When everything goes wrong in your life, you know who to blame.
It’s him. ?
If he had been more supportive when you came home and told him about the problem you were having at work, you wouldn’t have been so upset. You’d probably be having a nice evening right now.
But he just grunted, “Uh huh, so what else is new?” No wonder you’re locked in the bedroom sobbing your eyes out. It’s all because of him.
If he were more responsible, you wouldn’t be hopping on one leg grasping your foot in agony. The only reason you stepped on that sharp remote was because he never helps around the house.
You have half a mind to tell him to take his mess and find another mother to pick up after him. If your foot swells and you can’t wear your favorite heels tomorrow, you know who to blame.
Coming to that conclusion makes you feel better.
There’s something perversely comforting about realizing your partner is responsible for all the problems in your life.
The world is full of irritations you can’t control. But as long as you can see your partner’s face on every one, you can maintain the illusion that yelling at him accomplishes something.
It’s remarkable. The people we profess to love the most get the brunt of our anger.
It’s a backhanded gift. By letting down our guard and displaying our more unpleasant emotions freely, we show our partners how much trust we have in them. We know they won’t leave us.
That’s not the case with strangers and people we don’t know well. Away from home, we keep up a façade of politeness. We self-censor and stick to socially acceptable emotions.
You might even say that the people who make you maddest are the ones you love the most. You probably learned it from a very young age.
Did you grow up watching your parents shout at each other or shout at you?
If so, then it would feel normal to see people in love getting angry with one another. You’re not supposed to get angry in public, but in private anything goes.
Every mother knows that a child’s worst behavior is reserved for her. That’s because a child trusts his mother enough to express his emotions freely. He feels safe with her. He knows she will love him even when he’s throwing himself to the floor, kicking and screaming.
Many of our worst outbursts in relationships resemble a child’s temper tantrums more than the mature, rational outrage of an adult.
The reason a child claims to be upset is rarely the real reason. Being tired, hungry, or overstimulated causes more temper tantrums than being faced with a sandwich with the crusts on.
Similarly, the reasons we think we’re angry at our partners are not always the real reasons.
Sometimes, you might just need to have a good cry, and any excuse will do. Sometimes, the remote control on the floor is just a symbol of the mess you feel your life has become.
Wise men understand that their feminine partners’ emotions are like storm systems. If you just wait them out, they’ll pass.
But many men feel offended and afraid by their partners’ outbursts. Not all men are comfortable with female emotions. They were raised to believe that all expressions of emotion demonstrate a lack of self-control. Some even express contempt at their partners’ tears or dismiss it as an attempt at manipulation.
A man’s ability to deal with feminine emotion, and a woman’s ability to express her emotions appropriately, can cause a great deal of problems in relationships.
She allows herself to give into her emotions in front of him, hoping for support. Instead, he gets overwhelmed by the intensity of her feelings. He shuts down or feels blamed.
So break the pattern. Do something different the next time you’re upset.
If your partner has no idea what to do, tell him. Be clear about exactly what you want from him. Do you want him to cuddle you, to listen and keep his mouth shut, or to go away and leave you alone? Let him know how to support you.
If something he’s done has made you upset, try to dig a little deeper. Did his behavior really merit your reaction, or was it just the straw that broke the camel’s bake? If it was the latter, can you communicate to him a little more about what’s going on for you?
Healthy relationship should be places where we can get our emotional needs met. But we have to learn ways to do that without triggering our partners’ defenses.
Not everything is his fault. If you’re honest, you would exchange blaming him for feeling supported by him in a heartbeat.
So ask for that support. Help him help you.
I think a woman can receive more love and commitment if she behaves like an adult emotionally. My husband is European and expects a wife to be his equal but not to pile all her problems into him. If it is a real problem like illness, he is there 100% but he can’t stand whingeing or complaining. We have respect and love for one another’s feelings. We comfort each other when there is any problem but always respect is there between us. There is harmony in our home.
I thoroughly enjoyed this. Being upfront with honest words is the precise way that two adults should conduct conflict resolution. Sadly, many cultural norms promote and perpetuate the notion that it’s ok to remain an emotionally under developed teen. That’s not Ok. The entire responsibility for self discipline should not solely fall on the masculine counterpart. Emotions have a place, but are safest when tempered with honest thoughtful words. We all have a responsibility to build better love. Great article!
Thank you. I appreciate your comment.
I am really happy to be reading this article especially the paragraph about having our emotional needs met without triggering our partners’ defenses. It is not always easy to do as sometimes no matter how you approach the situation especially if he is guilty he will naturally put up a defense and try to make you feel guilty
Thank you James. I always enjoy your points of view and continually learn from them. You have an amazing gift for helping people with their relationships.