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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No matter how much you really want and need to get your point across to your partner, there are a number of methods of communication that are strictly off limits. Using them will get you nowhere productive.

These methods include, but are not limited to the following:

• Sarcasm

• Mockery

• Name-calling

• Contempt

When you are sarcastic toward your partner, you create a couple of issues. First, if you are both upset, s/he may not realize that you’re being sarcastic to begin with. You may not be discussing the same issue in the end and you may have no idea where the other is coming from. Second, sarcasm can be a way of belittling your partner during an argument. True, it may be a slightly more sophisticated method of condescension than used on the average elementary schoolyard, but it’s playing dirty nonetheless.

Mockery, be it in pretending that you’re on your partner’s “side” when you aren’t, or be it speaking in your partner’s voice, is flat-out mean and is therefore out of bounds.

Name-calling may be as low as one could go in this field and shouldn’t really be included in the same ballpark as communication. Calling names can include foul language or calling the other any number of terms, and as adults, you should both be sensitive to what is unacceptable here. Just pull back a minute and think first – what would your reaction be to having these titles hurled in your direction?

Last is the hardest to resist, because in polite society, some may find it passable. This is when you dig up all the dirt from the beginning of your relationship and even predating that. Really, what’s the purpose? Just making him/her feel worse won’t make your partner open up and help solve the issue.

Think a few times before you let the temptation grab your mouth and whip out those damaging words.

• Is this going to help us deal with the issue?

• Is it hurtful for no reason?

• Is it disrespectful to my partner?

Think well, because once the words are out of your mouth, they are out and retracting them isn’t so simple. We human beings do not have a delete button, so handle with care.
 

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Is there a way for me to make my wife understand this without her thinking I'm manipulating her? (I mean digging up old stuff). She has this vault in her brain where everything I've ever said or done that has upset her is stored and she can bring them out anytime she chooses, and does often. Even stuff that happened when we were teenagers!! I regret lots of things and wish I could change them but obviously I can't. But I don't want to keep reliving them and feeling bad!
 

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Well said, M22.
 

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Is there a way for me to make my wife understand this without her thinking I'm manipulating her? (I mean digging up old stuff). She has this vault in her brain where everything I've ever said or done that has upset her is stored and she can bring them out anytime she chooses, and does often. Even stuff that happened when we were teenagers!! I regret lots of things and wish I could change them but obviously I can't. But I don't want to keep reliving them and feeling bad!
Doctor doctor come quickly my wife’s historical. Historical? Surely you mean hysterical! No, she’s historical, she keeps bringing up the past!

Been there JDJ. I know it’s not funny at all.

Here’s my conclusions.

They don’t believe in forgiveness. My wife? “I will never ever forgive you for that”. That would come some 20 or so years after a supposed offence. And the first time she ever spoke of it.

They hang on to bitterness and resentment, passive anger and dislike for their spouse. While at the same time take all that their spouse gives to them.

The vault in their brain gets full of bitterness and resentment. The vault becomes a part of their psyche, a big part of their identity, of who they are. Very much like their two legs are part of their body. If they were to forgive they simply wouldn’t know who they are anymore.

The historical supposed offence gets twisted beyond recognition over time. It’s reinforced by their thinking about it and talking about it to emotional confidents. That’s how it stays so fresh in their mind.

Not one of the offences my wife accused me of was true, but they were based on an historical fact. There’s a name for this, it’s called confabulation. It’s worth looking it up.

The more you ask or teach her to forgive, the stronger the vault becomes. Why? Because if you are asking for forgiveness you must have done something seriously wrong.

What’s the way ahead? Personal boundaries. See http://talkaboutmarriage.com/general-relationship-discussion/14963-boundaries-men.html.

I got yet another false accusation based on an event some 7 years previously and stupidly ended up with a nervous breakdown. I put my boundaries up very quickly. I told my wife I will not tolerate one more recollection of past bad events.

She simply did not know what to do. She looked like she was in shock. Then she just went and trampled my boundary by calling up another supposed offence from ten years ago that had never been spoken of before.

It was enough for me and my marriage was over.

Bob
 

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JDJ,
You are being persecuted for offences of long ago. It’s like a prison sentence without end. A lifetime prison sentence. It is serious abuse of who you are now.

I knew my wife would have gone on persecuting me in my 70s for supposed offences from decades ago. I suddenly woke up to that fact and couldn’t bear the thought of it.

How to continue being abused? Patience, tolerance, empathy, compassion for the persecutor, your wife, are what enables her to continue abusing you and you continue taking it. You are more likely a rescuer type person and your wife the persecutor/victim type person. It’s called the victim triangle or drama triangle. See Drama Triangle: The Three Faces of Victim by Lynne Forrest.

How to stop being abused? Intolerance. Personal boundaries. Rigidness. Inflexibility. “I will no longer tolerate that behaviour”. Your wife will see a changed man and you will feel a changed man.

In the drama triangle the way to get off of it is to become the persecutor. To go into attack mode instead of defence mode/rescue mode.

I’d had enough and the end of my 42 year relationship with my wife ended abruptly when I became intolerant, rigid and inflexible of her persecution of me. I’ve had to hold myself back from persecuting her.

Where do they get it from, this type of behaviour? From their parents. Look to your wife’s mother, she probably behaves in this way just like your wife does. This type of behaviour is singularly small minded.

Bob
 

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JDJ,
A little experiment for you. Cast your mind back in time and recall an offence on you committed by your wife. Then out of nowhere accuse your wife of that offence.

Sit back and watch the way she responds. It’s very educational.

Bob
 

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I have the same problem. The answer is to make sure you criticize your wife for every little thing she does wrong. Or when she complains for nothing. Take your time over it. Make sure she will remember it. Then when the history lesson starts again, just answer her back with your own. She will soon get the message.
 
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