There’s yelling, name calling, and pointing……

by Rod Smith

“I’m getting ready for church. He assesses what I’m wearing and suggests a dress he bought me. He wonders why I’m unhappy about it. We get into a fight. There’s yelling and name calling, and pointing. He advances into my personal space. He turns it into me being a victim based on my past. I’m very broken. He also threw out an ultimatum.” (Letter edited)

Destructive exchanges lead couples nowhere worth going. The “thinking brain” shuts down. The “fight, freeze, or flee brain” kicks in, assumes control, and wants ward off the perceived threat. Both people, in the heat of the moment, feel choices are limited and so things to escalate – they fight fire with fire and insult with insult until a domestic war ensues.

While difficult to do, walking away is the more helpful option.

If she’d said something like, “You choose your clothing. I’ll choose mine. I will not fight with you. You do not have permission to ruin my day,” and left for church without him, he’d have had the time and the space to face the unresolved issues that predate his marriage.

Why else would he want to determine what another adult wears?

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