Posts tagged ‘wife’

June 21, 2011

Three poisons for love: Manipulation, Intimidation, and Domination

by Rod Smith

When people have to use intimidation, manipulation or domination, the relationship is already spoiled or poisoned. It has become a power play of control. Redeeming such a relationship is possible with the implementation of a wise plan, strongly re-defined boundaries, enduring commitment, and the possibility of a time of separation in order that a modified perspective might be gained.

Willingness and desire to be together, equality between people and complete mutuality are the hallmarks of healthy relationships. Where any form of strong-arm tactics are used, the relationship has already taken a turn to become something harmful to both the parties.

Each of these relationship-poisons (manipulation, domination and intimidation) can be very subtle, coming in different shapes, sizes, and intensities.

Here are some of the evidences of manipulation, intimidation, and domination in a relationship:

1. The relationship has been kept on an unequal footing in order that one person might keep power over another. In a severely controlling relationship, both persons might have forgotten there are choices at all.

2. One person tries to get what he or she wants without declaring what is wanted. In attempting to get what the one person wants, both persons are in some way diminished.

3. One person does not see the other as totally free.

Confused boundaries4. One person tries to get what he or she wants through threats or withdrawal.

5. It is expected that every move, thought, and feeling will be reported at least from the less-dominant person to the other. If one person is unwilling to tell all, it is assumed there is something to hide.

6. One person is not free to make plans without consulting or getting permission from the other.

7. One person in the relationship continually evaluates and examines the commitment and love of the other.

8. The dominant person tells the other how they should feel and usually re-scripts any division or disagreement into the appearance of unity.

9. One person feels at liberty to speak for both people and then, is offended when the partner wants to express his or her own views.

10. Desire for self-expression or a distinct voice (by one) is considered betrayal or a lack of trust (by the other).

11. One person expects unilateral support for his or her opinions, choices and desires, declaring somewhat of an attitude which says: If you say you love me then you have to love everything about me, under all conditions, and all of the time.

12. Difference in opinion or having different interests is considered a lack of love, or a lack of respect and commitment.

Simple definitions and a metaphor which might be helpful in considering the three “cancers” of relationships:

Manipulation: playing chess with another person or with people. Maneuvering as if life were an attempt to checkmate others into loving us or doing what we want.Explosive

Domination: playing chess with another person or with people as in manipulation. The difference is the dominator has removed the opponent’s pieces without declaring so in the first place.

Intimidation: playing chess with another person or with people where winning and losing comes with either the threat of punishment or actual punishment.

Healthy Relationship: There is no element of either winning or losing; it is not a game. It is free of tactics, ploys, moves, and agendas.

January 25, 2009

A wife writes….

by Rod Smith

“I was the wife in an extra marital affair. The woman (You & Me, 22/1/2009) is at fault because the man was married, and, since he did not leave his wife in four years, he is in the affair only for a good time. She may have not given him an ultimatum but there is indirect pressure. She says his wife subjected him to “Henpecking, bossing him, sleeping in separate rooms.” This is only what he told her. The mistress would not know the truth. He told her only what’s music to her ears. My husband told his mistress that he only lived with me and had nothing to do with me. In the meantime there was nothing wrong in our marriage. Others looked up to us. Our friends asked us advice on marriage. My husband cherished me and showed me love with all his heart and showered me with gifts. He never forgot special days like birthdays anniversaries. This is behind us now after some counseling and lots of prayer. I forgave him for his mistake and we renewed our marriage vows. We now have an even better marriage than before, but my wounds are still healing and it will be a while before I place 120% trust in him again.”

January 8, 2009

A woman writes and seeks opinion….

by Rod Smith

“Regarding affairs: it’s not fair to generalize. Of course affairs aren’t right, but life isn’t perfect and people change. People fall out of love all the time and it’s hard to hurt someone you’ve been with for a long time even when you don’t love them anymore. Affairs are a big ‘gray area’ where situations differ. Often, it’s two people finding each other at the wrong time. I agree that those two people need to do what is needed to make is right. Sometimes it takes time to work through the details. I found that my affair partner was ‘comfortable’ in his relationship with his wife but not in love with her. At the same time, she knew she had not done anything wrong. It was hard for him to hurt her and be the ‘bad guy’ in the eyes of family and friends. It’s the same with my husband: I no longer loved him but he had done nothing wrong. I simply fell out of love with him. Does that make my affair and me bad people? We care enough about our spouses to not want to hurt them, but realize it’s not fair to them or ourselves to live a lie.” (Edited only for word count)

January 5, 2009

The women always make the decisions in the end…

by Rod Smith

“I have been in a four-year relationship with a married man. I still believe in his love but also believe he needs a push to do the right thing. I told him he has to own up to the affair and tell the wife himself, or I will tell her. I am not walking away with nothing after giving four years of my life. Then the wife can either have the choice of working things out with him or getting a divorce. It’s the women always make the decisions in the end.”

dsc_0642You might believe in “his love” (for you) but it is hard to believe you have any love for him. You clearly ignored any “push” to do the “right thing” and regard married men as “off limits.” While you are apparently vengeful and determined, you will most certainly find only temporary and limited personal peace.

I hope you will have some dramatic moment of insight, some divine encounter, an event of sorts that transforms you from within, and makes you ready to learn and ready love in ways that are helpful to you and to all persons in your sphere of influence.

February 11, 2008

Things to say, in your own words, to a jealous person…

by Rod Smith

“I am sorry I have facilitated your insecurities by allowing your jealousy to influence my behavior. I will try not to do this anymore. It is not good for either of us. Walking on egg-shells is not how I like to spend my energy.”

“Going out to dinner with my friends (daughter, son, mother, father, brother, sister) is something I like to do and I sometimes like to do it alone. You are perfectly capable of understanding that having other important relationships does not mean I am rejecting you. Healthy adults can keep many relationships going at the same time. Why don’t you try it sometime?”

“We are each better off when honest, even if what we have to say is painful. Keeping you happy is too large a task for me. I hereby give that responsibility back to you. Anger, resentment, and the failure to forgive – all fruits of jealousy – are individual pursuits. You have to take care of this on your own. I am not going to interfere with your journey by trying to resolve your issues for you.”

“To love you is to stay out of your control. I’d rather have no relationships than relationships that inhibit who I am.”

February 4, 2008

He has not hit me for six months…..

by Rod Smith

“We’ve been married for seven years and have two children. We have serious issues. I have been unfaithful. He has been very abusive. After the honeymoon years we found out what type of people we really are. I tried to leave but each time he would get sad and I would run back. He hasn’t hit me for six months. To make matters worse I recently met a man who has made me feel like who I used to feel. I feel I have no right to leave my husband since he hasn’t hurt me in so long. I feel like I would rather live alone then with him. I would feel safer. He has never abused the children but I worry for when they get older. Do I need to save them the trouble of finding out before it’s too late and just leave?” (Letter edited)

You cannot legitimately assess your marriage while another man is in the wings. Somehow, get some distance (breathing space) from both men. Staying because he has not hurt you is perverted logic! Consider long-term safety. Health is defined by what people do, and not by what they don’t do. Surround yourself with supportive family and friends and, within the warmth of community, make a decision,

January 26, 2008

Alone and hurting….

by Rod Smith

“I am in an affair with a married man. Although it is a year it seems like a lifetime. I was married when we began our relationship. My husband moved away and I thought he was going to make the break with his wife. One day he tells me not to give up on him. The next day he tells me he never said such a thing. He talks about ‘boundaries’ and how he ‘chooses not to leave’ his wife. I’m miserable. I go to bed alone every night. Every day I help him with his work while mine falls further behind. I would love some pearls of wisdom. I need to end this: but how?” (Edited)

The pearl of wisdom – “I need to end this” – is in your letter. Until you sever this destructive alliance (it’s not a “relationship”) you will have no joy. Until you have extended time alone (without a man in your life) you will not re-establish your integrity.

How do you end it? There is no easy way out! Resign. Disappear. Move to a new city. Change your phone numbers. You owe him no “closure” or explanation. Of course this is tough but the sooner you act, the sooner you will find relief from your misery.

January 8, 2008

Best things you can do if your husband says he doesn’t love you…. a woman (Ann) writes…!

by Rod Smith

I thank Ann for this comment...

I thank Ann for this comment...

“Hi Ladies, just a bit of advice, if your husband says he doesn’t want to be married or doesn’t love you anymore, as much as it hurts, the best thing you can do is nothing. Go about your business, act happy, be nice, don’t beg, don’t plead, don’t cry and make him try to feel sorry for you. Listen to me, as hard as this sounds, it works. Work on yourself, be your own person, let him always see you are happy. Men don’t want to pull away from happy women! They want to pull away from a woman who is yelling, and nagging. I am not saying this is your fault by any means.

“Starting today, start taking care of yourself, pamper yourself, love yourself the way you want to be loved, throw your energy into your kids and yourself. Any contact with your husband or boyfriend be nothing but pleasant and nice: no fighting, no blaming. If he brings up divorce, breaking up tell him you don’t want that but YOU’LL SUPPORT HIM IN HIS DECISION. And leave it at that.

“Get your hair done, nails done (if you can afford to do so) give yourself facials, make yourself feel good about yourself and it will shine through.

“Remember, no yelling, no begging him, no freaking out on him, that will only push him further away.

“And don’t keep bringing up the past of hurtful things he has said and did, that just creates more drama.”

December 18, 2007

First year of fourth marriage has been “down”…

by Rod Smith

“I have been married a year and it has been so down. My husband prefers drinking with his loser buddies than being around any positive people. I hardly see him. I feel like we are in a very early stage of a relationship. I have been married four times, and I think I am crazy! First, I was a teenage bride and my husband abused me, then the next had an affair. My new husband spends his days drinking after work and I get left out. He wants a mother. I am very intelligent except when it comes to love. I forgive and then I get shafted. I need some friends.” (Letter edited)

Intelligent is, as intelligent does. I’d suggest you get some individual, personalized, help about how to find out who you are and what you want. Clearly you are searching for something and are possibly looking for it in a few unwise places. While it is easy to place blame on all the “loser” men in your life, you are the one, common, factor.

December 6, 2007

You advise women to stand up to jealous husbands, but The Bible says submit….

by Rod Smith

You advise women to stand up to their jealous or controlling husbands. Don’t you know the Bible says wives must submit to husbands?

Please write, I'm reading...

Please write, I'm reading...

I do. Paul says, “wives submit to your husbands,” and one can safely assume Paul is addressing all of his writings to both men and women. A husband who loves according to Paul’s descriptions of love is both safe and worthy of submission! Such a man will indeed not be going out of his way to secure the obedience of others. Beware of any man whose knowledge of Scripture begins, and ends, with “wives submit to your husbands.” Loving men (leaders, bosses, teachers) have no desire (or craving) for the submission (obedience) of others. “Love seeks no power, and therefore has it,” says Alan Paton.

Submitting (“giving in”) to jealousy or controlling or abusive behavior is certainly not very helpful to the marriage, the husband or wife. The Bible doesn’t require anyone to submit (accept, obey) anyone’s pathological behavior, whether it is from a spouse, pastor, or any leader. To resist (stand up to) pathological behavior, however (wherever, whenever) it rears its ugly head, is to do the perpetrator (spouse, pastor, leader) a loving service.

Submitting to damaging behavior can hardly result in helpful long-term outcomes.

Sadly, I have seen many a woman hang onto the hope that the husband will eventually change (stop drinking, beating, swearing, and go to church!) if she could just learn to really “submit.” I know women who believe their husband’s abuse is deserved – a “reward” for the failure to really submit. If abusive men (yes jealousy and control are forms of abuse) were as interested in Paul’s injunction to men: “love your wife as Christ loved the Church,” we’d be pleasantly engaged in a completely different discussion.

No. The monster (jealousy) will not go away if continually fed. It only gets more controlling, more demanding, and more viscous when it is not appeased.