Is it worth it?

An anonymous poster on Dr. Helen’s blog:

I am one of the angry women whose husband wants a divorce. I acknowlege that anger is my main problem. What no one here (and especially my stbx husband) seems to understand is that if you are an emotionally cold, distant, detached man who walks away from all conflict you will end up with a chronically angry and resentful wife who feels invalidated, disrespected and unheard.

My husband grew up in a family where “peace at any price” was the motto. His mother pays that price by manipulating,lying and kowtowing to his father. My children and I will now be paying that price for the rest of our lives while my husband finds peace without us.

This is an example of one of the more obviously doomed pairings, the angry woman and the peace-at-any-price man. However, the point that this woman appears to be missing is that this is the path she chose. Regardless of whether or not one likes the way one’s partner responds to provocation, one must recognize that this is a RESPONSE to one’s own action.

Every day, the opportunities for conflict present themselves, in our relationships, our personal lives and our professional lives. But it is a choice to provoke that conflict or to let it go. And while some conflicts are unavoidable and must be fought out, this is not true of the vast majority of them, especially those within a marriage.

I give Spacebunny the opportunity to engage in conflict every single day, what with my inability to know what day it is, let alone what petty household task I agreed to do last week. And nearly every time, she declines the opportunity. This is the hallmark of a self-disciplined woman who values her relationship, just as explosive outbursts over minor issues is the hallmark of an out-of-control woman who values her momentary feelings more than her relationship.

If people don’t want to be around you, the problem is you. If someone who used to enjoy being around you prefers to avoid you, then you would do well to examine if you are treating them differently than you were in the past.

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