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They claim that the awful things he says and does brings out the worst in them, pushing them into behaving in ways they can hardly understand.
They are quick to tell me that they never openly fight back, never have blazing rows. But then come the confessions, all too often a litany of acts of passive aggression: snide comments, spending money they can’t afford from joint funds, or deliberately turning up late to events that are important to him out of spite.
Women - Role - Marriage - Peacekeeper - Reality
These women honestly believe that, because they never scream and shout, their role in the marriage is that of peacekeeper. In reality, their actions demonstrate that they are anything but.
That’s not to say their husbands are faultless. Almost always, this unreasonableness is playing out in a relationship where the husband repeatedly says and does things that deeply upset his wife. While she sees her silence as a way of keeping the peace, it is actually making matters worse.
Feelings - Words - Actions - Provoke - Form
Just because the feelings his words or actions provoke haven’t been voiced doesn’t mean they simply disappear. Instead they snowball underground, resurfacing in the form of bitterness and resentment that spills out in other ways. So the relationship ends up in a far worse place than if she’d expressed her feelings at the time.
Which is why I believe in couples having a good old-fashioned row once in a while. Of course, I’m not suggesting they scream and shout at each other until one person’s righteous indignation drowns out the other.
Rows - Control - Point - Grievances - Solutions
Nor would I condone endless rows that are more about fighting for control and petty point scoring than tackling justified grievances and searching for solutions.
And there is no place for confrontations that are physical, nasty or personal, with one party bullied by the other.
Kind - Conflicts
Those are the kind of conflicts that will have you heading...
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