to expect your husband to come home at night. Yes it is normal to expect your wife to compliment you on a job well done after you've completed a household project. The list of what is normal is endless and often ignored or swept aside.
Regardless of a pain's level of intensity, do not ignore pain.
In my recently published relationship memoir, "Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces", I share that pain is really a gift and we should view pain as a treasured friend. If it hurts (physically, mentally or emotionally), it is not love. Remember, pain is a sign that something isn't right. Make friends with pain-it will never steer you wrong.
Carmin Wharton, The Relationship Teacher