In my current relationship, there are a lot of issues stemming from my past marriage, issues that cause my wife insecure feelings and feelings of being ‘the second one’. About a year ago I referred to our cat by the wrong name — calling it the name of my ex wife’s cat. This hurt my wife, because to her it felt like the cat, and she herself, was interchangeable. I heard that it hurt her, and told her I would be careful not to do it again. The other day, a year later, I did it again. She is hurt all over again, and I don’t know what to say except apologize and reassure her it was a meaningless language slip, but to her it means more. I want to be able to ‘promise’ I won’t do it again, because I know how important it is that I don’t, but I did not mean to before. Are the any useful strategies or tools to make sure my brain does not make this error again? Any ideas or tips would be very helpful. (From Canada)How Can I Make Sure I Do Not Accidentally Say the Wrong Name?
How Can I Make Sure I Do Not Accidentally Say the Wrong Name?
This problem isn’t yours alone to manage. This is something I’d talk to your wife about — helping her to understand both of you need to learn to cope with her reaction. You by doing everything you can to prevent it, and her by doing what needs to be done not to overreact. The fact that she gets upset and that it puts you in the position of having to manage her well-being. Talking about it before it’s an issue will help both of you managed better. She will need to recognize that you calling a cat by the wrong name isn’t a catastrophe. You work is to realize how difficult this is for her to do and to do all you can not to activate her. If this is too difficult to discuss on your own you may want to seek couples counseling.