Start with that thesis statement.
This is pretty clearly codified in our laws – there’s a hell of a difference between manslaughter and first degree murder, after all.
This goes for relationships as well.
Everyone screws up. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone does things that hurt the person that they’re in a relationship with.
This always…always!… happens.
Maybe it’s something small. Maybe it’s something big. Maybe it’s a lot of small things, or a few big things.
It happens. It will happen.
But there’s a hell of a difference between the person trying to hurt you and the person who is trying to not hurt you.
This is not to take away from your experience of being hurt.
It’s reminiscent of what I said about people with Asperger’s. The people who are trying to hurt you, or who simply don’t care (and believe me, I’ve had experience with them) will deny their role in your pain forever. They will make no effort to treat you better.
The people who did not mean to hurt you will apologize once they understand the pain they’ve caused. They will do what they can to make it right, and to try to keep the situation that hurt you from happening again.
Both types of people hurt you. Both types of people caused you pain.
But one type did not intend the pain.
Don’t treat them the same way.