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Do You want to prevent constant brown outs in your marriage?

Posted Nov 22 2009 12:37pm
Barry's words made Ruth feel dismissed

Valerie was hurt and upset. Barry dismissed her plans for the Thanksgiving holiday but supported the same proposals coming from cousin Ruth. What made it even worse was that Barry seemed oblivious to the stinging rebuke he had dealt his wife. Silenced by the lump growing in her throat and the hot tears pricking her eyes, Valerie pretended to be busy in the kitchen. She had to get a grip on herself for the sake of her guests.

“ I think we should go to the Mountains with Ruth and her family this year. We won’t have to worry about our parents competing with one another for the best pies and stuffing.” Barry commented as he got ready for bed.

“ I’ve been telling you that for the last couple of weeks, but you only listen to Ruth.” Valerie huffed getting under the covers.

“ It’s not true. You are just hypersensitive,” snubbed Barry while reaching out to caress her.

Valerie rejects Barry to get her own back
Valerie pushed Barry’s hand away and let him have it. “ You really hurt me Barry. You do this all the time. Nothing I say counts. You ignored me when I asked you to pace yourself with the weight training. Yet when your mother warned you to slow down you immediately altered your schedule. I begged you not to feed the cat the remains of the Chinese food because she would throw up all night. You told me it was nonsense.  But you believed your golf buddy when he cautioned you about the same thing.”  

Barry calls Valarie hypersensitive while Valerie feels devalued
“ You are making a big deal out of nothing! What’s got into you? Are your hormones playing up?” Barry countered, defending himself against the unexpected attack.

“ I don’t know why you bother asking my opinion on anything. You don’t take me seriously. You make me feel that my ideas are worthless, until of course they are corroborated by someone else who has authority in your eyes. If I am so dumb why did you marry me?” Valerie pleaded.

 An emotional brown out with no flashlight wreck havoc in the relationship
Valerie felt disregarded by Barry and banished him to his own planet. Barry felt locked out without a key. Alone in their own kingdoms, the couple orbited around their relationship on different pathways. The martial G.P.S. got hit by a brown out, and neither of them had a flashlight to help them mend the fuse.

 Valerie insisted Barry had to jump onto her planet. She needed him to validate her foresight and wisdom by valuing her opinions. She wanted to feel like an equal player, not an extension of her husband. She was fighting for her individuality.

Valarie and Barry yearn for their security blankets
Barry wanted Valerie to leap into his world and recreate the feeling that they were joined at the hip. That would provide the ultimate security blanket. It was unsettling and somewhat of a threat to have Valerie out there separate from him, with thoughts and feelings that were alien to him. That was the first step along the slippery slope leading to the break up of their marriage.

 Putting themselves in each other's shoes turns the lights back o n

If Barry and Valerie choose to put themselves in each others’ shoes, they create a third planet called partnership. That translates into:

1.  Being curious about each others motives

2. Asking each other about their feelings and intentions before jumping to conclusions.

3. Creating a picture that includes the feelings, motives and intentions of both together. Weaving the tapestry using threads from both, makes the relationship fabric strong and durable.


Take the relationship quiz to find out your profile of relationship security


Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D. 2009

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