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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I have been discussing "that night" recently (when she used the D word and I put it into overdrive as a reflex response), she is rather traumatised to be honest. Traumatised enough that she was starting to believe that I truly didn't love her and even when I affirmed her she could not accept it for a while when I thought she would be happy. Even today she's still in a shock.

I've been talking to my counsellor about this as well and this mechanic of mine is from my past. My family also ingrained upon me at a very young age never to bend knee but when I was 12 with the dramas with my mum kicking me out the lessons were branded on me when I began living independently on the streets.

I'm not dealing with this issue with my wife as it's something she can't help with just like I can't help her with her issues which she's resolving herself for us. I have assured her that I'm taking this issue seriously and that I do not wish to hurt her again like I did "that night".

I need to find alternative means to cope with threats. I hardened up and had my emotions in lockdown when threatened with divorce. My natural reaction is always; "bring it". Another thread has also inspired this topic because it turns out the good thing that has come out from all of this is that - I doubt she'll be flashing the D word around anytime soon.

Still... what can I do about this?
 

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Maybe you can recast her using the D word as not a threat. Instead it can be viewed as her expressing the level of frustration and anger she had that night.


Then if it's not a threat you can handle it for what it really was... her hurt coming through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, thanks to the other thread I'm a little confused about this now like let's say I recast the D word as an expression of frustration, what's to stop her from using it repeatedly you know?

Everytime the D word gets used we seperated - this is our second time. The first time I used the D word now I guess she figured it's her turn... what goes around comes around I guess. I'm struggling at the moment in regards to the morality of all this.

But what if like, I have a talk with her about this, then we make agreements on dealbreaking words, and make sure the D word is not used to express frustration/anger but at the same time promise her to work on trying to not harden up as soon as she gets confrontational?

I don't know, this is a troubling issue of mine. My very being is against backing down but judging by my wife's and I's reflection it seems our dynamics for it to improve I will have to learn to back down from time to time. For example we've established that during fights yes I admittedly do hit hard and she lashes out in retaliation not always to hit me back but to prevent me seeing her as a pushover. My refusal to back down and hers just leads nowhere, neither of us can calm down. The 20 minute breaks don't work. We normally end up breaking the deadlock via angry makeup sex but using sex to solve everything just led to us sweeping things under the carpet.

It's... hard =/
 

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You could make the D word a forbidden word. Or you could agree that saying it is just an expression of anger and if it's used you both agree that all discussion stops at that moment until the one who used the Dword appologizes. Take the power out of the word.

The only way you will take it seriously is if divorce papers are served on you. Then it's the end, no take-backs allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting, well we both kinda used the word with serious intent both times, so it's best to make it forbidden me thinks lol

I don't know how to deal with the hardening though, and hell it could be for something else like, threats for STs, or to throw a b-fit, or to kick me out of her bedroom, I still go "bring it on". D word isn't the only thing I guess when it comes to my reactions. The sex really softens us up but it also makes us forget what we're arguing about and we never get it solved because we never want to spoil the afterglow.

Then the afterglow fades and we're back in arguing about the same sh-t etc.
 

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This is connected to both of yours addiction to drama. You both thrive on it. You need it. You want it. It's your drug of choice.

Until one of you learns to kick this addiction this dynamic will continue. It's inevitable.
 

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Happy wife, happy life. Do you want to win? or Do you want to be happy? It's your choice.

The D word should never be used, but there's no point of "bring it on" if you don't mean it. Might as well just back down and be happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, for the first time the D word was used I felt cornered, she just wouldn't stop with her churchie BS and utter disregard of my own beliefs using it to try to change/control me, getting the church involved even. The second time I guess SHE felt cornered. Hmmm... maybe I shouldn't have acted so harshly when she used it. It's not like she uses it often, and I doubt she will now considering she realised my reaction. I don't know about the addiction to drama really, but we can both see how we've been contributing to the drama triangle.
 

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When you kick the addiction to drama habit you'll not be so easily triggered by other people's words. You'll respond calmly and rationally. You won't feel cornered because deep in your heart you'll know you aren't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well... that's a very good point. And now I'm coming to realise how hard it actually is. Throughout my life it's always been eye for an eye. The whole idea of forgiveness my wife herself taught me - yet she's not one to back down either if we reach defcon 1.

*sigh* We have to change this but I'm starting to see a brick wall right now when it comes to reconciliation despite how well we've been doing.

Ah hell maybe I'll talk to my wife about this and try to brainstorm, we're very transparent about this dynamic now so maybe she has ideas of her own.
 

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Well... that's a very good point. And now I'm coming to realise how hard it actually is. Throughout my life it's always been eye for an eye. The whole idea of forgiveness my wife herself taught me - yet she's not one to back down either if we reach defcon 1.

*sigh* We have to change this but I'm starting to see a brick wall right now when it comes to reconciliation despite how well we've been doing.
Speaking from someone who has beat this yes it's very hard. Our childhoods taught us to fight to yes make everything an eye for an eye. It isn't even about forgiveness its about wisdom. Not everything needs to be some huge war of words. I have learned to accomplish more by fighting less, saying less, doing less, it really is quite magical once you learn how to do this without drama.

Ever see the movie roadhouse? There is a scene where he teaches the bouncers how to handle it when people attack them personally. This is what you need to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Heh in my business I deal with difficult customers weekly, and sometimes when it's busy; daily. It's alot easier to remain calm in the face of a rude and ignorant angry customer... not so easy when it's my wife!

Not to mention my wife and I haven't really had much time to practice our new dynamics as we haven't had one argument since seperation. Maybe we should move back together so we can set the house on fire again! :)

I'm kidding I'm kidding...

But things are just too quiet nowadays, we talk we talk, but what opportunity do we really have to practise healthy dynamics?

EDIT: It's just like you said, we're seperated, it's easy to be on our best behaviour then go home. And looks like she's stirring up the place still at her parents too, figures. So peaceful at my place by comparison and we're still looking for a suitable lease (less dramas for our daughter too)

The only time we had an "argument" (more like me going WTF and her being so embarrassed with herself) was when she got scammed and lost me some money. I did get p-ssed off but I guess this forum helped calm me down so I let it go and laughed about it with her afterwards which she was rather happy with.

But it's not like she saw me at home in such a rage. Funny how much different it is just living apart.
 

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I once read your soul mate is the one who shows us the very worst parts of ourselves. In my case that was certainly true.

There is something about your wife that triggers your rage. I feel it when I read some of your posts about her. And the answer isn't to look to her it's to look inside yourself.
 

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RD, this may sound a bit esoteric (if that's even the right word), but perhaps you both could view the big D as a threat against your marriage, not as a threat against each other. Then you both have a common enemy to fight against together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Mavash

Yes, we bring out the worst in each other, as well as the best during our good times. It's a rollercoaster at times. That is a good point though, I still remember 2 years ago that my wife told me that I do bring out the worst in her but that it's not me at fault. Guess she's right in this, so my worst is not her problem as well, it lies with ourselves. Think we'll discuss this next meetup.

@pb76no

That's a good perspective when looking at things I guess. Since seperation we both realised it's OUR marriage in danger hence the cooperation and teamwork. It's interesting how perspective can change things, you're right in this. Now looking back at that night, guess I would have done things differently if I had that perspective.
 

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Generally when people are trying to push my buttons, just knowing that they want me to be angry or sad or embarassed or whatever manipulative play they are after is enough.

My response is "I'm supposed to get angry at that" or "I'm supposed to be embarassed by that" or what have you and it does two things: first, exposes them for what they are up to, and secondly defeats same.

Because knowing they want you mad, or hurt, or whatever it is means knowing how they are trying to control you. To exercise power over you. And removing that power is one of the greatest feelings you will ever experience. This is how to win at emotional warfare - to never let them have this control over you.

When you can remain composed in the face of withering fury or phony tears or false flattery or shaming, guilt-tripping, etc. then you are formidable and worthy of deep respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting, for that though I would have to somehow be able to detach my emotions/reflex from the situation during a fight with my wife. The book Awareness covers this but I wish it was more straight to the point without the religious mumble jumble.
 

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Interesting, for that though I would have to somehow be able to detach my emotions/reflex from the situation during a fight with my wife. The book Awareness covers this but I wish it was more straight to the point without the religious mumble jumble.
Awareness is an awesome book but I don't recommend it as an early book for enlightenment. What you'd want to read is something on how to fight fair. You know some basic skills to keep arguments from escalating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If only I can transfer my "customer" skills to "dealing with wifey" skills I should be fine. IF only :( Probably because my "customer" skills are all fake - I smile even though I want to punch them in the face sometimes!

Hell even another problem - when I am calm I end up being a smartass instead. With customers I bit my tongue because I have to keep the "professionalism" up, but at home... it's just so different. I can't ACT that well with my wife.
 

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If only I can transfer my "customer" skills to "dealing with wifey" skills I should be fine. IF only :( Probably because my "customer" skills are all fake - I smile even though I want to punch them in the face sometimes!

Hell even another problem - when I am calm I end up being a smartass instead. With customers I bit my tongue because I have to keep the "professionalism" up, but at home... it's just so different. I can't ACT that well with my wife.
The phrase is 'fake it till you make it'. You've got the fake it down you just haven't made it yet. Having the urge to punch ANYONE in the face or having to hold your tongue is just a sign that you're allowing other people to get to you.

You can't fake it at home because it's harder to do the longer you're exposed. Many people trigger you not just your wife.
 
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