Just driving around when a thought exploded in my brain: are we all playing this universal game? Let me explain the "control game," when both sides push and pull, but are always in the same place?
Most men resist growing up for different reasons, but to pass the time, they are able to put up and enjoy a good fight. They love to have an enemy to resist!
When there is time to marry, they get some wishful woman to marry them and so the battle begins...
She is bent on teaching him the basis of healthy marital communication:
- need to share feelings,
- be open & communicative,
- show interest in your partner's happiness,
- care for her and show love to her by talking and listening,
- and so on and so forth...repeat ad nauseam!
What are the men doing in response? How do they play their hand in this marital control game?
Making from their partner's pressure to improve a long term battle, they see this loving training as an obnoxious control over their precious freedom to behave as they see fit. Men want to afford themselves the luxury of not connecting their own actions (passive aggression) with the inevitable results (marital failure and suffering). The last thing they consider doing is making themselves responsible for the consequences of their passive-aggressive behaviors at home!
And, (summer as the time of reflection as it is...) my brain kept asking:
What are all the women really doing, when they keep trying to improve their husbands' behaviors for the long term: 5, 10, 20 years?
Why do they keep compensating for men's lack of connection forever?
Is this an effective strategy to make their husbands grow up and develop responsibility? No way, it's only distracting and enabling...as long as men keep wives engaged in improving their communication skills, they are safe from divorce and loneliness... They only have to learn how to stall, promise, and postpone change for her to keep busy pushing them into adulthood, waiting for improvements that never materialize. They can avoid to confront themselves forever, by only using defensive tactics against his wife's attempts to connect.
How do I know? well, I get lots of letters from women that realize, after 15, 20 years of marriage, that they feel more isolated and emotionally starved now than ever! And getting to be 50 and in a lonely marriage is devastating for my readers...because the future now has no illusions that change will finally happen. And at that time in their lives, they know that a bit of happy life can be obtained only by having extreme courage to confront and finally leave the marriage.
I realized that we could develop a preventive plan....perhaps by talking around with our daughters, friends, and relatives, we could have a consensus on what to avoid and how to detach? And perhaps planning of having a "temporary contract" with the guy, over the changes of issues that need addressing and reviewing results in a periodic fashion? Just thinking!
FIVE INDICATORS THAT THIS GUY WILL BEHAVE AS A Passive Aggressive PERSON:
a) systematic insensitivity and avoidance of any "emotional" conversation;
b) denial to learn about and take seriously her human needs;
c) stalling, postponing, and promising responses for after the marriage;
d) inability to confront with love, express their needs and negotiate, escaping into silence;
e) a very significant lack of personal friends
Here you have more help: HELP!
I'm posting here my own list. Probably you observed a characteristic that in itself represented for you the whole passive aggression picture? Would you share it with us? Thanks!